Skincare myths: you’ve heard them, you know them and chances are you probably even follow a few of them in the hopes of achieving flawless, pore-less, age-less skin. It’s natural to want to assume that the beauty info and advice you’ve heard for decades is “truth,” when it’s actually little more than fiction.
In an effort to help you better understand your skin and its needs, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, co-founders of Rodan + Fields, are here to debunk 10 common skincare myths.
Myth #1: You need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day for your skin.
Fact: “The outside humidity, not how much water you consume, determines how dry your skin is. Contrary to a popular myth perpetuated by bottled water companies, downing excessive fluids is not the best way to keep skin from drying out. In fact, by overhydrating, you will flush essential vitamins and electrolytes out of your bloodstream. You only need ninety-one ounces of fluids a day, which you can easily obtain from both food and beverages. Trust your body’s natural signal: thirst. Only severe dehydration will cause your skin to dry out.”
Myth #2: 90 percent of sun damage is done before you’re 18.
Fact: “Although one blistering burn when you are young can double your chances of developing skin cancer as an adult, sun damage is cumulative throughout your life. By age 18, you’ve only acquired 23 percent of your lifetime dose of UVA. Therefore, most of the damage has not been done. So, no excuses;n always protect yourself from harmful UV radiation.”
Myth #3: Women with oily skin age the best.
Fact: “Many factors determine how your skin ages and skin type doesn’t really play a role. Women with dry skin can achieve the same level of hydration as oily skin through the application of moisturizers. And oily skin actually has some negatives as it ages. Oil glands may enlarge, resulting in big pores and pink/yellow growths called sebaceous hyperplasia.”
Myth #4: Facial exercises will lift your skin.
Fact: “You can’t really fight gravity. The more you make the same facial movements, the deeper your lines become. Every time the 44 muscles in your face contract and relax, they create all sorts of facial movements. Since these muscles are attached to the skin, every time they move–when you speak, eat, laugh, or cry–your skin moves, too. Therefore, exercising your facial muscles will most likely accentuate your wrinkles.”
Myth #5: If you don’t use a moisturizer, you’ll get wrinkles.
Fact: “The purpose of moisturizers is to hydrate dry skin and deliver a temporary smoothing benefit. Moisturizers alone do not prevent wrinkles. The best anti-wrinkle ingredients are sunscreen, retinol, glycolic acid, peptides, and acetyl glucosamine.”
Myth #6: Steam baths are great for skin.
Fact: “They may feel refreshing and relaxing and give you a moment to de-stress, but they don’t help your skin. In fact, for people with fair skin, steam baths and saunas can cause capillaries in your face to blossom, as can any activity where you raise your body temperature. That even includes drinking hot tea or coffee.”
Myth #7: If washing your face once a day is good, then washing your face four times a day is great.
Fact: “Over-washing disrupts the skin’s delicate moisture barrier, leading to dryness, irritation, and potential flare-ups of conditions like eczema. Skin can produce more oil following cleansing, creating a vicious cycle of oil production. In addition to a harsh cleanser stripping skin of the lipid barrier that keeps it balanced, water itself is actually very drying because it draws moisture out of the skin. We recommend using a gentle cleanser once or twice a day and then rinsing with warm water to avoid stripping skin of its natural moisturizing factors.”
Myth #8: You’re protected from all sun damage because you wear sunscreen when you go outside.
Fact: “Many people don’t know that their skin can be under attack from UV rays even when sitting indoors next to a window or when driving a car. That is why wearing the right sunscreen every single day, from sun-up to sun-down, is so important. And don’t forget to reapply.”
Myth #9: Aging skin is inevitable and skin damage is irreversible without surgery.
Fact: “Of course everyone ages, but the way in which your skin ages is very much under your control. A combination of healthy lifestyle habits, appropriate skincare products and procedures under the care of a licensed dermatologist can give amazing results.”
Myth #10: Your skin ‘gets used to’ skincare products, which makes them stop working.
Fact: “For most skincare products, you’ll see the full extent of corrective benefits within approximately twelve weeks. The preventive benefits, on the other hand, are ongoing and difficult to measure, but may be even more important for your skin than the corrective benefits. Just because you’re no longer seeing the type of rapid progress you observed when you first started a regimen doesn’t mean it’s not working. But instead of providing the initial change you saw in your skin, it may be maintaining it at a more healthy level.”