Beautiful skin: myths and misconceptions about our skin

When it comes to beauty, we are all sensitive to the opinions of others. Unfortunately, that group of “others” includes not only family and friends, but also the beauty industry. Many people get their information about beauty from commercials or advertisements from manufacturers in the beauty business. They give you information with one purpose: to persuade you to buy their product. In most situations we can easily see that information from the producer is less reliable than independent information. But when it comes to beauty, we blindly follow the industry. Wrinkles? Use that cream! Dry skin? Use this cream! Fat skin? Use tonic! The beauty industry makes millions from the insecurity about our health and appearance. And grandmother’s advice is not based on scientific research either… This article debunks nine myths and misconceptions surrounding our skin.

Myths and misconceptions about our skin

  • 1. Moisturizers make your skin moist
  • 2. Anti-wrinkle creams help
  • 3. Drinking water is good for your skin
  • 4. Oily skin needs toner
  • 5. Chocolate causes pimples
  • 6. Orange peel is very visible
  • 7. Sunscreen factor 50 is best
  • 8. Self-tanning cream provides protection against the sun
  • 9. Dark circles under the eyes are a sign of not enough sleep


1. Moisturizers make your skin moist

The advertisement promises mountains of gold; According to the manufacturer, with their product you will have baby skin in no time. In reality, most creams are a waste of money . There are two active ingredients in such creams: an occlusive (petroleum jelly or oil) and a humectant that helps your skin retain moisture (e.g. glycerin). The moisture does not come from the cream but from water. If you apply the cream after a shower or bath, an oil-based cream will ensure that you retain that moisture. If someone says that greasy cream makes you fat, laugh at them, because fat molecules are too big to be absorbed by your skin. If you have naturally oily skin, you do not need to use a cream (see also misconception 3).
The moisturizing cream therefore ensures that the moisture does not evaporate. If you apply the product to dry skin, it has much less effect. All other ingredients such as vitamins , minerals, liposomes, hormones, collagens, Dead Sea crystals, etc., etc. have no effect at all . These are only added to make the product sound new, different, expensive and effective. So what works best? Old, trusty, cheap Vaseline after showering.

2. Anti-wrinkle creams help

The anti-wrinkle business is very lucrative. Most women want to appear younger and are therefore eager to get rid of their wrinkles. But how good is that expensive jar of cream? Many creams tell the same nonsense as the moisturizers: that they have vitamins, minerals, liposomes, etc. This is usually not absorbed by the skin and is therefore purely a strategy to put a more expensive price tag on the product. Vitamin C is an acid that can act as a kind of peeling in large quantities, but creams should only contain small amounts. The advertised anti-wrinkle effect may only be visible under the microscope! Also remember that the research into its effectiveness was financed by the manufacturer. Dermatologists have vitamin A creams at their disposal. These are only available with a prescription and some are effective.

3. Drinking water is good for your skin

Anyone who believes this myth has apparently forgotten his/her biology lessons. Skin consists of three layers. The bottom layer is the subcutaneous connective layer where the vessels flow and the hair follicles are, followed by a layer of living cells. The last layer is the epidermis: visible, but and now it comes dead. Although it is of course good to drink enough water (your body needs it), it does nothing for your epidermis because it can no longer absorb water from the inside . Drinking a lot of water only leads to one thing: a full bladder. For healthy skin, it is wise to stay out of the sun and not smoke. If your skin is dry, the only thing that can help the epidermis is water from the outside. If necessary, you can use Vaseline to retain moisture. And if you’re wondering why your shins always get so dry, that’s nothing more than normal because it’s the driest place on our bodies. The shin is where dermatologists diagnose skin dryness.

4. Oily skin needs toner

The first thing you should consider is the name. Why is the opposite of dry skin called oily skin? If we were to call it wet skin, then of course it wouldn’t sound like anything was wrong! And if you believe there is nothing wrong with your skin, you won’t buy beauty products. Oily skin naturally retains water, which is fine. So a moisturizer is definitely a waste of money. Of course, the beauty industry has also come up with something for people with oily skin: a way to dry it. Tonic has alcohol which evaporates quickly and therefore dries out your skin. You can sense in your clogs that something that dries out your skin is not good. Dermatologists advise their patients not to use tonics. Isn’t it bizarre? On the one hand, the beauty industry sells cream for people who want oily skin and on the other hand, toner for people who want dry skin.

5. Chocolate causes pimples

Many teenagers get pimples because the hormones in the body are overactive. This causes overactive sebum production and therefore clogged pores. A white spot is a collection of bacteria and other debris under a thin layer of skin. This white spot can turn black simply by being exposed to air. So pimples are mini skin infections, caused by a combination of clogged pores and bacteria. Chocolate has nothing to do with this process. It does not affect your hormone production and therefore does not make your sebaceous glands more active. Acne appears to be affected by stress and a diet high in carbohydrates . Stress can produce more testosterone, which stimulates your sebaceous glands.
Pimples can be treated in different ways. Squeezing is not a good idea because you can make the infection worse. Scrubbing your face doesn’t help either. There are products for sale at the drugstore, but the effect differs from person to person. If the situation is serious, a dermatologist can prescribe antibiotics to stop the infections.

6. Orange peel is very visible

Although a woman with cellulite or orange peel skin thinks the whole world can see it, the opposite is true. The stereotypical image of a man who does not notice that his wife/girlfriend has had a haircut or dyed her hair also applies to cellulite. A French study shows that most men don’t notice it and the rest have no idea what orange peel is. One in five men thought cellulite was a type of battery and one in three had no idea what it is at all. What does that mean? Even if a man knows what it is, he doesn’t care much about it.

7. Sunscreen factor 50 is best

The factor or SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicates the degree of protection. So it seems logical that a higher SPF is better than a lower one, but that is not true. The SPF is determined in a laboratory on the basis of two milligrams per square centimeter of skin. But here’s the problem: most people apply only a quarter, half a milligram per square centimeter. Another point is that SPF 15 provides the maximum protection we need (if applied sufficiently). There is simply not enough sunlight in a day for factor 30, let alone factor 50. These higher SPF values make people overconfident; they think they can be in the sun longer . As a result, it is the people who use sunscreen who are more likely to develop skin cancer. What should you do? Use plenty of cream with factor 15 half an hour before you go outside. Don’t think that your clothes offer 100% protection: a simple white shirt only has factor 5 and even less when it’s wet. There’s a good rule of thumb to determine if you need cream: if your shadow is shorter than your actual height, you may get sunburned.

8. Self-tanning cream provides protection against the sun

The use of creams for tanned skin is growing. The current products are safe and provide good results. But there’s one thing these creams don’t do: protect your skin from the sun . A product like Dove Sunshine gives your skin a darker color, it does not increase your protection against the sun. We know that people with naturally dark skin tones are less likely to burn and if you have built up a tan through careful sunbathing, this applies to some extent to you too. But the tanning creams don’t build up anything. Although your skin appears darker and it therefore seems as if you can withstand the sun better, you still need to use sunscreen as much and as often as before to avoid burning.

9. Dark circles under the eyes are a sign of not enough sleep

When you are tired, dark circles sometimes appear around the eyes. This is because tired eyelids shift slightly and create a feeling of depth or shadow. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Some people are born with blood vessels lying just under the skin or with a lot of pigment around the eyes. The color darkens with age or sun exposure, not from lack of sleep. Severely ill people sometimes also get dark circles because the fat around the eyeball disappears and casts a shadow. Dark circles are not a sign of allergy or vitamin deficiency and the only thing that helps is makeup .

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