When it comes to facial cleansing, following the common wisdom can sometimes lead to serious skin problems. Take our quiz to find out whether you’re basing your skincare decisions on solid knowledge or popular misconceptions. The answers will reveal the best techniques and ingredients for nurturing a clear, sparkling-clean complexion.
TRUE OR FALSE?
- Your face should feel tight and squeaky clean after washing.
- Cleansers that sting help fight blackheads and heal pimples.
- You need to really scrub your face to remove grime and exfoliate dead skin.
- There’s no meaningful difference between cheap drugstore cleansers and high-end products.
- Makeup removal requires a cleanser that contains powerful foaming agents.
- People who have really oily skin should wash their face at least three times a day.
If you identified all 6 statements as false, you know a skincare myth when you see one. Let’s look a little deeper into these fictions to uncover the realities of healthy skincare.
- Cleansers that make your skin feel tight as a drum strip away natural oils and moisture. Products that contain gentle natural cleaning agents like coco glucoside and plant-derived hydrators and conditioners like vegetable glycerin and algae extract get the job done while leaving your skin soft and supple.
- Face-wash formulas that sting are based on synthetic alcohols and other harsh chemicals that can irritate acne-prone skin. These ingredients can aggravate the inflammation that’s one of the primary drivers of acne breakouts.
- Aggressive scrubbing can rub your skin raw, leaving it vulnerable to environmental damage. Exfoliate gently with a foam sponge or a thin washcloth. Exfoliating masks made with natural scrubbing grains, like finely ground walnuts, can be used once or twice a week, depending on your skin type.
- Cheap cleansers are often full of potentially toxic ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, and synthetic dyes. That said, make sure what you’re paying for is high-quality natural ingredients—not snazzy packaging or a celebrity endorsement.
- Many products depend on foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate to work up a rich lather. These cheap, industrial-strength chemicals are also used in engine degreaser and heavy-duty detergents—no wonder they can damage the delicate acid mantle that protects the skin surface.
- Washing your face more than twice a day can result in dehydration and irritation. If your complexion gets really oily between washings, wipe it gently using a soft cotton pad moistened with a gentle plant-based toner. Ingredients like witch hazel extract will leave your face feeling clean without over-drying.