Debunking Self-Care Myths
We've heard a few rumours going around and we just want to clear it up. Here are seven (7) self-care myths and we are debunking each and every one of them!
1. Black People Don't Need Sunscreen
Who said that? 👀
Melanin is present in different persons at varying degrees and is responsible for providing pigmentation to the skin, eyes and hair. Melanin absorbs harmful ultra-violet rays and affords protection from sun damage.
While darker skin tones have more melanin which thus offers more natural protection it is not immune from sun damage. Darker skin may not sunburn as easily as lighter skin, but is still at risk for skin cancer.
Studies show that darker skin tones have a natural SPF of ~13. As stated in our blog on sunscreen, an SPF of at least 30 is needed. Based on these figures you can see that the natural protection black people have is insufficient to adequately protect the skin.
Learn more about the basics of protecting your skin in our blog on sunscreen.
2. All SPF Protection is the same
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) shows a relationship between how much ultraviolet radiation is required to get sunburn in the presence of sunscreen relative to how much is required to get sunburn without sunscreen. Essentially, higher SPFs = higher sunburn protection
While several products state that they have SPF protection it is important to note that not all products protect for both UVA and UVB rays. Some products, such as make-up, afford only UVA protection and this is insufficient to properly protect the skin. Everyone needs to ensure that any area exposed to the sun is protected from both UVA and UVB rays and this is another reason why wearing sunscreen is important.
3. Self-Care is just for women
Men and women both have ✨ skin ✨. Men and women both need to moisturize their skin. It's a basic personal hygiene and self-care requirement. While products may be tailored to the different needs of the different genders, self-care is not gender specific.
4. You don't have to wear sunscreen indoors
Do you have light indoors? If your answer is yes then UV rays are present. Especially in room with lots of natural light and windows UV rays are still present and one must protect their skin from that by using sunscreen.
5. You need to 'earn' the right to practice self-care
We don't need to earn the right to a basic need. They are basic for a reason. Everyone needs food, water, shelter and clothing. Being able to keep yourself clean is a basic need. There are aspects of self-care that evolve with more disposable income but the fundamentals remain the same. Whether it's an expensive bottle of shampoo or a cheap one, your hair needs to be washed. This reasoning applies to all the different areas of self-care and we explored this in our Self-Care on A Budget blog and Luxury and Self-Care blog.
You don't need to earn rest. If you neglect to choose times to rest your body will TAKE it. Let's not kid ourselves, self-care is a necessity, not a luxury. It's HOW we go about our self-care routines that determines whether it's 'budget' or 'luxury'.
6. Self-Care is doing anything that calms you
👀 Incorrect. There are many things that may calm you, relieve stress or soothe you that are unhealthy. Above all else, your self-care practices should be healthy and positively impact your life. Your self-care practices should not be harmful to your mind, body, finances, nor to those around you. In fact, some self-care practices require you to have uncomfortable conversations or do uncomfortable things that will benefit you in the future. Exercising may feel uncomfortable in the moment but your body needs it. Having difficult conversations is not easy but its imperative for thriving social relationships. Consider reading our Defining Self-Care E-book to learn how to develop your self-care routine with mindfulness and intention.
7. Self-Care is Selfish
I'd like to have a word with whoever said that. Self-Care is NOT selfish. Human beings are interdependent and we cannot pour from an empty cup. If you don't have enough resources for yourself how will you pour into others? If you don't take the time to pour into yourself how will you pour into others? If you neglect to rest that will impact your mood and energy levels which can lead you to snap at / respond unkindly to others. This could be avoided by taking the time to practice holistic self-care and ensure that all your self-care needs are met (mental, physical, financial, spiritual, social, occupational etc). Something as simple as journaling can allow you to self-reflect and be more aware of your actions. We explored all these benefits in our blog on the importance of journaling. Once you tend to yourself you are better able to tend to others.
8. Practicing Self-Care means you have a perfect life
Incorrect. Self-Care allows you to focus on the things that are inside of your control and less on the things that aren't. Journaling allows you be more mindful. It doesn't eliminate your problems but it shifts your mindset to a more positive one. Practicing self-care will improve your mood but there is no magical routine for a perfect life. Self-care is not a magic potion to a perfect life. Grief, uncertainty, loss, anxiety and the issues of the world will still be there, however self-care provides an avenue for us to shift our minds from the worries of life and onto more positive things which makes life a whole lot easier and more manageable.
Thanks for tuning in to this episode! If this resonated with you leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
1. https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=157004, accessed on July 29, 2022.