Doctor Reveals 6 Skincare Misconceptions to Avoid for Healthier Skin

In the ever-evolving world of skincare, navigating a sea of information can be overwhelming. While countless tips and tricks flood our feeds, some popular beliefs can do more harm than good. That’s why we spoke to Dr Wafaa El Mouhebb, skin doctor at Dr Wafaa Clinic who shares 6 skincare misconceptions to avoid, to equip you with a foundation of fact-based practices.

1) DIY Skincare Can Be Risky

While DIY skincare may seem convenient and cost-effective, it’s important to be cautious and informed about the procedures you’re attempting to do at home. Attempting complex procedures at home without professional guidance or knowledge can lead to serious consequences like irritation, scarring, burns, and infection. Some skincare trends to avoid include homemade spot treatments, DIY chemical peels, pore vacuuming kits for home-use, baking soda scrubs and magic erasers for self-tanning streaks. Additionally, some influencers have advocated using household items like lemon, baking soda and apple cider vinegar on the skin, but these ingredients can be too acidic and abrasive, causing damage to the skin’s protective barrier, hyperpigmentation, and burns.

2) Beware of Viral SPF Trends

SPF is important because it helps to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation, including skin cancer, premature aging, and sunburn. Viral trends like ‘perineum sunning’ and ‘sunscreen contouring’ don’t provide total SPF protection and can leave the skin vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun. Perineum sunning involves exposing the perineal area to direct sunlight for several minutes, with claims that it can improve mood and energy levels. However, this practice is not scientifically backed, and is potentially dangerous, as the skin in the perineum area is extremely sensitive and susceptible to burns. Similarly, sunscreen contouring involves applying SPF in specific areas to create tan lines that contour the face and the abs, leaving other areas of skin exposed to the sun. While you may think this is a creative way to apply SPF, it can leave areas of the skin vulnerable to UV damage and cause skin sensitivity.

3) Consider Your Skin Type and Tone

It is essential to choose skincare products and trends that consider the unique needs of different skin types and tones, rather than relying on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. For example, dewy skin trends may not be suitable for oily skin types as its often achieved by applying rich oils and creams, which may cause breakouts or exacerbate oiliness. As well as this, natural or organic skincare may not be compatible with sensitive skin types as they can trigger an allergic reaction. Sensitive skin is also likely to react worse to harsh exfoliants, alcohol and fragrance. Additionally, skin of colour has higher levels of melanin, which can make them more prone to hyperpigmentation. To ensure that a viral skincare trend is suitable for your specific skin concerns, it’s important to do your research and a patch test of new products beforehand. If you’re unsure about where to start with your skincare journey, I would recommend to book in for a consultation with an accredited skin doctor or dermatologist.

4) Natural Isn’t Always Better

Natural ingredients can be fantastic additions to your skincare routine, providing beneficial vitamins and antioxidants. However, “natural” doesn’t always equate to “gentle.” For example, poison ivy is natural, but you wouldn’t want to rub it on your skin! Some botanical extracts in fragrance or essential oils can be irritating, especially for sensitive skin. Therefore, patch testing new products is essential, regardless of their source. Additionally, certain synthetic ingredients have been scientifically proven to address specific skin concerns. For example, retinoids, a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A, are highly effective in combating wrinkles and boosting collagen production.

5) Avoid Over-Exfoliation

Over-exfoliation is a common culprit behind skin irritation and dryness. Harsh scrubs with abrasive particles can strip away natural oils, leaving your skin vulnerable and dehydrated. While exfoliation is essential for removing dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover, it’s crucial to do it in moderation. Exfoliate gently 1-2 times a week with a product suited to your skin type. Opt for chemical exfoliants containing AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) which work more gently to remove dead skin cells without disrupting the skin barrier. For a deeper exfoliation, opt for a chemical peel treatment via a reputable aesthetics practitioner. They typically contain acids of varying strengths and types which remove the sun-damaged, thicker, outer layers of dead skin.

6) Say No to Pimple Popping

While it may be tempting to squeeze or pop a pimple, this habit can lead to more harm than good. Not only can this exacerbate inflammation and cause the bacteria from the pimple to spread deeper into the skin, potentially leading to more severe breakouts. The trauma inflicted by squeezing can also damage the skin’s delicate tissues, resulting in scarring that may persist long after. Opt for targeted spot treatments formulated with active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid instead. These treatments work to eliminate acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation, effectively addressing pimples without the risk of further damage to the skin. Aesthetic treatments, such as Radiofrequency Microneedling, can also help to reduce acne scarring by promoting collagen and elastin production. After the procedure, the skin that is stimulated becomes smoother and thicker.

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About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.