Taking care of your skin is definitely important, and while there are countless products out there for skin-care, there are still plenty of myths that go around when it comes to this subject. Some of them might even end up doing more harm than good, so it’s important to see which ones are valid. Let’s start!
Myth #1: Treating pimples can be done with toothpaste
You’ve probably already seen the suggestion to use toothpaste in other ways than to clean your teeth. Some people claim that it’s a pretty good method to get rid of acne and to treat pimples, but how does toothpaste really stack up?
“There are no ingredients in toothpaste that make this method more effective than conventional treatments and over-drying and even burning can occur on skin from applying it to pimples,” dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto mentioned.
Myth #2: Cleansing your face with a powerful product is essential
It is most certainly important that dirt and oil are removed from your skin from time to time, as those can lead to a number of unappealing things such as rashes or clogged pores. However, it’s equally as important not to destroy your skin’s natural moisture and acidity.
“When you scrub your face, you’re taking off some of the protective oils and barriers, which tends to lead to rashes and even burns,” Dr. Sandy Johnson writes on WebMD.
In other words, a less powerful cleansing solution for your face is the way to go: stronger isn’t always better.
Myth #3: Popping a pimple does more harm than good
Even though many people will usually pop a pimple if it gets in the way, this myth is absolutely true. In the end, popping them will only end up making things worse.
Yes, you will be able to get rid of some of the pus, but most of it is punched deeper into your skin.
“When it goes in deeper, it causes more inflammation that can lead to scarring and spread under the skin. That’s why you’ll get another one a few days later close to the first one,” says Dr. Johnson.
However, if you really can’t resist popping a pimple, a comedone extractor is your best bet at removing it safely with minimal risk.
Myth #4: The higher the SPF value of sunscreen, the more you’re protected
In theory, sunscreen with a higher SPF value (sun protection factor) will indeed be able to protect against a higher percentage of UV rays, but the difference might be smaller than you think. The absolute minimum sunscreen you should use is SPF15, but doctors recommend a value of SPF30 as it is able to protect against 97 percent of all UV-rays. SPF50 takes it even further and handles 98 percent of all ultraviolet radiation, but the difference often isn’t worth the added price.
What isn’t true, however, is that you can use sunscreen with a higher SPF longer than one with a lower value. Both sunscreens will last for the same amount of time, the former just blocks more rays than the latter.
Myth #5: Tanning is a good method to prevent acne
This myth is mostly untrue. Spending too much time in the sun is never a good idea, and sunscreen protection is absolutely essential. Tanning will cause your skin to become significantly drier, which results in the body creating more oil. More body oil usually ends up in having more acne breakouts. However, a deeper tan will do a relatively good job of keeping unappealing spots hidden.
But concluding, don’t tan just to prevent or treat acne and pimples. And besides, too much sun or tanning can result in health problems far worse than a couple of pimples.
Myth #6: Skin treatments have to be determined on a person-by-person basis
It turns out that there is no single perfect treatment plan to take care of the skin. Just like fingerprints, everyone’s skin-care needs are unique. In other words, what works for one person may not work for the other and it’s definitely a good idea to mix up your beauty products to see which fits perfectly with your skin. Someone with a more oily skin, for example, will need other products and moistures than someone with dry skin.
“To really see positive results and make your skin its happiest, you need to give it exactly what it needs,” the experts at Ask The Scientists concluded.
Myth #7: Exfoliation by scrubbing prevents acne buildup
Too much exfoliation – whether’s it’s due to excessive scrubbing or by a strong cleanser (see myth #2) is rarely a good idea. While it may sound logical to attack your acne with an abrasive scrub, you’ll only deal with the problem on the surface of your skin instead of taking care of the root of the problem, which lies in the follicles underneath.
“Acne-causing bacteria lies deep in the follicles under your skin; scrubbing the surface will not make it go away. In fact, it will potentially aggravate the skin more,” esthetician Rhona Robb said to Bioelements.
It definitely can’t hurt to get rid of your dead skin cells and if you feel your skin getting oily – by all means, scrub a little bit, but doing it harshly or using strong products will irritate your skin even more. Less is more.
Myth #8: Using multiple products at the same time increases the effectiveness
If you’ve got something on your skin that needs to be taken care of, we can definitely understand the urge to use multiple products at the same time in the hope that it’ll work better or faster.
However, it’s best to stick to one product at a time. For starters, your skin needs time to adjust to one product – let alone multiple at the same time. Be patient and if one thing doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped, switch for another product but don’t start using multiple at the same time.
“What then happens is that they start trying different products, abandoning them very quickly if they do not see results in a day or two,” professor Barbara R. Reed wrote for WebMD. “They also add one product to another. Sometimes the products can cause irritation of the skin and add further insult to the owner.”
Myth #9: Expensive products work better
While this can definitely be true up to a certain degree, many dermatologists and specialists emphasize the fact that most mass market products contain the same ingredients as the pricier products, and are thus just as effective. A perfect example of exorbitant prices is anti-aging creme, according to assistant professor of medicine and dermatology Jenny Kim.
“Many mass market products are better than expensive ones. If you want to pay for the feel, smell, and package, that’s up to you.”
Myth #10: Using hot water opens up your pores and keeps them clean
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The idea of using hot water to open up your skin pores isn’t far-fetched, because after all, it’s basic physics. Warmth expands, and it’s true that your pores will open up, making it easier to remove blackheads, for example.
However, there is a large ‘but’. The hotness of the water can do more harm than good, resulting in dehydration or increased sensitivity.
“Hot water can dehydrate your skin, cause or trigger existing sensitivity, produce distended capillaries, and even cause your skin to overproduce oil as a defense mechanism,” esthetician Dawn Gantt said to Bioelements.
Next time you want to use hot water to cleanse your face, consider switching to lukewarm splashes instead.
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