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Top Skin Care Myths & Truths by Dermatologist

Everyone’s heard the dos and don’ts of skincare – but how many of those are true? What are you rubbing on your face that actually doesn’t clear your pores, or even worse, does more harm to your skin? We all have different skin types, whether it be sensitive, dry or oily, it is important to treat each according to its needs.

  1. Hot water opens pores: False

Cleansers, scrubs and face wash products that claim when combined with warm water, pores will open and aide in a more thorough cleaning. When in fact, the skin’s pores neither open nor close when washed with warm water. The warm water loosens hardened dirt, oil and makeup inside of the pores, which makes it easier for scrubs to clean out. Too hot of water can strip the skin of natural oils and lead to irritation and dryness.

  1. Tanning beds are safe: False

Tanning in the sun is unhealthy, so what would make tanning with high concentrations of sun exposure? Tanning booth companies will even claim that they filter the UVB rays that burn your skin. Once you get into the bed, your still exposing your skin to UVA rays which actually penetrate deeper and cause damage that can lead to premature aging, skin cancer, and the beds can be grounds for spreading skin diseases if not cleaned properly.

  1. You don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day: False

Cloudy days can seem innocuously harmless; however the UV radiation from the sun reaches the earth’s surface regardless. Applying sunscreen in addition to wearing makeup is also very important, regardless if it is a makeup with SPF. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours and shouldn’t be forgotten when swimming or sweating.

Skincare advice comes from all different places, some opinion, some rumor, some knowledgeable fact. How do you know which is true and what is merely myth? Here are a few more truths about your skin and how to keep it as healthy and beautiful as possible.

  1. Greasy foods and chocolate are the culprit for breakouts and blemishes: False

Eating poorly is obviously not good for your overall health, especially your waistline. But you can’t blame a bad diet on breakouts. Stress hormones are what cause pimples and acne, not what’s in the food itself. The association may be that stress also causes poor eating habits. So while you’re all stressed out, you eat poorly and break out, it’s an association, not a causation.

  1. It’s better to pop a pimple in order to get the “bad” out: False

It may even feel good to release the pus collected just beneath the pimple, but a lot of it is just pushed deeper into the skin, which causes a redder and more irritated appearance. When it goes deeper into the pore, it will cause damage and inflammation. People must resist from picking at their face. Scarring will spread underneath the skin.

  1. Anti-aging products such as creams, lotions and moisturizers can erase wrinkles: False

Although it would be nice to think that wrinkles can be done away with a simple over-the-counter cream, or prescription for that matter, the truth is they can’t. Most wrinkle creams simply hydrate the skin plump it to seem to temporarily smooth out crow’s feet and laugh lines. Some dermatologists will say that topical retinoids will do the trick, and it is true they do increase cell turnover. But this shows minimal improvement, and as you continue to age, the wrinkles will quickly replace the ones you thought you erased. Topical retinoids that are strong enough to show any signs of improvement require a prescription.

Fractional resurfacing by the Fraxel laser, is the gold-standard for non-surgical wrinkle removal. Dr. Rokhsar is the leading international authority of Fraxel, and has taught more physicians on the use of Fraxel than any other physician in the world. The laser works by creating microdamage to the skin in small areas at a times. This directly stimulates the collagen to replace the fine to moderate wrinkles. The collagen is the structure of the skin and creates a tighter and smoother layer. Fraxel laser treatments also affectively treat turkey neck, surgical scars, and acne scars.

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar