When it comes to skincare, (expensive!) myths abound. Here, top dermatologists share how to separate fact from fiction.
“I need to tan to get my daily vitamin D”
“There are safer ways to get vitamin D than lying in the sun. Ultraviolet light is a carcinogen, like cigarette smoke. Think of it this way: If someone said you could get vitamin D or some other nutritional supplement from smoking a cigarette, would you take up smoking? Why get mutations in your skin cells to get vitamin D? Instead, enjoy a sunny day by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen. Ask your doctor about whether a vitamin D supplement is even necessary.” —Delphine J. Lee, MD, PhD, dermatologist and director of the Carolyn Dirks and Brett Dougherty Laboratory for Cancer Research and Department of Translational Immunology at John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California
“Never, ever go to bed with your makeup on”
“Most women think terrible things will happen to their skin by not taking off their makeup before bed. But the reality is it’s usually not much of a problem. Think about it this way: What’s the difference between wearing the makeup on your skin for the eight hours that you’re sleeping as opposed to the 12 hours that you wear it during the day? There’s really not much of a difference, particularly if you sleep on your back. It is possible to get eye irritation from your pillow rubbing makeup into your eye but that’s very uncommon.” —Neal Schultz, MD, a dermatologist, host of DermTV.com, and creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz
“Popping a zit will help it go away faster”
“Only pimples that have come to a white head are safe to extract. Even then, it is best to visit an aesthetician or other skin health professional to get a treatment and have these extractions done properly. Randomly squeezing papules (pimples that have not come to a head) can lead to infection and scarring. It is best to keep skin clean and hydrated and use products with either benzoyl peroxide, retinol, or salicylic acid to clear the skin overall.” —Jennifer Linder, MD, board-certified dermatologist and chief scientific officer for PCA SKIN. Don’t miss these surefire ways to get rid of acne once and for all.