Top 10 Skin Care Myths Revealed

by Heather Vanisko Patient Expert

Myth #1: Facial exercises make you 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. Any repetitive facial exercise can cause lines, furrows, and sagging.

Myth #2: Tanning clears acne

There's a theory that UV light can decrease skin's bacteria but direct rays from the sun is not a safe way to do it. Tanned skin may camouflage your acne but the risk of skin cancer is too high. Talk to a dermatologist about safer options to treat acne effectively. Getting a tan is not a viable approach.

Myth #3: Scrubbing the face clears acne

Gentle massage with either a cleanser that has small exfoliating beads or using a soft wash cloth to remove surface debris is the best way to clean your face. If you wear mascara, use a gentle remover. You can also use an alpha-hydroxy acid lotion to help remove surface dead cells and stimulate cell turnover.

Myth #4: Wrinkle creams can erase wrinkles

Creams leave temporary plumping results on your skin. The humectants and moisturizing ingedients in the cream can hydrate skin, making lines less visible. The best topical options are Vitamin A creams that can help increase cell turnover and promote collagen formation.

To change the texture of skin dramatically or to erase wrinkles signficantly, you need to invest in laser or surgical options.

Myth #5: Popping pimples will clear skin

Popping pimples actually pushes the pus and debris depper down into your skin. This can lead to more inflammation, which can spread and create lasting scars. A comedone extractor allows you to apply firm pressure to the area and then it across the pimple to express the pus.

Myth #6: Shaving your legs make your hair grow back 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 your natural hair growth pattern.

Myth #7: Vitamin E ointment prevents scars and heal wounds

Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant and may help the body utilize oxygen. It can also protect cell damage. Vitamin E has never been shown to help with scarring. People who use it daily often develop an allergy to vitamin E ointment. Eat foods high in vitamin E like nuts, leafy greens, and fortified cereals to get you daily dose.

Myth #8: Food causes pimples

Eating a lot of junk food isn't good for your health or your waistline but it doesn't directly cause acne. Stress, high levels of testosterone (using anabolic steroids), hormonal changes, using facial products that clog pores, and family history can all increase your risk for getting pimples.

Myth #9: Tanning helps you get more vitamin D

Many people aren't getting enough vitamin D. However, Tanning in direct sunlight isn't a safe way to increase your vitamin D stores. Take supplements that contain calcium and vitamin D3. Consider getting a vitamin D level test, so you establish a baseline. Then supplement with an appropriate daily dose.

Myth #10: Skin care products can eliminate cellulite

In most cases cellulite is resistant to moisturizing, massage, creams, etc. Both thin and overweight women have cellulite. Recent products use active ingredients like coffee and antioxidants like acai that claim to reduce cellulite. In most cases it will be tenacious. Self-tanners can safely darken your skin and make cellulite less obvious.

Heather Vanisko
Meet Our Writer
Heather Vanisko

Heather wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Healthy Skin.