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.
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 (
drfredricbrandt.com), 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 (burtsbees.ca), 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.
Skin care myth #6: You don’t really need a night cream.
True, but… it’s a really good idea. Your body repairs itself during sleep, and because the growth hormone is released during these periods, it’s the ideal time to stimulate collagen production, says Dr. Brandt, who recommends a reparative moisturizer to stimulate collagen production. Look for ingredients such as retinol and peptides. “It’s also great to layer an anti-aging serum with your moisturizer.”
Skin care myth #7: You can shrink the size of your pores.
Yes and no. Pore treatment creams will help cut down on oil production for those with oily skin, but work equally well to treat enlarged pores in those with dry skin, as they won’t cause excessive dryness, says Dr. Brandt. Look for products that contain salicylic acid and retinol to prevent oil production to minimize pore size. In-office procedures such as Botox and laser treatments can decrease their size—laser treatments work by “stimulating collagen production to decrease the size of pores or some lasers use heat to decrease pore size.”
Skin care myth #8: Natural skincare products are just as effective as their chemical counterparts.
True. “Natural products have been tested and clinically proven to be effective for the same things as synthetic products…anti-aging, reduction of lines & wrinkles and moisturization, says Lutrario. In the last five years, technology has advanced and there are more resources available to develop natural products. “The aesthetics and performance of the products are very similar to synthetic products.” In terms of performance, Lutrario says ingredients in natural products “provide optimum nutrition to the skin.”
Skin care myth #9: Moisturizing the lips is absolutely essential to healthy skin.
Yes, says Lutrario. “Lip skin is much different than the rest of the skin on your body.” It’s much thinner than facial skin with 3-5 layers (as opposed to 16 layers in our face), does not have sebaceous glands, has weak barrier function and does not have a protective lipid layer “which keeps the skin smooth and inhibits pathogens.” Luthrario suggests moisturizing lips before bed is beneficial since we sleep an average of hour hours and that “could be optimal time for your lips to remoisturize themselves while you are at rest.”
Skin care myth #10: Post-facial, keep your face product free for 24 hours.
Busted! “It’s a myth,” says Dr. Brandt. “You can wear a little light moisturizer on your skin after a facial, especially if you have dry skin.” More importantly, don’t try and weasel out of wearing sunscreen after that blissful session. “It’s very important to still wear that after a facial.”
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