By Lee Peterson
There are so many myths about proper skin care, that it's
scary. From old wife's tales about preventing stretch marks
during pregnancy to what's mandatory for proper cleansing,
the falsehoods that are taken for granted have most
dermatologists shaking their heads in discord. According to
many skin care specialists, some of these myths can actually
lead to skin damage. Here we dispel five of the common fishy
tales regarding skin care.
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. Application of olive oil can prevent pregnancy stretch
marks. Stretch marks are caused when the sub-surfaces of the
dermis split, usually due to expansion of the skin beyond
its elasticity ability. This can occur during pregnancy or
because of excessive weight gain. There are no topical
preparations that will prevent this scarring from occurring.
A healthy diet, hydration and regular exercise are the best
ways to ensure your dermis remains healthy and retains its
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. You don't need sunscreen if you have dark skin. A darker
skin tone, whether a Mediterranean olive-toned complexion or
the skin tone of a person of color, does not give the person
extra protection from the sun. It only means that they have
an increased level of melanin. Although this does decrease
the risk of skin cancer from the harmful UVA and UVB rays of
the sun, it is only a slight decrease, and people with
darker skin tones must use sunscreen and take the same
precautions as those with a fairer complexion.
5. Eating chocolate will give you acne. Acne is not caused
by anything you eat. Acne occurs when the dead cells that
your skin sheds stick together and block gland openings.
This causes a back up of the oils that naturally occur in
your skin. Bacteria on the skin react to this and make the
condition worse. One type of food is not going to cause
acne, but a healthy diet will promote a healthier skin and