Despite living in the information age, we still have a lot of misinformation going around!
1: Myth: Oily skin doesn't need to be moisturized.
False. Moisturizers keep water from evaporating from the skin. Balancing the oil and water ratio is essential to keeping oily skin from over producing oil.
2: Myth: Oily skin needs an oil-free moisturizer.
False. Not all oils are created equal, and not all oils clog pores. In some cases, adding the correct facial oil can actually balance oil production. The term "oil free" is mainly just a marketing tactic. "Oil free" is not the same as non comedogenic.
3: Myth: Freckles never go away.
Mostly false. Freckles can fade dramatically with the right peels, skin care, and religiously applied sunscreen, to the point where they're barely visible. The tendency for them to reappear, however, will never go away.
4: Myth: Getting a "base tan" will help keep you from burning on vacation.
False. Your tendency to burn in sun exposure (your Fitzpatrick level) does not change based on how much sun damage you currently have. There is no such thing as a safe tan- unless it came from a bottle or airbrush.
5: Myth: Shaving or waxing hair makes it grow back thicker.
False! Shaving body hair has no effect on its growth. Since the hairs are cut at a blunt angle instead of tapering off, the hair feels thicker, but it's not actually thicker. Waxing body hair actually decreases growth and thickness over time.
6: Myth: Applying collagen to the skin helps fight wrinkles.
False. The collagen molecule is too large to penetrate into the skin and simply sits on the surface. There are collagen peptides that tell the skin cells to produce more collagen, but collagen on its own is not effective.
7: Myth: You'll outgrow acne.
False. The tendency to develop acne is genetic. Hormonal acne can come and go based on puberty and monthly cycle, but if you're acne prone, you'll always be acne prone.
8: Myth: Popping a zit will help in heal faster.
Both true and false. If you're in your bathroom picking at dry skin, false. This will only spread bacteria and increase the risk of scarring. If you're getting a facial from an esthetician who has the right products, tools, and experience to know what to extract and what to leave alone, true.
9: Myth: Cold water and/or the right products will shrink your pores.
False. Pore size is genetic and they can't be shrunk. Keeping pores clean and using the right peels and products can make them appear smaller or less noticeable, but they don't actually get smaller. Pores can be permanently stretched larger from breakouts and trauma.
10: Myth: SPF 100 is more effective than SPF 30.
False. SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays and SPF 50 blocks 98%. Climbing up the SPF ladder over 50 only increases the protection by tenths of a percentage.
11: Myth: "Age" spots are caused by aging.
False. "Age" spots are actually sun damage, and sun damage doesn't care how old or young you are.
12: Myth: You don't need sunscreen in the winter or when it's cloudy.
False. The sun's rays don't care if it's winter or summer. UV rays bounce off of snow, making sunscreen just as important in the winter as in the summer while swimming. Clouds can scatter some UV rays, but sunscreen is still necessary on cloudy days.
13: Myth: If it's marked "hypoallergenic" it's safe for sensitive skin.
False. Hypoallergenic only means that it's free of common allergens, not that it's impossible to have a reaction. Always patch test new products on sensitive skin.
14: Myth: You need 15 minutes of sun exposure every day to get Vitamin D.
False. Vitamin D is also available in fortified dairy, soy, or almond milk and many leafy greens. It does not need to come from sun exposure.
15: Myth: Skin care products are only for the face.
False. All products used on the face should also be used on the neck and chest. The neck, eyes, and hands are where we show age the fastest. Don't end your skin care routine at your jawline! There are even specific products on the market for the neck and chest, since skin is slightly thicker and can handle more active ingredients.
16: Myth: My esthetician will tell me if I have skin cancer.
False. Estheticians are not doctors, and can't legally diagnose diseases. Many Estheticians can recognize cancer, and many diagnoses done by dermatologists are esthetician referrals, but we can't tell you whether you have cancer or not. If an esthetician ever tells you to get a spot checked by a dermatologist, get it checked by a dermatologist. It's our way of saying "this might be a problem." It might be fine, but for peace of mind, get it checked to be safe.
17: Myth: "Fragrance free" products are necessary for sensitive skin.
Both true and false. "Fragrance" is a catch all term that describes anything from synthetic chemicals to organic essential oils. Many synthetic fragrances do cause reactions, but many product lines (Aveda, for example) that contain essential oils are required to list "fragrance" on their ingredient list. Not all fragrances cause reactions, and not all reactions are from fragrances.
18: Myth: Anti aging products are only for aging skin.
False. Prevention is so much more effective than trying to fix damage that has already been done. It's never too early to start a regimen to slow the signs of aging skin.
19: Myth: Skin care and facials are only for women.
False on SO many levels. Skin has no gender. Men's skin care is a booming business. Men's facials are performed with the direction of beard growth in mind. There are specific treatments for ingrown hairs, acne, and "backne."
20: Myth: If a skin care product burns or tingles, that means it's working.
False. Some products cause tingling, especially on sensitive skin, but tingling does not mean it's working or not working. If a product burns, remove it and stop using it! A burning sensation is a sign of a chemical or allergic reaction, not efficacy.
Have you heard other skin myths you'd like busted? Post a comment!