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50 Skin Care Myths

Woman Getting Facial

#1 – Hot Water is Good for Your Skin – False

Washing or showering in hot water actually removes oils and natural moisturizers from your skin. This can leave skin dry and itchy. Your face is particularly sensitive to hot water, so even if you enjoy a hot shower on your body, make sure to only use warm water when washing your face.

#2 – Only Teenagers Get Acne – False

Acne occurs at all ages. While puberty often triggers acne in teens, there are many types of acne that can occur later in life, and the same conditions that exist in teen skin can continue well into adulthood.

#3 – Cucumbers Eliminate Bags Under Your Eyes – Kind of True

Many people use cool cucumbers to reduce puffiness under their eyes. While there are some benefits from the moisture, generally speaking any cool compress will have the same effect.

#4 – Face Exercises Will Reduce Wrinkles – False

The thought here is that using the muscles in the face more will strengthen, or tighten the face’s appearance. This is not correct. The wrinkles you already have are for the most part permanent. Any repetitive stretching of the skin is likely to create new wrinkles.

Carrot Juice with Fresh Carrots on Table

#5 – Eating Carrots Can Make Your Skin Turn Orange – True

Any foods high in beta-carotene can cause you skin to turn an orangish color. It would take eating about a dozen carrots a day for several weeks though, so it’s fairly rare.

#6 – Pores Open and Close – False

While certain conditions, steam for example, can loosen pores, they do not open and close.

#7 – Tanned Skin is Healthy – False

Skin tans in order to protect itself from the sun. Tanned skin simply means your skin has been damaged.

#8 – Warts are Not Contagious – False

The virus that causes many warts can be shed from the wart and transfer to someone else via a cut or opening on the body. Touching a wart or coming into contact with objects material has been transferred to can cause a wart.

#9 – Chocolate Causes Acne – False

This is not true, though too much sugar in your diet is not good for your skin and can perpetuate conditions such as acne.

#10 – Lips Do Not Sunburn – False

Just like skin, lips can be damaged by UV rays. Always use a lip balm, or product that offers SPF protection.

Man Using Indoor Tanning Bed

#11 – Indoor Tanning is Safer Than Being in the Sun – False

Just like outdoor tanning, indoor tanning beds expose your skin to UV rays. The UVA rays in most tanning beds is actually more intense than the sun.

#12 – Waterproof Sunscreen Lasts All Day – False

Waterproof Sunscreen is not that different than the regular stuff. If you’re going to be outside for several hours, you should plan on reapplying sunscreen, regardless of type, every 2-3 hours.

#13 – A Tight String Around a Growth Will Make it Fall Off – Mostly False

Yes, it might work for some growths, but it’s not a good idea. This “technique” can lead to blood loss, scars and infections. Plus this do-it-yourself method could cause you to miss something as serious as a cancer diagnosis.

#14 – Preparation H Cures Puffy Eyes – Kind of True

Phenylephrine, an ingredient in Preparation H, constricts blood vessels. Under the eyes, this means the fluid that creates the puffy appearance is reduced. So while it does work, it can also seriously irritate sensitive skin. It can also clog pores and create blemishes later on. Plus, Preparation H is not designed for use on the face, so it’s not safe to have near your eyes.

#15 – Acne is Genetic – True

There are many ongoing studies to determine the impact of genetics on acne, but there does appear to be a connection. Inherited genes could mean you are likely to develop acne. There is not a single gene that determines this, but it is widely accepted that people with clogged pores and oily skin often pass these conditions on.

Toothpaste Oozing from Open Tube

#16 – Toothpaste Will Kill a Zit – Mostly False

It might work, toothpaste does contain some of the same ingredients you’ll see in over-the-counter acne products., but, it also contains other ingredients that aren’t great for your skin. Some may actually cause unsightly inflammation and dryness. It may not be “dangerous” to use toothpaste on a zit, but it is not advisable.

#17 – A Base Tan Will Prevent A Sunburn – False

Any amount of tanning is actually damaging to your skin. More exposure to UV rays just means a higher risk of sun damage and skin cancer. Also, there is no evidence to prove a base tan does anything to help you avoid a sunburn.

#18 – “Dermatologist Tested” Makes a Product Trustworthy – False

“Dermatologist Tested” is not an official certification, it’s just a marketing slogan. Legally, this should mean that at least one dermatologist did test the product, it doesn’t mean the FDA, the American Academy of Dermatology, or any other organization endorses the product. Be wary of this claim if you can’t identify the source of the endorsement.

#19 – SPF Protection is All the Same – False

Many products (not just sunscreen) have SPF protection. However, not all products protect for both UVA and UVB rays. Many make-up products for example, offer only protect for UVA. If you’re going to be in the sun, make sure any exposed area is protected from both types of damaging rays.

#20 – Antioxidants Reverse Wrinkles – False

Antioxidants are an excellent tool for fighting the effects of aging. While they do help prevent skin damage and combat inflammation, they do not actually remove wrinkles or reverse the signs of aging.

#21 – Makeup Makes You Age Faster – Mostly False

It really depends on the products you’re using. Some makeup is actually good for your skin. If you wear makeup as recommended, clean it off nightly, and follow a healthy skin care regimen, makeup won’t damage your skin, or make you age faster.

#22 – Skin Tags Should be Removed – False

While they may be optionally removed, there is no medical reason to do so. If skin tags are uncomfortable, unsightly or causing functional problems you can consider removal.

#23 – The Sun Can Treat Acne – Mostly False

In some cases the sun can reduce inflammation on skin, including acne breakouts. Sunlight suppresses the immune system, and the immune cells in acne. This short-term fix has many consequences and side effects, including increased risk of skin cancer.

#24 – Eating Junk Food Causes Zits – Kind of True

If you cut out all of the junk food in your diet, it’s not likely that your acne would go away. A number of factors contribute to your skin’s condition, and any one thing isn’t likely to be a cure. Sugary food and carbohydrates can contribute to inflammation in the body, which helps fuel acne. Where as fruits and vegetables often contain antioxidants that are beneficial to the skin. If you have acne, improving your diet may help.

#25 – People With Oily Skin Don’t Need to Moisturize – False

This is not true. Moisturizer still has many benefits for people with oily skin. If you don’t moisturize, your skill will dry out, the skin’s natural response is to create more oil. People with oily skin should look for a non-comedogenic moisturizer, which is a product that will not clog pores. Avoid products with cocoa butter and mineral oil.

#26 – It is Good for Skin to Feel Tight – False

Many people think “tight” means no wrinkles. Generally tight skin means the oily protective layer of the skin is too dry.

#27 – You Only Need to Wear Sunscreen on Sunny Days – False

As much as 80% of the sun’s UV rays are able to go through clouds. It is important to wear sunscreen whenever you plan on being outside for an extended amount of time.

Man Applying Moisturizer

#28 – Men Don’t Need to Moisturize – False

Skin is skin, and moisturizer is just as beneficial to men as women. Moisturizer helps prevent skin from getting too dry, which can lead to clogged pores and oily skin.

#29 – You Can Sweat Out Toxins – False

You can’t really sweat out toxins. The body has other mechanisms for detoxifying, including the kidneys and liver. Sweat overwhelmingly consists of water, and its purpose is to help regulate body temperature.

#30 – You Shouldn’t Exfoliate Sensitive Skin – Mostly False

Exfoliating clears clogged pores and helps the skin absorb moisture, which is great for sensitive skin. It is important to use a less abrasive product and a gentle technique so the skin doesn’t get irritated or inflamed.

#31 – It’s Okay to Pop Pimples – Mostly False

While there are some fairly safe at-home techniques to get rid of whiteheads, generally it’s best to not pop pimples. Popping pimples damages the skin and can often leave behind a scar. Sometimes popping a pimple forces debris deeper into pores and into hair follicles, which can cause other skin problems.

#32 – There’s No Need to Wear Sunscreen Indoors – False

UV rays are all around us, even indoors. That’s especially true if your in a room with lots of windows, or if the windows offer no UV protection. Many experts suggest wearing sunscreen indoors also.

Woman Holding Moisturizer Tub

#33 – Moisturizer Removes Wrinkles – False

Moisturizer doesn’t remove wrinkles, but it does help prevent future ones. As you get older, your body isn’t a naturally moist, so existing wrinkles may seem less pronounced if you moisturizer regularly.

#34 – It’s Normal for Moles to Grow in Size – Mostly False

Sometimes moles grow and there is no harm, but a mole that is getting larger, or new moles could be a sign of skin cancer. You should have all moles checked by a dermatologist.

#35 – Giving a Cut or Wound Air will Make it Heal Faster – False

Uncovered cuts and wounds dry out, which is bad for the healing process, and the skin. A bandage keeps moisture in and allows skin cells and blood vessels to heal faster.

#36 – Frogs Cause Warts – False

Warts are caused by virus in the human body. They can be spread when people make contact, or when warts have spread debris to other surfaces, but frogs are not a source of warts.

#37 – If Your Skin is Dark, You Need Less Sunscreen – False

This is incorrect. The sun’s UV rays interact with skin in essentially the same way. Dark skin may not sunburn as easily, but it is still at risk for skin cancer.

#38 – Stress Causes Acne – Kind of True

While it’s not the only reason, and certainly not the main reason, stress does create a hormonal imbalance that can cause breakouts.

Man Shaving with Disposable Razor

#39 – You Should Shave Against the Grain – False

Always shave in the direction the hair grows. Going against the grain pulls hair away from the skin before it can be cut by the blade. This results in a shave that isn’t as close, and you risk ingrown hairs and added skin irritation.

#40 – Men Don’t Need Body Lotion  – False

Men can benefit from body lotion just as much as women. Adding moisture keeps the skin healthy and youthful. While men may have more oil in their skin than women, it is not significant enough to skip body lotion.

#41 – Butter Heals Burns – False

Butter may make things worse. The best thing for a burn is for the skin to be cooled, while remaining moist. Any greasy substance, like butter, may lock in the heat and cause more skin damage. Cool (not cold) water is a better choice.

#42 – Wearing a Hat Causes Hair Loss – False

Hair loss is largely genetic. Wearing a hat will not cause hair loss.

#43 – Too Much Makeup Causes Acne  – False

Makeup doesn’t cause acne, however not properly washing after wearing makeup, and using makeup products that have been contaminated with bacteria can cause skin problems, including acne breakouts.

#44 – Shaving Makes Hair Grow Back Faster – False

This is not true. Shaving does not impact the hair follicle or body conditions that make hair grow. While the direction you shave or the quality of your blade may make you think hair is growing faster, it is not.

#45 – You Get Wrinkles Because of Genetics – Kind of True

While genetics can impact your skin in general, wrinkles are more an effect of your lifestyle. Proper skin care can greatly reduce the risk of wrinkles.

Skin Peeling from Damaging Sunburn

#46 – Only the Sun Causes Skin Cancer – False

The sun is most often responsible for skin cancer, but any source of UV rays can also cause the disease. There are also genetic factors and other medical causes for skin cancer.

#47 – Swimming in Chlorine Improves Acne – False

Chlorine can dry out pimples, and in the short-term make it seem as though swimming in chlorine improves acne. Long-term though, the chemicals in swimming pools can irritate skin and cause more breakouts and irritation that could cause additional problems.

#48 – No One is Born with Freckles – True

Genetically predisposed children develop freckles after being exposed to the sun’s UV rays. No one has freckles when they are born.

#49 – Face Masks Can Shrink Pores – False

While a mask might remove debris that makes a pore more noticeable, it doesn’t change the size. 

#50 – Botox is Permanent – False

Botox injections block signals from nerves, relaxing muscles and making the skin appear less wrinkled. This state usually lasts 3-6 months.

We can help you distinguish skin care fact from fiction. Call 503-227-7117 to schedule a consultation with our Certified Advanced Esthetician, Helen Carey. 

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