The Fuss About Puss

Skin Care Myths, Truths


Photo Courtesy of Audrey Fretz on Unsplash

Clear, healthy, blemish-free skin is promoted all the time in the media. But instructions on how to achieve this standard are all too often left out. Understanding how the skin works is important to understanding how best to maintain it.

Isaiah Prophet, Reporter

Day after day, we are bombarded with information about how to clean, scrub, moisturize and torment our skin. The global phenomena of how best to take care of your skin has taken the whole world by storm. I know from experience how tough it can be to get rid of acne. But, with so much information from numerous sources, it seems nearly impossible to sort the truth from myths. 

Before any myths can be tackled, it is important to first understand what our facial skin is in the first place. Skin is made up of three components, the top layer, or epidermis, that traps moisture, the mid layer, or dermis, which makes up the main structural cells and contains oils and then the bottom layer, or hypodermis, where new cells are formed. 

Pimples are caused by an excess of oil buildup in the pores; the build-up of this excess oil, called sebum, is what blocks the pores and causes pimples on your face. Sebum production varies from person to person, but hormone production and age are major factors. Contrary to popular belief, fatty or greasy foods such as fried chicken, chocolate milk or french fries do not cause acne, according to VeryWell, a health website. However, according to another health website, Healthline,  disposable masks, bike helmets and touching your face can clog your pores with bacteria and cause an increase in acne.

The best way to reduce acne is by using a facial cleanser which clears the skin of bacteria, excess sebum and dead skin cells preventing your pores from becoming clogged. I personally use the Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser in the mornings and at night to clear my pores, followed by the oil absorbing Cetaphil moisturizer to protect and moisturize my skin. The cleanser especially is really good and it doesn’t leave my face feeling too minty. I’ve been using both products for years now and I love how gentle they are especially since my skin is sensitive. I used to incorporate face masks in my nightly routine but they didn’t show many results, so I stopped, but that doesn’t mean all of them won’t work for you.

Wrinkles are another skin affliction that all people will struggle with at some point in their lives. While wrinkles may not yet affect youthful individuals such as myself, there are ways to reduce the number of wrinkles in the future and prevent new ones from forming. A common myth is that once wrinkles begin to form, they are impossible to get rid of, which is simply not true. As aging occurs, the hypodermis skin layer produces less and less new cells to replace the dead ones on the upper layers, according to Cleveland Clinic. The skin’s structural material, collagen, is produced less and less in cells over time coupled with ultraviolet radiation that breaks down collagen even further. A chemical called retinol helps the skin retain and produce collagen, which prevents wrinkles from forming, but results will only begin to become apparent after six to 12 months of use according to a Harvard Health article from 2019.

You may have also heard that if it’s cloudy outside or if you’re indoors you don’t need to wear sunscreen, which is also not true. According to Allure magazine,  sunscreen should be worn to protect your skin from UV radiation which can both cause wrinkles and is a major source for skin cancer. They also state that the SPF rating for the sunscreen should be at least 30 SPF in order to provide maximum protection. The Eva Naturals and Alana Mitchell retinoids are both really good options for improving my skin. I use both everyday, one in the morning to improve my complexion and the other at night to prevent wrinkles. 

Additional rumors include the belief that drinking more water will help improve the skin. While water is important to the overall health of the body, there is not any conclusive evidence that shows a direct benefit of drinking water and skin care. A good rule of thumb when determining whether or not something will have a positive impact on your skin is to think about how the product and application method will affect the three layers of skin  It is very easy to spread misinformation, especially when it surrounds health, so staying away from fads and using the tips above will help sort fact from fiction. 

It is key to remember that everyone’s skin is different. I had to learn to not follow trends because an “influencer” claimed it works or become discouraged because a trend didn’t work for me. One time I gave myself a chemical burn for a week because I followed what somebody told me to do rather than what I knew was best for my skin. Learning about all skin types, especially your own, is necessary when determining whether or not the method will work.