Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Misconceptions About Skin and Skincare October 25, 2010


I just rediscovered a great article from Skin Inc. that was published back in May of 2009.  The article written by Carol and Rob Trow is called 30 Skin Care Misconceptionsand it goes about debunking 30 such misconceptions.

I was debating when I decided to write this post if I should highlight any specific misconceptions and ignore others, but frankly though there are 30 the list is a great one.  Some of the misconceptions I’ve addressed in posts myself like: The higher the skin protection factor (SPF) rating, the better.  I wrote about that fallacy in my post:  Spf 100 is a Joke.  And Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne I addressed in my post entitled Is Your Diet Causing Your Acne?

I recommend reading the article (it’s a quick read) in order to educate yourself.  I’ll highlight a few of the misconceptions here that I think many people think are true:

  • Layering several products with SPF ratings increases protection.  You are only protected to the extent of the higher rating of one product. A foundation with an SPF of 10, moisturizer with an SPF of 15 and a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 does not yield an SPF rating of 45.

  • Topical creams containing collagen can replace collagen.  There is a lack of impartial, empirical evidence that the topical application of collagen or elastin can penetrate the dermis, even when using nanotechnology. They can provide moisturization to the epidermis, but only injections are conclusively effective.

  • Natural and organic products are always better.  Buyer, beware! Many natural and organic products are not as they claim. Plus, many times, active ingredients have to be synthesized to be bioavailable and efficacious. Synthetic compounds can actually be identical to those found in nature and be more effective. Natural vs. laboratory-processed should not lead to an up or down decision about whether a product is good or bad. Not all chemicals are bad, and not all natural or organic ingredients are good.
  • Indoor tanning is safe.  The argument that tanning beds and booths do not cause skin mutations that may cause cancerous lesions to develop is patently false. UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not have to have a sunburn to create damage to skin cells.
  • Sun exposure will improve acne.  Yes, sun exposure can hide the appearance of acne for awhile, but will lead to skin damage, pigmentation and drying that signals the skin to produce more oil.
  • Skin care products can last three or more years.  Despite a number of claims to the contrary, most skin care products lose a great deal of their potency within 12 months. It is best to use the entire contents within one year because preservatives do not last forever and ingredients can get contaminated with bacteria, or they can evaporate.
  • There is one antioxidant ingredient that is the best.  Every year, there is a hot, newly discovered antioxidant that is touted as the best, but this is not true. A cocktail of antioxidants provides better results than just one. Seek products containing a plethora of antioxidants.

    Remember NBC’s public service campaign slogan: “The More You Know“?  Apply that idea to your skincare concerns and product purchases and you won’t be taken in by bogus marketing ploys when it comes to skincare.  Educate yourself when it comes to skincare.  (And by the way, I wrote a post about that in the past too:  How to be a Savvy Skincare Product Consumer)


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