Conceptions about Healthy Skin Often Wrong

by Valerie Demetros

You may want a clear and radiant complexion, but getting there might depend more on discerning fact from fiction rather than your skin care regimen.

Unfortunately, a lot of skin care myths just aren’t true, and some can even be harmful.

Myth: You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day

Even on overcast days, your skin is still exposed to UVA and UVB rays. You can still get a sunburn, and over time you will still see sun damage without sunscreen. Be sure and wear sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF 30 for the best coverage.

Myth: Higher SPF sunscreen is better

The fact is SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB radiation — anything higher isn’t going to do much more. Only if you plan to be outside longer than four hours during peak sun exposure (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) would you want to go higher.

Myth: Vitamin E fades scars

This myth has been around for too many years. Although some people claim to see benefits, there is no scientific evidence that vitamin E fades scars. Call your dermatologist for the best options.

Myth: Drinking water keeps your skin hydrated

Yes, you need H20 for energy and organ function, but no amount of water makes your skin glow. Water does not automatically get absorbed by your skin when you drink it, so keep your skin hydrated by using a humidifier, a gentle cleanser and a daily moisturizer.

Myth: Falling asleep without washing your face is bad

If you face-plant without cleansing occasionally, it won’t cause massive problems. But since 48% of you say it’s a common practice, you may want to keep it to a minimum. If you do it too often, make sure you are changing your pillowcase to minimize the effects.

Myth: Washing with hot water is good for your pores

Washing with hot water just strips your skin of its natural oils and moisture. There is no added benefit to using hot water.

Myth: Greasy food causes breakouts

Greasy foods don’t cause pimples unless you wipe them on your skin. Sebum, which is made and secreted by the skin, causes acne. There’s no evidence any foods are the culprit.

Myth: Wounds need to breathe to heal

There is good evidence that wounds should be covered and kept moist to heal. A few studies have found that when wounds are kept moist and covered, blood vessels regenerate faster and the number of cells that cause inflammation drops more rapidly than in wounds kept uncovered.