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7 Common Skincare Myths

Deciphering myth from fact can be tough when it comes to skincare. We have the old world remedies of previous generations, some of which work surprisingly well, some definitely don’t. We have the constant bombardment of messages from a vast array of skincare and cosmetic companies from around the world. And we have those well-meaning friends who have found something that seems to work for them, but may not work for you because you have a different skin type and therefore, different needs. Ultimately, going to a trained professional with your best interests at heart and the education and training to know what’s best, is the answer. That’s why the skincare professionals at New Leaf have assembled some of the leading skincare myths and their snopes-style answers. Remember, you are always welcome to make a consultation appointment to discuss the best individual skincare plan for you.


Myth: There are over the counter skincare products that work like Botox or dermal fillers.

Fact: Skincare products cannot work like Botox or dermal fillers because the ingredients cannot reach their targeted areas.

Skincare products are applied to the skin, but injectables such as Botox, are injected right into the problem area, taking care of problem areas at the root of the problem. While skincare products do penetrate and are absorbed by the skin, they don’t have the power to do the same job and don’t penetrate as deeply as injections do.  



Myth: “Age spots” are simply a fact of getting older.

Fact: “Age spot” is a bit of a misnomer. Brown discolorations are not technically a result of age.

Sunspots can show up at any age – from freckles that often show up on young children, to those smooth, flat, brown discolorations that can be seen as early as someone’s mid-twenties. At any age, treating sun-induced discolorations doesn’t necessarily require a specialty product, but it does take proven ingredients (like niacinamide and forms of vitamin C) plus daily sun protection to make a noticeable, lasting difference.


toothpaste facialMyth: Toothpaste is a great way to prevent or quickly heal a pimple.

Fact: Not true, but a widely believed myth.

There aren’t any ingredients in toothpaste that can have a reliably positive effect on acne and it can , in fact, make matters worse. The bacteria in that lives in our mouths are not related to the acne-causing bacteria in our pores. Also, the ingredients in toothpaste might offer minimal abrasive properties, but it’s nothing a gentle rubbing with a washcloth doesn’t provide. Lastly, the flavoring added to toothpaste creates problems for many skin types that should be avoided.


Myth: Expensive products are better than inexpensive ones.

Fact: They can be. There are good and bad products across all price categories. What matters more than the price, is the formulation.

The amount of money you spend on skincare products has nothing to do with the quality or uniqueness of the formula. An expensive liquid soap is no better for your skin than an inexpensive bar soap (at New Leaf we suggest both are potentially too irritating and drying for all skin types). On the other hand, an irritant-free drugstore toner can be just as good, or better than an irritant-free toner from an upscale salon or department store (depending on the formulation). Any irritant-free toner is infinitely better than a toner that contains irritants, such as alcohol, peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus, or lemon – no matter how natural-sounding the ingredients are and regardless of the price or claim. It’s about the formulation, not the price. The best way to know which formula is best for your skin and which product will deliver that formula, is to consult a professional, such as Renee Grier at New Leaf, who has 30 years of experience as a nurse practitioner and two master’s degrees in nursing and public health.


Natural-vs.-SyntheticMyth: Natural or organic ingredients are better than synthetic ingredients.

Fact: Natural ingredients can be harsh and irritating, sometimes more so than synthetic. It’s about what formula is best for your skin, not whether the element grew out of the ground or a laboratory.

The definition of “natural” is a bit ill-defined in the beauty world. The term is loosely regulated, so any cosmetics company can use it broadly. Just because it can be found in nature, growing out of the ground doesn’t mean it is good for your skin. And just because it is synthetic doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. Also, there are ingredients that are good for skin, but the carbon footprint of harvesting the ingredient is not environmentally friendly. Synthetic ingredients can be better regulated, produce more consistent results, and in some cases, are better for the environment. Ideally, our skincare routines should be a mix of beneficial ingredients, both natural and synthetic. When properly formulated, they will work in harmony, giving skin the best that natural and synthetic have to offer.


Myth: When a company says a product works, it does.

Fact: This is called claim substantiation, and it does not equate to scientific research.

There are many companies with wonderful products and many companies with questionable products, but all of them will claim they do something wonderful for your skin. You can research ingredients and percentages needed for the product to be effective. You can try product after product, hoping you find the right one before your face is negatively affected, long-term. The best approach is to reach out to a professional and discuss the best formulas for your skin type. The more experience and the more education (including continuing education), the better. Skin care technology advances every year and long-time professional who stays on top of the latest techniques (not just the most recent trends) is the best way to find products and best product combinations that will work for you.


Botox MythMyth: One should always look for collagen and elastin in anti-wrinkle products.

Fact: Collagen and elastin in skincare products are great water-binding agents, but they can’t fuse with the skin’s natural collagen and elastin.

The collagen molecule is just too large to penetrate the skin. Even when it is manufactured to be small enough for absorption, it cannot bind with the existing collagen in our skin. Collagen is, however, a good moisturizing ingredient, which is great for skin. Even if collagen or elastin could absorb into the skin, and even if they could combine with existing collagen or elastin, without controls, the application would just be adding them to your skin, which would ultimately cause an uneven texture. For example, a doctor can only inject so much collagen into your face before you end up with larger than life lips or a face that doesn’t move naturally). Protect skin from sun damage, daily exfoliation with a well-formulated AHA or BHA product, and treating your skin to a range of ingredients (e.g., antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients). This will protect the natural collagen supply and allow it to build new collagen – something healthy skin loves to do and does well under the right conditions.


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