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In today’s climate of internet misinformation, it can be increasingly difficult to navigate between fact and fiction. When it comes to our health care, the consequences of relying on wrong information can be both far-reaching and potentially damaging to our bodies. Or it may simply be a time and money waster. Skin care is no exception, and there’s no shortage of anecdotal stories, celebrity endorsements, or marketing gimmicks that perpetuate these myths across our own industry. At Advanced Dermatology, our top doctors strive to bring the most accurate information to our patients. Read on for our break down of some prevailing myths about skin care.
While the saying that “you are what you eat” certainly is true, it’s actually an oversimplification when it comes to acne. Acne is primarily about genetics, and tends to be caused more from overactive sebaceous glands, sweating, dead skin cells, and dirt. These factors clog your pores and the area around your hair follicles, and usually lead to inflammation and swelling. There is very little evidence that acne is caused by what we eat. Those extra orders of wings and fries will certainly cause health problems, but it won’t be acne that you need to worry about.
The prevailing myth is that the SPF number refers to the degree of strength in relation to other SPF numbers. So, SPF 30 would be twice as strong as SPF 15, while SPF 45 would be three times stronger. This is not how the SPF rating works, however. In terms of strength, SPF 15 gives you about 93% protection, while SPF 30 is 97% and SPF 45 is 98%. It’s up to you to work out the cost/benefit analysis of whether the jump from 30 to 45 is worth it, but try to find products that are labelled broad spectrum.
This is a big one, and goes not just for skin care products. There’s a common belief in society that natural is good, and chemical is bad. It’s true that natural products like aloe vera are good for your skin and parabens are bad. However, that doesn’t take into account that everything is technically a chemical. Zinc oxide, salicylic acid, and retinol are all chemicals that have beneficial effects on your skin, while naturally occurring ingredients that may be healthy, like citrus juices, can wreak havoc on your skin. The take-away? Don’t let the natural or chemical labels fool you.
There’s a lot of disagreement over this. Some exfoliation is good, but stop and think about what you’re doing for a moment. You’re using an abrasive substance to scrape off the top layers of your skin. If you exfoliate too often, you can end up irritating your skin, increasing the production of sebum (the oil in your skin). This can lead to acne, greasier hair, and possibly scarring. Talk to your dermatologist about what’s right for your skin type.
While direct sunlight is certainly worse for your skin than being in the shade or indoors, the truth is that UV radiation is not just limited to the direct rays. Actually, UV rays can reach your skin, even on a cloudy day. Wear sunscreen daily and, in sunnier weather, try to apply at least SPF 30 on your skin to avoid damage.
If you have a concern about your skin, it’s important to speak with a qualified dermatologist to determine what procedures are best for you. At Advanced Dermatology, we begin with an in-depth consultation to design a personalized treatment plan for your skin.
Advanced Dermatology has been serving the New York and New Jersey communities for almost 40 years. We offer a range of procedures for all types of skin and our doctors are some of the most experienced dermatologists in the metropolitan area. Our goal is to provide our patients with the best possible treatments their skin, using the most up-to-date technologies and techniques. Call one of our offices today in order to schedule an appointment.