Skincare Myths Busted

skincare myths busted, DMV dermatologist, DC black dermatologist

Does eating chocolate cause acne? Will scalp massages prevent baldness? Here we debunk the some of the most common skincare myths.


Skincare Myth #1: Rubbing alcohol kills acne.

Alcohol is a common ingredient in many skin care products because it dries quickly. When used in the right concentrations, it is safe for the skin. However, rubbing alcohol is much too concentrated and will cause drying and irritation. When the skin is stripped of its natural oils, it may respond  by overproducing oil. This can clog your pores and make acne worse.

#2: Hot water opens pores.

Washing the face with warm water feels soothing and relaxing. It also helps to remove excess oils on the skin. There is no added benefit from using hot water. In face, water that is too hot can cause dryness and irritation, and may even burn sensitive skin.


# 3: Toothpaste is a spot treatment for acne.

Most toothpastes contain alcohol or menthol. Because these agents  are drying to the skin, they can shrink smaller acne pimples. Nonetheless, using a traditional over the counter acne medication containing either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid would be much more effective.

#4: Sunscreen only needs to be applied once in the morning.

All sunscreens, including those with the highest SPF, fade over time. Thats why, in addition to applying in the morning, you should reapply every 2 hours when you’re out in the sun, and even more frequently if you are sweating or in water.

#5: Eating chocolate causes acne.

Some studies have shown a link between dairy products, foods with a high glycemic index (e.g.chocolate, oily foods) and acne. Other studies have shown no connection at all. If you notice that eating any particular food causes your acne to break out, then you should remove that food from your diet and observe your skin closely to look for improvement.


#6: Scalp massage can prevent baldness.

Although scalp massage can reduce stress and increase well being, there is no evidence that scalp massage prevents baldness.


# 7: The right skincare products will keep your skin looking young.

There are many skincare products that claim to slow or reverse the aging process. While some of these, like retinols and bakuchiol are quite effective, the best way involves a multistep approach. This consists of  a healthy diet, using sunscreen everyday, and not smoking.

# 8: More aggressive exfoliation is better.

While exfoliation can brighten a dull complexion, it should not be thought of as an immediate solution. Instead, it should be a constant, long-term part of your skincare regimen. More aggressive exfoliation can scratch and dry out your skin. We recommend gentle exfoliation, no more than 3 times per week.

# 9: Burning means that the product is working.

A mild tingling sensation can be normal after applying some skincare products. However, stinging or burning is not normal. These may be a sign that you’re having an allergic  reaction to the product or one of its ingredients. If you experience these symptoms, quickly remove the product with water, and do not use again.

# 10: Makeup with SPF can be used instead of sunscreen.

The SPF in most makeup only filters ultra-violet A (UVA) rays. In order to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, you need to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen.  For continued protection, you would need to reapply both sunscreen as well as SPF makeup throughout the day.


If you have skin concerns  or need more information about how to keep your skin healthy, call 301-679-5772 or book an appointment online. Dr. Ife Rodney  is a board certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist with expertise in skin care, anti-aging and skin rejuvenation for all skin types. Eternal Dermatology is conveniently located in Fulton, MD, and serves Clarksville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Laurel, Bowie, Silver Spring,  and PG, Montgomery and Howard County, Maryland.


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