When it comes to your skin, it pays to create a consistent skincare routine. Our skin is an amazing organ: it can stretch and retract, protect us from the elements, and heal remarkably quickly. It plays such an important role in the way we look and feel that it makes sense to treat it with care and respect.

While our skin varies greatly in texture, tone, and color, the same basic skin care principles apply to everyone. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation online and it’s easy to believe the most common skin care myths. To help your skin stay youthful, beautiful, and healthy, make sure to get your skincare advice from a reputable source—and stop believing these 6 common skin care myths.

1. If you wash your face frequently, you won’t get acne

The skin contains natural oil, known as sebum. Many people believe that sebum is the sole cause of acne and that by washing it away frequently, you can avoid breakouts. Unfortunately, believing this myth can actually make acne and other skin problems worse.

By washing your face too frequently, you’ll strip your skin of its natural oils. That might sound like a good thing, but acne is influenced by bacteria and clogged pores, not by oil alone. Plus, our skin is supposed to contain some oil—it forms a protective moisture barrier. Washing too frequently can aggravate and dry out the skin, or even prompt the body to create more oil in response.

2. Sunscreen is only necessary on hot, sunny days

Ultraviolet (UV) rays reach the Earth even on cloudy days when there’s little to no sunshine. It’s important to use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF when you’re outdoors, no matter what the weather. Keep in mind that using makeup that contains SPF isn’t enough to protect your skin. You need to wear a dedicated sunscreen and reapply it often. Sun damage can lead to premature aging, skin discoloration, and even skin cancer, so be sure to make sunscreen part of your daily skincare routine.

3. Using hot water to wash your face will open up pores for a deeper clean

Much like washing your face too frequently, using hot water for cleansing your skin actually causes dryness, can irritate the skin, and won’t “open” your pores. Pores are always open and hot water won’t flush out impurities any better than warm or cool water.

While we’re on the subject of harsh cleansing, it’s also important to be gentle when you’re using exfoliating products. It’s a myth that you need to scrub and scrape at your skin in order to remove dead skin. Scrubbing too hard with an exfoliating treatment can damage your skin. Use a light touch and gently buff away dead skin using a circular motion.

4. Makeup will age you

Good-quality makeup is typically made with ingredients that are gentle on the skin and won’t clog the pores. By itself, makeup is not likely to affect your skin’s rate of aging. With that said, makeup can contribute to facial aging if you don’t use common sense.

Using poor-quality products full of chemicals and other nasty ingredients or neglecting to wash your face before you go to bed can make your skin more likely to age prematurely. Make sure to remove your makeup completely with gentle cleansing products at the end of each day to allow your skin to breathe.

5. Moisturizer will make oily skin worse

People with oily skin often have to cope with unwanted shine or acne. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip the moisturizer if your skin is on the oily side. You still need to ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy moisture barrier to protect you from the elements. Try using a lighter moisturizer that isn’t oil- or cream-based. These moisturizers will protect your skin without contributing more oil and shine.

6. The right products can stop aging

Aging is a natural process that progresses differently for each person. It’s a myth that skin care products can stop the aging process entirely. Some products, particularly medical-grade skin care products, can help keep skin looking youthful for longer or help to maintain the results of professional skin treatment, but they can’t stop aging forever.

To keep your skin looking its best for years to come, it’s best to team up with a skilled facial plastic surgeon. He or she can recommend specific products or offer treatments like laser resurfacing and chemical peels to help you with your specific skin concerns.

If you’re looking for an expert based in Austin, TX, then Dr. Edward Buckingham may be able to help. Dr. Buckingham is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon offering a range of surgical and non-invasive procedures along with medical-grade skin care products to help meet every aesthetic goal. To schedule a consultation, contact Buckingham Center at 512.401.2500 today.

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