Debunking Skin Care Myths

Myth: you should stay away from moisturizers if you have oily skin.

Reality: No matter your skin type, everyone should be using a moisturizer to replenish the skin’s natural protective layer (which can dry out and/or be stripped by cleansers).  There are infinite choices for moisturizers on the market today, but they all have one thing in common – all moisturizers have water and ingredients that prevent that water from evaporating.  According to Harvard Health, “our skin is organized in layers. The outermost one is called the stratum corneum, which consists of cells called corneocytes and various lipids — fats — between them… The corneocytes are dead cells without nuclei, but they aren't just deadwood. They contain various substances that hold water. For our skin to feel smooth and supple, the stratum corneum has to be at least 10% water; ideally, it's 20% to 30%. The stratum corneum can absorb as much as five to six times its own weight and increase its volume threefold when soaked in water. But it's not simply the water content that matters. It's the effect that water has on the enzymes that control orderly shedding of corneocytes, a process dermatologists call desquamation. Without water, the corneocytes accumulate, so skin becomes flaky instead of peeling off nicely, and the stratum corneum gets disorganized and full of cracks instead of being tightly packed.”

There’s a common misconception that moisturizers are replacing lost oil (from under- or over-production).  However, “dry skin is about lack of water, not oil.”  So if your skin is naturally oily, don’t skip your moisturizer!  Instead, choose a lighter product, like a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid or a lotion (instead of a heavy cream).  At Sound Medical Weight Loss, we LOVE Epionce’s Renewal Lite Facial Lotion, which we sell in office and use for oily, acne-prone skin, especially in summer.

Myth: exfoliation should be part of your daily skincare routine.

Reality: Exfoliation (whether physical or chemical) is beneficial as it helps skin regenerate; however, DON’T overdo it.   You should exfoliate no more than 2-3 times per week according to dermatologists, giving skin time to recuperate.  Over-exfoliation can lead to dryness (as it strips the skin of essential moisture), clogged pores and even infection.  We love using lactic acid as a chemical exfoliant – it’s somewhat gentler than traditional BHA chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid but just as effective. 

Myth: hot steam opens up the pores, so it’s important to wash your face with hot water.

Reality: Your pores are technically always open!  And while steam is beneficial in other ways (e.g. it increases the air’s water content, helping prevent skin dryness), you shouldn’t be washing your face (or body) with piping hot water to generate that steam.  Too-hot water can strip your skin of needed moisture and can damage skin cells.   According to DermStore, if your skin is red after washing, the water you used was too hot!

Myth: using makeup wipes is the same as using a more traditional cleanser.

Reality: we love using makeup wipes for convenience’s sake (e.g. when camping), but they should not take the place of a traditional cleanser for daily use.  The reason?  According to Healthline, “If you’re prone to hyperpigmentation, makeup wipes can actually cause friction and slowly tear at the skin if you use daily. Plus, a lot of makeup wipes have alcohol, which can cause stinging for sensitive skin.” Instead, pick up a gentle cleanser (we love Epionce’s Lytic Gel Cleanser) and massage gently into skin with lukewarm water before going to bed.

Myth: there’s no non-surgical way to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles once they develop on your face.

Reality: skincare technology has advanced significantly, and Sound Medical Weight Loss has the patient before and after photos to prove it!  TempSure Envi is a non-surgical, completely non-invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency to heat deep layers of skin to help the body regenerate its own collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles on the face and body.  Injectables and fillers are also another option; with little to no downtime, patients will see a substantial improvement in fine lines and wrinkles on the face that can last up to six months.  Prevention is still key, though – be sure to use sunscreen daily (we love EltaMD’s tinted sunscreen 50 SPF and Epionce’s tinted sunscreen 50 SPF, both available in office), wear sunglasses to protect the fragile skin around the eyes, stay hydrated and don’t smoke.

What is the biggest skincare myth that you’ve learned about?  Share with us in comments below!

Author
Mariel Ilardi  Mariel became a weight loss coach with SMWL after being a patient herself -- having lost 65 pounds through the program! In addition to coaching SMWL patients, Mariel is the founder and CEO of Haven Coaching, an executive and career coaching company.

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