The Most Common Skincare Misconceptions, Explained

With all the different skin care and beauty terms out there, it can be hard to decipher what’s really what and what they all do, as well as understand why you need them. That’s why we enlisted the help of two dermatologists for a clear-cut explanation of some of the most confusing skin care misconceptions. 

Hydration does not mean just water
Delray Beach, FL, dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby says that skin needs hydration and most people equate that to a reflection of how much water they drink. In actuality, hydrating the skin from the inside out by drinking enough water is important, but it’s equally important to hydrate with the right skin care products. “Aging and certain skin disorders cause water loss for a variety of reasons and there are ways to improve skin integrity.” 

Injectables, toxins and fillers are not one in the same
Although injectables, toxins and fillers may sound similar and are often referenced together, they are two separate entities that act independently of each other. “Patients get confused and don’t understand the difference,” says Dr. Allenby. “Injectables are a broad term for which we can reverse aging without surgery. It encompasses neurotoxin injections and different types of fillers. Neurotoxins temporarily relax muscle actions that create wrinkles, and fillers consist of products such as hyaluronic acids for skin lifting and line filling, plus collagen stimulating fillers like Sculptra and Radiesse for lifting and restructuring volume.” Miami dermatologist Dr. Janice Lima Maribona adds that patients often refer to all toxins and fillers as Botox. “I have people that come in saying please don’t put Botox in my cheeks!” 

SPF isn’t fully understood
We know it’s important to wear sunscreen, but a large majority of patients still are lost when it comes to deciphering and understanding SPF factors. The SPF number on a product basically means how many minutes you can be exposed to the sun for before the damaging effects start to be created. “A large portion of patients don’t understand how sunscreens really work—they understand them as non-burning suntan lotions. SPF is not really understood as far as what the SPF number really means,” says Dr. Lima Maribona. 

Not all lasers are going to burn you
Laser treatments are so confusing to the patient. There are a number of different lasers for many different usages and a lot of people hear the word laser and assume it’s going to ‘burn your face off,'” says Dr. Allenby. But, that’s not necessarily the case. “Each laser is different and should be described and used specifically depending on what the patient needs.”