Trick or Truth? We Unmask 5 Scary Skincare Ghost Stories
When it comes to skincare, there are well-intended warnings and words of wisdom galore. But as fearful and logical as they may sound, some are more trick than truth. Read on to get to the bottom of five scary skincare ghost stories that probably haunt you.
At one point or another, we’ve all made some changes to our skincare habits after hearing a frightening “fact.”
OMG I heard sipping out of a straw causes wrinkles around your mouth! almost made me give up boba. Almost. Now I just try to suck on straws without pursing my lips. (Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.)
Our mothers and friends mean well with terrifying tips about what to do and not to do, what causes this, and how to prevent that. But how much of it actually warrants a change in our beauty habits?
This Halloween, let’s treat ourselves to the truth, shall we? Here’s the real deal on five skincare ghost stories that have haunted the best of us.
Ghost Story #1: Age spots? Too bad, so sad; they’re just an inevitable part of aging.
These annoying, darkened spots are called age spots, after all, so if you fell for this one, we don’t blame you.
Yes, age spots typically pop up as we grow older, but they’re not caused by age. The culprits are actually the sun’s UV rays. Sun exposure leaves an invisible imprint on our skin’s DNA, causing age spots to surface some years later.
Genetics plays a part in how prone you are to getting age spots, but wearing SPF daily, covering up with sun-protective attire, and playing it safe in the sun help avoid what so many think are “inevitable” spots.
Ghost Story #2: Oily food causes breakouts.
Potato chip lovers, French fry fans, rejoice! There’s actually no official proof that eating oily food causes acne.
Say wha? Greasy grub — or any unhealthy edibles for that matter — won’t help your cause if you’re already prone to acne, but indulging in deep-fried Twinkies at the fair won’t cause you to break out.
This scary myth may have been spun from the fact that oil particles on the surface of skin can clog pores, which leads to pimples and acne. Say, for instance, you’re enjoying said deep-fried Twinkie a little too much. The oil that dribbled down your chin may cause a pimple — not the fact that you just devoured something oily.
So if you’re in a space with oil particles floating around — like a greasy diner — or accidentally got some oil on your face, just make sure to cleanse your skin as soon as you can to avoid blemishes.
Excuse us as we do a little happy dance.
Ghost Story #3: Pop a pimple and it’ll come back bigger and badder than before.
There’s little in life that’s as tempting as the urge to pop a pimple. It calls your name, teasing and begging you to squeeze it with all you’ve got. And in a moment of weakness, you cave. For a nanosecond you’re all about #noregrets #yolo, and then reality — in the form of blood or redness — slaps you in the face.
To help you avoid the rush of regret that follows a satisfying squeeze, here’s some factual food for thought. The mere act of pressing on the surrounding area pushes the oil and bacteria further down into skin. Not to mention, you’re likely to deposit new dirt and bacteria from your fingers into the affected area. Yikes. All this leads to inflammation, redness, and even infections. Plus, the impurities spread under the skin, showing up as a new pesky pimple somewhere near the original one.
Your chances are brighter if the squeezing technique is on point. Using a comedone extractor, for instance, is more hygienic and can reduce the spread of bacteria.
Nonetheless, popping of any kind means the contents encapsulated in the pimple are released and therefore can cause more acne to surface. And two pimples are definitely scarier than one.
Ghost Story #4: Squeaky clean skin is actually super dry skin.
If your skin feels tight and tingly after your cleanse, you need to toss that cleanser, stat. It’s a widespread belief that a squeaky clean feel is how you know you’ve thoroughly cleansed your skin.
But in reality, it just means you’ve successfully stripped away your skin’s natural and protective layer that helps retain moisture and keeps it supple. Washing your face with cleansers that leave your skin tighter than Saran Wrap over your leftover dinner most likely just means you’ve zapped your natural oils dry. This means dry, irritated skin, which can lead to the very things our skincare nightmares are made of: premature wrinkles and excess sebum.
To clean skin without forfeiting suppleness and natural moisture, avoid cleansers with harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Foam cleansers that instantly foam up from the pump often contain stripping surfactants, too. Instead, opt for cleansers with glucose- or coconut-based cleansing agents and oils that gently cleanse without irritating, like the ever-loved Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. Even double cleansing with a non-drying oil cleanser to remove makeup prior to washing up with a foam cleanser helps keep healthy oils intact.
Ghost Story #5: The more makeup you wear, the faster you age.
While cakey makeup may make you look older, it won’t lead to premature aging of skin. Phew!
There is one caveat, though. You must thoroughly remove your makeup and cleanse your face. Every. Single. Day. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. If we don’t wash up before hitting the sheets, we nurture a breeding ground of makeup debris, bacteria, dirt, and oil on our skin. This is what causes premature aging, not the fact that we wore makeup.
In fact, today’s cosmetics are infused with skincare ingredients that will actually help nourish and pamper your skin, like this brightening BB cream by Klairs. Applying such facial makeup may even benefit your skin more than leaving it bare. Just make sure to erase and cleanse before you catch your zzz’s.
Have any of these skincare ghost stories scared you before? Are there any other skincare myths you used to believe in and now don’t? Share your horror story!