Ten fallacies regarding skin and nail care

Every day we are surrounded by a wealth of information on skin and nail care advising us how to preserve their beauty and health for as long as possible. There is a large number of fallacies and misapprehensions on this topic, which can cause negative effects if applied. We have decided to dispel those misconceptions.

Written by: Spec. Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatologist, DERMATIM

1. Cutting the cuticles is good for a better and healthier look of the nails.

Cuticles (eponychium) are parts of the skin which protect the cells that grow the nail plate. Cutting the cuticles is not recommended because it can damage the cells, which then create a deformed nail plate, and as a consequence, an infection may occur. It is recommended to submerse the nail into hot water for ten minutes, and then mildly press in the cuticles by a soft object in the direction reverse from the growth of the nail.

2. Exercising and tightening the muscles on the face contributes to a youthful and fresh look.

Wrong. By constantly exercising and straining the facial muscles, additional lines and wrinkles are created. The face is the only part of the body where muscles are directly connected to the skin, without the existence of ligaments. Skin wrinkles are lines caused by movement of strong mimic musculature.

3. Skin pores open and close.

Completely wrong. Pores are openings on the surface of the skin which enable the sebum to emerge on the surface of the skin. Facial pores can be more prominent as a consequence of a larger amount of dead cells on the skins surface, genetics, or as a consequence of squeezing the pimples. By facial skin peelings the dead cells which give the visual impression of closed pores, are removed.

4. Vitamin E reduces scaring.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which helps with skin structure building, but there is no evidence that it mitigates scar forming. Research has been done that has even proven the negative effects of vitamin E on scaring.

5. Pickles help reduce the swelling around the eyelids.

Complete fallacy. Pickles contain about 90% of water together with inert fibers. They can have an effect on skin hydration but only temporary. The same effects would be achieved by using cold compresses.

6. A larger SPF factor provides a longer protection from the Sun.

An SPF protection factor in sunscreens is related only to the skin protection from UVB radiation. Skin that is susceptible to damage under the solar radiation, also needs physical and chemical protection from other harmful effects, and also a larger amount of antioxidants. This is why the creams with larger SPF protection factor will give only a false sense of security. A 30% SPF has only 2% more protection then the 50% SPF. For efficient protection from the Sun it is necessary to apply the cream every two hours.

7. Creams with collagen can compensate for the natural collagen.

There is no empirical proof that applying the collagen and elastin creams helps those substances penetrate into the skin dermis. They provide better hydration of the surface layer of the skin, but only an injection of collagen into the deeper skin structures would be completely efficient.

8. Mineral oils are bad for the skin.

Not true. Cosmetic mineral oils are an efficient ingredient in cosmetic products that help with the removal of excessive skin fat. Mineral oils mixed with kaolin-clay are mighty products that help with the removal of sebum in problematic skin. More about mineral oils read here.

9. Skin damage and signs of ageing can be removed quickly and efficiently with creams.

This sounds too good to be true. The skin damages don’t appear over night and they can not be magically repaired. We can expect six cycles of skin regeneration, lasting 21 days, to pass, in order to notice any results.

10. All the alcohols in skin care products are bad.

Wrong. Some compounds that contain alcohols can act as emollients, which prevent the loss of water from the skin surface. Cetyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol and oleyl are examples of good alcohols.