10 Common Skincare Myths, Explained

Dermatologists are often the life of any party. I know, I know—not what you’d expect. But if you’ve ever attended a party with one, you’ve seen it for yourself. As soon as someone finds out what they do for work, the skincare questions start flying: What do you think of retinol? Which SPF is best? Does this mole look questionable to you?

It seems that everyone has a question about their skin—and everyone believes at least one common skincare myth. According to dermatologist Anne Gürtler of Munich’s Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Allergology at the Ludwig Maximilians University, many of those questions and myths have simple explanations and answers. Here, she breaks down ten of the most common skincare myths she hears at work, parties, and everywhere else. Now, you’ll have something else to talk about at your next soiree.

1. Does skin get “used to” daily moisturizer?

“No, the skin does not stop producing its own fat just because cream is applied on the outside,” explains Gürtler. “However, if very dry skin is sufficiently cared for after consistent use of a cream, the need for the required amount of cream can subjectively decrease and thus suggest a habituation effect.” In other words, you can heal super dehydrated skin with moisturizer, but healthy skin won’t stop producing its own oils. So, go ahead, moisturize without fear.

2. Does retinol make skin thinner?

“No,” says Gürtler, noting that is one of the most common of all skincare myths. “Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is used in many skin care products because it can stimulate collagen production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The idea that retinol makes the skin ‘thinner’ is based on the fact that it exfoliates the upper stratum corneum and accelerates cell renewal. This may cause the skin to temporarily appear thinner, especially if it is irritated or dry when you first start using retinol. However, studies have shown that skin actually becomes thicker after using retinol.”

3. Is showering everyday bad for your skin?

“No, as long as you don’t stay in too long and the water is not too hot,” says Gürtler, who recommends showering for no longer than five minutes sticking to water that is about the same temperature as your own body. She recommends showering and then immediately applying a moisturizing body lotion and skin creams. “People with very dry skin and neurodermatitis should not use classic soaps when showering, but rather so-called syndets or shower oils in order not to cause additional damage to the skin barrier,” she says.

4. Can lips get sunburned?

“Yes, and it can be very pronounced, because the uppermost layer (stratum corneum) is very thin and—compared to the rest of the skin—there is less pigment (melanin) for protection,” explains Gürtler. In addition, she says that the shape of the lips can make them extra susceptible to sunburn: “The lower lip is exposed to direct sunlight from above, so it is important to protect your lips from the sun—especially during outdoor activities and in intense sunlight.”

5. Are lip balms addictive?

“No,” says Gürtler. “Lip balms contain moisturizing ingredients that soothe dry or chapped lips, so regular use can become a habit, but not an addiction.” She does say, however, that it’s best to avoid flavored versions as they can lead to “frequent, unconscious” lip-licking. “The saliva that reaches the lips can, thanks to its enzymes that help to break down food, attack the surface of the lips over time, and create a desire for even more care. This can create a vicious circle that leads to a feeling of dependency.”

6. Can applying sunscreen cause vitamin D deficiency?

While Gürtler says that applying sunscreen does impair the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D through sunlight, it’s a non-issue. “Many adults have a vitamin D deficiency that is not caused by using sunscreen on the face , but by spending most of their time indoors. Since sunscreen is undisputedly recommended from a dermatological point of view, the following applies: if you have a vitamin D deficiency, take a supplement and stick to protecting the skin with SPF.”

7. Does chocolate cause pimples?

“Yes, according to current clinical studies, chocolate can contribute to acne,” says Gürtler. However she notes this caveat: “The data is controversial and further large intervention studies are needed to conclusively answer this question. As with other foods, the following applies to chocolate: if it subjectively leads to a worsening of the skin’s appearance, consumption should be minimized. If this is not the case, there is nothing wrong with moderate enjoyment.”

8. Does Botox make you look overdone?

That depends, says Gürtler: “The goal of treatment with botulinum toxin is to smooth fine lines and wrinkles by specifically and temporarily relaxing the muscles,” she explains. “If the treatment is carried out by an experienced and qualified doctor, it is a very safe treatment and the result should look natural. An ‘overdone’ appearance is usually caused by unnaturally large amounts of hyaluronic acid fillers.”

9. Does toothpaste treat pimples?

“No,” says Gürtler. “The paste can have a drying effect and the zinc contained in some toothpastes can be anti-inflammatory, but other ingredients such as fluorine or menthol can further irritate the inflamed skin and even worsen the complexion. It is better to consult a dermatologist to have the appropriate treatment prescribed.”

10. Does drinking lots of water fight wrinkles?

“An extreme lack of fluid in the body can increase the appearance of skin wrinkles,” says Gürtler, “but the influence on wrinkle formation is low in countries with sufficient water supply.” To that end, she recommends drinking two liters of water for optimal body and skin health. “In more recent studies, no further positive effect could be found from drinking a higher amount of water.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button