8 Skincare Myths You Should Leave In 2020

8 Skincare Myths You Should Leave In 2020

Published on 1/13

2020 was huge for skincare! It started with makeup artists on Tiktok emphasizing how people need good skincare for great base makeup. And then recommending their favorite products, which led to them being sold out everywhere.

The year also consisted of my friends getting their own skincare fridges. As well as estheticians + dermatologists gaining huge followings on social media. But most importantly, it was a year where an insane amount of skincare myths were debunked.

And in today’s post, we’re going to cover an exhaustive list of skincare myths that we should leave in 2020. All debunked by experts of course!

Some of my favorite skincare experts that changed my skin for the better include Tiara Willis, Nayamaka Robert-Smith, SkincarebyHyram, and Sean Garrette!

I honestly started out as a makeup junkie watching Youtubers like Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley. But now I can safely say I’ve transitioned into a skincare junkie with a focus on acne and anti-aging.

Myth 1: BIPOC Folks Don’t Need Sunscreen

The first skincare myth is the one telling us that BIPOC don’t need to wear sunscreen.

As a first-generation Indian immigrant, sunscreen was only used on vacations. Or when I or my family would be in direct sunlight for hours at a time. When I would visit India, no one in my family would own a bottle of sunscreen, let alone wear it.

That was until Tiara Willis introduced me to the two-finger sunscreen rule. It states that two finger’s worth of sunscreen is how much we should be applying every day. You heard me right! And that includes SPF 35 and above. 

Myth 2: Acne Products + Anti-Aging Products Are Opposites 

Numerous sources have said that your skin only goes downhill after 23. This makes 19-21 the perfect age to start using anti-aging skincare. And one of the most well-known skincare ingredients to prevent anti-aging are retinoids.

My first introduction to them was when I visited my dermatologist for acne during my teenage years. Not only did she prescribe me an oral antibiotic I would take every morning, but she told me to use Neutrogena’s Clear Pore Face Wash and Mask, which has 3.5% benzoyl peroxide.

After more research, I noticed that benzoyl peroxide does the same thing as retinol for acne because of its ability to lighten dark spots (or hyperpigmentation).

Retinol is an amazing ingredient for acne-prone skin (like mine) as it can help fade acne scars. Sunscreen works wonders for this as well! Just make sure not to mix retinol and benzoyl peroxide so as not to strip your skin. 

Myth 3: Natural Products Are Better Than Those With “Chemicals”

When it comes to natural skincare, I’ve done it all. I’ve rubbed tomatoes and oranges on my bare face in hopes of getting Vitamin C. I’ve also tried avocado masks and turmeric masks to no avail. Acne skincare myths focus on “natural” products to improve the health of the skin.

So while natural remedies work for some, it wasn’t until I started using antibiotics and “chemicals” that I saw differences in my skin.

What a lot of people don’t know is that many ingredients like Lactic Acid and Niacinamide are already present in the body. And by using products that have these chemicals in them, we are simply replenishing our body with more of that vitamin/acid.

The argument that states “natural skincare is better” is simply not true because chemicals make up our bodies whether we like it or not. 

Myth 4: You Need To Drop Stacks For Great Skin

You no longer need to walk through the Sephora skincare aisles in awe of the skincare products you can’t afford. Because thankfully, The Ordinary exists! The Ordinary was an absolute game-changer for me as its price point is very reasonable.

Another great resource for affordable skincare is Hyram’s Youtube videos covering skincare regimens that won’t break the bank. All you really need is sunscreen, moisturizer, toner, face wash, (and serum if you feel fancy). All of which you can get at the drugstore!

Any face wash from the drugstore brand CeraVe is amazing. I recommend their Renewing SA Cleanser (cheaper at Target!) or the Hydrating Facial Cleanser, which are both less than $15.00.

Another great product in the same price range is the e.l.f. Holy Hydration Moisturizer. And it’s just as good as the high-end moisturizers!

Regarding toners, I will say that I do drop stacks on the Paula’s Choice Toner simply because it’s, like, the best thing I’ve ever gotten my hands on. But that’s the only one I splurge on!

And as far as serums go, The Ordinary and The Inkey List have so many amazing options tailored for your skincare needs.

Myth 5: Physical Exfoliation Is Better Than Chemical Exfoliation

One of the biggest skincare myths regarding getting rid of acne scars is that if you use a facial scrub or a physical exfoliant, you could scrub off acne scars over time. Doesn’t that sound like a dream? Unfortunately… it’s not true!

Acne-prone skin is only going to become more damaged with vigorous scrubbing. Nayamaka Robert-Smith (LABeautyologist) busted the skincare myth by telling us all to put down physical exfoliants and pick up chemical exfoliants instead. Such as those found in atoner.

As a matter of fact, using toner was an absolute game-changer for me. The Paula’s Choice BHA toner worked wonderfully for my persistent whiteheads and oily skin. I have not looked back since!

Myth 6: Exfoliation is only for your face

As someone who suffers from keratosis pilaris or “chicken skin” on my upper arms and legs, I get really self-conscious when it comes time to take photos in sleeveless tops or dresses. After watching Nayamaka Robert-Smith’s Youtube video on keratosis pilaris, I discovered that although there is no cure for this excess buildup of keratin on the skin, there are ways to manage it!

My favorite product for body exfoliation is First Aid Beauty’s KP Body Scrub. It is a bit pricey at roughly $30 from Sephora, but the travel size is $10 and a little goes a long way. It takes me a year to finish the full size and about three months to finish the travel size.

A chemical exfoliant that I use on these bumpy, rough areas is the Amlactin lotion from Target which has Lactic Acid in it. Lactic Acid is one of my favorite skincare ingredients because it is so gentle yet so effective.

Myth 7: Your Skin Should Always Be Poreless + Blemish-Free

I remember the first time I went to the dermatologist as a 13-year-old, and I just broke down because every time I looked in the mirror, I thought I was ugly. It was impossible for me to look past the blemishes on my face, and people would always point it out, asking what was wrong with my skin. This also gave people the motivation to provide me with pretty pointless skincare advice like “drink more water” or to just “leave my skin alone.”

It wasn’t until college that I realized acne and acne scars don’t make you ugly: everyone has it. Just like stretch marks, cellulite, and other visible skin characteristics, it is natural and expected.

One person who really helped me embrace my skin was makeup artist Rocio Cervantes on Instagram. Not only is she hilarious, but she dispels societal myths about acne and acne scars. 

Myth 8: Washing Your Face Doesn’t Do Anything

Last but not least is skincare myth number 8. Where people say that washing your face doesn’t do anything!

Imagine waking up and using 4-in-1 body wash on your face. Or simply splashing water on your face, drying it, and going on with your day. This is the reality of so many people and it lives in my head rent-free. It is particularly troubling because as an oily-skin and acne-prone girl, this has not been my reality since I was about 11 years old.

Nayamaka Robert-Smith’s 60-second rule was a game-changer for my skin. Washing my face for one minute significantly improved my texture and oily skin, and dispelled the myth that washing one’s face is simply a waste of time. 


In a time of skincare myths and misconceptions, finding the truth about what is good and bad for your skin is increasingly difficult. The mantra I have for being a conscious consumer is to listen to the experts, or simply listen to the science.

Using science to dispel marketing myths is imperative to finding the perfect skin care regimen that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning and relaxed before you crawl into bed at night.

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