KaramMD Journal

Skincare Myths: Tips You Should Never Follow & Why

eye cream surrounded by natural elements

In the world of skincare, certain tips are so frequently repeated that they begin to masquerade as truths. However, the landscape of skincare is littered with myths and inaccuracies. Personally, I see this all the time, so I approach a lot of these tips or trends with a healthy dose of skepticism, striving to base my decisions on evidence, scientific inquiry, and common sense.

It's imperative to exercise caution when considering advice, especially when your information is coming from the internet, devoid of any substantiated backing. Always consider the source, conduct thorough research, or consult with a medical professional before succumbing to the allure of a viral trend.

However, some of these trends are not limited to social media influence, but are part of the skincare industry’s marketing strategies to sell more products and drive profits by convincing consumers more products = more results. Well, if you know anything about my skincare philosophy or why I created KaramMD, you know I wholeheartedly disagree. But, given the prevalence of such misconceptions, I've curated a list of skincare myths to be aware of, why I would not follow these tips, and empower you to make informed skincare choices with confidence.

Below, I've listed these insights, originally shared in an Instagram video, into "5 Skincare Tips I Would Never Follow," supplemented by a few additional cautionary points.

Top 5 Skincare Tips I Would Never Follow

MYTH 01.

“Use a separate eye cream.”

(There is no need for another product–you can use the same one you use on the rest of the face.)

I’ve never understood using an additional, separate eye cream. Ingredients that are effective for the rest of the face are going to be equally as beneficial for those areas around the eye that are most prone to fine lines and wrinkles. 

While I acknowledge that the skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, if you are using high-quality active ingredients on your face, then the skin around the eyes will benefit just as much. Retinol, for example, is going to strengthen the skin by promoting collagen, which is going to increase the thickness and texture of that thin skin around the eyes. 

Use facial products that include active ingredients like Retinols, Niacinamide, Vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid, and top it off with hydrating elements, like balms, instead of eye creams to lock in moisture. Just like the rest of your face, you want hydration and stimulation of collagen production, which is going to brighten and tighten the eye area just as well as the rest of the face.

MYTH 02.

“Use a separate neck cream.”

(Your neck is an extension of your face and should be treated the same.)

Your neck skin is the same as your facial skin and requires the same attention and care. Just as I advise against using a separate eye cream, I feel the same way about neck cream. There's really no need for a specific neck product if you are using the right products on your face.

That's why I created the Trifecta, which works perfectly for both your face and neck, and helps to simplify your skincare routine.

While I don’t recommend a separate neck cream, I highly advise including your neck in your skincare routine. Taking care of your neck and chest is just as essential as caring for your face. These areas are prone to showing signs of aging, including sagging, wrinkles, and sun damage, which can reveal your age even if you have been diligent about anti-aging and taking care of your face. 

Using effective skincare products on your neck helps ensure that your face and neck maintain balance and age gracefully together. By incorporating neck care into your routine, you can help prevent tone, texture, wrinkles and other discrepancies between your face and neck. 

However, if you notice your neck aging faster than your face, due to neglecting your neck’s skincare for decades, opting for neck surgery without addressing the face is not advisable! Neck lifts don’t work.I have a whole YouTube video about this topic, so if this is something you were thinking about, please check it out.

Remember, treating the neck as an extension of the face ensures a cohesive approach to skincare and any necessary procedures.

MYTH 03.

“You don’t need sunscreen if it’s cloudy or rainy.”

(Yes, you do! You need sunscreen all the time no matter the weather.)

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun comprises UVA and UVB rays, each with distinct characteristics. UVA rays, with longer wavelengths, penetrate deeper into the skin and remain prevalent throughout the day, capable of passing through clouds and glass. 

These UVA (think A for Aging) rays contribute significantly to premature aging leading to wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage and other signs of aging, while also increasing the risk of skin cancer. UVB rays, on the other hand, affect the skin's outer layer, causing sunburn (think B for Burning) and playing a role in skin cancer development. While less prevalent through barriers, UVB rays can still contribute to skin damage.

It's vital to wear sunscreen consistently due to the omnipresent threat of UVA rays, which can penetrate through snowy weather, gloomy clouds and can be a cause for concern if you are indoors near windows or driving. Additionally, sunscreen provides protection against UVB rays, guarding against any possible sunburn, further reducing the risk of skin damage and cancer development. 

Incorporating mineral-based sunscreens, often containing active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, offer effective protection. Remember to apply sunscreen every couple of hours, whether the sun is out or not, to maintain skin health and take proactive steps to reduce the risk of long-term sun damage.

MYTH 04.

“You can’t mix Retinol with Vitamin C.”

(You definitely need both of these important active ingredients in your skincare routine.)

Retinol and Vitamin C are two of the most potent and vital ingredients in anti-aging, and you definitely want to be using both in your skincare routine. But a skincare myth has spread that you should not combine these two ingredients. This recommendation to not use them together applies specifically when using Vitamin C and Retinol from different sources, because brands may have formulations that are incompatible with each other, leading to potential irritation, adverse effects or inflammation, and increased sensitivity. 

That said, the way to safely include both of these ingredients is using a comprehensive skincare system like Trifecta. The Quench Vitamin C Serum and Retinol in the Illuminate Anti-Aging Cream, are designed to work synergistically. This means you not only sidestep compatibility issues, but also enhance the effectiveness of both products. This strategic pairing ensures that you reap the maximum benefits of each ingredient without compromising on safety or results.

The misconception about not mixing Vitamin C and Retinol is a detriment to your skincare routine. In fact, combining Retinol and Vitamin C in your skincare routine is a powerful strategy for combating aging and promoting healthy skin. Both ingredients offer unique benefits that complement each other seamlessly. Retinol is renowned for its ability to stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin texture. Meanwhile, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that brightens the complexion, fades dark spots, and protects the skin from environmental damage.

MYTH 05.

“If it’s burning, it’s working!”

(If it’s burning, something is wrong and you’re possibly damaging your skin barrier.)

Burning or stinging is not a good thing. If you’re experiencing this when you put a product on your skin, it could signal various issues. 

This sensation may indicate skin sensitivity or an allergic reaction to ingredients within the product. Over-exfoliation can damage the skin barrier which could also lead to irritation and burning. Additionally, as mentioned above, using incompatible skincare ingredients or applying products too frequently can cause discomfort.

This is important: you don’t want to feel pain or burning when any product is applied. Redness, stinging, or any other kind of reaction means something is wrong. 

Tingling on the other hand is different, and tingling can mean something is happening. You may experience tingling for example as enzymes work to remove dead skin cells, like they do in Polish Enzymatic Exfoliator, but tingling is a very different sensation than burning, it is not painful.

A Couple More Skincare Myths Worth Mentioning

In addition to the original 5 skincare myths you should never follow, I wanted to introduce some additional important points that extend beyond my video. These are common suggestions I frequently encounter on social media and believe are worth addressing while we’re on the topic.

MYTH 06.

"I need to change my skincare routine regularly."

(No, you don’t! Committing to a consistent skincare is far better)

This misconception suggests that “product hopping” to frequently alter your skincare regimen will prevent your skin from getting used to the products. However, in truth, if a skincare product or ingredient proves beneficial for your skin initially, it will likely remain effective regardless of how long you use it. Your trusted skincare essentials won't suddenly lose their efficacy if you maintain a consistent routine. As long as your skin's condition remains unchanged, there's typically no need to switch up your products.

When you apply a product, your skin's receptors promptly absorb it and begin their intended functions. Unlike the body's immune system, which can develop resistance to medications or pathogens over time, there's no analogous mechanism for the skin to become immune to the effects of skincare products. 

In fact, using high-quality products containing active ingredients consistently can build momentum, leading to ongoing improvements in your skin's health and appearance with continued use.

MYTH 07.

“Natural and organic ingredients are better for my skin.”

(If results are what’s most important, look for a trusted skincare treatment beyond labels)

The myth that all-natural products are inherently superior for the skin can be misleading. While natural ingredients can offer benefits, efficacy should ultimately take precedence when selecting skincare products. It's crucial to trust a product or skincare treatment based on its proven results rather than solely on its natural label. 

With this in mind, I developed the Trifecta to offer individuals seeking beautiful, radiant skin a reliable and straightforward product line, backed by clinical testing. The Trifecta blends natural ingredients with science-backed components, ensuring that users achieve results that are both effective and trustworthy. 

By prioritizing efficacy over arbitrary distinctions like "all-natural," individuals can make informed decisions that truly benefit their skin's health and appearance.

MYTH 08.

"I need an 8+ step routine to get all the ingredients I need."

(The most important thing is having the right active ingredients, and being consistent with them)

The misconception that achieving optimal skincare results necessitates a multitude of different products and a complicated routine is popular, yet misguided. Having spent years searching for simplified skincare solutions with all the right ingredients in fewer steps, I came to the realization that such products were simply unavailable. While some individual products may offer benefits, they often fail to provide a sustainable routine that can be consistently maintained. 

This realization is what inspired me to dedicate five years to developing the KaramMD Trifecta. This three-product skincare routine is meticulously formulated with all of the essential ingredients proven to combat the aging process effectively. The Trifecta contains everything you need to deliver supple, radiant, and youthful skin without the unnecessary complexity often associated with extensive skincare regimens. This makes it easier to stay consistent with your regimen and build on that momentum for long-lasting results.

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I have always been a skincare junkie, so I had 11 different steps. The Trifecta made it so much quicker, but I was wondering, Does it still do everything my previous steps gave me? and it literally does– it's even better! Doing 11 steps was very time consuming; now I get my skincare done in less than a couple minutes. It's amazing, I love it." -Brandi

Keep It Simple and Empower Yourself With Education

Using the Trifecta not only delivers proven results but also takes the guesswork out of skincare, eliminating majority of the confusion behind most of these skincare myths. Trifecta is your trusted solution to skincare. With a simple yet effective three-product routine, you can navigate the complexities of skincare with confidence, knowing that you are prioritizing evidence-based practices for healthier, more radiant skin.

Amir Karam MD

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

Dr. Amir Karam is a renowned facial cosmetic surgeon and an authority in his field. With over two decades of experience helping patients achieve a younger, refreshed appearance. In addition to surgical procedures that sculpt a youthfully-defined facial shape, Dr. Karam takes the quality of the skin into account.

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