Women have been preaching the importance of moisturizer for generations. While there is zero doubt these days that it’s a must-have step in any skincare routine, there are a few old wives’ tales about face cream still going around that may be affecting your beauty game. From trusting your lotion’s sun protection to putting product on dry skin, we’re revealing the top five myths about moisturizer you should stop believing ASAP.
Myth #1: All creams are basically the same.
Most moisturizers have some combination of water-attracting humectants and occlusive ingredients to lock hydration in, says Dr. Benjamin Barankin, a Toronto dermatologist and medical director of Toronto Dermatology Centre. The difference, he notes, is that every product features a range of ingredients in various concentrations, accounting for the wide array of formulas featuring unique consistencies (think cream vs. lotion vs. ointment). All of which is to say, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all product, so always choose a moisturizer that’s right for your skin type. L’Oréal’s new Hydra Genius Liquid Care Moisturizer, for example, is available for normal, oily and extra-dry skin types, each with a different texture to address specific needs. Its unique liquid formula hydrates deeply for up to 72 hours without feeling heavy, regardless of which category your skin falls under.
Myth #2: Your skin can become dependent on moisturizer.
Countless factors contribute to dehydrated skin, says Dr. Barankin, including genetics, water exposure, the weather, medications, and the heating and air conditioning in our homes. Since there is no avoiding these skin-sapping elements, it’s important to moisturize on a daily basis, especially as we get older .
Myth #3: You should avoid moisturizer if you have oily skin.
Quite the opposite, assures Dr. Barankin. “If you’re oily, simply choose an oil-free moisturizer that gives the skin good hydration without additional oil,” he advises. Seek out other hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid.
Myth #4: Moisturizers with sunscreen provide sufficient SPF.
That depends, says Dr. Barankin. “In the winter, a moisturizer with SPF may be fine — and less of a hassle than using two products,” he says. However, if you’re out and about in the summer or visiting somewhere warm like the Caribbean, “a proper, high-quality sunscreen is advised, as they typically will provide better UVA protection.”
Myth #5: Always apply moisturizer to dry skin.
“Moisturizer should ideally be applied when the skin is damp,” points out Dr. Barankin. He recommends washing your face or taking a shower before gently patting skin dry, then applying your moisturizer within two to three minutes. Otherwise, you’ll miss your chance to lock in the moisture before it evaporates if you wait until your skin is dry.