It’s easy to go into autopilot when it comes to skin care and hair care. (Lather, rinse, repeat, anyone?) But just as some of your go-to products may be bringing you down—we’re looking at you, Cetaphil—your ingrained beauty habits could also be undermining all of your good grooming intentions.
So if you cleanse with oil and rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar, and yet still fight gnarly blemishes or funky frizz, it may be time to reassess the beauty factoids that you’ve taken as gospel for so long.
Before you freak out, rest assured that there’s no need to overhaul every aspect of your routine—start with these simple hacks, and you might be surprised at how quickly that nagging issue goes away for good.
Ready to level-up your skin and hair game? Keep reading to discover 7 common myths that could be sabotaging your best beauty efforts, all busted by top skin and hair experts.
Myth #1: You should wash your face in the shower
This is most definitely not the case, unless you also apply your toner and moisturizer under the shower head (which we obviously wouldn’t recommend). “As soon as you’re done cleansing, you want to immediately move on to the next step in your skin-care routine,” explains therapeutic skin coach Hayley Roy. Washing your face in the shower could actually cause acne, due to its impact on your skin’s pH. Who knew, right?
Myth #2: Less is more when it comes to moisturizer
Wrong again. The more hydration, the better—and two layers are, in fact, superior to one. “The idea is that you’re doing two stages of moisturizing to pack in the hydration,” dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, of Sadick Dermatology explains of the Korean beauty-inspired double moisturizer trend. (No, it’s not just a marketing ploy to get you to buy more products.) So if you’re applying your favorite facial oil sparingly, you may want to lean towards the generous end of the spectrum.
Myth #3: You can use dry shampoo with abandon
Actually, you should be aiming to spritz your strands no more than twice a week. “For some, [dry shampoo] can create irritation, or inflammation of the hair follicles,” says dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. The magic grease eliminator can also be seriously dehydrating for your hair, so save it for after those super sweaty workouts that leave you and your ‘do drenched.
Myth #4: Caffeine is bad for your skin
When sleep slips down the priority list, everyone’s favorite pick-me-up helps in more ways than one—it also banishes dark under-eye circles.“Caffeine functions as a vasoconstrictor—or a tightening agent—that constricts the blood vessels around the eye area, which in turn makes the dark circles and puffiness less visible,” explains Lauren Hoffman, whose beauty brand Onomie focuses on the eyes. Of course, it’s not as simple as ordering a double; caffeine needs to be applied topically in order to give your skin a boost.
Myth #5: Beer is the enemy of beauty
It may not be great for your belly, but beer is good for another part of your body: your hair! Turns out that malted barley is full of nutrients that are released during the brewing process, like B12 and folate, which support healthy hair follicles and growth. (You can even find brew in shampoo now.) The best part? In place of a next-day hangover, you’ll just have Kate Middleton-esque locks.
Myth #6: You should always wash your face in the a.m.
Don’t stress if you run out of time to cleanse before rushing out the door. It’s more important that you wash your face at night to get rid of unwanted oils and dirt that may build up throughout the day. “Unless you’re doing something insane while you’re sleeping, you really don’t need to get in there and use a high-powered cleanser in the morning,” says Rachel Winard, founder of natural beauty brand Soapwalla. She recommends sticking to just a toner (before applying your usual moisturizing creams or oils) just after waking up.
Myth #7: The only way to get a collagen boost is with the help of needles
In fact, drinkable collagen is gaining ground in wellness circles—Jennifer Aniston included—and it might be more effective in boosting skin suppleness than other methods. “When you ingest science-based hydrolyzed collagen, you increase the pool of special amino acids available to the cells in your body that make it,” explains Naomi Whittel, founder and CEO of nutritional supplement company Reserveage. In layman’s terms, that means consuming collagen nudges your body into making more of it naturally—we’ll take that over injections any day.
What you eat affects your skin, too. The main culprit: sugar. But that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to dessert just yet. Try one of these low sugar dessert recipes when your sweet tooth starts talking, or if you do overindulge, load up on this nutrient to help offset the effects.