Patients may blame how their skin ages on their parents, because “you get the genes your parents have,” says Dr. Sandra Lee, a dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. But habits make more of a difference than genetics in how your skin ages, she says.
According to Lee, here are some of the most common skin care myths:
Skin Care Myth: Your skin will age like your mother’s.
Reality: While genetics do play a role in how your skin looks, habits — such as tanning, drinking and smoking — make more of a difference than genetics for how you will age.
Skin Care Myth: The SPF number tells you how much protection you’re getting from the sun.
Reality: The SPF number on a sunscreen product refers only to UVB (rays that burn the skin) protection and doesn’t tell you if it protects you from UVA rays, which age the skin. Therefore, look for a product that contains UVA-blocking ingredients, such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone, to fully protect your skin.
Skin Care Myth: Most sun damage happens before age 18.
Reality: According to studies, you’ve only accumulated less than a quarter (18 to 23 percent) of the sun damage you’ll incur over a lifetime by age 18. That means you still have time to protect your skin from future sun damage and aging even if you tanned a lot when you were younger.
Skin Care Myth: Over-the-counter cosmetic creams can reverse your skin’s aging.
Reality: There’s no such thing as a miracle in a bottle, according to Lee, since as you age, facial bones shrink, you lose fat under the skin and skin becomes looser — things that a cream won’t help. If you’re serious about turning back time, talk to your cosmetic surgeon about wrinkle fillers, facelift surgery and other procedures that can give you a younger look, and consider a skin care regimen with medical grade products.
Need help choosing the right skin care line for you? Contact our Cleveland medical spa for more information.