10 Skincare Myths Debunked by Dermatology Experts

What gets under our skin? Incorrect skincare advice — and there’s a lot of it out there.

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Curology Team
Mar 22, 2018 · 4 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.
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Remember when everyone touted the benefits of coconut oil for skin and started slathering it all over themselves? Turns out that can cause breakouts! The point is, you can’t believe everything you hear, especially since everyone’s skin is different. Here, we break down the 10 biggest myths in skincare, with some expert debunking courtesy of Curology’s pros.

1. Pores open & close

That’s not how pores work! Pores don’t open or close — they just become more or less visible. When you use warm water or steam to “open” your pores, what’s really happening is the glue-like cells on the pore’s surface are loosened up. The pores may appear more visible or “open,” but that’s basically a temporary illusion.

2. You’ll eventually outgrow acne

No such luck! While some people do see a decrease in acne after their teenage years, many breakout-prone people continue to deal with acne well into adulthood. Acne is influenced by a long list of things, many of which have to do with our lifestyle and dietary choices. If you’re suffering from acne into adulthood, you may want to try avoiding sugar and dairy for at least a few months. Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol excessively can aggravate acne (and are bad for you in other ways, too, of course). No matter what a product claims, it may have irritating or comedogenic ingredients that contribute to breakouts!

3. There is no such thing as washing your face too much

Yes, there is. Irritation from overzealous cleansing and exfoliating can make acne worse, along with causing redness and discomfort. You may even want to avoid cleansers and exfoliants labeled as “anti-acne” altogether (especially if you’re using Curology), because so-called breakout-fighting cleansers can be harsh and drying to the skin.

4. You don’t need to use anti-aging until mid 30s

Prevention is the best medicine. First of all: there’s no better anti-aging skincare product than sunscreen, which you should be using every day. And the anti-aging ingredients in, say, your Curology cream can be overall great for promoting healthy, glowy, clear skin — as well as helping to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming.

5. Facials are part of a good skincare regimen

Getting a facial may feel nice, but it’s unnecessary for treating acne–actually, it could make things worse! Facials that use chemical exfoliants or any sort of aggressive treatment may cause irritation to the skin, which acne just loves.

Extractions or deep pore cleansing may help to clear blocked pores, but evidence does not support a significant, permanent change in skin structure or health after a facial. It’s best to avoid facials in general if you are treating your breakouts with Curology. However, there is no denying the benefits of relaxation! If you want to treat yourself to a facial for that reason, opt for a gentle or restorative, hydrating treatment using non-comedogenic products, and let your aesthetician know what ingredients are in your Curology so they won’t use anything that might irritate your skin.

6. Coconut oil is good for your skin

Stop putting coconut oil on your skin! It blocks pores — though this can happen slowly and imperceptibly. Most oils are well-tolerated on acne-prone skin, contrary to popular belief. Mineral oil and non-sulfated jojoba oil, for example, are usually fine. Eating coconut oil is fine, of course.

7. Apple cider vinegar fades hyperpigmentation

As a relatively gentle, DIY chemical exfoliant, apple cider vinegar can be useful: you can make your own toner by diluting it with water. But it won’t do squat to fade post-acne dark spots, aka hyperpigmentation (when excess melanin pigment forms where an inflamed or picked-at pimple once was). If you’re looking for a solution for hyperpigmentation, your Curology formula can help with that. Just ask your Curology provider which ingredient(s) will work for your skin’s unique needs.

8. You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day

Protect your skin with sunscreen all day everyday! Ultraviolet rays penetrate through clouds — just because you don’t feel the sunshine doesn’t mean your skin isn’t at risk of photoaging (premature aging caused by exposure to UV rays). Whether you have acne-prone skin, combination skin or melanin-rich skin, Curology's dermatology experts have the sun protection tips to step up your skincare routine.

Curology Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Square

Take the guesswork out of finding your next SPF with the sunscreen by Curology, a mineral formula with SPF 30 that is designed by dermatologists for acne-prone skin (but great for all skin types). Made to work with your custom-made Curology routine to support your skincare goals, the lotion has a silky, non-greasy texture, and leaves no white cast—perfect for everyday wear.

9. A base tan protects you from sunburns

“Base tan” = damaged skin, which won’t do you any good when it comes to sun protection. It also won’t help with acne: sun-damaged skin results in dead skin cells that can block and clog pores. And, FYI, the idea that indoor tanning is safer than outdoor tanning is a myth, so if you love to hit the tanning salon, you aren’t doing your skin any favors.

10. Your skin care routine needs to be complicated in order to be effective

Actually, less is more. For sensitive or dry skin in particular, using too many products and doing too much to your skin in general will likely cause more problems than it will solve. An overly complicated skincare routine may actually irritate your skin and disrupt its natural moisturizing and cell-turnover processes. Depending on your skin type, you may only need to cleanse once a day — either with a gentle cleanser, or micellar water on a cotton pad — using your Curology cream at night to treat whatever skin issues you’ve discussed with your provider.

Custom superbottle for breakouts | Free Trial button

If you’re feeling unsure about what your skin needs to beat breakouts, talking to a dermatology provider can help. You can get started with one at no extra cost when you start your Curology free trial. Just take a quick skin quiz and snap a few selfies and one of our licensed medical providers will evaluate your skin. 

If Curology is right for you, we’ll send you a 30-day supply of your Custom Formula with a mix of active ingredients chosen for your unique skin concerns, plus any of our recommended products (like the sunscreen), for free—just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover shipping and handling. Subject to consultation. Subscription is required.

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Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
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Curology Team

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