I’m a dermatologist – here are five popular skincare myths you should ignore

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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A dermatologist has warned against the biggest skincare myths and why you should ignore them.

Lindsey Zubritsky MD, FAAD, is a US-based dermatologist and content creator on TikTok, where she’s known as @dermguru.

She offers skincare advice to her 1.1 million followers, as well as specialising in general medical dermatology, surgical dermatology, cosmetics, and pediatric dermatology.

In a recent TikTok seen by 85,000 people in just a few days, she debunked the myths surrounding skincare that most people think are true.

She told viewers ‘I’m not sure where these lies started in skincare but as a dermatologist, I’m here to set the record straight and spill the chai on the truth in skincare’ – read on to find out all the myths you should ignore.

Lindsey Zubritsky MD, FAAD, is a board certified dermatologist and content creator on TikTok , where she’s known as @dermguru

Drinking more water will fix dry skin 

The first myth the expert set out to debunk, is that drinking more water can help with dry skin.

She explained: ‘Drinking more water is not going to fix your dry skin. 

‘Yes, drinking more water is good for overall health but it’s not gonna fix dry skin and it’s not gonna clear your acne either.’

However, some people went against the dermatologists advice, with one user writing: ‘I can attest drinking more water helps my dry skin’.

Another chimed in with: ‘Drinking more water has honestly cured my severe chapped lips. My doctor recommended it’. 

London based aesthetic doctor and surgeon, Dr Glyn Estebanez, advises: ‘It’s true that drinking more water won’t solve your dry skin problems, however, skin is made up of 64% water and so in order to keep it adequately hydrated, it’s important to make sure that you do drink enough water to keep your body, and skin hydrated.

‘Dry skin is usually caused by water loss from the outer layer of skin and can be impacted by lifestyle factors such as cold weather and central heating, especially at this time of year. 

‘For more effective skin hydration and to address skin dryness long term then it’s advisable to look at treatments which boost the skin’s hydration levels’.

In a recent TikTok seen by 85,000 people in just a few days, she debunked the myths surrounding skincare that most people think are true

In a recent TikTok seen by 85,000 people in just a few days, she debunked the myths surrounding skincare that most people think are true

Some example treatments the doctor suggests include Profhilo, which consists of hyaluronic acid which helps to bio-remodel the skin, ‘offering hydration as one of its benefits’. 

He explains: ‘It works by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, to hydrate and boost skin health’.

You should use Abreva for cold sores

Next, the dermatologist advised her followers to stop buying Abreva cream when they have cold sores.

However, Dr. Zubritsky claims that it’s not actually making much of a difference. 

She told viewers: ‘If you have cold sores, atop using Abreva. 

‘Studies have shown that Abreva only shortens cold sore time by 18 hours compared to just plain old Vaseline.

‘If you want something that actually works – Valtrex, that’s your girl’. 

Although, not everyone is taking the advice – one commenter wrote: ‘I’m sticking with Abreva. That’s what actually helped me before anything else’.

Another pointed out: ‘Eighteen hours is a lot when you have a terrible cold sore’.

Dr Estebanez adds: ‘This treatment contains an ingredient called docosanol which is designed to penetrate into the skin and prevent the virus entering healthy cells. 

‘It’s designed to shorten the lifespan of a coldsore. 

‘By how much it does this will vary from one person to another but some report it helps to reduce redness and irritation’.

Abreva has been contacted for comment. 

Vitamin E will help with scars 

The dermatologist continued: ‘Next lie, vitamin E for scars – I’m sorry but studies don’t support that this actually works. 

London based aesthetic doctor and surgeon, Dr Glyn Estebanez, gave his view on the US dermatologists advice

London based aesthetic doctor and surgeon, Dr Glyn Estebanez, gave his view on the US dermatologists advice

‘If you want something that actually works save your money on the vitamin E and get silicone and SPF done’.

Although, one viewer penned: ‘Vitamin E on my TT scar made it disappear and the surgeon was amazed. (It was recommended by my physician) Vitamin E absolutely works for some of us.’

Dr Estebanez agrees that there is limited scientific evidence on vitamin E helping with scars.

However, he explained: ‘What we do know is that Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help the skin’s healing process. 

‘More effective scar-reduction treatment can be achieved using Morpheus8. 

‘This non-surgical treatment combines the benefits of micro-needling and radiofrequency to achieve a controlled injury to the skin and deeper subdermal layers which stimulates a healing response in the skin. 

‘This in turn helps the production of new collagen and elastin, helping scars to fade more quickly’.

You don’t need SPF

SPF is a must have in the hot summer months, however it can gather dust at the back of your cupboard when winter rolls around.

The dermatologist stresses how important it is, year round. 

She explains: ‘This next one really gets me, people say that they don’t wear their SPF because they don’t go outside. 

‘A lot of the time people will say this to me in clinic and I’ll say how’d you get here?

‘Did you take your dog for a walk today? Did you get the mail today? If the answer is yes, you gotta [sic] wear your SPF’.

One viewer agreed, commenting: ‘I’m 51 and I’ve been using sunscreen everyday since I was 18 years old and I hardly have a line on my face and my hands look so young’. 

The London-based doctor agrees that it’s ‘vital to wear a factor 30 broad spectrum SPF every day, even if you’re indoors’.

Dr Estebanez said: ‘This will help to protect against UV rays that can pass through glass, and also against the blue light omitted from computer screens. 

‘Prolonged UV exposure can not only cause skin cancer, but it can also negatively affect the connective tissue of the skin. 

‘It can also cause solar elastosis, which results in wrinkling and discolouration. So it’s important to wear a high factor broad spectrum SPF every day, even when you don’t go outside.’

You need to wash with soap everywhere 

The FIVE biggest skincare myths according to Dr Zubritsky

Drinking more water will fix dry skin

You should use Abreva for cold sores

Vitamin E will help with scars

You don’t need SPF

You need to wash with soap everywhere 

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The expert’s final piece of advice is that you don’t need to use soap as much as you are told. 

She said: ‘Last one, I know you’re gonna [sic] drag me in the comments for this but you don’t need to wash with soap everywhere.

‘If you’re super dry or you have eczema, you can reserve soap for just the dirty areas on your body – save it for the pits, privates and piggies’. 

Dr Estebanez’s agreed that washing with soap can lead to skin issues.

He explains: ‘Soap works by removing the oil from skin and so it impacts the natural pH level of the skin and the natural microbiome. 

‘For some people this can cause dryness and irritation and exacerbate skin conditions such as acne and eczema. 

‘There is no need to use soap everywhere, or indeed every day. Instead of bar soaps which tend to be harshest on skin, opt for a bodywash that is closer to the skin’s natural pH level and will, therefore, have less of an impact on the skin’s natural oils and pH level.’

Viewers thanked the expert for the advice, with one person writing ‘Yes it’s the evidence based medicine for me!’.

Others added: ‘Top tier advice!’ and ‘agree!’.

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