Debunking Age•Old Beauty Myths!

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We hear it all the time—your mom told you, or you read it once in a beauty magazine, below Dr. Chiu helps you separate fact from fiction . . .

Myth #1:  If you pluck a white hair, many more will grow back in its place.

Each follicle typically grows a single hair, except in certain skin conditions.  Plucking hairs cannot change how many follicles you have.  If you notice more white hairs with plucking, it’s probably more just because they would have come anyway!

Myth #2:  I don’t need sunscreen because it’s not sunny and I work mostly inside.

70-80% of harmful UV rays penetrate even on cloudy or even rainy days.  UVA rays, which cause not only skin cancers, but are “Aging” rays, penetrate glass windows, and are the same strength all year round.  If you drive or walk by a window, you are getting UV rays.  Be proactive about antiaging and wear sunscreen year round.

Myth #3:  My scalp is flaky and dry so I am going to wash it less often.

Most commonly flaky scalp is a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, commonly known as dandruff.  This is a multi-factorial condition which is caused actually from overactive scalp oil glands along with increased turnover rates of scalp skin.  So the flaking is actually caused not by dryness but by oiliness!  Increasing frequency of washing your hair in this instance can actually keep the condition under better control by regulating the scalp’s natural oils.

Myth #4:  I love products which “shrink” pores.

True shrinkage of pores never really Girl with beauty maskhappens—you can make the appearance look smaller with things like retinols or chemical peels, but pore size is more genetically dependent than what products we use.  Plumping the surrounding collagen with peels, non-ablative fractional laser, and good skincare can definitely minimize the appearance of pores though.

Myth #5:  If I shave, the hairs will grow back thicker.

Studies have shown the thickness of hair is absolutely not affected by shaving.  However, naturally, hair grows in a tapered fashion, with the top of the hair being slightly slimmer.  After shaving, hairs may feel a bit coarser, only because you have trimmed off the tapered end.  But shaving itself actually does not change the texture or thickness of the individual hairs.

Myth #6:  I have oily, acne prone skin, so I don’t need a moisturizer.

Healthy skin is about a balance of hydration, overdrying the skin with acne products or not using a moisturizer can actually cause oil glands to be MORE confused and produce MORE oil.  Ask your dermatologist for a recommendation of a non-oily moisturizer that still gives your skin barrier protection.

Myth #7:  I will use cocoa butter during pregnancy to stop stretch marks.

Sadly, development of stretch marks during pregnancy is something we do not yet have control over.  It seems to be more genetically determined.  Products like olive oil and cocoa butter cannot penetrate into the dermis, where fibrosis occurs to cause stretch marks.  Good news is, once they develop, early treatment with non-ablative fractional resurfacing can definitely improve their appearance.

Myth #8:  The more expensive a skincare product is, the better it works.

Not true.  Look for good scientific studies and quality ingredients like retinols, L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or peptides, not fancy bottles and expensive marketing.  Skincare companies spend more on packaging than the products, so ask your dermatologists what ingredients to look for and what brands actually have studies to show benefit.  It is not always the MOST expensive, spend where it counts.  Consider a Skin Health Consult to go over a skincare regimen best tailored for your needs.

Myth #9:  If a product is “all-natural” or if I buy it at Whole Foods, I cannot be irritated by it.

This is a common misconception.  Even “natural” plant extracts can be irritating to certain types of skin.  Our favorite example is poison ivy:  all natural, pretty darn irritating!  Currently, the FDA does not regulate who can label their products as “natural”, so none of us are sure exactly what that means.  Irregardless, products with lemon extract, or other botanicals can still cause allergic reactions.  In fact, as most of us know, pollen (which is obviously naturally occurring) is a common cause of hayfever.  Skin allergies are not very different.  Your body can react to almost any product, “natural” or not.

Myth #10:  My skin is dry, I can drink 8 glasses a day to combat that.

Actually, dry skin is typically caused by poor skin barrier that results in loss of water through the epidermis.  And it’s oil that keeps the skin moisturized.  Using products that help repair the skin barrier (like moisturizers with Ceramides) is more effective in improving dry skin.


Shared by the TDI team…