5 Common Skincare Myths That Just Aren't True, No Matter What Your Mom Told You When You Were A Teenager

Anyone who has ever been a teenager knows that looking put together takes a little time, and there are a lot of skincare tips you receive during puberty. How to tell which skincare myths are for real and which are fake? It's not so easy. For a lot of us, it takes years of parting your hair the wrong way, thinking Jessica Simpson's edible body products were cool, and dealing with cystic acne before you finally learn how to own your looks. A big part of confidence for many people, myself included, is finally figuring out a skincare routine that leaves my face feeling fresh and acne-free (which I certainly couldn't say for my 15-year-old self). However, even if you've outgrown the constant threat of zits, there are still plenty of ways you might be getting your skincare wrong.

We learn so much about grooming ourselves from magazines, our family, our friends, and just general talk, it’s tough to know what habits to keep and which ones to drop. Skin care can get pretty complicated if all you really know is: washing your face is good, eating lots of chocolate is bad. To help fill in between the lines, here are a few everyday myths that might change the way you look at your skin’s health. Forget being a teenager, with advice like this you might just figure out how to have skin like a baby. Again.

1. Using hot water to open pores helps get the dirt out

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Unfortunately that is a big fat lie most of us have believed since we were old enough to steal our older sister's beauty magazines. Putting your face over a pot of boiling water does not in fact open your pores, because pores pretty much always stay the same size. They exist solely as a follicle for hair and a passageway for oil, and because you are constantly excreting sweat, they really don't change much in size. Unless of course they're being stretched by dirt and oil (which happens to everyone from time to time), in which case it is temporary and a good exfoliant combined with a consistent cleansing regime should help clear it right up.

2. If it has ingredients you can't pronounce, it's probably bad for you — but it might not be, too

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That ideology mainly applies to grocery shopping — plenty of skincare ingredients that have long names are great for healthy skin! The FDA requires plant-based ingredients be listed by their scientific names, so a lot of the time something as scary-sounding as pseudopterogorgia elisabethae is actually just the fancy name for a type of sea coral that happens to have awesome anti-inflammatory properties. It is important to know which ingredients actually are harmful to your health, so make sure to do some research before you shop!

3. Toners dry out your face and are kind of unnecessary

This is more of a confusion than a myth. The main purpose of a toner is to remove any excess oil, pollution, and dirt left on the skin after cleansing, and what's really drying out your face is probably from not buying a toner at all — but mistakenly buying an astringent-toner instead. What exactly is the difference? Astringents have alcohol in them (your dry skin culprit) because they are used for anti-bacterial purposes. Now, alcohol isn't all bad, but if you already have dry skin then an astringent-toner is probably the worst idea ever. Toners are more moisturizing, the best kinds have soothing ingredients like rosewater or chamomile, that keep your face both happy and clean!

4. Wrinkles and aging are completely genetic

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If your mom is still looking 25 at her 50th birthday party (shoutout to her for being an ageless goddess) take a congratulatory #GotItFromMyMama selfie with her, but don't get too ahead of yourself. She might be responsible for your amazing cheekbones and adorable nose, but when it comes to aging and wrinkles, it has just as much to do with your lifestyle. About 50 percent of your aging comes from your genes, the other half has to do with sun exposure, pollution, and stress levels. So, take care of that skin and stop dreading the day you turn into your mother —because ultimately, it's up to you.

5. Exfoliators and pore strips are the best way to banish black heads

Although they help to remove the top of the blackhead, the problem is a lot deeper than that. Black heads might look like dirt and as a result you might think they exist because of poor hygiene, but they're actually a product of your pore getting clogged with too much oil and dead skin. It's sort of out of your control. The only way out is to use products with salicylic acid, which dissolves all the gross stuff in your pores. Scrubs are a good temporary fix, but you want something that prevent blackheads before they begin.

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