Skin myths can be incredibly pervasive. They are spread around schools by teenagers obsessed with acne-prone skin. They float through workplaces, spread by adults concerned with aging. They get passed on by parents and grandparents who genuinely mean well.
I say it’s time to get tough on these myths! Let’s do a little exploring and find out what’s really behind these common misconceptions.
Facials, Microdermabrasion and Exfoliating Cleansers are Good for the Skin
Anyone who has ever had a facial or done microdermabrasion will tell you that it feels good and can be incredibly relaxing. When it comes down to it, that’s about all it does. Facials and microdermabrasion slough off dead skin cells, making your face feel baby smooth. Basically, you’re paying for something your skin does naturally.
Exfoliating cleansers are where we cross the line from useless to damaging. Cleansers containing beads or scrubs only end up scratching the skin’s surface. This constant wearing can cause the skin to become thinner and papery. Using regular cleansers in your skin care routine will keep your skin fresh, healthy and glowing.
Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Thicker
Shaving gives hair a blunt tip causing it to appear darker or thicker, but it’s not. As your hair continues to grow out, it will feel softer and look lighter in color.
Stretch Marks Are Only Caused By Weight Gain
While sudden weight gain is normally behind these nasty little scars, it isn’t the only culprit. There are some medications such as corticosteroid creams, lotions and pills that can cause stretch marks. Widespread stretch marks can also be a side effect of certain diseases like Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome. Nothing will ever truly erase stretch marks, but they will fade with the passage of time.
Anti-Aging Creams Can Erase Wrinkles
Unfortunately, wrinkles are just a part of life. As we age our skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic, causing wrinkles to appear. Anti-wrinkle creams hydrate and plump the skin, causing it to look better temporarily. The truth is nothing can prevent all wrinkles or erase them (well, short of magic or dying young.)
Sleeping With Makeup on is Harmless
I only wish this myth were true as it’s one of my biggest vices. By the time bedtime rolls around each night, the last thing I want to do is wash my face. I just want to crawl into my big comfy bed and sleep. Sadly, this is a big no-no. As we sleep, our skin renews itself. A layer of makeup can keep this process from happening properly, resulting in blackheads, acne and dullness.
Releasing the Pus From Pimples Clears Them Up Faster
When you pop a pimple, it’s possible to actually force the pus and debris deeper into your skin. If the follicle becomes infected, you can end up with some nasty scars. As hard as it is, it’s best to just leave your zits alone. If your acne is out of control, seek the advice of a good dermatologist.
Chocolate and Greasy Food Causes Acne
To put it plainly, there are no foods out there that cause acne. Acne is caused by a combination of three things:
- A buildup of dead skin cells within pores
- An excess of sebum
- A proliferation of acne causing bacteria
None of these factors are caused by food, so relax and enjoy that candy bar.
Toothpaste Gets Rid of Zits
While it may dry out a pimple or two, putting toothpaste on your skin can backfire. Common flavoring ingredients in toothpaste can actually cause sensitive skin to become red and peel. Skip the toothpaste and try a traditional acne treatment.
The Higher the SPF, the Better Protection it Offers
Not necessarily. SPF indicates the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns. However, it does not refer to UVA rays, which are closely linked to deeper skin damage. To make sure you’re getting the best protection, use a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
A Base Tan Will Help Protect Me From Sunburn
Hey guys, want to hear something scary? Any change in skin color is a sign of damage from ultraviolet radiation, even if it’s just a “base tan”. While a tan does raise the amount of the protective pigment melanin in the skin, the benefit does not outweigh the damage caused by tanning. The best thing to protect yourself from sunburn is sunscreen. Use it liberally and reapply every two hours.
Selina Torres is a freelance writer for Glisten, a fabulous new skin care company. When she’s not writing, she enjoys piña-coladas and getting caught in the rain.