No two people have the exact same type of skin. What works to keep the skin healthy and attractive for one person won’t always have the same effect on someone else, regardless of how similar their skin tone, color, or texture.
At West Dermatology, we are experts in skin care and are proud to offer a variety of skin care treatments customized for each patient’s needs. Because of the uniqueness of everyone’s skin, there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and social media about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to keeping the skin clear and healthy.
In fact, the following are eleven common skin care myths that you might want to keep in mind when you read the latest articles about skin health.
Top Skin Care Myths
Myth 1: Natural Ingredients Are Always Better
Yes, it’s a skin care myth that natural products are always more effective on the skin. A prime example is lemon juice, which can irritate or even damage your skin if you apply it directly (this is true of most citrus juices). In addition, it is common for lemon juice to turn the skin brown where it is applied in an area exposed to the sun.
However, a skin care product with citrus juice that has been properly processed for safety and effectiveness can actually help improve the appearance of your skin. Expertly formulated cleansers and moisturizers with certain properties derived from citrus juices can be highly beneficial to the health and appearance of your face and body compared to all-natural grapefruit juice, for example.
Myth 2: Department Store Skin Care Products Deliver Top-of-the-Line Results
Expensive dermatologic products found in department stores do not always work best. A fancy boutique moisturizer or serum may have similar, if not identical, ingredients as their drugstore counterparts. Even expensive products that claim to be concentrated (and, thus, deliver longer-lasting effects) may not last long enough to justify the extra expense. Most store-bought skin care products provide kick-backs to the store as well as the person behind the counter selling them and have an advertising and marketing budget 10 times larger than their scientific budget.
Medical grade skin care products may be more effective in treating certain skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea. At West Dermatology, your neighborhood dermatology specialist can help you determine which ingredients are best suited for your skin care goals and can recommend the best products and treatment options for your budget. When it comes to dermatologic health, it’s not the brand or price point that matters, it’s the ingredients.
Myth 3: Hypoallergenic Always Works for Sensitive Skin
“Hypoallergenic” has become so distorted in meaning that many people believe the claims that hypoallergenic products will not irritate sensitive skin. The problem is that since there are no federal regulations defining the term, a company can sell anything under the guise that its product is hypoallergenic because it is not required to substantiate those claims with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Accordingly, hundreds of products claiming to be good for sensitive skin contain problematic substances (e.g., menthol, camphor, or cinnamon) that can trigger allergic breakouts or adverse skin reactions. If a rash or allergic reaction occurs, contact your local West Dermatology clinic for a professional evaluation and treatment.
Myth 4: Anti-Aging or Wrinkle Creams Actually Eliminate Wrinkles
While many wrinkle creams may cause temporary improvement and seem to give your skin more volume, most creams simply hydrate the skin. To get the results that patients want, a topical retinoid, growth factor or antioxidant cream is a better option. A retinol penetrates deep into the skin and helps improve acne scars, wrinkles, and sun damage on a cellular level while growth factors stimulate collagen production and antioxidants repair sun damage changes in the skin.
Learn more about anti-aging skin care at WebMD.com.
Myth 5: Topical Collagen or Elastin Products Improve Skin Quality
Many products claim to be engineered with collagen and elastin in order for the cream or lotion to go deep into the layers of tissue and fuse with collagen and elastin already in the skin.
However, the way the products are formulated does not shrink the collagen or elastin particles enough to bind with the body’s natural collagen or elastin fibers. The result is ineffective and inconsistent skin care. These products usually only provide temporary hydration of the skin.
Myth 6: Baking Soda Exfoliates and Detoxifies
Although a recent phenomenon in at-home facial cleansers and exfoliating scrubs, using baking soda as an exfoliator or detoxifier is simply not a good idea. Baking soda is too harsh on the skin and its pH level can also reduce your skin’s ability to fight infections.
Myth 7: UVB-Ray-Filtering Indoor Tanning Is Safe
Many indoor tanning companies claim that tanning beds filter out the harmful UVB rays that cause sunburns and lead to premature wrinkling or skin cancer. While that may be true, the skin is still exposed to the UVA rays that tanning beds produce, which also cause damage to the skin. In fact, UVA rays penetrate the skin even more deeply and increase the risk of accelerating the aging process, increase the production of dark age spots and developing skin cancer especially the deadly form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma. or precancerous conditions, such as actinic keratosis.
Myth 8: High SPF Guarantees Protection
Although a high number does indicate a higher level of protection, it only takes the more dangerous UVB rays into account. Therefore, sunscreen with broad-spectrum support (i.e., protection from both UVB and UVA rays) is more important than simply a high SPF. In addition, more advanced sunscreen that we recommend contain antioxidants and blockers of infrared radiation to increase their effectiveness.
In addition to wearing broad-spectrum SPF every day, it is important to examine your skin on a regular basis and pay attention to any changes in pigmentation, textures, or moles. If you or a loved one notice any sign of skin cancer, it is crucial see a skin cancer specialist at West Dermatology for a thorough evaluation. When identified and treated early, skin cancer is highly treatable.
Myth 9: Cloudy Days Mean Sunscreen Is Unnecessary
Clouds may block the sun’s visible rays but not its invisible UVA and UVB rays. Clouds don’t even block half of this radiation – at least 80% of the ultraviolet rays of the sun still come through! So wear sunscreen (with broad-spectrum protection) on a cloudy day if you’re going to spend significant time outdoors, driving in your car, or sitting by the window at work.
Myth 10: Scrub Your Way to Healthy Skin
Although washing your face twice a day should be a part of any regular skin care routine, it should be done gently and with gentle cleansers. Scrubbing the skin, especially with a rough cloth or harsh soap, will rub off many protective oils, which can cause skin irritation. Use a gentle cleanser twice a day followed by moisturizer and, if going out, a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Myth 11: Facial Exercises Are Effective Wrinkle Protection
Dynamic wrinkles are lines and creases that are formed by repetitive facial movements. For example, a laugh line is so-called because it forms from the repeated movements that your face makes when you laugh.
So, if muscle contractions from facial expressions can lead to wrinkles, the same can be expected of muscle contractions during facial exercises.
To Find Out More Truths, Contact West Dermatology
If you’ve seen a lot of conflicting information about dermatology and skin care, we can help separate fact from fiction. Contact West Dermatology today to schedule a personal consultation or skin cancer exam to maintain healthy skin at any age. Contact us online or call (702) 933-0225.
Next, read Simple Ways to Reduce Your Skin Cancer Risk