Specializing in the latest non-surgical treatments

Skincare Myths Answers

Ten Common Skin Care Myths:
Test Your Skin Care Savvy

  1. Alpha hydroxy acids thin the skin.
    This is false because alpha hydroxy acids as well as beta hydroxy acids penetrate the surface stratum corneum (dead skin cells) to loosen this layer to turn over the skin cells and reveal fresher looking even toned skin. These products effect the dead skin cells and do not thin the skin.
  2. The application of a daily moisturizer is not necessary for everyone.
    This is true. The application of a moisturizer is not necessary for everyone and is personal preference for many. If you are prone to oily skin and like to use a moisturizer then a humectant will suit you best. Humectants contain water-binding ingredients, which helps the skin retain water. Look for ingredients such as hyaularonic acid and glycerin.
  3. Products with mineral oil should be avoided.
    Believe it or not this is false. Keep in mind there are different types and grades of mineral oil. Grades of mineral oil used in manufacturing may contain carcinogens. However, mineral oil used in cosmetics is regulated and the standards are defined by the USP (United States Pharmacopia). Cosmetic grade is refined and safe for use on the skin. Research has proven that mineral oil can aid in the healing of wounds.
  4. Men and women of color do not need to wear a daily sunscreen.
    This is false. No one is immune to the affects of the sun. Even though those with darker skin tone have slightly more protection than someone with fair skin. Too much sun exposure is responsible for premature aging and many skin cancers. Often times darker skin tones are prone to hyperpigmentation (dark spots), which sun exposure will only exacerbate.
  5. If you are prone to acne be sure to avoid chocolate, French fries and greasy foods.
    Contrary to what some believe this is false. There is no scientific proof that specific foods cause acne, however a nutritional balanced diet is important to your overall health as well as the skin. I don’t recommend a diet high in fat. There is nothing wrong with the occasional Snickers bar or french-fry.
  6. A sun protection factor (SPF) of 60 yields twice the protection of an SPF 30.
    This is false. Any SPF over 30 is not more effective. Plus, it is imperative to look for ingredients that will provide broad-spectrum protection such as Parsol, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and, the recently FDA approved, mexoryl. See the article “Safe Sun” in the newsletter section of my web site. Try SkinCeuticals (available in a physician’s office or salon) or Clinique Repair Wear.

  7. The typical life of a skin cell before it flakes off the surface layer is 30 days.
    This is true. This basal cell starts at the bottom of the epidermis (first layer) and becomes flatter as it moves to the surface, dies and flakes off. This process slows down as we age making the skin appear dull. The application of products that contain alpha and beta hydroxy acids are one way to increase skin cell turn over and restore the skin’s luminosity.
  8. For a safe tan, use a tanning bed because it emits gentler UV rays compared to sunbathing.
    The tanning salons that promote tanning beds, as a ‘safe tan’ would like you to believe this to be true, but this is false. In fact a tanning bed is considered a human carcinogen and emits the same harmful rays that can cause skin cancer. For a safe ‘tan,’ there are many self-tanners that create a natural looking color. The days of orange skin and hair went out with the products ‘QT’ and ‘Sun In,’ which were popular in the ‘70’s. Try Fake Bake (available in salons) or Flash Bronzer by Lancome.
  9. You don’t need a sunscreen lotion if your foundation already contains one.
    This is false. First of all most women do not apply their foundation everywhere on the face and certainly do not apply it on the neck and chest. Secondly, most foundations contain inadequate sunscreen ingredients. It is best to apply a moisturizer with one of the following ingredients zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, Parsol or mexoryl to the face, neck, and chest then apply the foundation where is needed. For great coverage and additional protection try one of the mineral foundations, such as Colorescience, Jane Iredale, Bare Essentials.
  10. To adequately cleanse the skin be sure to wash with hot water to open the pores and rinse with cold to close them.
    This is a common myth and is false. The pores do not expand and contract. Hot water should never be used on the face. Cleansing with tepid to warm and your favorite cleanser is adequate. Pores do enlarge as we age due to the loss of elasticity. Pores can also appear larger when clogged with oil and dead skin cells-another reason to exfoliate the skin.
Deborah is a registered nurse with over 17 years of experience helping thousands of women and men look years younger through the use of non-surgical skin treatments including Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Restylane, Perlane, Radiesse, and Fraxel laser. Deborah is well known in Walnut Creek and the San Francisco Bay Area both as an expert practitioner of her profession and as a teacher and guest speaker for various women's organizations.
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