Skin Care Myths

 

Merriam-Webster defines the word MYTH as “an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true.” The number of existing myths is likely innumerable and some are more believable than others. But when is comes to your skin, here are our top 10 myths, along with the truth about them to set the record straight.

 

1) Aging is genetic. While genetics certainly plays a role in how your skin ages, the reality is that your daily habits matter more. Protecting your skin from the sun for example is one way you can prevent premature aging.

 

2) Your Diet has no impact on your skin. This could not be more false. What you eat, (and drink), has a direct impact on the skin and eating foods high in sugar, and drinking too much alcohol will eventually effect the skin making it look dull, and lax.

 

3) Sunscreen is not necessary on cloudy days. This might be the most common misconception.  Sunscreen should be worn every day regardless of the weather. Protecting the skin form UVA and UVB rays is not only crucial to prevent premature aging, it’s also the safest way to protect from Melanoma (skin cancer), which can be potentially deadly.

 

4) The higher the SPF the longer I can stay in the sun. This is absolutely incorrect. If you are in the sun, know that your sunscreen will only be effective for about 2-4 hours, so reapply often. SPF refers to how well the sunscreen will protect you. Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30. SPF’s higher than that don’t offer much more protection to filter out the suns rays.  

 

5) Stress doesn’t effect my skin. Your skin will absolutely show signs of stress because your body works overtime to compensate when stress levels are high. Stress causes the body to produce hormones which tell the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Excess oil can become clogged causing acne. Consider de-stressing with yoga or meditation.

 

6) Scrubbing the face twice a day is best. When cleansing the skin, it’s best to take a “less this more approach.” Use a gentle cleanser with light pressure when cleansing and consider one that’s free of alcohol to ensure you are not drying the skin. If your skin is normal to dry, cleanse only in the evening. You need the oils your skin produces overnight to act as a protective barrier during the day.

 

7) Daily Exfoliation keeps the skin looking young. This one is only partially wrong. Daily exfoliation for sensitive skin can lead to irritation especially if you experience rosacea or eczema. If you are exfoliating daily, be sure to use one that’s gentle. Over exfoliating can cause dryness, irritation and even peeling.

 

8) The way you sleep does not effect your skin. False. Sleeping on your stomach or side can exacerbate existing wrinkles and cause new lines to form. It’s best to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees, this is also the best position for your back too.

 

9) If your skin care regimen doesn’t work right away, move on. Not true, if you are trying out a new a product or regimen, give it 8 weeks to work on your skin. Many active ingredients need time to begin to change the skin and work effectively.

 

10) Brown spots on the skin are caused by age. Actually, these spots, known as hyper-pigmentation, are the result of many years of unprotected sun exposure. They can actually begin to appear as early as your 20’s or as a direct result of a severe sunburn. Look for skincare products rich in Vitamin C to help lighten the spots and minimize their appearance.

 

 

While the internet has certainly helped to educate us on proper skin care, there will always be misconceptions and questions. It’s best to stay educated and know the truth. If you have questions about your skin that you can’t answer online, your esthetician or dermatologist will always be willing to offer you help.