When it comes to clear, healthy skin, here are 5 myths Dr. Heather Rogers, MD, a Seattle-based dermatologist, wants to debunk for you.
- The higher the SPF, the better the protection.
An SPF of 50 means you can stay in the sun 50 times longer than you could without it before burning. But it does not take in account that sunscreen starts to break down as soon as it is applied to the skin. No matter the SPF you use still need to reapply every 2 to 3 hours when outside enjoying the sun. Further SPF only describes protection from UVB rays, the sunburn rays that also damage your skin's DNA. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply causing wrinkles and brown. Instead of looking for a product with the highest SPF, look for a product with an SPF of 30 that is also labeled with UVA and UVB protection or broad spectrum. The best, broadest protection comes from zinc oxide. It used to make you look like a clown but now there are many great products. I use a 15% zinc based sunscreen every day.
- It's better just to pop a pimple.
The truth is, even though it feels really good to pop it, a lot can go wrong when we start picking. We often pick too much recreating a bigger wound for our body to heal. And when we squeeze we can push some of the pus deeper into the skin causes more inflammation.
- Natural ingredients are better for skin.
In the beauty world and the term natural can mean almost anything and is loosely regulated at best. There’s no scientific legitimacy proving natural or "organic" ingredients are better for skin. In fact, some "natural" ingredients actually do more harm than good. They too can be a source of irritation and allergy. For those with sensitive skin, fewer ingredients are better than many, even if they are of plant origin.
- Everyone needs an eye cream separate from their facial moisturizer.
Eye creams are typically more expensive than face creams with fewer antiaging ingredients because eye skin is sensitive. Most people can simply use their face cream around their eyes. Eye creams are helpful for people with oily skin who do not use a heavy moisturizer or a specific eye problem like dark circles or puffiness where a target treatment could help….a little at best.
- If I Get a Base Tan I Won't Get a Sunburn
No, no, no! There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanning is the skin’s response to injury from radiation. Your skin tans to try to protect your cells DNA from further mutations.
Tanning bed users are 75% more likely to develop melanoma, 150% more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma, and 250% more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma.
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Meet the author: Board-certified and practicing dermatologist, Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, is the founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care and Modern Dermatology in Seattle, Washington. She studied at Stanford, University of Washington School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. She lectures nationally, is well published, and an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology. Highly respected among the skin care community, Dr. Rogers has been annually named “Top 1% of Most Honored Doctors in the US” by Castle Connolly.