10 Unpopular Skincare Opinions That Are Actually Facts

#1 You don’t have to be around or 30 years old before you start a prescription retinoid or retinoic acid. 

Cassandra doesn't know what beauty magazine or publication is responsible for this blasphemy because, in reality, retinoic acid is often a dermatologist's first choice regarding acne. This includes teenage acne. Retinoids were originally created for the treatment of acne. From there, it was used for the reduction of wrinkles, and scarring since it increases cellular turnover. This happens because retinoids bind to receptors in the skin and increase how quickly our skin reproduces itself. So no, you do not have to be a specific age to start a prescription or non-prescription retinoid. You just have to be responsible with your skincare, ensure that you're using SPF every single day, and check in regularly with your prescribing physician.

#2 Physical Sunscreen is not safer than chemical sunscreen.

We often hear about chemical filters causing cancer or being absorbed into the bloodstream. Perhaps with maximum use they can get absorbed into the bloodstream, but a lot of other things we put on our bodies also get absorbed into our bodies, the bloodstream, and the liver. However, is mineral safer than chemical sunscreen? Absolutely not. The best sunscreen is the sunscreen that you use every single day. If you’re worried about irritation, specifically with chemical sunscreen, you can do some swatching and find a sunscreen that you like 

#3 “Clean” beauty is not more eco-friendly.

Marketers would love you to believe that clean beauty is more “sustainable.” However, clean beauty is often made with plant extracts. This sounds natural and nice, but it takes a tremendous amount of effort. Do you know how much work it takes to get citric acid out of a lemon? When comparing lab synthesized ingredients to “natural ones,” they’re very similar. On a molecular level, they’re both isolated actives, and your skin can't tell if salicylic acid was lab lab-created or taken naturally from the willow tree. It’s the molecule and the formula that matters most because we want to make sure that actives will be effectively delivered to the skin. 

So, while people want to choose “natural products” because it seems more eco-friendly, skincare that comes from a stabilized, controlled environment or lab waste fewer resources. They do not require us to plant, water, and grow crops. WIth lab-synthesized products, the process of cutting down the plant, harvesting plants, and extracting oils is also omitted. 

Even though a lot of clean beauty companies want you to believe their “natural” selling point, lab synthesized ingredients have a lot of benefits for the skin and the environment. Cassandra does like a few “clean” beauty products, but it's not because they're “clean,” it's because they have amazing formulas. So basically, don't automatically think clean beauty means eco-friendliness and safety. Because once again, lab-created products are well-tested for safety. 

#4 Skincare isn't always the cure for acne. 

Yes, there are amazing products and topicals we can put on the skin to help with acne, and for many people, these do a good job. However, some people live with acne for other reasons. And even though skincare can help, it won't necessarily be a cure-all. We have to think about what’s truly causing the acne. If it’s bad hygiene yes, skincare could help. But what if it’s hormonal dysfunction, stress, something genetic, or diet-related? The body is an entire system, and there are so many factors that play into acne and how our body keeps us safe and healthy.

For people who have struggled with acne for years, skincare might not be the answer. You might want to speak to your physician about other options beyond topical and oral medications. There could be lifestyle or hormonal aspects that haven't yet been uncovered. Likewise, it's very hurtful for someone to tell a person with acne that it's just their makeup or skincare. Many people with acne have “tried everything” and saying things like this assigns blame to the individual.

So, while skincare can help, it is definitely not the cure for everyone. And unless you're an expert who has been asked, don't just go up to someone in the skincare aisle at CVS and start giving them advice and pointing out their flaws. Because unless they asked, they probably don't want to hear it. 

# 5 CBD oil is much like any other oil.

When it comes to skin, can CBD be helpful? Yes. Much like other oils, it can be moisturizing, slightly anti-inflammatory, and perhaps even analgesic or "painkilling." However, marketers and people are out here saying that CBD cured their psoriasis, eczema, or cleared up their acne. Things like this are probably either a personal anecdote or largely untrue. 

Oils can be broken down and classified by their different percentages of fatty acids and the triglycerides that are inside of them. Some oils certainly have helpful properties, however they are still nonpolar molecules that like to hang out together, in turn, causing potential greasiness. OIls can moisturize the skin and can be especially good when used in different creams and cleansers, etc. At the same time though, you shouldn't be paying a ridiculous amount of extra money for CBD oil or hemp oil because at the end of the day, they are oils. CBD or not, it’s just helpful to find an oil you like and stick with it. 

#6 Fragrances are not inherently bad.

There's a lot of misinformation that suggests fragrances are only included in products to make them smell good. While that is indeed one purpose, fragrances are present for many other reasons. They can provide antioxidants, boost stability, and enhance skin penetration.

Moreover, cosmetic regulations in America, Korea, and the UK, exist for a reason. Companies are not sneakily hiding toxic or extra ingredients in their fragrance list. What reason would they have to do that? Plus, that would be very hard to get through governmental agencies? 

Now, do we need better regulatory checkups on cosmetics? Sure. But, do we need to vilify fragrances because companies are using it to hide things? Absolutely not. 

Many people avoid fragrance or fragrance ingredients, but they can actually be helpful. Often, fragrance ingredients come from specific flowers, leaves, roots, or plant extracts. Likewise, those ingredients actually add a lot of body to the formula, an antioxidant boost, some healing properties, or perhaps even some phytonutrients.

On the other hand, if someone has an actual allergy to fragrance, it's probably one type or component of the fragrance rather than all fragrances. And in that case, they should be tested by an allergist or dermatologist to pinpoint what is exacerbating the skin condition or triggering contact dermatitis. For most people, this is not the case so avoiding anything with fragrance could prevent you from using a lot of very good products that your skin might love.

#7 Richly melanated skin can't use acids. 

There is wrong advice on the internet stating that people with richly melanated skin can't use folic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid mainly "because of hyperpigmentation." But, you could be the most melanated queen out there and still need help with acne. OTC salicylic acid is still especially helpful for this person. There are OTC products proven to be safe and effective for all skin types. Now, we do use the Fitzpatrick photosensitivity chart, and likewise, there are specific treatments such as chemical peels or procedures that may need to be avoided on richly melanated skin. However, telling someone with richly melanated skin that they should completely avoid acids is incorrect. 

#8 Silicones do not automatically break the skin out. 

Another controversial ingredient, especially for people with acne, is silicone. So many people, including Cassandra's former self, thought silicones would break her out, that they would clog pores, and make pimples as well as breakouts and blackheads worse. This is not true. 

Silicones are some of the most soothing and protective ingredients that we have, and one of the most effective acne prescriptions actually has a silicone base. Silicones can help with wounds, burns, and scars. They have been used for burn victims or post-surgery. And yes, even for acne-prone skin, silicones can provide a barrier that protects the skin.

They can be a great vehicle or base for actives to be suspended in too. That way, the product can get into the skin and be delivered properly. Overall, silicones can do a lot of amazing things for your skincare routine. They make your pores look smoothed over too, but if you don't like them, you have every right to avoid them. But, don't avoid them because of misinformation.

#9 Eye creams are not an essential part of a skincare routine.

Eye creams often have some of the exact same ingredients as many moisturizers like glycerin, shea butter, oils, dimethicone, propionate diacetyl alcohol, and other soothing ingredients for protecting your skin.

The skin beneath your eyes is just like the skin on the rest of your face. It does have pores, and while it's a little bit thinner, you can still use the same products. If you want something different underneath the eyes because you want a different feel, that's fine. However, the idea that the undereye area is inherently different, doesn't have pores, or has fewer layers is not anatomically factual in any way. In truth, most eye creams are overpriced moisturizers, and you do not need one within your routine. If you love your facial moisturizer, you can just try it underneath your eyes.

#10 You need to wear sunscreen.

If we spend all of this money on serums, toners, and treatments to help with our dark spots, acne marks, wrinkles, and fine lines, we should wear sunscreen. Other steps in our routine are futile without sunscreen. 

Most of the damage that happens to our skin every day comes from the sun. Yes, this happens even if you're staying indoors, we still need sunscreen if you've got light coming into your room through a window, closed blinds, or a car window. You are still getting sun exposure, and it can be harmful to your skin causing aging wrinkles, fine lines, worsened hyperpigmentation, and post-acne marks, scars, etc. So, make sure you use sunscreen because prevention is much easier than treatment! 

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