It may be a skin-care staple, but these experts say these are the top myths they’d like to bust when it comes to moisturizers.
Myth 1: You need to wet your skin before moisturizing.
This one kind of hits in the myth-truth middle, but Phoenix, AZ dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal says you can moisturize whenever you want. “But, when you moisturize after bathing, it does help seal more moisture in.”
Myth 2: Petrolatum-based moisturizers cause acne.
You’ve heard this one before: “Believe it or not, petrolatum is non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog your pores,” explains Dr. Lal. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) also offers this tip: To prevent a moisturizer from causing breakouts, look for “oil-free, non-comedogenic, won’t clog pores” language listed on the container. “Dry skin clogs the pores and contributes to acne,” New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD explains. “I recommend moisturizing to all of my acne patients.”
Myth 3: You don’t need to moisturize if you skin is oily.
Our skin makes oil for a number of reasons, and skin oils vary in composition. “Oily skin doesn’t equate to moisturized skin,” Dr. Lal stresses. “Those with oily skin should still moisturize to help maintain their skin barrier.” Celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy also strongly stands by this one: “Many people with oily skin don’t realize that ‘oily-skin moisturizers” are made for healing, calming and hydrating. Oily skin doesn’t need ‘nourishment’ the same way a dry skin needs nourishing—but oily skin does need topical nutrients to help the skin to heal quickly, keep pore size small and prevent scarring.”
Myth 4: You simply don’t need it.
While she’s quick to note it might not make for a true “myth,” Louisville, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD says she’s still surprised to see how many people simply don’t apply moisturizer. “Creams and oils are a must in the winter; I would guess 95 percent of the people I see on a daily basis simply don’t do it at all or use a ‘lotion.’ Lotion will never be enough to hydrate you skin in the winter, dry cold months.”
Myth 5: Moisturizers are one-size-fits all.
Like most things in life, this one just doesn’t jive, according to Joy. “Moisturizers MUST have a purpose for your personal skin needs. For instance, if you are in you 20s, using a moisturizer that is for anti-aging may not serve your personal skin needs.”
Myth 6: And you don’t need to switch them up during the year.
You may already be doing this one, but Joy says it’s super vital—no matter where you live. “It’s important to understand your own skin and what it needs at different times of the year. Winter needs more occlusive products, or adequate layering, to protect the outer layer from the cold and winds. In the summer, the oil glands are more active and needs a lighter application with great physical sun protection.”
Myth 7: If you apply moisturizer every day, your skin loses its ability to stay hydrated on its own.
Dr. Levine says, in a word, this one is untrue. “The elements dry out the skin. Moisturize within five minutes after a shower or bath to lock-in moisture every morning and every night for supple, youthful, healthy skin.”
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