We have all heard at least a few of these common skincare beliefs, and at one point maybe even believed them. But as studies grow more in depth and further research is being done on these topics, we are learning more and more about the dangers of these common skincare misconceptions. Whether you don’t want to use sunscreen because you have dark skin, or you love your 15 minutes in the Ultraviolet B (UVB) - free tanning bed, these myth busters are a must-read for you! The first step to healthy and beautiful skin is learning how to protect it, and we’re here to help you learn how!
MYTH: I have dark skin so I don’t need to use sunscreen.
TRUTH: No one is immune to skin damage. Yes, people with darker skin do take longer to burn and do have some natural protection against the sun, but not nearly enough to protect them from the Ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause wrinkles and skin cancer. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati have actually found that dark-skinned people are more likely to die from skin cancer than light-skinned people. This is because people believe darker-skin tones do not need the protection that lighter ones do, so they are less likely to protect their skin as well as check for signs of skin cancer. To be safe, no matter what color your skin is, always wear sunscreen when you are outside.
MYTH: The more I wash my face, the better!
TRUTH: While washing your face is a great part of your skincare routine, overwashing your face can be damaging to your skin. You should not wash your face more than two times a day or use products that make your skin feel super tight. By doing this, you are stripping the natural oils from your skin, which can lead to irritation and dehydration of the skin.
MYTH: Tanning beds are fine for my skin as long as they don’t have UVB lights.
TRUTH: There are two types of UV rays to worry about: Ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB. Although UVB rays are more intense than UVA rays, UVA rays are still dangerous.
Even if tanning beds do not have UVB lights, they will still have UVA lights that penetrate the skin. UVA rays can cause premature aging, wrinkling, and skin cancer.
MYTH: The higher the SPF the longer I can stay in the sun.
Clarissa Shetler and Christine Falsetti
TRUTH: Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is not an indication of how long the product will last, but is a predictor of how well it protects you from UVB or UVA rays. Most sunscreens primarily protect against UVB with minimal protection from UVA. Your best bet is to get a broad-spectrum sunscreen to ensure you are getting protection from both.
SPF 15 filters out ~ 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 filters out ~ 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 filters out ~ 98% of UVB rays
SPF 100 filters out ~100% of UVB rays
No matter the SPF, all sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours.
MYTH: Sleeping with makeup on for one or two nights won’t affect my skin.
TRUTH: While one or two nights of sleeping in makeup may not cause major damage to your skin, it definitely isn’t good for it. The makeup on your face is going to clog your pores, so there is a good chance that you will break out if you decide to leave your makeup on while you sleep. Also, by leaving your makeup on you are not giving your skin any time to recover from the oxidative stress from the day. This can lead to premature aging. Pollution from the air also affects your skin if you do not remove your makeup before bed, causing collagen breakdown over time, which will result in fine lines and wrinkles. To try and stop yourself from leaving your makeup on at night, leave a pack of makeup wipes in your room on your nightstand. That way, even if you’re exhausted, you won’t have an excuse to not remove your makeup.
MYTH: All sun damage to your skin will occur by age 18.
TRUTH: You do have a lot of skin damage from the sun by the time you are 18, but you can very easily still damage your skin after this. If you keep exposing your skin to the sun it will turn from bad to worse, and this will increase the likelihood of skin cancer. You want to protect your skin at every age!
MYTH: If a new product doesn’t work quickly, you should move on to something else.
TRUTH: It can take as long as eight to ten weeks for your skin to get used to a new regimen. To give yourself the best chance at getting the full effect of the product, keep using it for this time period. Not all products work the same for everyone, but you should give the product a chance before moving on to something else.
MYTH: You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day.
TRUTH: UV rays still reach the Earth on a cloudy day. Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean it can’t harm your skin. Use sunscreen every day, no matter the weather, and make sure to reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
MYTH: I’m protected because my makeup contains SPF.
TRUTH: According to Leslie Bauman, the author of The Skin Type Solution, you would have to put on 14 to 15 times the amount of makeup the average person wears to get full SPF coverage from your foundation or powder. Makeup with SPF helps, but make sure you are still putting on sunscreen when you go outside.
MYTH: Popping a pimple is okay if I clean the area afterwards.
TRUTH: Even if you clean the infected area afterwards, the best thing to do is to leave pimples alone and try not to touch your face. It can be difficult, and popping a pimple may feel relieving, but you may spread bacteria and push it deeper into your skin. This can cause inflammation and scarring. It will also spread under your skin, which is why you usually get another pimple in the surrounding area once you have popped the first one.
This post was first published on 8/10
In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.
For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.
Believe it or not, I am happy about that.
The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.
It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).
These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.
So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.
Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.
The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."
In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.