Let’s talk about skincare tips.
For some, the idea of taking care of your skin is scary. For others, washing and treating the face is part of a daily routine. Regardless of where you fit on that spectrum, there’s something about skincare we all have in common: If we can do it, we should.
Why? Well, there’s the obvious: Keeping your skin clean and fresh. To get a little more scientific, your face sheds thousands of cells throughout the day. If it’s clean, it helps combat oil and bacteria that climb into your skin and make a home for permanent damage.
Gross, right? But what if you don’t even know where to start with skincare?
Not knowing where to start is understandable. With so much information on the internet, it’s not always easy to figure out what’s a good tip or a bad one.
And that’s why we spoke with Nicole Richardson, a licensed esthetician, entrepreneur, and Booksy Ambassador. Nicole has been focusing on lashes, skincare, and makeup for over a decade. She owns and operates Flawless Beauty by Nicole, a studio in the Chicago, Illinois area.
We caught up with Nicole to get her opinion on common skincare tips that pop up on social media and to learn what we should really focus on when it comes to facial care.
Myth 1: Skincare is only for women.
Nicole says, “I think there’s such a stigma around skincare being only a ‘girl thing,’ but everyone has skin that should be tended to. I have plenty of regular male clients.”
In fact, there are a host of skincare benefits for guys. For one, there’s the growing number of available products being marketed to men. Additionally, men tend to have more oil on the surface of their skin. And there are plenty of products made specifically for that purpose.
Ready for another benefit to developing a skincare routine? Men who shave are likely to experience less irritation and redness. When you clean the skin regularly, it’ll become stronger and less prone to breakouts.
Nicole’s tip is that everyone should look into skincare and esthetician services. Plus, who doesn’t love treating themselves?
Myth 2: Sunscreen isn’t for people of color.
Nicole says, “That isn’t true. Melanin, the amount of color in your skin, doesn’t determine whether or not the sun can damage your skin. Sunscreen will protect you from the sunlight, even indoors.”
According to Healthline, it’s true that people with darker skin tones have a natural Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 13. Still, 13 isn’t a high enough amount of SPF to fight sun damage.
SPF is sufficiently effective after 15, states The Skin Cancer Foundation. Also, the website suggests that if you’re over 6 months old, you should be reapplying sunscreen every day. This is to avoid permanent skin damage.
What’s Nicole’s pro tip? If you get a moisturizer that already includes sunscreen then it’s like completing two routine steps at once. She likes using this one by Circadia, which has SPF 37 — great for facial protection.
Myth 3: Washing your face makes you more prone to acne and breakouts.
Nicole says, “In order for acne to develop, you have to have a combo of four factors: Bacteria, inflammation, clogged pores, and shedding keratin.”
When we talk about acne, we’re talking about a huge subject. For this article, we’re referring to facial acne: Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples. etc. Acne usually develops in the places the body produces the most oil, and the face is one of them.
One of the best ways to fight acne is to develop a skincare routine that treats those concerns.
Additionally, to make sure your skin is being treated correctly, it’s important to see an esthetician regularly.
So, don’t feel as though you’re doing something wrong if you wash your face but still have acne. Your skin probably just needs a different, more targeted treatment. If acne was solved by just a good cleanse, estheticians would offer fewer treatments!
Myth 4: Washing your face with hot water opens your pores for a better clean.
Nicole says, “While it’s true warm water gives you a better clean, if the water is too hot, you can strip natural oils your skin needs.” Her tip? Use warm water, but rinse with cold water.
Rinsing with cold water restricts blood flow, making it harder for bacteria and dirt to get into your skin. Very hot water can change how your skin reacts to products. For example, hot water can scar the skin and lead to permanent damage.
Pores aren’t muscles and can’t expand or contract in water. But, water can change how your skin reacts to products.
Myth 5: Derma-rolling is easy to do at home.
If you’re like me, and you’re clueless about derma-rolling, allow me to save you the rabbit hole: A derma-roller is a tool that helps you produce more collagen. You’d use one for microneedling, which involves pricking your skin with tiny needles. The small wounds encourage collagen production in order to heal. And more collagen equals younger-looking skin.
When it comes to derma-rolling, Nicole’s tip is to stick with a professional. “Derma-rolling is all about the correct technique,” she says. “If you aren’t experienced, you could seriously damage your skin.”
It’s important to use the right method when derma-rolling, because you are wounding your skin. If you mess up, you could cause serious damage to your skin. Derma-rolling is a good treatment for acne and sun damage, but it should be handled by a professional.
Myth 6: At-home chemical peels are a routine essential.
If you’re new to chemical peeling, no sweat. A chemical peel involves putting a solution on your skin that peels off a layer of wrinkles, scars, and sun damage. The layer underneath, then, would be shinier, younger, and healthier. These peels are great for treating layers of skin damage.
Think of them as a really intense face mask for damaged skin. Even though peel-off masks are often used at-home, what about a chemical one? Should you try a chemical peel yourself? Here’s Nicole’s tip:
“Not at all. A chemical peel is a specialized treatment for inflamed skin,” Nicole mentions. “I wouldn’t try them at home. I recommend seeing a professional for a consultation to see if it’s right for you, then consider scheduling a treatment.”
Myth 7: Face scrubs are great exfoliators.
Have you ever been scrolling down the aisle, online or in-person, at your favorite drug store, and come across the face scrubs? More specifically, the ones with “exfoliating beads” or “gentle rocks” to buff away dead skin? I have always wondered about those claims.
For example, are they really effective? And how do rocks help with exfoliation?
Nicole says, “Some convenience store exfoliators can cause chemical burns. You want something that’s going to be more gentle.”
One of Nicole’s favorite at-home exfoliators is this cleanser. She adds that a person’s face has the highest concentration of muscles in their entire body. So, it’s important for us to gently massage our skin to make sure blood is always flowing. Harsh and gritty textures, like rocks, work against that.
And there you have it—some of the internet’s most popular skincare tips, with advice from a professional. If you’re in the Chicagoland area and want to book time with Nicole, feel free to use her Booksy link—she can even travel to you. If you’d like to book an esthetician in a different area, Booksy’s got you covered.