Many of us feel pressure to try to achieve perfect skin. Because many people want to improve the appearance of their skin, there’s a lot of information out there, but quite a bit of it is inaccurate.

You may see or hear people making strange or outlandish claims online about what worked on their skin, but often these aren’t exactly true. Enjoying skincare and planning a routine to maintain healthy, glowing skin can be rewarding and fun. But with the constant information flow about cultivating perfect skin, it’s not easy to separate what’s true from what’s fiction. 

Unfortunately, there are certain pervasive skincare myths you’ve likely heard about from people you know or online. In the guide below, we’ll give you the facts and answers to some skincare questions.

A Note on Skincare

Regarding skincare, what works for one person might not suit another. People have different genetics, obviously, and they live in different geographical locales, so they have unique skin issues.

For example, one person might have naturally oily skin and reside in a humid area. That individual will deal with issues that someone with dry skin in a desert climate wouldn’t – and vice versa. 

But overall, some myths have attracted enough study to have been proven false. The best way to address skin issues, especially more concerning ones, is to work with an experienced dermatologist.

Myth 1: Eating chocolate causes breakouts

Perhaps one of the most common and longstanding skin care fictions you may have heard over the years is that chocolate and various other foods will lead to acne. Oily foods of all kinds suffer a bad reputation when it comes to skin.

Though you’ll want to eat them sparingly for overall health reasons, there isn’t any particular evidence that these foods cause acne or oily skin.

Acne and oiliness are caused by sebum. This substance is made in the skin. It isn’t connected to specific foods.

Myth 2: You should apply the highest possible SPF

When you look for a good sunscreen, the most critical factor is whether it offers broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. This is often more important than the SPF number.

Generally, you can start with SPF 15, but if you have paler or more sun-sensitive skin, you probably should get a higher SPF and apply it more often.

Myth 3: You should pop your pimples to get rid of them

We all know that popping a zit can feel good, or at least like an accomplishment. It may release pressure, and it can be strangely satisfying.

But it’s not the best or safest way to address acne. Popping or picking at acne breakouts can push pus and bacteria deeper into our skin, and that may lead to increased risk of infection. 

If you really must pop a pimple, don’t use your hands. Instead, most experts recommend you use a comedone extractor and keep the area sanitized.

Myth 4: Washing your face often will lead to better skin

You might have heard that you should wash your face multiple times a day to prevent acne or other skin problems, but this isn’t the case. Your skin has a protective barrier, and too much face washing can disrupt it.

You definitely want to wash your face, but scrubbing and using harsh products aren’t necessarily the best plan. Instead, try using more gentle face washes and applying a moisturizer afterward.

Myth 5: You have to use expensive products to get results

It can be tempting to assume that more expensive skincare products are better, the critical point is their ingredients. Many affordable options have good, simple ingredients that address our essential skincare problems.

Although not all expensive brands are useless or overkill, emptying your checking account is usually unnecessary. If you still have questions, ask your dermatologist for recommendations.