Common Skin Myths – Debunked

Having been in the skincare and aesthetics business for quite some time, we’ve heard all manner of crazy myths about aging skin. ‘Tanned skin = healthy-looking skin’ is one we particularly loathe.

Here are five more we’d like to clear up, immediately…

Myth #1: Drinking Water Is The Best Way To Hydrate Your Skin

The Truth: Your body is composed of around 80 percent water and nobody is going to argue that keeping hydrated has all manner of health benefits. Most importantly, drinking plenty of water helps maintain the balance of your body’s fluids, which in turn drives most bodily functions including things like digestion, circulation, the elimination of toxins and internal temperature balance. It also goes without saying that H20 is vital for the health of your skin because adequate hydration helps optimize circulation and toxin removal, while also keeping inflammation at bay.

But does your daily water intake specifically correlate with skin hydration? Actually… not so much. In fact, hydration levels in the skin have much more to do with how your hydrate topically.

The Solution: To effectively hydrate the skin, ensure you moisturize morning and night with a hyaluronic acid-based cream or serum. Studies have shown that hyaluronic acid (HA) can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. This means just one gram can hold up to six liters of water, which makes it almost super-human at retaining moisture. Try Jan Marini Hyla 3D HA Activating Complex. Oh, and please don’t stop supping your eight or so glasses of H20 every day – while it might not hydrate your skin per se, it’s still vital for your overall health and wellbeing.

Myth #2: Botox Kills Your Facial Expressions

The Truth: Injections of neuromodulators such as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin act like microscopic, poisonous darts when injected into the skin. These injections work by temporarily blocking chemical nerve impulses to specific muscles and glands, therefore controlling their movement and restricting their activity. When it comes to fine lines and wrinkles, because neuromodulators restrict injected muscles and stop them from contracting, this in turn causes wrinkles to soften and relax. That being said, Botox should never remove all traces of life from your face. So, how do you go for the relaxed rather than paralyzed look? Easy: less is more.

The Solution: When it comes to natural-looking Botox, our rules are simple:

  1. Never overinject. Get away from the ‘go big or go home’ mentality, because starting small is the best way to get a natural-looking result. Then over the years, when other aging concerns appear, these can be addressed accordingly.
  2. Be consistent with your appointments. Get on a personalized treatment plan with your aesthetic doctor, agree on how often you should (and are able to) return – usually every three to four months – and stick with a plan to maintain your look all year long.
  3. Know who’s injecting you. Only trust a highly qualified, board-certified physician who has undergone years of training. We all know the old adage, ‘practice makes perfect’ and this has never been truer when it comes to aesthetic surgery.

Myth #3: Poor Genes Age You Faster

The Truth: Genes obviously play a major role in the type, color and oiliness of your skin, but when it comes to the aging process, genes account for just 30 percent of it. It’s the environmental and lifestyle habits such as smoking, a poor diet, sun exposure and stress that really count (for 70 percent of it, in case math is not your strong point).

The Solution: Kicking the Marlboro Lights, limiting your gin and tonics and upping your fresh fruit and veggies are obviously a good place to start. As are ensuring you get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis and practicing yoga or meditation to lower your stress levels. In terms of your skincare, make sure your treatment plan includes a medical-grade antioxidant, a broad-spectrum sunscreen and a nightly retinol as a bare minimum. Most derms will tell you that sunscreen is single-handedly the best and most effective anti-aging product out there. And we agree.

Myth #4: You Don’t Need Sunscreen In Winter

The Truth: Talking of sunscreen, don’t be fooled into thinking that cloudy gray days = an excuse not to wear it.

“The ozone layer (which is what blocks UVB rays before they hit us) is actually thinner during the winter, and a whopping 80 percent of the rays go right through those clouds,” explains Dr. Stephen Ronan, MD FACS, a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Blackhawk Plastic Surgery in Danville, California.

The Solution: With the number one cause of wrinkles and discoloration being sun damage, wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face, neck, heck even your hands, all day, every day is vital.

“When in doubt– apply. Most people think the sun is less intense during the winter, which means they’re less likely to apply sunscreen. This is a mistake you don’t want to make,” Dr. Ronan adds.

Our top recommendations are: Alastin Skincare Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ Sunscreen, ZO Skin Health Daily Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and Neocutis Prism+ Defense Cream SPF 43.

Myth #5: Topical Vitamin C Does Not Work

The Truth: While vitamin C is one of the most essential and well-studied antioxidants around, not all vitamin C products are created equally. This is why some consumers have grown rightfully skeptical. But here’s the thing, when used topically, religiously and in the correct formulation, vitamin C has been proven to prevent accumulated damage and neutralize environmental assaults that can cause fine lines, wrinkles, discolorations and many other serious skin conditions.

The Solution: Look for L-ascorbic acid on the ingredients list of any vitamin C product. There are many vitamin C products available on the shelves and at the derm’s office, but clinical research published by SkinCeuticals founding scientist, Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, evaluated many forms of it and proved that only L-ascorbic acid, which is pure vitamin C, can effectively penetrate the skin and remain stable and bioavailable.

“Also, pay extra attention to the packaging of your treatment product,” explains Nicole Simpson, AVP of Global Education for SkinCeuticals.

“All antioxidants, including vitamin C, are vulnerable to destabilizing when exposed to air and light, so unless it’s in a sealed, airtight and dark or opaque container, don’t buy it!”

Try SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and you won’t be disappointed.