1. Lying in a tanning bed for 10 minutes adds up to the same amount of UV exposure as spending an entire day in the sun. FALSE. Still, don’t quit your spray-on tan. You can’t compare the two because tanning beds emit mostly UVA (long-wave) rays – which penetrate the skin deeper – whereas the sun emits a combination of UVA and UVB (short-wave) rays. Still, the beds emit UVA rays that are four to 20 times as strong as the sun, says Dr. Jason Rivers, a dermatologist and clinical professor at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Because tanning beds are linked to an increased risk of skin cancer, you’re better off sticking with the kind of tan that rubs on.
2. You can get rid of cellulite permanently. FALSE. Because we don’t know what causes cellulite, the most we can hope for is temporary improvement in its appearance, says Dr. Mariusz Sapijaszko, a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon at the Western Canada Dermatology Institute in Edmonton. Apply prescription creams that contain tretinoin (a vitamin A derivative) on an ongoing basis, he says. While a type of surgery called “subcision” shows promise, the side effects, which include bruising and scarring, render it a last resort. Find out how to prevent cellulite here.
3. Certain products and techniques can change the size of your pores. FALSE. We’re born with a certain pore size, and there’s not much that will change it, says Vignjevic. Other than slightly minimizing their appearances, pore-minimizing creams don’t do much, he adds. Your only hope is laser therapy techniques, such as intense pulsed light. These may make your pores appear smaller by stimulating collagen production, which tightens and smooths the skin.
4. Drinking water keeps your skin from drying out. FALSE. Drinking water helps keep our internal organs functioning and is essential for life. But, says Vignjevic, all those bottles of Evian have little effect on the dryness of your skin – or your “glow,” despite what celebs like to claim. “The topical application of creams is more important,” he adds. His favourite? La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing Protective Skincare ($25.50).
5. You don’t need a toner. TRUE. Toners gently exfoliate the skin, but they’re not a necessity, says Vignjevic. One exception; people with blackheads. The alpha-hydroxy acids in some toners help lift and remove dead skin cells, which can block pores.
6. Cucumber slices, cool wet tea bags and Preparation H reduce under-eye bags. FALSE. These tricks don’t do a thing, says Dr. Peter Vignjevic, a dermatologist in Hamilton, Ont. “No one really knows what causes puffiness, but it’s most likely an accumulation of excess fat,” he says. “Unfortunately, surgical removal of the excess skin and fat [blepharoplasty] is the only thing that really works.” He adds that tropical products, like Biotherm Hydra-Detox Moisturizing Detox Gel for Undereye Bags and Dark Circles ($39.50), can offer a slight improvement.
7. If you have oily skin, you don’t need to moisturize. TRUE. You only need moisturizer if your skin feels tight and dry after washing, says Vignjevic. There is one exception, though: if you have combination skin, you need a non-comedogenic face cream, like Neutrogena Moisture for Combination Skin ($17), which won’t cause breakouts.
We solve 13 beauty myths!
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