This week we’ll bust some of my favorite skin care myths!
If you have dry skin, drink more water!
We see this tip all the time and wouldn’t we wish it were as easy as that. In reality, have you ever met someone who said that their dry skin went away from drinking lots of water? It simply doesn't happen. The truth is dry skin isn't about water consumption. What dry skin needs is lots of TLC with the right skin care regimen and products to restore the disrupted barrier function of the skin. Causes for dry skin can range from changes in climate and sun exposure to the use of soaps, harsh cleansing ingredients, abrasive scrubs, overuse of brushing systems or exposure to too hot water. So what do you do?
Rethink the regimen and products you use.
Use gentle cleansers.
Wear sunscreen year round.
Use state-of-the art moisturizers containing oils, anti-oxidants, and hydroxy acids; exfoliate regularly with a mild product.
Hot Showers Are Good For Your Skin
They may be relaxing but also very drying to your skin, leaving it dry and itchy. When it's cold outside many people love to relax with steamy, hot showers or long baths. Hot showers deplete your skin of needed moisture and oils. As annoying as it sounds taking shorter showers with lukewarm water is the best way to keep moisture in your skin during the winter. Use a gentle, moisturizing body wash and stay away from bar soap which is too drying. After you finish your shower, gently dry off your body and immediately apply moisturizer or oil. Don’t forget to exfoliate once or twice a week for softer feeling skin that can absorb the moisturizer better. For an added boost of skin loving moisture during the winter be sure to use a humidifier at home.
My skin is already sun damaged, now it's too late to start using sunscreen.
It's never too late to start protecting skin from the sun. The cumulative effect of the sun is what's damaging, so by avoiding it, you could halt some of its progress. Furthermore, there is clinical evidence that once you start protecting the skin, it has the ability to repair itself. This repair is not going to happen overnight; it's a gradual process that can take a couple years to yield significant results.
You'll eventually outgrow acne.
Unfortunately, this is not always true. In fact, women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s can have acne just like teenagers. Not everyone who has acne as a teenager will grow out of it, and even if you had clear skin as a teenager, there's no guarantee that you won't get acne later in life, perhaps during menopause. You can blame this often-maddening inconsistency on hormones! What is true is that men can outgrow acne, because after puberty men's hormone levels level out, while women's hormone levels fluctuate throughout their lifetime, which is why many women experience breakouts around their menstrual cycle.
Acne is caused primarily by hormonal fluctuations that affect the oil gland, creating an environment where acne-causing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) can flourish. Don't confuse scrubbing or "deep cleaning" with helping acne, because it absolutely doesn't. Over-cleansing your face triggers inflammation that actually makes acne worse. What really helps breakouts is using a gentle cleanser so you don't damage your skin's outer barrier or create inflammation (both of which hinder your skin's ability to heal and fight bacteria) and using gentle exfoliation. An effective exfoliating product that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid can make all the difference in reducing acne and the red marks it leaves behind.
Popping Pimples helps heal that pimple faster
Some people have long believed a myth that it is good for you to pop a pimple, and that getting the pus or bacteria out of your skin helps it heal faster. While it may feel good to you to get rid of the pus and tightness that you often feel when you have a pimple, it actually causes the area to become even more inflamed and bacteria often get in and infect the area. It can happen that the extra pressure which you apply on top, while trying to pop the zit, will actually rupture the follicle wall and spread infection into the tissue underneath. Please also don’t pick at healing acne lesions, you dramatically increase your chance of scarring which is very difficult to correct. Better choices are patience (ah, the dreaded word), good acne care with spot treatments and then let the skin heal itself.