There are countless articles out there that contain “hacks” that will turn your acne-covered face into a Korean skin pattern. While shopping for products, you’ve probably stumbled upon those cleansers that “magically” unclog your pores and eliminate your acne overnight. And YOU have certainly looked in the mirror and said, “I need better skin.
I stumbled upon each of these things, tried many products, looked at my skin too many times and wondered why I couldn’t have perfect, clear white skin like these Korean models. I’ve read too many articles that claim to contain tricks that work for everyone when in reality, they don’t. But most importantly, I’ve been on a journey with my skincare routine filled with ups and downs, and through those experiences, I’ve compiled a list of 5 things I first thought of when I started skincare, why it’s not necessarily beneficial, and what you can do instead.
A recurring theme that I will be emphasizing throughout this article is that EVERY SKIN TYPE IS DIFFERENT and depending on your skin type, you need to create a routine that is tailored to your specific skin needs.
With that in mind, let’s get into some misconceptions.
1. You must wash your face at least twice a day
One tip I’ve seen in almost every “how to get clear skin” article is to wash your face at least twice a day; here’s why that’s not necessarily the case. How often you wash your skin should be based on your skin type. If you have excessively oily skin, it will certainly be useful to wash it once in the morning, once in the evening and after each sweat.
I have combination skin and washed my face twice a day for most of the first year I started doing skincare. I didn’t think about pimples appearing in the middle of my face and excessive dryness because I thought it was just a phase and my skin was “clean” because I washed it twice a day. But then I stopped washing my face in the morning for about a week and noticed the pimples stopped coming and my face looked PERFECTLY GOOD throughout the day even though I hadn’t not cleaned in the morning. I was washing my face in the morning, removing the natural oils and replacing them with moisturizer when in reality my face could have become clearer and cleaner with its natural oils.
So before you wash your face the next day, really think about your skin type and how often your skin really needs cleansing. If you have oily skin, consider washing your face twice a day with gentle cleansers and light moisturizers (always moisturize even if you have oily skin! You don’t want your skin to overcompensate). For dry, sensitive and combination skin, simply wash your face at night and remove all accumulated dirt and oil. Dermatologists say that as long as you cleanse yourself thoroughly the night before, there’s really no reason to wash your face in the morning (what about those pillowcases hiding? Just wash it every 2 weeks; if you faint, there is usually a bigger cause). But, at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with washing in the morning AS long as you don’t overload the skin with its natural oils. An extremely gentle cleanser, such as COSRX Good Morning Low pH Cleanserwill do.
Speaking of the strength of cleansers, that brings me to the next big misconception I had:
2. Powerful, Deep Cleanser = Deep Cleansing = Glowing Skin
This was one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started washing my face. Just as you may have read above about how washing your face too often can strip your skin of too many of its natural oils, so too can using too strong a cleanser when your face doesn’t need it.
Here’s a bit of science about our skin’s barrier. The skin barrier is what keeps our skin glowing: it locks in moisture and nutrients and keeps bacteria and irritants out. But what most people don’t know is that our skin’s barrier is a lipid bilayer of corneocytes, which are dead skin cells. When I started cleaning, I used strong cleansers with the mindset I needed to get rid of everything that was dead on my skin. What happened in the end? My face was constantly a tomato, my somewhat smooth complexion (which I had before I started skincare) was now bumpy. I had gotten rid of too many components of my skin’s natural barrier, which allowed bacteria and irritants to come into closer contact with my skin.
So in the end? Deep cleansers aren’t horrible, they’re just not for everyone. Don’t use a cleanser just because of its “deep pore cleansing” and “powerful acne clearing” abilities. In fact, most dermatologists recommend using gentle cleansers because of their ability to remove excess impurities while maintaining the skin’s natural barrier. Even if you have oily skin, consider washing your face twice a day with a gentle foaming cleanser; Foaming cleansers are great for removing layers of oil and makeup, and they’re made to slightly dry out the skin due to their foaming properties. But what about dry and sensitive skin? Consider buying a cleansing cream; Cream cleansers are known to be gentle, moisturizing and are great for people with dry skin due to their ability to remove impurities while moisturizing similar skin types.
There are countless cleansers on the market, and it may take a few tries to find the one that works best for your skin!
3. Skin care products are the only way to get glowing skin.
Products and their quality play a HUGE role in shaping your complexion, but it’s not the only thing that can help you achieve your healthiest complexion. Adjusting certain elements of your lifestyle can make big changes, and I learned that recently. What changes, you may be wondering?
DIET. Foods especially high in antioxidants and vitamins have been clinically proven to fight free radicals, improve skin tone, boost metabolism, promote weight loss and more. Recently, I incorporated matcha, grapefruit, and lemon water into my daily diet and diet. SKIN. IS. GLOWING. It’s not the same kind of glow you get from a satisfying face mask or toner; my skin gradually became less red and the irregular pimples practically stopped. Remember to put good into your body when you can, and you will see good in return.
My favorite way to ingest matcha is with matcha almond milk lattes. SO. GOOD.
EXERCISE. A common myth is that hot water unclogs pores, which it doesn’t! Sweating is actually one of the best ways to unclog your pores due to the “heat” you feel and the cooling of your body. Find your favorite workout and sweat a little, it’ll clear up a few pores! Remember to wash your face gently afterwards, as the sweat that remains on your face could cause a rash.
SLEEP. I can’t stress how closely sleep is tied to literally everything but SLEEP! Sleep releases cortisol levels and gives your skin time to clear and absorb the products you put on that night.
GENERAL HYGIENE. This includes taking a shower every day (or when you need to), changing your clothes when you sweat, washing your pillowcase, washing your hands (especially before you wash your face!) and, in general, keep your body clean when it can be!
STRESS. Just like sleep, stress has been negatively linked to many other problems in your body. Take care of yourself and do what you need to do to feel a little less stressed.
During times like this, when we’re cooped up in our homes, take that extra time and invest some of it in making your skin as healthy as possible. As you do your research, remember that everyone’s skin is different, and one person’s routine for glowing skin doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for your skin. However, remember that no matter what your skin looks like, you are radiating from within. <3