Ditch the Myths: This is What Works
When it comes to reducing wrinkles, lightening hyperpigmentation, and clearing acne, many of us have tried it all. Not only have we tried it all, we have likely received a lot of advice, information, and tips in our personal lives, as well as the internet. Though well intended, a lot of the tips and advice we receive don't seem to have a lasting effect...and we find ourselves back on the internet looking for help.
So, here are seven skincare or skin treatment myths, why they don't work, and what to do instead!
1. Face Exercises Reduce Wrinkles
False. Though there are benefits to facial exercises, doing them to reduce existing wrinkles isn't effective. Many clients come to me concerned about wrinkles, when what they actually have are expression lines. Expression lines happen when we move our face, so for example: when frowning, or when we're surprised. Those lines that appear are known as expression lines and are often confused for wrinkles. Imagine you have linen pants. If you stand up straight all day, there are no creases. When you sit down, a crease forms. If you do this all day, the creases become deeper and more pronounced. You can think of expression lines kind of like this.
The only thing that actually stops expression lines from forming is to stop moving your face. This is why Botox is so effective and the go-to treatment for expression lines. This is in no way saying that you need Botox (I believe it is a personal preference), but if we're being completely honest, it is the most effective way to reduce the appearance of expression lines.
Now with that being said, using topical skincare ingredients that contain retinol and peptides can help to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and are a must in any anti-aging skincare routine.
2. Cold Water Shrinks Pores
False. Though many products promise to reduce pore size, the size of your pores actually cannot be reduced because that comes down to genetics. However, the appearance of pores can be reduced, making them look smaller to the naked eye. Pores can appear to be larger than they actually are when they are clogged, in which using clarifying facial products would be best. Also, as we age, the skin loses elasticity, causing pores to start to droop which makes them appear larger.
Cold water does not shrink the pores any more so than warm or hot water opens them. Our pores don't have a sphincter muscle that causes them to open and close. Instead, they contain a tiny muscle called Arrector Pili, which is what causes goosebumps!
Now, that doesn't mean there isn't a benefit to "cold water". Icing is a big part of our skincare routine for acne clients, but not because it shrinks pores. Icing is helpful because it reduces inflammation and restricts blood flow to the area, which hinders the growth of acne bacteria. Icing also allows products (like serums) to penetrate and work more effectively.
With that being said, when it comes to cleansing the face, using cold water makes your cleanser less effective. Most surfactants need tepid/lukewarm water to most effectively remove debris from the face. Imagine washing your hands in cold water. When you do this, it's more difficult to rinse cleanser off than it is if you were using lukewarm water.
All in all, there are many ways to reduce the appearance of pores, but cold water isn't one of them. Read more about that here.
3. It's best to get a base tan before going on vacation.
False. When it comes to the skin, any time that you tan, your skin is exposed to UV radiation and some damage is done. Though a base tan does offer some protection against a sunburn, the sun damage your skin incurs from a base tan can be just as bad as a sunburn! Instead, I opt for sunless tanning and try to stay in the shade as much as possible while on the beach or at the pool during daylight hours, and reapply high quality, mineral sunscreen often.
4. You Don't Need Anti-Aging Skincare Products if You Have Botox Injections
False. Though Botox visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, it's only half of the equation. When it comes to the signs of aging on the skin, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles aren't the only thing that matters. Elasticity of the skin, sun damage, collagen, and the integrity of the skin are all just as important and Botox cannot fix those. Not only that, if the top layer of your skin is not healthy, supple and smooth, you'll likely be disappointed by the results that you get from Botox injections.
When it comes to Botox, an existing (or new!) anti-aging skincare routine is a must. The more supple and elastic the skin is, the more you will love your Botox results and the more you will prevent future signs of aging.
5. "All Natural" or "Chemical-Free" Skincare is Better for Your Skin
False. First, everything is made of chemicals. We have been taught to believe that the word "chemical" is synonymous with man-made, toxic, and harmful, but this just isn't the case. Though some chemicals can be toxic, others are good, and many are vital to life, such as Dihydrogen Monoxide, which is also known as water (H2O). I highly encourage you to read my blog post about common misconceptions of "natural beauty" products.
In short, since everything is a chemical, chemical-free skincare isn't actually a thing. In the USA, the terms "all natural" and "chemical free" are unregulated and companies use them to market and promote their products.
It's against the law (here in the states) to sell skincare products that contain any ingredient that is harmful to the consumer. So, you can rest assured that even if your skincare doesn't say "all natural" or that it's "chemical-free", it doesn't mean it's harmful to you in any way. In fact, it's often made better and safer through science.
6. Your Skin Becomes Used to Skincare Products and They Stop Working
False. If you notice that a skincare product "used to work, but doesn't anymore", it isn't due to the skin becoming used to the product and it losing its effectiveness. I like to tell clients that would be like saying "my body is used to broccoli now, so it isn't healthy anymore." No matter how long you have eaten broccoli, it's still healthy! When you begin a new skincare routine or even start a new product, you'll likely see more drastic results in the beginning. As the product changes your skin, the results later become more subtle, as your skin has already improved in large strides.
With that being said, if you're an acne client and you're noticing breakouts occurring or worsening, sometimes we have to just hit that stubborn acne bacteria a little bit harder. That's why it's so important to make sure you're doing your Check-In's with me - especially in the first weeks of your skincare routine.
7. DIY Face Masks and Treatments Will Get Rid of Your Acne
False. Well, sort of. Though this can be true, depending on the ingredients you use, a DIY face mask or treatment only goes skin deep, no pun intended.
Adult acne is caused by genetically defective pores. Temporarily getting rid of redness, inflammation, or a breakout doesn't solve the underlying issue and won't prevent acne from continuing to happen.
The best way to get rid of acne is a consistent, customized skincare routine designed for you and your skin, along with avoiding common acne-triggers. In my free consultation (it can be taken online at any time), I deep-dive into your responses and send you tons of information about acne triggers, substitutes, and which skincare products will help you not only clear the breakout you're struggling with right now, but keep breakouts from occurring in the future. Take the consult now!