Written by Alicia Lartey
Image by mystateofkind
Skincare can be very tricky to get a hang of, with the vast amount of information and products that are available, it is easy to get caught up in product claims and skincare myths. So let’s set the record straight on the most commonly confused skincare sentiments that are spread within the beauty community.
1) Black people do not need sunscreen
This is absolutely false! Everyone needs to protect their skin from the sun and whilst natural melanin does provide some amount of sun protection it is not enough. Sun rays come in the form of UVA and UVB, which are responsible for photoaging and sunburn. Skin cancer is often used to scare people into wearing sunscreen and whilst this is true there are other skin concerns which benefit from regular use of sunscreen such as hyperpigmentation and an impaired skin barrier. Protecting your skin from the sun helps to maintain your skin barrier and is vital when using products that tackle hyperpigmentation.
2) You need to change your skincare products because your skin gets used to products
Also false! Cosmetic products are designed to manage concerns within the epidermis of the skin and once these concerns are addressed it may be time for you to look into products that treat concerns within the dermis of the skin. Your skin has not gotten used to your skincare products, instead the products that you have used have done their job and that is absolutely fine! It can be useful to keep these products on hand if skin issues arise in the future or for general maintenance.
3) Pores open and close
False again! Unfortunately your pores cannot open and close like a mouth, they can instead dilate under certain conditions, however pore size is largely due to genetics. Pores can appear to be larger when there is debris within them, so using products containing exfoliating acids such as BHAs can be useful in reducing the appearance of enlarged pores.
4) Natural skincare is better
Not at all! Nature is such a wonderful thing, but it can also be somewhat dangerous and irritating to the skin. A great example would be the use of fruits such as lemons to brighten the skin, as they naturally contain vitamin c. Although this is true the amount of vitamin c is not standardised across all lemons and lemons can actually be very irritating for the skin. It is much safer and wiser to use a specially formulated product containing vitamin c.
5) You should exfoliate everyday
This is a complex one… Most people do not need to exfoliate their skin everyday and some skin types do not require extra exfoliation; such as dry or sensitive skin. The process of exfoliation is designed to speed up cell desquamation (a process which occurs naturally) and can also be used in the treatment of skin concerns such as acne and hyperpigmentation. Over exfoliation can result in a compromised skin barrier, setting you further back from your skin goals.