The internet has always been a great source of beauty advice and trends. A quick search can get you all the details you need in a matter of seconds. That said, it is also a hotspot for a ton of misleading information, especially about skincare. So as we move on to a new year, we think it's time to drop all the bad advice you might have been given. Instead, we're taking lessons from Dr. Andrea Suarez, a board-certified dermatologist popularly known as Dr. Dray.
Dr. Gray shared the worst skincare tips and myths she has spotted online, debunking them one by one in one of her YouTube videos. Read all about them below!
1. "You need to exfoliate."
According to Dr. Dray, though there are skin conditions that can benefit from chemical exfoliators, the excess emphasis online about needing to exfoliate can be potentially damaging to the skin.
"I find that consumers get too enthusiastic with [scrubs, polishes, peels, etc.], stripping their moisture barrier and ultimately, this leads to increased dryness and irritation, and can flare acne," she explains. "So not everyone can benefit from having exfoliants in their skincare routine."
2. "Castor oil makes your eyelashes grow longer."
Castor oil has long been popular in the beauty world for helping our lashes grow longer and thicker. However, although massaging castor oil on the scalp has been effectively used by many to strengthen the roots and prevent hair fall, there isn't a lot of scientific research to support that it can grow our lashes.
Dr. Dray says this is beauty folklore that most people believe since they aren’t aware of the anatomy or physiology of their hair follicles. She explains that hair growth heavily relies on a connection between the dermis and the actual hair follicle, and applying viscous coats of castor oil on the lashes does not impact what's going down there. The oil merely provides an illusion of thickness and added density when applied on the lashes.
3. "Shaving makes your hair grow thicker."
Another beauty myth according to Dr. Dray is the belief that shaving your hair will make it grow thicker. In reality, this has been refuted long ago by clinical studies yet it still goes on to this day. Like the myth above, the derm think it's caused by the lack of understanding of the anatomy and physiology of our body's natural hair growth process.
4. "You don't need to wear SPF indoors."
Some would argue that wearing sunscreen indoors is not necessary, but Dr. Dray says otherwise. This is because the ultraviolet rays and visible light still penetrate our windows and if we're not protected, it may lead to skin cancer and inflammation. The doctor adds that there are also studies wherein fluorescent bulbs have been found to have a higher incidence rate of UV radiation that contributes to photo-aging, skin aging, and wrinkles.
5. "Natural products are better."
Dr. Dray notes that just because a product is natural, it doesn't necessarily mean it is safer or better for our skin. She even argues that man-made chemicals are often safer than natural substances, because many natural substances are bad for our skin, potentially sensitizing it and even causing irritation like rashes.
"People hear the word 'chemical' and think it's gonna be bad, but remember: Water is a chemical and we put that on our face," says the derm. Even parabens, which have a negative rep for being a man-made preservative, are considered safe by Dr. Dray because it's much better to have contaminated products.
6. "Petroleum jelly clogs your pores."
Petroleum jelly, commonly known by its most popular brand name Vaseline, has been used in many certain ways as a lip balm, foot gel, cuticle moisturizer, and more. Although the ingredient is better known for treating the skin and shielding it from cold weather, most people are wary of using it as a moisturizer.
According to Dr. Dray, most people often think that petroleum jelly clogs the pores because of the ingredient's occlusive property that can trap dirt and impurities in the skin. However, she says this is nothing to worry about if your skin was cleansed before application.
In fact, petroleum jelly is classified as a non-comedogenic agent that avoids whiteheads and blackheads, and there aren't definitive studies demonstrating it to be otherwise. Still, the derm adds that those with acne and are prone to flare-ups are often advised to avoid using it.
7. "Mix retinol with moisturizer to make it less irritating."
The derm says it is not advisable to mix retinol with a moisturizer because it causes an irregular distribution of the product, causing hot spots in some areas of the skin. To minimize the chance of irritation with retinol, Dr. Dray advises washing the retinol off after it's fully absorbed and then finishing off with a moisturizer.
8. "Shampooing daily is bad for the hair."
Another common case of bad advice is that shampooing your hair every day can be bad for the hair, which the derm says isn't true at all. For one, people who have oily scalps and dandruff need to shampoo frequently to keep the scalp healthy and avoid flare-ups. Those who live in countries with hot and humid weather like us here in the Philippines could likely find the need to shampoo every day, too!
That said, Dr. Dray notes that shampooing daily isn't good for everyone either. Some hair types like textured or curly hair can become unmanageable with frequent washing. However, claiming that daily hair washing is bad in general does a disservice to those who actually benefit from it.
Watch Dr. Dray's full video below for more tips: