Alex Bryn with ZitSticka zit patch
The Spot

True or False? 7 Skincare Myths Debunked

by Mia Pinjuh 

Centaurs, cyclops and... toothpaste on zits. Some myths are beautiful fables of the human condition and others are old wives’ tales that can leave us scarred and battling breakouts. Read on as we set the record straight and do some serious myth-busting.

1. Oil is not for the oily
We don’t blame you for being wary of layering more oil on already oily skin. It just doesn’t sound right, so of course you reach for anything with the words “oil-busting”, “grease-fighting” or “mattifying”. But the right oil can be rebalancing and even help control sebum overproduction (sebum = the gunk that clogs our pores and gives us pimples). The best oils are rich in essential fatty acids, like rosehip, evening primrose and flaxseed. 2. Squeaky clean is the best clean
Squeaks are for novelty rubber duckies only! Scrubbing, over-cleansing and lathering up with soap strips the skin’s natural moisture barrier, leaving you vulnerable to breakouts and irritation. After cleansing, your skin should feel soft and smooth - if you get that itchy, tight feeling, it’s a sure sign you’ve overdone it.

3. Feel the burn
Ah, instant gratification! In this Postmates world where we can find out precisely what Keanu Reeves’ star sign is in mere seconds (Sun in Virgo, Moon in Cancer), it’s hard to wait for anything. So when we feel our products sting, surely that means something is happening and that something is good? We hate to break it to you, but you shouldn’t be feeling the burn when it comes to your tender face skin. Some slight tingling can be normal depending on the active ingredients, but as a rule, burning means irritation and too-harsh ingredients that could potentially wreak havoc. The great news is that the 24 microdarts in our KILLA patch get to work instantly even if you don’t feel it, and do their magic in two hours. That’s way less than your average Marvel production.

4. Pizza means pimples
Who hasn’t been told that you are what you eat? The idea that greasy, fried food will cause acne is one of the more persistent myths when it comes to skin. But the good people at Johns Hopkins have done their research and found that diet has less of an impact on your skin than factors like genetics and hormones. The less-thrilling findings are that sugar, dairy and processed foods will for sure leave you less than glowing. But take this as a green light to enjoy an occasional slice of your favorite pie.
5. The toothpaste hack

Life hacks are brilliant when they work. But when it comes to your skin, resist the temptation of too-good-to-be-true shortcuts. We’ve all read that toothpaste is a quick fix for zits—a minty dab will dry out the spot overnight and leave you glowy by the morning, right? Well, toothpaste is great for your teeth because of some heavy-hitting abrasives that don’t play well with sensitive skin, especially inflamed pimples. The drying action will also irritate, and to top it all off, it won’t be acting at the root of the spot the way ZitSticka's KILLA patch does. The microdarts deliver exfoliating salicylic acid and redness-zapping niacinamide into the heart of the problem, and without a stinging peppermint blast. So save toothpaste for cute sink-side moments with your crush of choice, à la Bring It On.

6. You don’t need SPF on cloudy days
The sun is stronger than all of us. And some wispy clouds are no match for damaging UV rays, even on rainy summer days. It’s estimated that clouds only block a mere 20% of the sun’s most harmful rays, so listen to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jennifer T. Haley when she says “if you don’t need a flashlight to see outside, UV radiation is present”.

7. All natural is always better
Anyone who has idly skimmed a DIY skincare article has seen their fair share of face mask recipes that can be made with kitchen staples. We are here to tell you in no uncertain terms to put down that lemon and baking soda! Yes, they come from the earth, but that does not mean they are mild or harmless. Both lemon and baking soda are way too acidic for topical use and their pH is guaranteed to mess up your skin’s barrier. So stick to a lemon slice in your gin and tonic and cheers to good skin days.

 Getting into ingredients and serums? Here's what to never mix together.

Title image: Alex Bryn