skincare products myths

Skincare shopping is hard enough without being bombarded with all these crazy myths about skincare products.

You know what I’m talking about. The insane marketing mumbo jumbo. Labels that make no sense. Conflicting reviews online. What the heck can you believe?

Like, are natural products really better than synthetic ones? And should you really spend more if you want something that REALLY works? And are you harming your skin if you don’t use hypoallergenic products?

Let’s set the record straight on these, and other common myths about skincare products, shall we?

Skincare Products Myth #1: Hypoallergenic Products Are Safer And Better For Sensitive Skin

Myth goes that hypoallergenic products are gentler and less likely to cause irritations. Truth is, hypoallergenic means nothing. The term is not regulated in any way, meaning brands can put absolutely anything, including common allergens, in a product, and still label it hypoallergenic. Isn’t that a joke? Don’t believe the label. Always check the ingredient list to find out if there’s something in a product that makes you breakout, gives you a rash or something.

Related: What Does Hypoallergenic Really Mean?

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Skincare Products Myths #2: “Dermatologically Tested” Products Are Safer And More Reliable

This is another marketing tool. In a nutshell, “dermatologically tested” simply means the product has been tested on skin. Nothing more. We don’t know on whose skin. We don’t know how many people took part in the study. We don’t know how these tests were performed. Heck, we don’t even know what the results were! Maybe some of those folks had a bad reaction to the products. If so, You can be sure no one will tell you!

Related: Top 7 Misleading Skincare Claims


Skincare Products Myth #3: You Should Use Skincare Products Targeted To Your Age Group

It’s not about what age you are. It’s about what your skin needs. If you’re a teen, should you use an anti-acne moisturizer for teens even though you don’t have acne? Of course not! And lots of moisturizers for 50+ women are very rich because skin tends to become drier after menopause. But, what if yours turns oilier instead? They’d just make things worse. Listen to your skin, not to marketing nonsense.

Related: 5 Anti-Aging Superstars You Need To Add To Your Skincare Routine

Skincare Products Myth #4: Natural Ingredients Are Better And Safer Than Synthetic Ones

Contrary to popular opinion, just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe. I bet even those folks obsessed with organic skincare wouldn’t slather poison ivy all over their faces!

And, just because something is made in lab, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. On the contrary, it’s usually safer. Plants are made up of tens of thousands of compounds, and are often contaminated by pollen, resins, and other natural allergens. Synthetic ingredients are created in a sterile environment using only 3 or 4 compounds. Which ones do you think are more likely to cause a bad reaction?

Even so, it’s not about natural vs synthetic. Simply put, there are natural ingredients that work and natural ingredients that don’t. Just like there are synthetic ingredients that work and synthetic ingredients that don’t work.

It’s all about finding products with ingredients that work for you and help treat whatever skincare issue you have. Whether they’re naturally derived or made in a lab is irrelevant.

Related: Greenwashing In Skincare: What It Is And How To Spot It

the ordinary squalane cleanser

Skincare Products Myth #5: Expensive Skincare Products Work Better Than Inexpensive Ones

You’ll be relieved to know this is utter nonsense too. Yes, there are some expensive products that work amazingly well and are worth the splurge (you can check out my fave here, if you’re curious). But most are just basic formulas that don’t do much – and are often laden with irritants to boot! The same is true for drugstore products. Lots of crappy stuff, but also a few gems. It’s all about the formula, not the brand or price.

PRO TIP: high-end and drugstore brands are often owned by the same company, it’s not unusual to find the same formula, with just some minor tweaks (like a different scent), at different price points.

Related: 5 Outrageously Skincare Products That Are Really Worth The Splurge

Learn to read the labels, and you’ll never waste your money again.