Myth Busters: Debunking Common Skin Care Myths
Is toothpaste a great product for treating a nasty pimple? Will dousing the skin with hot water really open the pores? Licensed Medical Aesthetician Nicole Deaver debunks common skin care myths she hears from patients.
Myth #1: Toothpaste is great for treating acne spots.
Fact: While most toothpaste does contain drying ingredients like alcohol or menthol, it’s common for over-drying and irritation to occur when it is applied to the skin. Acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are more effective and safer alternatives.
Myth #2: “Natural” (chemical-free) products are always better.
Fact: The best product for each person will depend on their skin type and specific preferences. It’s always best to see a skin care professional for advice on including any new skin care product to your current skincare regimen.
Myth #3: When it comes to skin care, there’s no difference between day and night products.
Fact: You’re missing out if your skin care regimen features the same products during the day and night. The ideal regimen will feature products rich in skin protectant antioxidants and high SPF during the day to shield the skin from free radicals and UV exposure. During the night, implementing regenerative products like retinol, peptides, and vitamin C will help renew the skin and fight aging symptoms.
Myth #4: One can never wash their skin too much.
Fact: Washing your face is very important. However, it is possible to overdo it. Excessive cleansing can lead to dryness and irritation. Focus on cleansing twice daily (in the morning and night) with a high-quality cleanser that is free of color and fragrance additives.
Myth #5: The more aggressively you exfoliate, the better.
Fact: Exfoliation is great for the skin. However, it should never hurt to exfoliate. We encourage patients to err on the side of caution: gently exfoliate a maximum of 2-3 per week. Exfoliation should not be thought of as an instant solution, but rather a consistent and long-term part of your regimen.
Myth #7: Hot water opens the pores.
Fact: Exposure to water of any temperature can open the pores. In fact, your pores are not temperature sensitive whatsoever. Exposing the skin to overly hot water can cause swelling of the dermis (outer layer of the skin) which can make the pores appear more open. In actuality, they are not! Instead use warm water when cleansing the skin.
Myth #8: Using the same skin care ingredient over time can cause the skin to become immune to its benefits.
Fact: There is no proof that the prolonged use of an active ingredient leads to the skin becoming immune to its beneficial effects. You should continue using the product for as long as they provide an improvement. There’s no reason to discontinue use unless the circumstances of the issue you’re treating changes.
Myth #9: The burning feeling means the product is working.
Fact: Beauty is not pain. While a slight tingling sensation can be normal after applying some products, burning or stinging is not. In fact, a burning/stinging feeling may be a sign that you are allergic to the product’s ingredients. If you experience any burning after applying a product quickly remove it with a damp washcloth.
Myth #10: One application of a high SPF sunscreen is all you need.
Fact: Wearing a high SPF sunscreen is the best way to fend off dangerous UV rays. But reapplying the sunscreen throughout the day is necessary as even the highest SPF product fades over time. Factors like the weather, skin type, and activity level can influence how often one should reapply their sunscreen.
Myth #11: SPF containing makeup is an adequate way to protect the skin from UV exposure.
Fact: The SPF found in most makeup only protects the skin from ultra-violet A (UVA) rays. The only way to protect the skin from both UVA and UVB radiation is by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Additionally, one would have to reapply makeup periodically throughout the day to get the same sun protection as a single application of sunscreen.