Companies that sell beauty products and regimens are always abuzz with news of the next latest thing. How do you separate myth from fact?
Here are 6 myths about skin health, and a heads-up about the actual facts in each case.
The myth that tanning booths are safe
Many people know that getting a tan out in the sun can cause premature aging and skin cancer, but see tanning booths and beds as safe. The makers of those products often mention in their advertising that they are safe because they don’t produce UVB rays.
Whether or not they produce UVB, however, they do produce UVA. UVA rays penetrate even deeper into your skin, and cause the kind of damage that exposure to the sun does.
For better protection, you need to go to a higher SPF
UVA rays go deep into the skin to give you a tan. UVB rays give you a sunburn. Both kinds of ray can cause damage to the DNA in your skin. When you get sunscreen, the SPF rating on it only refers to the kind of protection that you get from UVB rays.
For protection from UVA as well, you need to get a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an additional ingredient like titanium dioxide, mexoryl, or avobenzone. It is these ingredients that bring you protection from UVA.
Using soap on your face will keep acne away
When you scrub your face with soap, you don’t so much clean it as take away protective oils. It can lead to excessive dryness and even rashes. It might even make your skin more prone to acne. You should use a gentle cleansing formula and then apply moisturizer.
If you have a pimple, you must pop it
Popping a pimple and taking the pus out can feel like a good thing to do. In reality, however, some of the pus simply goes in deeper, where it causes inflammation and scarring. You may even get another pimple days after.
If you have to pop a pimple, you should use the specialized tool called a comedone extractor. It’ll help you do it without causing any damage.
Facials can do your skin a lot of good
It’s a common myth that facials and microdermabrasion can help your skin health. In truth, however, a recent study has found that facials actually cause breakouts of acne in most people.
Like washing the face with soap, facials and microdermabrasion merely take away the skin’s natural defenses. While these treatments can feel good, they don’t actually do you any good.
Lasers can work antiaging miracles
There are many different kinds of lasers promoted, and they all specialize in different areas. Some help with wrinkles, and others with work on your collagen. The way these lasers are marketed, it’s easy to imagine that they are miracle treatments.
In reality, while lasers are advanced treatments, they cannot undo any real damage done by the sun. They work best on mild, superficial damage.
The bottom line is that when it comes to skincare, it’s buyer beware. There are many claims made, but they tend to only be partially true.