Top 10 Myths About Skin Care
Skin is the largest organ of the body, and it's also the most visible. Because of it's so visible, skin has also become the target for a wide range of products, many of which promise healthier, clearer, more youthful skin.
Couple that with a mass amount of misconceptions and bad information out there, it can be hard to know what is fact vs myth.
A Sleepy Bee has waded through a lot of sources to find the Top 10 Myths About Skin Care, including dermatologists, medical publications, and more.
1. Expensive skin cream will keep your skin young forever
The beauty industry is vast, and in 2018 alone, it generated approximately $89.5 billion in sales revenue.
Despite their popularity and regardless of cost, no skin creams can protect skin against aging indefinitely. Oftentimes it's a marketing ploy and simply not true.
Simple and inexpensive moisturizers can achieve quite a lot. Creams containing retinoids can improve photoaging effects, which accounts for nearly 90% of skin aging and damage.
Creams that promise they can prevent wrinkles and aging are missing the mark if they're not focusing on slowing down the process by using sunscreen with broadband UV cover.
2. Antibacterial soap is the best soap for skin
The skin’s natural microbiome is vital for maintaining healthy skin, and using antibacterial soaps can upset this natural balance. Antibacterial soaps can also be harsher on the skin than pH neutral soaps.
Removing both good and bad bacteria on a regular basis is not always the best idea unless you're in a situation where this is important, for instance, if you work in food handling, healthcare, or during a pandemic.”
3. Drinking water keeps your skin hydrated
This is only a half-truth, as drinking water only keeps your skin hydrated in the sense that water keeps the body hydrated, and skin is the largest organ of the body.
With the exception of extreme cases, such severe dehydration and heat stroke, there is no evidence that drinking water directly impacts your skin.
4. Having a dirty face causes acne
Unless the dirt is contaminated with oily substances such as oily make-up, hair pomade, or occupational oil exposure, simply having a dirty face will not lead to acne as standard dirt will not produce acne.
Acne is caused by a complex interaction of hormones and the skin. Toners, scrubs, and many products to clean the face to address or prevent acne often result in irritation.
Pores are plugged by keratin, which is a protein produced by the skin cells, not dirt.
5. All sun exposure is bad for the skin
All sun exposure causes some degree of photodamage, but some sun exposure is essential for boosting vitamin D synthesis, especially for people in regions further from the equator.
UV exposure from the sun also has anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial in some skin conditions, such as pruritus, psoriasis, and eczema.
These benefits, however, must be counterbalanced against the risk of skin cancer, which is directly related to UV exposure.
The top recommendations for minimizing sun damage include wearing appropriate clothing, wearing sunscreen, and staying in the shade between 11am and 3pm on sunny days.
6. A spray tan protects against UV rays
A spray tan won't protect against sun damage unless it contains added UV protectants. Simply spraying color onto the skin does not protect against UV rays.
Spray tans should never be used as an alternative to sunscreen.
7. Vitamin E helps get rid of scars
Current data after years of investigations by countless scientists has shown that the data doesn't support the use of vitamin E to help get rid of scars.
As an alternative approach, silicone gel products have been consistently shown to prevent scar overgrowth and improve the appearance of mature scars.
8. "Natural" products are better for the skin
Products marketed as “natural” are very popular among consumers. However, the term “natural” really says nothing about a product’s effectiveness or safety.
After all, arsenic and poison ivy are natural, so not all substances are safe and effective simply because they're natural.
In addition, many natural products are very expensive and have no additional benefit over cheaper, refined products.
Natural products can have just as many side effects as well-tested medical products, and they may not be as effective.
"All natural" products can also have serious environmental impacts, and natural ingredients, especially in high quantities, can trigger allergies and irritate the skin.
10. Exfoliating daily is essential for healthy skin
Skin exfoliation is the process of removing dead cells from the surface of the skin and can be achieved by using a granular surface, an exfoliation tool, or chemicals.
Although exfoliation is very popular, it is not essential. The skin feels smoother after exfoliating, which can lead consumers to believe it's beneficial, but repeated exfoliation is damaging the natural skin barrier.
Although A Sleepy Bee has only scratched the surface of these 10 skin myths, we hope that this goes some way in addressing the balance between myths and truth in dermatology.