3 Summer Skin Myths

1 – Drinking water will help your dry skin.

It doesn’t. Drinking water is important to stay hydrated, but if you have dry skin you need to water the outside of your skin, not the inside. Drinking lots of water no more moisturizes your skin than taking a bath quenches your thirst.

2 – Sunscreens with sun protection factor (SPF) of 100 are twice as good as sunscreens with SPF of 50.

As you can see from the graph, there are large differences in sunscreen protection at low SPF; however, there is not much difference in protection once the SPF is at least 30, which is what most dermatologists recommend.

3 – Sweating will make my acne worse.

Sweating does not make acne worse — in fact, sweat is your natural antibiotic. Keeping tight, wet gym clothes on after a workout can clog your pores which can flare acne. So can too much sun. Cover up. Go for a run. Shower. (And if you live in the southeast in August, shower again).

Did you already know these? What skin question would you like answered? Comment here or ask me on Twitter @Dermdoc

Photo: 96dpi

12 thoughts on “3 Summer Skin Myths

  1. How do I find a good dermatologist in my community. I don’t want Botox, yet I would like one who isn’t just concerned about skin cancers. I have some cosmetic issues, chiefly those bumpy overgrown oil gland things, and I have seen three different derms who just won’t focus on that.

  2. Is UV radiation really the biggest ager of skin or is it simply the normal metabolic processes of aging that cause wrinkles and lines?

    Is it safe to use the antifungal terbinafine which has a long half-life, with regard to it’s absorption into skin… I think you know what I am trying to say…?

    Thanks for an awesome blog!

  3. I am a 25 year old male and I get rather large under-the-skin pimples at the corners, and slightly below, my mouth. This is the only place I break out but its very nasty looking and painful when I talk/eat. I use all Burts Bees products on my skin and don’t usually moisturize unless I’m dry. I read somewhere that it could be from toothpaste but I only use Tom’s (w/o fluoride). Clean pillow cases, rarely touch my face, relatively healthy diet, shave every other day with Aveeno therapeutic shave gel….any idea what could be causing this problem on me or with others you may have treated? Thanks!

  4. Kathryn:
    Is there a local university-based group? You can also use the American Academy of Dermatology physician finder: http://www.aad.org/findaderm/Default.aspx

    JC:
    There are two forms of aging, intrinsic and extrinsic. Both are important. Intrinsic is things like crows feet and loss of fat and muscle. Extrinsic is damage from the outside of which UV light is by far the most important. Smoking is a distant second.

    Terbinafine is safe to use long term. Anywhere.

    JWC:
    I cannot say for you personally. Acne is common and in most instances does not need any external cause to trigger it. It does, however, often need an external treatment to improve it.

  5. You say that ingesting water doesn’t improve skin dryness; does this also extend to oils with the omegas like fish, borage, and flaxseed with which I supplement my diet for the purpose of improving skin condition, among other things?

    Also, I’ve recently been reading about the dangers of SLS and other additives to hair and body soap; do you make any general recommendations about what to avoid or include in skin cleanser or moisturizer?

  6. Your analogy of how a bath no more quenches thirst than drinking water hydrates skin is so clear and easily understood; I’ll use that when working to debunk this well entrenched myth with patients (with attribution!). Also, adding the graph for SFP relative to UV protection helps people grasp this concept as well. Great post.

  7. I have been telling my girlfriend that drinking water does not moisturize your skin. She would chide me for using lotion to keep my skin hydrated, yet would complain that she was getting dry sking still…especially in the heat. Your analogy of using a bath to quench your thirst is great. Thanks!

  8. hi, i’m asian girl..my skin is quite normal i think.i do not have acne and things that many girls do have.but i did not used any facial cleanser..is it ok not having any facial cleanser?

  9. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Of course, drinking the appropriate amount of water is very important in keeping your entire body hydrated (including the skin). Keeping skin moisturized is a different story.

  10. Love this! I get so annoyed with all the lazy skin care tips in magazines about drinking 8 glasses of water a day to make your skin glow… I worked as a facialist for years, if only it was that easy :) I do think eating water-rich foods really helps skin – granted this is again secondary but because these foods contain fiber as well as water (and vitamins), I sometimes think for hydration you’re better off eating an apple rather than skuling a glass of water :)

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