As summer approaches, you’ll be hearing a lot of advice about skin care, and a lot of dangerous skin care myths mixed in. but how do you tell skin care fact from skin care myth? I can help. I’ve consulted my own dermatologist, and gotten my facts straight with a few other valuable internet resources. Here are 11 classic skin care myths, ones you absolutely shouldn’t ignore.
1. Tanning Beds Aren’t as Dangerous as the Sun
Not true! The UV rays you get from the tanning bed can be up to ten times more powerful than the rays you’d get in your own backyard, which means they’re even worse for your skin than natural sunlight. This is one of the most dangerous skin care myths… consider it busted!
2. You Don’t Need to Wear Sunblock on Cloudy Days
UV rays have no problem piercing clouds, or even car windows, so wear sunscreen every day, and reapply it often (every 2 hours) if you’re outdoors.
3. The Higher the SPF, the Better Protection
This is another dangerous skin care myth, one that’s led the FDA to change labeling requirements on sunscreen and sunblock. Most dermatologists recommend using a «broad spectrum» sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 or better, and reapplying every 2 hours (or more often, if you’re sweating or swimming). For more info about the new labeling rules, and what it all means, visit the FDA website at fda.gov
4. I’m Too Young to Get Skin Cancer
Sadly, this isn’t true at all. In fact, the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women aged 20 to 29. Sweetie, wear your sunscreen!
5. Tan Skin Looks Healthy
Actually, a tan is the first sign on sun damage, and you can actually start to tan when your carefully-applied sunscreen begins to wear off. If you notice that you’re starting to tan, apply more sunscreen… and remember, tan isn’t healthy-looking… a healthy, happy blush is!
6. You Should Pick or Squeeze a Pimple to Get Rid of It
Picking your pimples won’t actually heal them any faster, and in fact, can cause them to spread. Also, if you think a red bump looks bad, imagine how much worse an infected scab will look… rather than squeezing a pimple, let it be, and it will heal on its own in a day or two… or, if you think everyone’s staring, cover it with a green-tinted concealer, to counteract the redness.
7. The Best Way to Get Rid of Pimples of to Wash with Hot Water and Harsh Soaps
Actually, hot water and harsh cleaners can strip your skin of valuable oils, causing burns or rashes, or, for some people, causing the skin to produce an abundance of oil, which can lead to (you guessed it) clogged pores and more acne. If you have mild acne, try a washing in the morning with a warm washcloth and a mild cleanser with salicylic acid.
8. Putting Butter on a Burn Will Help It Heal
Yikes! This skin care myth was busted decades ago, but it still persists. The best way to treat a burn is by placing the burned area in cool water, then seeking medical attention as soon as possible after. Don’t put butter on a burn, as it will only make it worse.
9. Shaving Hair Will Make It Grow Back Faster
So not true! The hairs aren’t growing in faster, they’re just blunt, so they may appear a little darker. But they’re not coarser, nor are they growing any faster. If the look and feel of hair growing back in bothers you, try waxing, or something more permanent — laser hair removal.
10. Everyone Needs to Exfoliate
If you listened to your day spa, they’d tell you that everyone needs an exfoliating facial. Not true — in fact, the exfoliants may simply irritate some people’s skin without providing any real benefits.
11. Pricey is Better
To some extent, I agree that, when it comes to skin care, you get what you pay for. But m favorite daily moisturizer is a cheapie — Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer. It’s only a few dollars at the local drugstore. Experiment with different skin care lines and see what works best for you, individually. You might be surprised to learn that the lesser expensive products work best!
For more information about these and other skin care myths, check out the AAD website at aad.org. Which of these skin care myths surprised you? Which did you already know? Do you have another skin care myth to bust? Please share… and please wear our sunscreen!
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