In our pursuit of smooth, young-looking skin, we all fall for skin care myths now and then. But it’s important to know what you can actually do to improve your skin’s appearance — and what advice you should avoid.
Avoid these myths so you don’t waste your time — and money — on skin care solutions that simply don’t work.
1. YOU CAN GET RID OF STRETCH MARKS.
Many people develop stretch marks on their stomachs, thighs or breasts. While stretch marks are harmless, people often don’t like how they look and seek treatment to remove them. Unfortunately, there’s no solution to get rid of stretch marks completely. The marks may fade over time on their own, but will always be visible even if you use creams or try other therapies.
2. A BASE TAN HELPS PREVENT SUNBURN.
According to the Mayo Clinic, not a single study supports the idea that base tans can help you prevent a sunburn. Any time your skin changes color, whether to a red sunburn or to a golden tan, you have damaged your skin cells. It is best to avoid sun tanning altogether, and instead use sunless tanners to achieve the appearance you want and sunscreen to prevent skin damage.
3. YOU CAN USE CREAMS TO GET RID OF CELLULITE.
Cellulite affects over 90 percent of women, according to Scientific American. Even thin people can develop cellulite, since it results from a problem with connective tissue and is unrelated to body fat percentage. However, no cream or medicine can get rid of cellulite. Proper diet and regular exercise that includes strength training can make cellulite less apparent by eliminating fat and tightening up skin. Unfortunately, exercise still won’t get rid of cellulite completely.
4. JUNK FOOD CAUSES ACNE.
Though a good diet leads to better-looking skin, no particular food contributes to higher levels of acne. However, eating plenty of vitamins and minerals can help your skin have a healthier appearance while improving your hair and nails, too. Your diet should consist of lots of fruits and vegetables to help maintain healthy skin.
5. YOU SHOULD POP PIMPLES TO REDUCE ACNE.
While it can be satisfying to get rid of whiteheads, popping zits can end up spreading bacteria on your skin. More bacteria means more pimples. Pimple popping may also slow down overall healing time, making acne more visible for longer. To prevent acne and get rid of it faster, let those zits be.
6. MORE EXPENSIVE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS WORK BETTER.
The truth is that most over-the-counter skin care products contain the same ingredients, whether you buy them from the drugstore or from a department store. High-end products may come in better packaging or with better scents, but they likely work the same way as drugstore brands.
Medical-grade skin care products are an exception to this rule. These prescription products that you can get from a dermatologist may contain higher concentrations of some ingredients that make them more effective or faster-acting than over-the-counter solutions.
7. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE SKIN TYPE YOUR WHOLE LIFE.
Dry, oily or a combination of the two? Wait a while and your skin type may change. Different climates, temperatures or even air quality can change whether your skin feels dry or oily. Hormone changes as you age also contribute to changing skin, even causing acne later in life. Pay close attention to your skin and give it the care it needs at the right time instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach to your skin care regimen.
For real solutions to skin problems, you should always speak to a board-certified dermatologist.