You Did Not Wake Up Like This: 6 Good Skin Myths, Busted by a Top Dermatologist
We all know her: that friend with perfect skin who claims to just splash a little cold water on her face each night. These “good skin” myths—like only needing to wash your face for clear skin—are abundant, and more often than not, the people perpetuating them can thank good genes, not good habits, for their good skin. To clear up some of the misconceptions, we chatted with Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com expert. Don’t believe everything you hear…
Good Skin Myth #1: If I drink water my skin won’t dry out.
Verdict: Not really.
“The research on this has been controversial,” explains Dr. Bhanusali. “Some say there is no benefit, while others swear by it. With my patients, I’ve anecdotally seen them benefit by increased water in-take. But, I don’t think it should be overdone, I recommend 8-10 glasses of water per day.” While it may not be proven to help dry skin we do know that lack of hydration can make your skin appear sallow-looking, so it’s best to drink up and moisturize daily! Not the biggest fan of plain old H2O? Infuse your water with fruits and herbs to give it flavor.
Good Skin Myth #2: If I layer SPF I get more protection from the sun.
Verdict: No, no, and no.
“This is not the case,” Dr. Bhanusali says. “Using one SPF 15 cream on top of another SPF 15 cream does not equal an SPF 30. Your benefit is only the equivalent of the highest SPF you apply. Remember, you should apply 30 minutes before you go outside and reapply every two hours or after breaking a sweat or swimming. You need at least a shot glass-size amount for the body per application!” Note, this is especially true when we’re talking about makeup, your favorite foundation may have SPF in it and that’s wonderful, but chances are you aren’t using enough of it to offer the protection your face needs from the sun. Apply a sunscreen first—at least ¼ of that shot glass—and then your foundation. For further protection, seek shade or wear a wide brim hat when the sun is at its peak.
Good Skin Myth #3: All I need to do for clear skin is wash my face.
“While cleansing is a key to a good skin care routine, it only removes debris from skin’s surface and primes the face for other products,” Dr. Bhanusali explains. “Creams and serums formulated with antioxidants protect the skin from harmful environmental factors and can help with the aging process. Utilizing daily sunscreen and a night cream is a must!”
Good Skin Myth #4: If I start injectables young I can prevent wrinkles.
“This can be true with neuromodulators,” Bhanusali says. “While I originally had my doubts early in my medical career, the best analogy I was ever told is this: If you give someone a piece of paper after folding it, there is nothing that can be done to completely remove that line. Even if you stack 100 textbooks on top or have an elephant stand on it for a while, you’ll always note the faint outline of where the paper was folded. When discussing something like neuromodulators, the idea is that if you decrease the amount of contractions of a muscle, it will slow down the eventual process of forming wrinkles by not letting them occur in the first place.”
Good Skin Myth #5: I use natural products because they are less irritating than chemical-laden ones.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if products are natural or chemical, there is always a chance of irritation,” he explains. “With natural products, they also often have a shorter shelf-life and may need to be replaced sooner!”
Good Skin Myth #6: I take breaks from wearing makeup so my skin can breathe.
Verdict: Bring on the BB Cream.
“I haven’t seen evidence supporting this but one thing I always tell my patients is: Don’t sleep with your makeup on! The extra layer on the skin can be occlusive and prolonged times of wear can lead to breakouts or irritant reactions,” he says. “We see lots of models and actresses where this can certainly be a problem.”