The biggest skin care myths

Can you really shrink the size of your pores? Is toner really a necessary skin care step? Our industry experts weigh in on skin care myths.

Oct 11, 2010
Katherine Flemming
Skin care myths

Skin care myth #1: Sleeping on a particular side leads to more wrinkles on that side of your face.

It’s true, says Dr. Fredric Dr. Brandt (, cosmetic dermatologist. “When the skin is pressed into a wrinkly position it causes wrinkles in a similar way that muscle movement does,” he says. “Except you're doing it with pressure instead of movement.” Don’t fret just yet—Dr. Brandt says it occurs over a long period of time.

Skin care myth #2: The higher the SPF, the longer you are protected for.

Busted! Regardless of the number on your bottle, if you’re exposed to the sun for prolonger periods of time, “a higher SPF does not mean it will last longer,” says Dr. Brandt. Instead of focusing on the number, practice diligent application every single day “rain or shine—and avoid the sun whenever possible.”

Skin care myth #3: Toner is an essential step in your skincare routine.

The jury is out. Dr. Brandt sees a shift away from toners, “people are starting to move away from toners because cleansers are becoming much more sophisticated and cleanse and tone in one step.” However, Celeste Lutrario, Vice President of Research and Development at Burt’s Bees (, points out the benefits for “people who are prone to blackheads or blemishes since the cause of both are blocked pores.”

Skin care myth #4: Picking your skin leads to scarring every time.

Not every time can lead to scaring, says Dr. Brandt. However, “if you pick skin deep enough and damage the dermis it can definitely cause scaring but it depends on how far you pick,” says Dr. Brandt. “You can release bacteria that can then be seeded down to deeper layers of the skin causing an infection or inflammation that can lead to scarring.”

Skin care myth #5: Oily skin doesn’t need to be moisturized.

Busted! Even oily skin shouldn’t be starved of hydration, says Dr. Brandt. Those with oily skin should seek out an oil-free moisturizer to hydrate, but not clog pores or leave skin feeling greasy.

Bust more skin care myths here


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