Skin + Hair Basics

5 Common Skincare Misconceptions Guys Have

These skincare misconceptions are holding back many men from achieving their self-care goals. Debunk the myths, and enjoy better results.
5 Common Skincare Misconceptions Guys Have

Remember during teenage years, when you thought overwashing your face would help clear up hormonal acne? Maybe you avoided the all-too-common mistake of using skin-parching astringent as a means of cleansing, too. (Let’s hope so.) Because in reality, more washing (and certainly any astringent, much less repeated use) will probably cause more acne. Luckily, that’s a misconception most of us bust through eventually. Stick with a gentle cleanser, fellas.

There are many skincare misconceptions that persist amongst adult skincare users, though. Even if you’ve swapped in a gentle cleanser, there is still a lot of ground to cover in order to keep your skin firm, clear, bright, and fortified. Below are five of the most common skincare myths and misconceptions we hear. Read up to make sure you aren’t perpetuating any bad habits.

1. Misconception: A product or regimen is only good if its results are immediate

A lot of people pick up a skincare regimen later in life. It’s never too late to start, so don’t be discouraged if you're coming into this a decade or two after your peers. What is important, though, is that you commit yourself to the regimen moving forward. It’s not likely that you’ll notice a major difference from using SPF moisturizer after a single day or two (unless, of course, you’re shielding your skin from sunburn). Rather, avoiding a decade of UV rays every single day will ensure your skin looks much smoother, firmer, and clearer those 10 years later, as opposed to any lack of sun coverage. The same can be said of a decade of sleeps with night moisturizer protecting skin from drying out, and of using highly concentrated eye cream around those most delicate parts of your face.

Now, that’s not saying that you won’t experience any immediate results. Yes, it feels instantly refreshing to wash your face with a gentle cleanser. And eye cream can quickly brighten and tighten the eye area, to prevent dark circles and puffy under eyes. But there is a long game at play, and the only way to enjoy those major benefits is to stick with it every day. And if you’re worried about breaking the habit, just keep things simple with cleanser and moisturizer. Doing those baseline things will do the majority of the work for you.

We always say to think of a skincare regimen like a life lived healthily: It’s your daily fitness, and in the long run, can do you significant favors.

2. Misconception: Oily skin doesn’t need a moisturizer

Many people think that, because oily skin naturally nourishes the skin, those of us with glossy mugs don’t need to layer on moisturizer. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though. Yes, that sebum is naturally nourishing for skin, so you certainly at risk of dryness. But do you want to look like a bike reflector in every flash-photo taken of you?

No. The real goal should be enjoying the benefits of having naturally nourished skin, while mitigating the overproduction of sebum (not to mention, minimizing the chance for clogged pores due to this overproduction). So, what oily skin really needs is a gentle, pore-expunging cleanser, an oil-balancing toner, as well as lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that helps to trap moisture inside the deeper layers of the skin while simultaneously blocking toxins and pollutants from breaching the skin barrier. (And, in terms of daytime wear, the moisturizer also shields skin with SPF 30+.) Your skin will never feel dry, but it will also be clearer, more matte, and shielded from photo-aging environmental factors.

3. Misconception: Eye creams are a scam

We would certainly classify eye creams as “advanced-level” skincare, but only because the baseline regimen consists of cleansers and full-face moisturizers. But that doesn’t negate the importance of eye creams, which many people mistake for tiny versions of moisturizer (which, if you look at the cost per volume, might feel like a joke—why pay just as much for your eye cream as for your entire moisturizer? However, remember that eye creams are targeting the thinnest, most delicate, most easily “aged” part of your face. This is why we get dark circles (the thin skin is translucent), crow’s feet (from decades of expression), and puffy bags (due to loss of resilience which causes fat deposits under the eyes to sink below the sockets).

An everyday moisturizer exists to help preserve your skin’s moisture levels while also blocking outside threats from entering the skin. A great eye cream, on the other hand, is like a highly concentrated serum which packs specific ingredients like peptides to specifically preserve the firmness and density of the skin in this area. So, don’t write it out of your regimen. That little vessel is the Napoleon of skincare.

4. Misconception: Dark skin tones don’t need SPF

If you don’t burn easily due to your naturally darker skin tone, then that’s great; nobody wants to fry! (Sorry, pale pals.) But that doesn’t minimize the importance of SPF, because UV rays are still just as damaging to your skin as they are to lighter tones. UV rays exist in multiple forms: Some of them burn the skin (UVB rays), and while you may avoid this experience, those rays are still able to mutate your cells’ DNA and eventually cause skin cancer. The second type of UV rays, UVA, penetrate deeper into the skin and cause it to visibly “age” faster, by causing a loss of resilience in the skin. You’ll sooner experience rough patches, fine lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation (even if its contrast is less noticeable on your tone).

Wear SPF whenever you go out into the sun, no matter how naturally shielded you may think you are. That includes wearing an SPF30+ moisturizer every single day, no matter how cloudy or gray it is.

5. Misconception: ‘Skincare’ only refers to your vanity regimen

The same way your wellness regimen doesn’t solely pertain to your gym time, your skincare wellness doesn’t solely refer to the time spent in the shower and in front of your mirror. Rather, it can be easily undone by other daily habits. If you routinely go on late-night benders, getting far less sleep than is advised (and ingesting far more “bad for you” things like alcohol, sugary and processed foods, drugs and cigarettes, etc… well, then you’re going to have to taper your skincare expectations accordingly. We’re not here to shame anyone for their decisions, but we do want to remind you that a daily application of moisturizer can’t keep you looking youthful if you aren’t making other decisions to support the effort. Nor can an eye cream undo those five shots of tequila on a Tuesday night, nor a cleanser preventing acne if you regular take hormone-altering steroids, or even non-vegan whey. (Both are known to cause breakouts.)

Again, no preaching here. Just an awareness effort, if anything. Be consistent, stay realistic about what to expect, and never give up on your regimen—because doing it at all will make a difference in the long haul.

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