Spooky Skincare Myths Debunked

In this age of information overload, you can easily run into contradiction and confusion when it comes to skincare ,  it can be difficult to trust what really works! Can a good night’s sleep eliminate all your skincare worries? Is not removing your makeup before bed ruining your completion? How do I wash my face properly?

To get to the bottom of  your skincare mysteries we asked Dr. Dennis Gross to clear up common skincare misconceptions.

  1. Hot water and/or steam opens your pores.

TRUE: Warm water will open your pores. It’s best not to use very hot water on skin. Hot water strips the skin of its own natural oils, leading to drying and possible irritation. Steaming your face for 15 minutes twice a week will help open clogged pores and exfoliate away dull, flaky skin.

  1. Scrubbing your face more can eliminate acne.

MYTH: A critical mistake in treating acne is over washing and overusing drying acne treatments. Over scrubbing will actual produce MORE oils. Avoid harsh scrubs that can irritate sensitive skin and opt for gentle micro-exfoliation instead.

  1. Your skin will age just like your mom’s.

TRUE: When it comes to skin aging our body clocks are set by our ancestral DNA and in this case, our mother’s. While external factors such as sun exposure can significantly increase signs of aging, research has found that how we age is already determined in our genes. We are set to inherit the same strengths and weaknesses from our mothers in much the same way we inherit eye and hair color.

  1. Popping your pimples isn’t the best idea.

TRUE: I tell my patients that however tempting it may be to pop a pimple, try their hardest to resist.  When a dermatologist drains a pimple, they apply downward pressure perpendicularly to the skin’s surface.  But when people try to do it themselves, they usually squeeze from the side, which ends up backfiring because it causes infection to go down deeper into the pore.  This may permanently enlarge pores or even make infection worse.  If the temptation is too much, try washing your face with a clean washcloth.  If the pimple is ready to “pop”, this is all the pressure needed to drain it.

  1. You must change sheets & pillowcases frequently.

TRUE: Pressing our faces into a pillow causes trauma to the skin. Over time, this trauma, aggravated by the friction of a cotton pillowcase, can create permanent creases as our collagen breaks down. Switch your pillowcase to satin or silk to minimize permanent creases and complexion issues. Additionally, pillowcases accumulate a buildup of residue from conditioner, scalp oil, etc. that can clog the pores on your face over time. You should change your pillowcase at least once a week or more if you are acne-prone. Wash in hot water to kill off dust mites that can cause allergies.

  1. Not wearing sunscreen is no big deal.

False: Sunscreen is an essential part of your skincare regimen, regardless of skin tone, skin color, or season.  The sun is still strong in the winter, and can bounce off the snow! Since sun damage can occur even in short periods of sun exposure, it’s a great idea to make applying it every morning second nature, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. Wearing sunscreen every day will help to prevent the signs of premature aging.

  1. You should ALWAYS remove makeup before bed.

True: One of the biggest mistakes women make is not properly cleansing and removing makeup before bed. Not removing makeup before bed can clog pores and oil glands. When the makeup becomes impacted in pores, it can make them appear larger. Once your collagen levels decline, the pore does not snap back as easily once it has been enlarged. It is best to break this habit sooner rather than later. Additionally, leaving makeup on the face could lead to inflammation, which can generate free radicals and collagen breakdown.

  1. A good night’s sleep is essential.

True: Getting a good night’s sleep helps your skin look its best. This is a time of rest for our bodies, which includes our skin!  There is a real meaning behind the term “beauty sleep.”  When the skin is getting less than optimum fuel, it can become dull and pale with dark under-eye circles. Lack of sleep can be so stressful that it causes our bodies, including our skin, it can lead to breakouts, irritation and general dullness.

Mystery solved!

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