10 Skin Care Myths

HealthGal Health Guide
  • 1. Doing facial exercises will tone my facial muscles, and make me look younger.
    Doing facial exercises can actually stretch skin and cause more lines and wrinkles. Whether you realize it or not, the face is the one area of the body where muscles connect directly to the skin - there are no ligaments or other tissue padding in between. Your constant smile over time creates "laugh lines" (with the help of gravity) and so, similarly, any repetitive facial exercises can do the same. Daily facial maneuvers and manipulations can cause lines, furrows and sagging.


    2. Getting tan helps to clear up my acne

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    There is a theory that UV light can decrease skin's bacteria but getting direct rays from the sun is not the safe way to do it. You can of course create tanned skin which may camouflage your acne but at the risk (strong risk) of encouraging skin cancer. Talk to a dermatologist about the safer options to treat your acne effectively. Getting a tan is not a viable approach.


    3. Scrubbing my face twice a day with soap and water will keep my skin acne-free
    You do want to get the day's grime and makeup of your face but you do not want to ruthlessly scrub your face clean. Gentle massage with either a cleanser that has small exfoliating beads or using a soft washcloth to remove the surface debris is the best way to clean your face. If you wear mascara, remove gently with a product specifically formulated to remove mascara. You can also use an alpha-hydroxy acid lotion to help remove surface dead cells and to stimulate cell turnover.


    4. Wrinkle creams can erase wrinkles
    Those ads make all kinds of promises but in most cases the temporary plumping results are due to the humectants and moisturizing ingredients that can hydrate skin, making lines less visible. To change the texture of skin dramatically or to erase wrinkles significantly, you would need to invest in laser or surgical options. Fillers like Restylane can fill lines, but you do need to have the process redone a couple to several times a year. Botox can prevent wrinkles and also create more of a seamless look by paralyzing certain facial muscles. Botox can last 3-6 months.  current skin care research is looking at ways to encapsulate active ingredients like hylaronic acid into nano particles so that they penetrate deeper into the skin.  The best topical options are Vitamin A creams that can help to increase cell turnover and promote collagen formation.


    5. If you squeeze the pus out of a pimple early on, it will clear quickly
    If you think you got all the pus out, think again. In most cases you've actually pushed the pus and debris deeper down into your skin. That can lead to more inflammation which can spread and ultimately create scars when it does heal. You can buy a comedone extractor. It allows you to apply firm pressure to the area and then roll it across the pimple to express the pus.


    6. Shaving your legs makes the hair grow back faster
    This is one myth that all doctors want to bust- testing has shown over and over again that shaving does not make hair grow thicker or faster. Hair growth is mostly stimulated by age-related genetic factors, hormonal influences and the environment. Go ahead and shave, wax, use a depilatory without fear that you will change the nature of your hair growth pattern. If you have excessive unwanted hair, laser removal is now a good option.


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    7. Vitamin E ointment can heal wounds and prevent scars
    Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant and it may help the body to utilize oxygen and it may play a role in protecting cells from damage. It has never been shown to help with scarring. In fact, people who use it daily to often develop an allergy to the vitamin E ointment. You can eat foods high in vitamin E like nuts, green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals. You can also massage a new scar gently to increase circulation to the area which will help healing. A newer approach is to apply silicone elastomer gel to freshly healed wounds to prevent scarring.


    8. Junk food causes acne
    Eating a lot of junk food isn't good for your health or your waistline but it has not been clearly implicated as a cause of acne. Stress, high levels of testosterone (using anabolic steroids), other hormonal changes, using facial products that clog pores, and family history of acne can all increase your risk of developing acne.


    9. We all need to get more sun exposure because doctors say we all need more vitamin D
    Yes, many of us are not getting enough vitamin D, but tanning in the sun is not a safe way to increase your vitamin D stores. There are a variety of supplements which contain calcium and vitamin D3. Consider getting a vitamin D level so you establish a baseline and then supplement with an appropriate daily dose.


    10. Some new skin care products can now eliminate cellulite
    You can certainly moisturize the areas, massage them, wear support hose and even spend money doing mechanical manipulation and suctioning, but in most cases cellulite is resistant and both thin women and overweight women can have cellulite. The fibrous bands positioned between fat cells create this dimpling effect. Recent products use active ingredients like coffee (caffeine) and antioxidants like acai that claim to reduce cellulite but in most cases it will be tenacious. Self tanners can safely darken your skin and make cellulite a bit less obvious. Mechanical manipulation and vacuuming can somewhat reduce the appearance of cellulite in some women, but you have to maintain the regimen which can cost quite a bit.




Published On: February 23, 2010