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Fact vs. Fiction -- 10 Myths About Your Skin

By HERWriter
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When it comes to the care of our skin, we seek the advice from our friends, family as well as the cosmetic counter. Many times, the public game of telephone can lead too many myths, misleading facts and even urban legends about your skin care. Amid the saturation of new beauty products it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Here are some of the top myths about your skin.

Myth: All I Need to do for Great Skin Is Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day.
Fact: While water is great for overall health, it is a small part of the picture when it comes to the quality of your skin. Protecting your skin with sunscreen and using a proper skincare regimen is vital to keep your skin looking its best.

Myth: I Can Fall Asleep with Makeup On. It Won't Hurt Anything.
Fact: All cosmetic products that provide color and illusion on the skin leave a toxic film on the skin's surface that can cause irritation, inflammation, dehydration and clog the pores. No matter how tired you are at night, take the time to wash your face.

Myth: The More Specialty Products I Use, the Better My Skin Will Look
Fact: Simple is always better. Just because your skincare regimen has 15 different products for morning and evening doesn't make it better. It only gives it more steps. The best skin regimen is the one which offers noticeable results and is customized to your skin type and condition. Don't be suckered into buying the latest and greatest products. Instead, look for time-tested treatments such as an effective cleanser, sunscreen and moisturizer and build from there.

Myth: Shaving Makes Hair Grow Back Thicker
Fact: Shaving does not influence hair growth or thickness. What you are seeing when you shave is actually an optical illusion caused by the blunt hair growing from the shaft and appearing thicker, when it is exactly the same size it always was.

Myth: My General Practitioner Can Look at My Skin
Fact: Dermatologists are experts trained in the skin, hair and nails. When faced with any skin condition, see a dermatologist. You wouldn't see just anyone to treat a heart condition. You would go to a cardiologist. Skin is our first line of defense against the world. It protects us, and we owe it our skin to keep it healthy. Start by seeing a professional.

Myth: My Skin Will Age Just Like My Mom's
Fact: Your skin may or may not age just like your mother's. There are many factors involved in your overall appearance. Yes, genetics from both your mother's and your father's side play a role but lifestyle choices and your health also influence how you will age.

Myth: If I Get a Base Tan at a Salon, I Won't Get a Sunburn Outdoors
Fact: Any skin color greater than your natural skin color indicates that your skin has been damaged. Pre-sun exposure does not protect the skin in any way. It may give the illusion of protection because the burning sensation may be less but the damage has been done.
Bottom line: Do not tan your skin in a salon or otherwise and use a sunscreen.

Myth: Acne Is Caused By What I Eat
Fact: For the most part, acne is genetic. While some foods can impact acne, it will not cause you to contract acne.

Myth: All-Natural Skincare Products are the Best
Fact: Natural may be IN and sound good but the fact is that these products hardly ever deliver on their promises. Look for medical-grade products with pharmaceutical-grade ingredients for products that will truly change, correct and improve the skin.

Myth: SPF Will Tell Me How Much Protection I'm Getting From the Sun
Fact: In truth, SPF is only part of the equation. Damaging UV light is separated into two parts: UVA and UVB. SPF only measures UVB, once thought to be the only harmful part of the spectrum. The United States has not yet adopted a standard to measure UVA protection but it's in the works. Choose an SPF with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and make sure you couple your sunscreen with an antioxidant for maximum protection.


MC Ortega is the former publicist for the late Walter Payton, Coca-Cola and Dunkin’ Donuts. Ortega is a senior communications and messaging executive specializing in media relations, social media, program development and crisis communications. Also, Ortega is an avid traveler and international shopper. Ortega resides with her partner, Craig, dog, Fionne and extensive shoe collection. Ortega also enjoys jewelry design/production and flamenco dancing.

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Great information, and I had better start washing my face before going to bed ;o)

June 11, 2010 - 6:18am

The make up one is especially true. The cosmetics industry (make up, skin care, deodorant products, shaving cream, soap etc) is NOT regulated in this country. Many make ups are toxic. The skin absorbs toxins and takes it into the organs, that's why topical meds work.

Be sure to chose a company that uses non-toxic, non carcinogenic and non hormone disruptive ingredients in them. Ask for a list of ingredients.

I agree with a lot of this article.

June 10, 2010 - 3:13pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.