Hi guys, I’m back with another 5 things that we are told about skin care and the actual truth behind them. Enjoy!
1. Higher SPF is better. In a way it is, but in another way, it’s really not.
You cannot rely on the number of SPF you have alone. Protection from the sun amounts to various contributing factors and SPF is just one of them. It is important to know UV radiation is made up of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. UVC radiation does not come in contact with us as it gets absorbed by the atmosphere.
UVA rays are what give us a tan. A tan is the result of injury to the skin’s DNA believe it or not and such mutations can indeed lead to skin cancer. UVA rays also are highly responsible for skin aging.
UVB rays are what cause reddening and sunburns. This explains why you could wear SPF 110 and still get a tan but are less likely to get a sunburn. However, UVB rays contribute well to developing skin cancer. They don’t significantly penetrate glass.
Because for a long time UVB was seen more of a threat, sun screen is formulated to protect us mostly from that but more research about UVA has come about and is found to be more dangerous than previously thought. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA rays accounts for up to 95% of the UV radiation that reaches us however, they are less intense than UVB rays but penetrate clouds and glass (so yes, you still need sun protection on a cloudy day).
According to Dr. Wang, director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, to evaluate SP, testers apply 2mg of sunscreen to the skin but people usually only put a layer of 0.5mg of sunscreen on their skin so they don’t actually get the amount of SPF they think they’re getting. Another reason why a higher SPF number does not necessarily mean better protection.
The best thing you can do is regularly put on more layers of sun screen, don’t expose as less of your skin as possible to the sun (this includes a hat and sun glasses.
Tip: Be sure to buy sun screen labelled UVA and UVB protection. For UVA protection, they should include: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, and oxybenzone.
2. You should pop your spots to get the pus out.
It is not fully understood why people get acne scars but it is thought that popping pimples can be a great contributor to scarring, which is understandable as you are opening up the skin and making it go through it’s healing process of protecting the surface of the skin and then leaving a scar behind from the surface damage. Experts say that when you forcefully open up a pimple like this, infection will spread in your skin. You won’t get all the pus out and it will spread in that area which is why you will get another pimple/whitehead in that area in the next few days. That area is already inflammed and not doing well so to pop the zit would be pointless in improving your skin and will only make it even worse.
From the image above, you can see that if you pop a white head, you won’t be getting all the pus out as it runs a lot deeper than you think and there is more of a problem than what shows on top, so it’s best to not pick at it at all.
3. High end products are better than drugstore products.
The whole notion that you get what you pay for is not always true. It might be the case with a car (a Rolls Royce is going to provide you with more safety than a Nissan Micra). However, when it comes to skin care, the high end products are at a higher price because you are paying for the elaborate packaging more than what’s inside it. In fact, there are plenty of “drugstore” skin care products (including sun screen) that are better than their more expensive counter parts because the consumer is paying for the bottle rather than what’s in it. These companies pay a lot of money to find a great elaborate packaging that will suit the prestige of their brand. Less money is spent on the actual ingredients that you think you’re paying for. One example is Lancôme own L’Oréal Paris so they use the same ingredients in the same labs with the same resources but Lancôme will have more extravagant packaging. This isn’t always a good thing because a lot of time when the packaging looks nicer, it is transparent glass which causes the product inside to be exposed to the sunlight which reduces the efficacy of the product. Here’s a link to a few examples of just-as-good products you can get for less money.
4. Wash your face more and it will cure your acne.
The process of washing one’s face can be quite drying, so to do it more than twice a day is not advised. This is because, in this process the natural oils of the skin are being washed of extensively and the skin then makes up for the loss in oils by producing even more oil. The process of washing one’s face can also be very irritating to the skin. This depends on if that person scrubs at their face, if they use hot water, if they vigorously wipe their face to remove makeup and if there are irritants in the ingredients of the product they are using. All of these factors can contribute to the irritation to the skin; can break down collagen in the skin, potentially harm capillaries, increases oil production and can trigger acne.
5. Chemicals are bad for your skin.
And natural ingredients are good? Using natural ingredients that you probably already have around your house is efficient and innovative but that doesn’t always for every person and every person’s skin make it better. For example, tea tee oil is an ingredient that is commonly known to be a good antibacterial treatment for acne but I’ve found that I’m allergic to it and applying it to my face would aggravate it even more. Also, many skin care products contain extracts of lemon or lime because these citrus fruits are contain vitamins and have antibacterial properties and I know Michelle Phan uses it for brightening of her skin but a good percentage of the population actually can get irritated by lemon or lime extract when applied directly to their skin which is why it is sometimes labelled a triggering irritant and something to look out for.
What’s more, science really can and really does improve on what is naturally available to us. Look at benzyl peroxide! Look at those UVA blocking ingredients I’ve mentioned above. Of course there are chemicals that are just irritants but chemistry can be a great thing for our skin, so you shouldn’t completely shun it away.
Skin tip: Remember patch tests exist. It’s better to do a patch test when you’re putting something new on your face before you put the whole thing all over it. Just to be safe.
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