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Debunking Skin Care Myths

Myths abound about skin care, from recommendations on preventing stretch marks to the proper way to cleanse your face. These old wife’s tales have many experts shaking their heads in disbelief, but also have many believing them. Five common skin care myths are debunked here.

1. Prepare your skin for summer sun on a tanning bed. Tanning beds are dangerous because of the concentrated UVA rays they emit. These are the same rays you get from the sun that cause premature aging and skin cancer. Getting a light tan on the sun bed does not protect your skin from further damage, it just means you have already exposed it to harmful rays. Tanning does not produce more melanin in the skin, it just brings it to the surface.

2. You can prevent stretch marks with olive oil. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can apply to your skin to prevent the appearance of stretch marks. A healthy diet, good hydration and regular exercise will improve the elasticity of your skin. Stretch marks occur when the sub-surface splits due to over-stretching, such as when you gain excessive weight or are pregnant.

3. Increasing the SPF means you can stay out in the sunshine much longer. This is truly an unsafe belief. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will block approximately 94% of UV rays. Increasing to an SPF of 40 will only block 97% of UV rays. Increasing the SPF does not significantly increase the protection. What’s more important is to ensure the sun block you purchase protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Another must is to apply the protection before you venture out in the sun and then reapply sun screen every couple of hours, regardless of whether you got wet or not.

4. Dark skin tones don’t need sunscreen. This is another unsafe myth that should be debunked immediately. Darker skin tones do contain higher levels of melanin, but that does not give them additional protection from the sun. You should still protect yourself with sunscreen, as the risks of skin cancer, although slightly lower, still exist for darker skin tones.

5. You can get acne from eating chocolate. No one type of food will lead to acne, and while a healthy diet will promote a healthy skin, what you eat does not cause acne. Acne occurs when the dead cells that the skin sheds stick together and block the various gland openings in the skin. The natural oils in the skin then back up, and bacteria takes advantage of this situation, making matters even worse. So you can keep eating chocolate – in moderation of course!

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This post was written by admin on July 28, 2010

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