The Worst Skincare Advice Heard by Our Dermatologists

Santa Monica DermatologistsThere are so many contradictory opinions on the best skincare practices that many people feel frustrated in their search for ways to keep their skin healthy and glowing. From bizarre home remedies to extreme dietary restrictions, the dermatologists at Ava MD have heard it all.

To protect oneself from the myths about skincare, it is also very important to understand skin structure and the various challenges faced by healthy skin. Stay informed to stay safe.

In order to bust myths and encourage effective changes in the skincare regimens of our readers, we have asked our specialists and experts to weigh in on the common misconceptions about skin care, the tips that do work and the scientific studies that support them.

Skincare Myths

Myth #1 – Acne is caused by a poor diet

It was commonly believed in the past that certain foods like colas and chocolate caused acne. But while modern scientists have confirmed that there are no links between acne and diet, dairy and high glycemic index foods have a correlation with hormonal acne. However, The University of Michigan’s University of Health Service states that the major cause of acne is blocked hair follicles and pores. Pores are typically blocked either due to more sebum on your skin (caused by hormones during puberty), heredity (large size of sebaceous glands) or skin bacteria. Emotional stress and an unhealthy diet may aggravate a case of acne, even if they do not cause the problem.

Tip: Don’t leave acne alone: Contrary to popular belief, the American Academy of Dermatology advises not to let acne run its course. It is important to treat acne because permanent scars and dark spots can be left behind.

Also, topical ointments and lotions for healing acne scars or other types of scars or wounds can be effective at replenishing damaged skin cells with healthy skin.

Myth #2 – Natural products are always safe for your skin

While chemical cosmetics and skincare products have been given a bad reputation among the growing number of “100% natural” skin care products on the market, not all natural beauty products are good for the skin.    For instance, the Ayurveda skin care herb Azadirachta indica (commonly called neem) is used to remove excess oils from the skin. But high concentrations of the natural substance can cause excess dryness too.

Mother Nature has many poisonous weapons like poison ivy and stinging nettle that can match many chemicals or surpass them in their toxicity to human skin. In other words, a label of “100% Natural” is not enough to indicate the effectiveness and safety of a skincare product. The ingredients list and their concentrations in the formulation are just as important to consider.

Tip: Before using natural skin care routines, consult an expert to find out how to begin a natural skin care regime. Always check ingredients lists on products before using them.

Myth #3 – Daily exfoliation leads to clear skin

Exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells, makeup, and pollution debris, by preventing the skin from clogging and maintaining an active cycle of shedding and skin replenishment. But over-exfoliation can actually harm your skin by causing irritation and triggering redness. It can over-activate sebaceous glands and lead to excess oil production, which encourages acne.

Tip: Exfoliate gently twice a week: An important point to remember about skin is that it constantly regenerates. The outer epidermis or skin surface acts as a barrier, and inside it, the dermis provides structures for blood vessels and  nutrients from blood to the skin surface. The epidermis is 0.1 mm to 0.6 mm thick. When you exfoliate abrasively or too often, the skin cells of the epidermis can become damaged. At the same time, exfoliation is necessary to remove debris and dead skin cells from the surface. Gently exfoliate at most two times a week for healthy skin.

Myth #4 – The sun helps treat some skin conditions and is the only source of vitamin D

While it is commonly believed that UV light from the sun is the only source of vitamin D, Oregon State University scientists clarify that synthesis of vitamin D actually depends on a variety of factors. These factors include latitude, season, aging, skin pigmentation, etc. In other words, not everyone can synthesize the necessary amount of vitamin D from sunlight. In fact, it is clear that unprotected exposure to UV light can accelerate aging and increase the risk of skin cancer. Nutritional Vitamin D can be easily obtained from safe oral supplements.

Some people also mistakenly try to treat rashes and other skin conditions with indoor tanning beds, which are equally cancer-causing, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, psoriasis and other conditions may be treated through phototherapy at reputed medical clinics such as Ava MD where parameters for safety and effectiveness are in place. At these clinics, doctors usually monitor the exposure and use only a particular wavelength of light such as narrow-band UVB.

Tip: Stay out of the sun for wrinkle prevention and wrinkle reduction  It is believed that volume loss and laxity in aging skin may be the result of the loss of collagen, collagen damage, structural changes in the region between the epidermis and dermis, etc. These effects lead to a weakening of the dermal support structure. Smoking or photodamage can lead to this weakening and skin damage as well.

Tip: Wear sunblock even if you have dark skin.

While skin cancer is more common among fair-skinned populations, dark-skinned people are also vulnerable and must protect against UV rays. Besides skin cancer, exposure to sunlight can also lead to photodamage with symptoms such as wrinkling, thickening of the skin, laxity of skin, discoloration, and even abnormal textures and skin growths. Sunscreen protects from UV rays, though the flip side is that many sunscreens in the market can expose the skin to chemicals instead. Sunglasses that adequately cover your face are also recommended.

Schedule Your Appointment with Dr. Ava Today

Do you want to find out how to establish an effective skincare routine? For more information on ways to take care of your skin, call Ava MD at 310.828.2282 and schedule an appointment today.