There are so many skin care tips out there on the internet - everything from secret ways to eliminate wrinkles to theories about super foods. But how do you tell fact from fiction? We investigated some of the skincare myths we've heard and debunked them below for you.
Anti-aging creams can eliminate wrinkles
There are hundreds upon hundreds of anti-aging creams and potions marketed as removing 10 years from your skin, containing an age-fighting serum, or changing the anatomy of a wrinkle. Unfortunately, these are generally flowery claims that are largely unsubstantiated. The typical anti-aging cream does help moisturize and exfoliate, but the effects are only good as long as you continue to use the creams.
If you are interested in using a cream anyway, look for a cream containing retinol. “Dermatologists frequently recommend the use of retinol to prevent and reverse the signs of aging, and this is the only non-prescription ingredient with scientific research to back it up. People who use retinol report significant reductions in the appearance of wrinkles and brown spots” (howstuffworks.com).
Overall, creams do not have as large of an impact as botox, or other medical procedures. You’re better off using a standard moisturizer and face wash rather than spending hundreds of dollars on potions.
Facial exercises keep skin from wrinkling
There are over 10 pages of results about exercises or “facial yoga” you can do to keep your skin looking fresh. Unfortunately, these exercises are largely bunk, and may contribute to wrinkles, just in different places. We mentioned in our previous blog post that wrinkles are caused by repetitive motions - the exact reason why you probably don’t want to do facial exercises.
Your skin is elastic. If you do tons of exercises stretching it out over and over, you can contribute to wrinkles by causing your skin to stretch out. We recommend skipping the silly looking facial exercises, slathering on the SPF30, and grabbing a bottle of water.
Base tans prevent sunburns
Luckily the fad of getting tans has largely subsided, but there are still some people who swear that they can prevent sunburns in the summer by starting out with a base tan.
Researchers have tested these claims thoroughly - an article in Scientific American states “In study after study they have found that a base tan affords almost no protection against future ultraviolet exposure. In fact, it actually puts otherwise pale people at risk of developing skin cancers. A base tan only provides an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 3 or less, according to the U.S. surgeon general.”
Exposure to UVA and UVB rays has been proven to increase the incidence of wrinkles as well. The risk of base tanning far outweighs any benefit you could receive from it - your skin is beautiful, no matter where it falls on the color spectrum - make sure you care for it as such!
You should wash your face twice a day with no exceptions
If both your morning and evening routine includes washing your face, you may be drying out your skin, and adding to the likelihood of having blemishes. This of course largely depends on your skin type. If you have very oily skin, you may need an extra light wash when you wake up, but the more important wash is before you go to bed. Your pores have been exposed to all of the filth and flarn in the air all day, at work, at the store, at the coffee shop, and that’s all dirt that can form blemishes.
Make sure you are using a proper face wash - bar soap or body wash is too harsh to be used on your delicate face skin. Don’t forget to moisturize after, and check the instructions on the bottle - each face wash may have different recommendations for how often to wash and what products are most compatible.