Has anyone ever told you to not smile a lot as it can cause wrinkles? Or to gain some weight as skinny people are more prone to wrinkles or are likely to have sagging skin at an early age?
Let’s get one thing straight – most of the skincare information floating around has no relation to science or physiology. These are just myths that often lead to disappointment, empty wallets, and troubled skin.
It’s high time we stop believing in them, and for that, we need to separate fact from fiction.
Don’t have time to dig up information about everything you hear or read about anti-aging skincare?
Don’t worry; we have done it for you because we don’t want you to fall prey to the wrong skincare advice.
Here are some of the most prevalent anti-aging skincare myths that need to be put to rest once and for all:
Myth # 1 – Moisturizers Can Help to Remove Wrinkles
We wish this was true because we would all be wrinkle-free then!
Most of the moisturizers available out there do nothing more than hydrate our skin. Hydration plumps up the skin, which makes the wrinkles and fine lines appear smaller.
Some moisturizers contain silicone that fills in the wrinkles and reduces their appearance. However, all these effects are only temporary.
Fine lines and wrinkles can only be prevented or removed by-products that speed up the process of cellular turnover and boost the production of collagen.
In simple words, no moisturizer has been invented that can make you look ten years younger by removing all the fine lines and wrinkles from your face.
Myth # 2 – Daily Exfoliation Can Keep Your Skin Young
While exfoliation is an important part of a skincare regimen as it helps to remove dead skin cells, excessive exfoliation or using scrubs that contain harsh chemicals can do more harm than good.
Too much exfoliation rips off the natural oils and moisture from your skin, leaving it dry, irritated, or even damaged. According to dermatologists and aestheticians, exfoliation should not be done more than thrice a week at maximum; to prevent going overboard, take professional opinion to determine how often your skin needs to be exfoliated. Also, make sure to always use a gentle scrub, and do not rub your skin too hard or for too long.
Myth # 3 – You Should Only Use Skincare Products Targeted to Your Age Group
If you pay a little attention while walking through the aisles in the skincare section of a store, you would notice labels like ‘for women over 50’ or ‘for mature skin’.
Many skincare products claim to be specially designed for a specific age group. But there are no scientific facts to prove their claim.
You should choose products according to your skin type and concerns and not your age. Two women, one in her 30s and the other in her 50s, can use the same products if they have similar skin types and concerns.
If you have products that work well for your oily skin and clogged pores, there is no need to give up on them just because of your increasing age.
Remember, age is not a skin type or issue. Therefore, it shouldn’t be the primary factor while choosing the skin-care products.
Myth # 4 – Age Spots Are a Fact of Getting Older
Many people think that the small, dark areas on the skin that we call ‘age spots’ are simply a fact of old age. While age may be a contributing factor, there are other, more important, factors that can cause dark spots and uneven skin tone.
According to skincare experts, age spots appear due to excessive production of melanin (skin pigment). Even though doctors are not yet sure of what exactly causes the increase in melanin production, they believe that it has more to do with environmental factors, like excessive exposure to UV rays from sunlight and tanning beds.
Furthermore, these unwanted age spots can appear at any age.
Research has found that products containing hydroquinone are very effective for lightening these dark spots. In addition to this, products containing niacinamide and vitamin C help to tone and brighten your skin.
Myth # 5 – Everyone’s Skin Ages the Same Way
This is simply not true!
The aging of a person depends upon a variety of factors. For example, it has been an established fact that people with oily skin get the last laugh when it comes to wrinkles and other signs of aging. However, this does not mean that all the people who do not have oily skin are bound to get fine lines and wrinkles at a certain age. Many other factors like their skincare routine, diet, environment, sun exposure, and overall health also play a key role in determining how and when their skin age.
Myth # 6 – You Are Bound To Have Wrinkles After 40
While it’s true that you become more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles once you get old, there is no certain age at which the signs of aging are bound to appear.
Premature aging is a common phenomenon these days, and it proves that many people’s skin starts to age at an earlier age. On the other hand, there are people who do not show any signs of aging until 50 or even after that.
Myth # 7 – You Should Only Use Anti-Aging Skincare Products When You Are Older
If you think that anti-aging products are meant only for older people, you are wrong.
Simply put, anyone who’s experiencing the signs of aging can use the anti-aging products, regardless of the age.
Some people hesitate to use anti-aging products because they think the ingredients of those products would be too harsh for their young skin, but that’s not the case in reality. While the effective anti-aging ingredients may be potent, they are suitable for people of all ages; there is no research study that suggests otherwise.
It’s never too early to fight visible signs of aging.
You can stop using the anti-aging products once you have got the results.
Myth # 8 – If Your Parents Have Wrinkles, You Will Have Them Too
While you may have inherited your dad’s nose and your mom’s eyes, you won’t necessarily develop wrinkles in the same way or at the same age. According to a research article published in Dermatology Times in 2014, the intrinsic factors, i.e., DNA and gene expression, only make a 10% contribution to skin aging. 90% of the way your skin ages is determined by extrinsic factors, like the environment, lifestyle, diet, habits, and products that you use.
This means, your genes don’t have much impact on the aging process of your skin, so even if early aging is in your genes, it can be overruled by changing your extrinsic factors.
According to Renee Rouleau, a celebrity aesthetician, “Free radicals are now believed by most medical researchers to be the bottom line of disease and aging, contributing not only to wrinkles, but to acne, sensitivity, age spots, dryness, loss of skin elasticity, and skin cancer. By reducing the amount of free radicals that your body creates (avoiding sun exposure and stress, and getting more rest), and incorporating the daily use of sunscreen, topical antioxidants, and a high antioxidant diet, you can control how fast your skin ages to a greater degree.”
Myth # 9 – You Can Skip Sunscreen on Cloudy Days
We all know how important sunscreen is for protecting your skin from the harmful effects of sun rays and to prevent premature aging. But many people still have the misconception that you only need sunscreen during the summer, when the sun is shining out bright, or when you go to the beach.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you are likely to be more exposed to the UV rays of the sun during extreme winters. This is because research has shown that snow reflects up to 80% of the UV rays. This means that the same rays may hit you twice.
The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 (or higher, according to the climate) when going outdoors, especially for a longer period.
Similarly, you also need to wear sunscreen on cloudy days.
According to a CNN article, the harmful UV rays from the sun can even penetrate glass. Glass can only filter one type of radiation, i.e., UVB rays. It cannot stop the UVA rays, which penetrate even deeper.
Myth # 10 – The Only Anti-Aging Ingredient That Really Works Is Retinol
While there is no doubt that Retinol has great anti-aging benefits, there is no ground for the claim that it is the only effective anti-aging ingredient.
The anti-aging skincare industry has seen exponential growth during the past few years, and scientists have found many new ingredients that can provide similar, if not better results.
With retinol, one has to be very careful because the overuse can irritate your skin and can cause inflammation, peeling, redness, and skin thinning.
Myth # 11 – The More Expensive the Products, The Better The Results
Although there are some skin-care products that are expensive and worth splurging on because of the amazing results they provide, the price is not a prime indicator of quality.
The effectiveness of a product depends on the ingredients. Many drugstore skincare products have the same ingredients as their expensive counterparts; hence, they can give the same results at low cost. Never compare two products on the basis of their price tags; instead, check out the type and concentration of ingredients they have.
Myth # 12 – Good Anti-Aging Products Provide Immediate Results
If you are expecting your retinol moisturizer or your under-eye cream to make your fine lines and wrinkles disappear overnight, you are living in a fantasy world.
No matter how desperately we all want these kinds of instant gratifications, it is a dream that cannot be fulfilled. According to Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologic surgeon at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, and the director of dermatologist surgery at Metropolitan Hospital, “All skin-care products take 4 to 8 weeks to really induce measurable skin changes.”
A smarter way to find out if your anti-aging products are working is to take a bare-faced selfie in natural light once a week for about 2 months and then compare them to see the difference.
- Your diet has nothing to do with the wrinkles
- No pain, no gain – if your skin stings or burns because of a product, this means its working
Again, this is nothing more than a fallacy. Skincare products should not be painful. While a little tingling feeling is fine, if any of the products you are using is making your skin burn or causing redness, you should stop using it right away.
According to skincare experts, stinging skin is often a sign of irritation or severe dehydration, which can actually make your skin age faster.
Are you guilty of believing in any of these myths and fallacies?
Stop right there!
While it is recommended to take expert opinion to pick up the right products if you are doing it on your own always choose the products according to skin concerns and skin type. Find out your skin needs on the basis of the signs of aging you are experiencing, sun damage, dryness, and any other actually important factors instead of your age or friends’ suggestions.
Don’t waste your hard-earned money on the miracle cream that claims to have the extract of a rare flower that only blooms in the rainforests of western Sumatra once in a span of five years. In the modern skincare industry, a new miracle anti-aging ingredient is discovered every other day. But unfortunately, most of them are just marketing tactics that companies use to attract people. Do not fall prey to them.