Beauty myths busted

From toothpaste healing pimples to when we actually need to use sunscreen, the DIV dermatologists bust four of the beauty myths they’re most often asked by our patients.

 

Q. You can boost the collagen in your skin with a cream?

A. Dermatologist Dr Katherine Armour: False

“Collagen is a protein found in the deep layers of the skin that make it elastic, supple and plump. Unfortunately when topically applied, collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin's surface, meaning you can’t boost levels in the skin with a cream,” explains Dr Armour.
“Collagen in your skin naturally weakens and unravels with age, however there are things to avoid that can cause further damage like sugar, the sun, smoking, pollution and stress.”

 

Is there anything you can do to put collagen back into the skin? 

A way to put collagen back into the skin is through collagen-stimulating treatments like Pelleve, Venus Viva, Fraxel and skin needling.

To read  about a patients experience with Fraxel click here

Q. It’s  summer, so I should start using sunscreen now?

A.  Dermatologist Dr Anina Fitzgibbon - False

“It doesn’t matter that it’s summer,” explains Doctor Fitzgibbon. "Sunscreen should always be used...though now is better than never."

“The sunscreen you choose should always be broad spectrum and used all year around. Broad spectrum means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. The strength of UVB rays varies according to time of day, year and location. However UVA is present throughout the entire year, and can penetrate clouds and glass. Many people don’t realise that when driving their skin is at risk as UVA penetrates through the windscreen.”

Sun protection and not smoking are the best and most cost effective anti-ageing tools we have, and are key ways to protect yourself from cancer.

Be generous with your sunscreen, most people don’t apply enough resulting in only 50-80% of the protection stated on the product. Throwing in a hat, UV protective clothing and sunglasses is a bonus to keep your skin looking youthful and protect it from the sun’s rays.

To learn more what type of sunscreen might suit your lifestyle click here

Q. Toothpaste is an effective way to treat a pimple.

A. Dermatologist Dr Lee-Mei Yap - False

Chances are this is a trick you’ve used at least once in your life, however Dr Yap says that this old wives tale is a very bad idea.

“Toothpaste is meant for teeth and not skin! While toothpaste may be helpful in drying out a pimple, the fluoride in it can damage your skin, over-drying it and even causing burning which can leave obvious red marks long after the pimple has gone.”

There are more effective topical applications for acne prone skin such as products that contain BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) such as Assoc. Prof Goodman’s skin correction gel. These products work as both a nonabrasive exfoliator and also dissolves excess oil preventing acne before it starts. Sometimes acne requires treatment by a physician or in clinic, which is different for every person but may involve light skin peels or microdermabrasion.

Q. Toning is an important step in your daily skin routine? 

A. Dermatologist Assoc Prof Greg Goodman - False

While they are part of many skin care ranges, toners and astringents should be avoided by almost all skin types. This is especially the case for those with dry skin, because they strip the skin of all oils, both good and bad.

“Toners often contain harsh astringent chemicals that remove the remnants of the cleanser but simultaneously strip the oils from the skin completely and unnecessarily after the cleanser has removed what it can”, explains Assoc Prof Goodman.

“Depending on the ingredients, toners can even be too drying for those with oily complexions.” 

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