The truth about products, treatments, and what’s right for your regime!
With the constant flow of new skin care products, treatments and advice it can be sometimes extremely difficult to know what to believe and what not to believe! Here I am going to give you the fact on some of the more common skin care myths to help you decide what is best for you and your skin.
Myth 1 : Sunbeds are safe as long as they don’t contain UVB rays
Everybody knows that sun tanning is unhealthy and can lead to many problems such as skin cancer and premature ageing. But what about sunbed tanning? Sunbed companies often say that they filter out the so-called “sunburn” UVB rays to try and sell it to you, but the truth is when you use a sunbed you’re still exposing your skin to the less harmful UVA rays which can penetrate deeper into the skin and cause damage that leads to premature ageing and skin cancers as well. The best and safest option is to just stick to a fake tan, these days they provide flawless coverage and are extremely easy to apply so there is no excuse!
Myth 2 : The higher the SPF, the better the protection
UVA, UVB and UVC are the three different types of UV (ultraviolet) rays. UVA rays are the ones that penetrate your skin to change your pigmentation and give you a tan. UVB are the most harmful rays which are responsible for most of the burning you can develop. They damage your skins DNA which causes ageing, pigment changes and cancer. UVC ray don’t even make it to the ground as they are absorbed by the atmosphere and so aren’t harmful to us.
The SPF on a sun cream refers to the amount of protection you will receive from UVB rays and sunburns. For example an SPF of 15 means 1/15th of the burning radiation will reach the skin if the sun cream is applied correctly. A sun cream can just protect from UVB rays if it isn’t ‘broad spectrum’ so you need to make sure you are getting one of these so you are protecting yourself from UVA rays too. You can determine the effectiveness of a sunscreen by multiplying the SPF by the length of time it takes you to burn in the sun without sun cream. So if it takes you 10 minutes to burn when not wearing sunscreen you would avoid sunburn for 150 minutes if wearing a sun cream of SPF of 15. It’s therefore important to note that a sun cream with a higher SPF does not necessarily last longer than a lower SPF as we all have different tolerances. Higher SPF’s must still be continually applied as much as a cream with a lower SPF.
Myth 3: You don’t need to use sunscreen on a cloudy day
Even on cloudy and rainy days the UV radiation from the sun reaches the ground which means your skin is at risk daily. Make sure you are using an SPF daily however just because your make up or moisturiser contains an SPF doesn’t mean you are getting the protection you need, although it is better than nothing ideally you should be using a sunscreen too.
Myth 4 : Scrubbing your face with soap will keep your skin healthy and acne free
If you scrub your face too often or too harshly you will be taking off some of the protective oils and barriers. This in turn can then make the skin over compensate by producing excess oil which can create pimples. It also makes the skin very de-sensitised. Try using a gentle exfoliator 2 – 3 times weekly instead followed by a moisturiser and sunscreen.
Myth 5 : It’s better to get the pus out of a pimple by popping it
Even though it is so tempting to squeeze them and it feels/looks better to do so the truth is squeezing a pimple can actually push the pus in deeper. This can lead to inflammation which then can lead to scarring. It also can spread under the skin which causes even more to pop up in the surrounding area! If you feel you absolutely have to get rid of the little sucker then purchase a comedone extractor. They are inexpensive and you can purchase one in most beauty supply stores or pharmacy’s. They are really easy to use, you simply apply firm pressure and roll it across the pimple to take it out, its as simple as that!
Myth 6 : Expensive skin care products always work best
Expensive skincare products can of course be good and great quality but quite often you can pick up a very similar product for a fraction of the price. Most active ingredients found in anti-ageing creams are similar however if you want to pay for the feel, smell and package also then most definitely pick up a more pricey one. However some more expensive creams with expensive ingredients are of course going to be better.
Myth 7 : Anti-ageing creams can erase wrinkles
As annoying as it is I’m afraid most wrinkle creams simply hydrate the skin which plumps it out making it temporarily look better. There is however one ingredient that has a great reputation for reversing fine lines and I must say I have to agree, that is topical retiniods or “Retinol”. Retinol penetrates the skin well and vastly increases the cell turnover. this means they are very effective at treating acne, reducing fine lines and reversing the effects of sun damage. This is because by increasing the cell turnover it is actually changing the way the skin grows rather than temporarily covering up a problem. There are a few creams on the market that you can buy like this but for a greater strength it must be prescribed.
Creams containing active vitamin C are also very effective but I urge you to buy it from a reputable company as pure vitamin C does destabilise very quickly thus making the cream useless. You must also be realistic with the results you would like to achieve from creams or else you will be disappointed.
Myth 8 : Lasers can make you look 20 years younger
There are many different types of lasers out there and they are all been marketed to do different things. Some help with pigmentation, others with wrinkles by going deep and activating collagen and some are great for brightening the skin. Although laser treatments have come a really long way you need to be realistic of the results you will get, if you have intensive damage it will help but not completely remove.
So what’s the bottom line when it comes to anti-ageing and skincare…………stay out if the sun where possible and wear your antioxidants and sunscreen everyday as the biggest contributors to ageing skin is our surroundings. Have a good regular skincare routine and a regular facials or microdermabrasions are always fab! Have a look at Eden Beauty in Kirkstall, Leeds where a range of treatments are available. And as they always say, prevention is cheaper than the cure!!