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In the ever-evolving landscape of skincare, myths often overshadow facts, leading to confusion and potential harm. From old wives’ tales to straight unrealistic information spread on social media, it’s crucial to separate fiction from reality. 

As such, I debunk some common skincare myths.  

Debunking Common Skincare Myths

Myth 1: Skincare products work immediately

There are many new and exciting discoveries being developed with super ingredients and formulas by the beauty and skincare industry. Still, none are going to make much of a difference unless you commit. It can take weeks to months to see noticeable results from skincare products.

Consistency is key, and it’s important to give products enough time to work before expecting significant changes. Good skin means you need to invest and commit, allowing your skincare of choice the time it takes to work for you.

Myth 2: Clean beauty is always better

Many have embraced the rise of “clean beauty”. These are products that are formulated without harmful chemicals and focus instead on natural, safe, and eco-friendly ingredients. Skincare is subjective – what works for your skin might not work for the next person. With that being said, there are no products that are “better” for you than others. 

It is essential to focus on what your skin needs. You might discover that your skin requires ingredients like retinol and vitamin C as opposed to “clean” ingredients such as argan oil and shea. The efficacy of a skincare product depends on its formulation and the specific needs of your skin.

Myth 3: Higher SPF provides all-day protection

You are prone to get sun damage no matter the season. UVA rays are present even on cloudy days. Wearing an SPF of 30+ is a year-round commitment to protect your skin daily from harsh environmental factors. 

While a higher SPF sunscreen provides more protection against UVB rays, no sunscreen can provide all-day protection with a single application. The effectiveness of sunscreen depends on proper application and reapplication. 

Here are my sunscreen recommendations: 

Myth 4: Face exercises will reduce wrinkles

We have all come across videos on social media claiming that facial exercises will reduce your wrinkles and give you the jawline of your dreams. While facial exercises have proven to improve muscle tone and skin elasticity, they are not a one-stop solution for aging prevention. 

Aging involves various factors, ranging from collagen loss to environmental influences. If you need to incorporate a well-rounded skincare routine with anti-aging products, consider adding aesthetic medical treatments when needed, along with a healthy lifestyle that includes hydrating products and, most importantly, sun protection. This will help to address your wrinkles more precisely. 

Here are my product recommendations: 

Myth 5: Hormonal changes only affect women’s skin

The reality is that hormonal changes affect both men and women, and they significantly impact skin health. Testosterone is a hormone found in males and females, and it can trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which may cause acne. Although women are more likely to develop obvious skin changes during menstrual cycles, pregnancy or menopause, men are not exempt from the impacts that hormonal variations have on their skin.

Myth 6: Acne is a sign of poor personal hygiene

The misconception that acne is caused by poor hygiene is also a major one. Acne is not due to dirt or not washing your face thoroughly enough. Too much washing or using strong cleaners can even irritate the skin and “promote” acne. 

No matter what type of acne you’re dealing with, pimples of all types have the same starting point – a blockage of the hair follicle. Breakouts occur when excess oil and dead skin cells clog the pores, which leads to the growth of zit-forming bacteria. 

While there’s a genetic link to your chances of developing acne, dermatologists agree that certain triggers may exacerbate blemish-prone skin. We’re talking about the usual suspects, like not getting enough sleep, eating the wrong foods, stress and using the wrong ingredients in your skincare products.

Here are my product recommendations for treating acne: 

Myth 7: The right products can shrink your pores

Many products on the market claim that they are making your pores smaller. This is however not possible as the size of your pores is linked to your genetics. Unfortunately, the size of your pores can’t be permanently changed, but exfoliation and in-office extractions can make them look smaller temporarily since they are not clogged.

Bottom line

In your skincare journey, it is important to distinguish the difference between facts and myths. By understanding the truth behind common misconceptions, we can do a better job caring for our skin while achieving healthier and radiant complexions.

Visit my website and sign up for a free Face2Face Assessment. You will receive personal recommendations from me for your skin type or skin concern.   

Dr Alek Nikolic

Dr Alek Nikolic

Dr Alek Nikolic is a renowned specialist in aesthetic medicine and is at the forefront of the latest developments in his field. With a focus on skin care, skin ingredients and cosmetic dermatology treatments such as lasers, chemical peels, Botox, and Dermal Fillers, he has performed over 20 000 procedures to date and is responsible for training many medical practitioners both locally and internationally. After receiving his MBBCh from the University of the Witwatersrand (1992) he went on to do an MBA at University of Cape Town (2000). With over 24 year in private practice, he has lectured and performed live demonstrations across the globe, including Bangkok, Rome, Paris, Monte Carlo, Prague, and Warsaw.  Some of his achievements include: Owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement Owner of online skincare store, com. Founding member of the South African Allergan Medical Aesthetic Academy Advisor to Allergan Local Country Mentor in Facial Aesthetics   Vice President of the Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine Society of South Africa(AAMSSA) Associate Member of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery(ASLMS).


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