Should we really believe everything we read on the internet? Not likely! Social media has also become a great source of information, but it’s also wise to beware of the myths and legends that find their ways into our collective conscious. We’ve worked with dermatologist and expert Dr Anjali Mahto of London’s Cedars Dermatology to draw up a list of myths to stay weary of!
Foods and antioxidant myths
“The biggest myths I come across are around food or antioxidants and skin and acne such as the expressions ‘wine face’ (lines and red eyes, enlarged pores, dehydrated skin), ‘gluten face’ (or puffy cheeks, dark pigments in the skin and spots), ‘dairy face’ (or swollen eyes, bags and circles as well as spots).
Dr Mahto says, “There is little scientific evidence other than media testimonials that any of these ‘faces’ are an actual thing and consumers need to be cautious of buying into this idea. There is, however, a growing body of evidence that foods with high Glycemic Index (and dairy to a much lesser degree) may aggravate acne.”
‘Vitamin C is a good antioxidant for skin.’“I agree that vitamin C is a potent natural antioxidant but it's bioavailability in the skin is very low from oral intake. To get good effects, it needs to be topically applied to the skin at concentrations of up to 20%.”
Top acne scarring treatments
‘Bio-oil helps with acne scarring’ and ‘Lavender oil treats acne scars’ Dr Mahto’s verdict? “Pitted acne scars or depressed scars will not improve by topical application of an oil or cream. The depressions in the skin are due to loss of tissue within the skin and only respond to procedural treatments such as needling/laser or surgical excision.”
‘Retinoids are great for anti-ageing’ According to Dr Mahto, “not every retinoid product is the same for improving pigmentation of skin and fine lines and wrinkles. Original scientific studies were mainly carried out on tretinoin (retinoic acid) - most over the counter agents are weaker than this, including retinaldehyde and retinol. Whilst these will have less side effects of redness or irritation, the trade-off is also less clinical benefit.”
‘Hyaluronic acid is an anti-aging ingredient that works’ “The molecular weight of hyaluronic acid can differ in different skincare formulations. High molecular weight formulas are too large to penetrate through the skin - its only real action is as a humectant, so will temporarily plump out fine lines at the surface of the skin due to attracting water. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid penetrates the skin more deeply”