[show_avatar email=ejones@seattleskinandlaser.com align=left show_name=true]”30 Skin Care Misconceptions” – Originally published in Skin Inc. magazine, 2009

This article http://www.skininc.com/treatments/facial/43995527.html by Carol and Rob Trow was very interesting to me because it’s true; there are so many opinions out there on what the best things are to do and not do for your skin.  Below are some of the topics that I found most interesting as well as my opinion:

Vitamin E minimizes scarring.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps build skin, but there is no evidence that it does anything to help with scarring. There is even some research that suggests it may have a negative effect on scarring.

My opinion:  When dealing with scarring and trying to minimize the effect the best thing is moisturizing the scar with something very hydrating and gently massaging it daily to help increase blood flow to the area. Aquaphor or a non- fragranced moisturizer is best.

Cucumbers help reduce puffiness around the eyes.

The principle ingredient in cucumbers is 90% water with balance being inert fiber. They can be soothing and with moisture, hydrate skin temporarily. The same results can be obtained with a cold compress.

My opinion: I agree cucumbers are mainly water which is one of the reasons people use them on the eyes. The other reason being cucumbers stay cold and are the perfect shape for the eyes. It’s not the cucumber that’s helping puffiness it’s the cold moisture from the water. Cool damp wash cloths on the eyes are a great alternative.

Skin pores open and close.

Pores are openings in the skin that allow oils (sebum) to reach the surface. If pores are larger, this can be due to dead cells, genetics or scarring from squeezing blemishes.

My opinion:  Pores do not grow or shrink but they can “contract” and “expand”. The pore size you’re born with stays with you forever but when we do not cleanse our face and exfoliate regularly all the oils and dead skin cells on our face get trapped in our pores and cause them to expand and give the illusion that they are larger. Cleansing  twice daily ,exfoliating at least 3 times a week and monthly  facials with extractions will help to keep your pores clean  and will make them less visible.

Get a base tan to prevent burning before going on vacation.

Any tan is a scar, and there is no such thing as a healthy, safe tan. Self- tanners are the safest way to obtain tanned skin.

My opinion:  Indoor and outdoor tanning are not safe and do a number on your skin.  I have spent a lot of time searching for the best self-tanner and my personal favorite is Hawaiian Tropics Radiance Self- tanning Crème. I like this one because it goes on even, doesn’t smell and I look darker with even just one application. Be careful you are getting the right one they also have tanning oils which are not safe and should not be used.

Indoor tanning is safe.

The argument that tanning bed and booths do not cause skin mutations that may cause cancerous lesions to develop is patently false. UVA rays found in indoor tanning can lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not have to have a sunburn to create damage to skin cells.

My opinion:  Indoor tanning is just not worth it! Besides the risk of skin cancer and Melanoma (which is enough of a reason for me) tanning causes premature aging, which takes time, dedication and money to reverse.

Skin damage and signs of aging can be cleared up quickly.

If a product sounds too good to be true, you can bet its claims are false. The damage did not happen overnight, and it cannot be magically repaired. Expect at least three cycles- a cycle can be between 21-40 days, depending on age- to begin to see measurable results.

My opinion: There are some really excellent skin care products out there but even the best of the best take time to show their full potential.  Give any new product time, unless you have an obvious adverse reaction.  The best anti-aging products are retinols and antioxidants such as vitamin C. Our patients love Beaute-Pacifique’s Super 3 for its ability to help brighten, smooth, and tighten aged skin.

Strong scrubs, soaps and abrasives are good for your skin.

Be careful how you wash your face. Too much scrubbing or too many abrasive products can remove protective oils, create tiny micro tears and contribute to aging, irritated skin. Less is more, and a gentle cleanser and light moisturizer work well for most people.

My opinion: You know when you have a good cleanser when it’s not too drying without applying a moisturizer. Using facial scrubs and a Clarisonic can be a great addition to your cleansing routine but within reason. It’s best to use only one method of exfoliation 3 times a week.  I recommend using a gentle exfoliator such as SkinMedicas Skin polisher or a Clarisonic. Brands like St. Ives Apricot scrub are too abrasive.

Vitamin A thins the skin.

Actually, the reverse is true. Skin can become thin due to the lack of vitamin A because it helps to create new, healthy and normal skin cells. Vitamin A is arguably the most important skin care ingredient, bar none. It is one for the few- if not the only- ingredient that is backed by more than 50 years of objective, scientific research supporting efficacy.

My opinion:  Vitamin A promotes cell turn-over which keeps new cells constantly moving. Over application of Vitamin A has given it a bad reputation to be overly irritating and drying. However, with the correct application and moisturizing Vitamin A products can make a notable difference in your skins appearance. At SSL we have Super 3, with three types vitamin A, it penetrates the skin with less irritation and but still achieving great results.

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