We are all guilty of passing along myths about skin and beauty treatments. They may sound true but they aren't. Let’s take a look at some of the facts.
Myth 1: Drinking a lot of water will keep your skin hydrated.
“People have got to stop drinking numerous glasses of water a day, thinking it is helping their skin,” the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD) has said.
Drinking water can temporarily hydrate our skin, but the real problem is damage to the outer barrier from too much sun, irritating cleansers or smoking, allows our skin to lose moisture.
Myth 2: You can shrink your pores using certain products.
Your pore size is determined by genetics. Cosmetic companies are constantly trying to convince us that their products can shrink our pores, but they can’t.
“Pores can appear to be overly enlarged if they become impacted with keratin, sebaceous material or bacteria,” reported the AOCD. They suggested that skin products that contain Retin-A and alpha-hydroxy acids can loosen up those materials to return pores to their normal appearance.
Myth 3: Moisturizer applied at night must be labeled "night cream".
We are often told that the skin does repair at nighttime so you must use a cream or moisturizer especially labeled for night use. There are no studies that show our skin does special work at night.
“Skin is repairing itself and producing skin cells every nanosecond of the day, and night,” Paula’s choice.com has said.
According to Paula Begoun aka the Cosmetics Cop, the only difference needed between a day and night cream is the addition of a SPF of 15 or greater to offer sun protection during the daytime hours.
Myth 4: There are skin care products that work like Botox or dermal fillers.
There are no topical products that can work like those treatments. There is no way creams can to reach down to those target areas and affect a change in the tissue.
Begoun said, “Even Botox can't work like Botox if you apply it topically rather than injecting it into facial muscles. Nor can dermal fillers plump up wrinkles when applied topically rather than being injected.”
It is a waste to spend money on products with that type of claim.
Myth 5: Hypoallergenic products are better for sensitive skin.
The term hypoallergenic does not mean that it has truly been tested and determined not to cause a skin reaction. A company can label their product "hypoallergenic" because there are no regulations to prevent them from saying so.
Even something that is labeled “dermatologist tested” does not tell you anything about what was tested, how many people it was tested on, or whether the doctor was paid to do the testing.
The term “cosmeceutical” is another type of advertising that sounds official but there is no such thing as a cosmeceutical.
Myth 6: Natural ingredients are better for your skin than synthetic ones.
People tend to think that substances grown in the ground are somehow safer than those that are synthesized in a lab. However, products that are thought to be natural or organic may be more susceptible to bacterial contamination, indicated Dr. Linda M. Katz, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Cosmetics and Colors.
Paula said, “Ideally, the skin-care products you choose should contain a mix of beneficial natural and synthetic ingredients. When properly formulated, these ingredients work in harmony to give your skin the best that natural and synthetic have to offer.”
20 BEAUTY MYTHS. Paula’s Choice Skincare. Retrieved Dec. 20, 2014.
Beauty Myths. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Retrieved Dec. 20, 2014. Retrieved Dec. 20, 2014.
How are Drugs, Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals Different? EmpowHer. Retrieved Dec. 20, 2014.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues.
Edited by Jody Smith