Somewhere along the line, you’ve probably picked up some skin care advice or heard about a product that sounds like it might be helpful. You may wish it were helpful, and certainly advertisers want you to believe it is helpful, but the fact is there’s lots of advice floating around out there that is patently untrue. Same goes for the products that perpetuate the ideas. Here are five of the biggest skin care myths:
Pores open and close
Contrary to popular belief, pores do not open and close responding to the latest magic serum or steam treatment. In fact, their size is largely determined by genetics. Pores house a hair follicle and sebaceous gland and some pores DO appear larger than others due to the size of the follicle and the gland. If oil and dead skin are allowed to build up, it can make pores look bigger. Aging and sun damage also contribute to pore size. Bottom line: There’s no magic way to open and close pores but with proper skin care – cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection – you can minimize their appearance.
Pores strips are the answer for blackheads
When oil and dead skin build up in pores, the end result is often a blackhead. Manufacturers of pore strips would have you believe that ripping them off with sticky strips is the easy solution but you’re only addressing the tip of the iceberg. The little black dots revealed on the strip after its removal are only the surface of the blackhead and they’ll pop back up on your nose or chin in no time at all. Even more distressing, pore strips rip up sensitive skin, cause irritation and do nothing in the way of preventing future blackheads. Better to stick to a regular cleansing and exfoliating routine as a long term solution.
Citrus is a great DIY skin treatment
It may sound like a good idea to add a little citrus juice or peel to your next homemade skin care concoction. Surely the natural squeaky clean and fresh properties you associate with citrus fruits will only benefit your skin, right? Wrong! Citrus is a mild bleaching agent and because it’s so acidic, it can harm your skin’s natural pH balance. You might even irritate your skin and bring on chemical burns if you use it before going out in the sun. Store-bought products featuring citrus (often for scent) are usually not harmful because it constitutes such a small percentage of the overall ingredients. But straight unfiltered citrus? Use it to clean your household surfaces, not your skin.
Thorough skin care equals a daily shower
It’s likely second nature for you to step into the shower every day, but did you know washing your body that frequently can be detrimental to your skin’s overall health? Long, hot showers coupled with soap’s drying properties can actually strip your skin of essential oils that keep your skin balanced. A better plan is to cleanse more odor-producing regions – underarms, genital area, feet – daily and to relegate the scrubbing of arms, legs, chest and back to every other day.
Cellulite can be banished forever
Oh, don’t you wish it were so! Unfortunately there’s no permanent fix when it comes to cellulite. Topical creams may reduce its dimpled appearance for a short time, and laser treatments may diminish the stuff for a few years. But the reality is, there’s no cure. Remember, cellulite is simply normal fat beneath the skin that appears bumpy because it’s pushing against connective tissue. It’s a myth that only overweight people have cellulite. Thin people can have it too. If you want to diminish cellulite, the best plan of attack is to combine regular aerobic exercise with strength training and to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber.