There are so many skin care myths out there that it’s difficult to choose the top five. Everything from “can chocolate cause acne?” (no), to “will popping a pimple make it heal faster?” (absolutely NOT!).
But with all the misinformation and bad skin care advice out there, we felt you would appreciate real advice from a leading dermatologist. So without further ado…
- Myth: You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day.
Why bother slathering on the sunscreen when the sun isn’t out? Right? Wrong! Although it’s easy to believe the sun can’t harm you if it isn’t shining, the truth is that UV radiation from the sun reaches the earth’s surface even on a cloudy day. So be sure you apply sunscreen every day – regardless of sun shine factor. Additionally, be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, as well as after you go swimming or if you have been sweating.
- Myth: Tanning beds are safe.
By now, everyone knows that prolonged sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. Unfortunately, many people believe that because many tanning beds filter out the UVB rays that cause sunburn, they are safe. But what you may not know is that tanning beds don’t filter out the UVA rays that penetrate deeper into your skin than UVB rays, which causes damage that can lead to skin cancer and prematurely aged skin.
So while we all like having a “healthy” glow, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth the damage.
- Myth: Topical anti-aging products can erase wrinkles.
Well, this one is mostly false, but a little true. The vast majority of over-the-counter products that claim to be anti-aging or anti-wrinkle simply don’t work in the long-term. What they do do is temporarily hydrate your skin, plumping it up and making it look better for a short time.
However, products containing topical retinoids (often sold under the name “Retinol” or “Tretinoin”) actually do help by penetrating your skin and increasing cell turnover. These products have been shown to actually reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reverse sun damage, and improve acne. There are some topical retinoids that are sold over the counter, but the higher strength products need to be prescribed by a dermatologist.
- Myth: Your face should feel “squeaky clean” after you wash it.
Any face washing ritual that leaves your skin feeling this way can actually cause damage by stripping it of its natural oils. Cleansers that contain harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), or ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), can rid your skin of too much oil, which in turn, can cause irritation and dehydration.
Instead, look for a gentler skin cleanser that will take off makeup, sweat, and grime but will leave your skin feeling soft and supple rather than dry and damaged. At Dermatology Associates, we recommend the Obagi line of skin care products.
- Myth: You can tighten your skin with facial exercises.
Sadly, no. In fact, just the opposite is true. The repeated muscle contractions you use through facial exercises can actually contribute to the wrinkling – like folding a piece of paper over and over again in the same spot etches a permanent line in the paper. Wrinkles and sagging skin happen as we age because our collagen, elastin and fat decrease.
But not all is lost. Although facial exercises can’t tighten your skin, laser facial treatments can. We use them with extreme success to not only tighten the skin but also to erase fine lines and wrinkles, eliminate age spots and sun damage while stimulating collagen production.
At Dermatology Associates, we help clients maintain great skin for life through a full range of services, expertise, and products. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you and your specific skin issues, just give us a call or click here to schedule a consultation.
Dermatology Associates offers a full spectrum of leading edge medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services from offices in Savannah and Vidalia.