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Dermatologist debunk Common Skincare Myths

Have you ever been to the same party as a dermatologist ? If so, you may have noticed that the person most likely became the center of attention of all the other guests after the question "And what do you do for a living?" Apparently, most of us have questions about our skin. And apparently, for most of us, these are the same ones. That's why we asked dermatologist Dr. med Anne Gürtler from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Allergology at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich and the LVATE practice in Munich to answer the ten most common questions that she is asked in her daily practice (and again and again) - also so that there is something else to talk about at the next party.

10 common skin care questions answered by a dermatologist

#1 Does the skin get used to daily moisturizing?

Dr. Gürtler: "No. The skin does not stop producing its own fat just because it is creamed from the outside. However, if (very) dry skin is sufficiently cared for again after consistent use of a cream, the need for the required amount of cream can subjectively decrease, thus suggesting a habituation effect."

#2 Does retinol make skin thinner?

Dr. Gürtler: "No. Retinol , a form of vitamin A, is used in many skin care products because it can stimulate collagen production and thus reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The idea that retinol makes the skin "thinner" is based on the fact that it exfoliates the upper horny layers (stratum corneum) and accelerates cell renewal. This can temporarily make the skin appear thinner, especially if it is irritated or dry when you first start using it. However, studies have shown that the skin actually becomes thicker after using retinol."

#3 Is daily showering bad for the skin?

Dr. Gürtler: "No, as long as you don't shower for too long (no longer than five minutes) or too hot (no warmer than body temperature) and immediately apply moisturizing creams afterwards. People with very dry skin (e.g. neurodermatitis) should not use classic soaps when showering, but rather so-called syndets/shower oils, so as not to damage the skin barrier further."

#4 Can lips get sunburned?

Dr. Gürtler: "Yes, and very pronounced, because the uppermost horny layer (stratum corneum) is very thin and, compared to the free skin, there is less pigment (melanin) for protection. In addition, the lower lip is anatomically exposed to direct sunlight from above. Therefore, it is important to protect the lips from the sun , especially during outdoor activities and in intense sunlight."

#5 Are lip balms addictive?

Dr. Gürtler: "No. Lip balms contain moisturizing ingredients that soothe dry or chapped lips, so that regular use can become a habit but not an addiction. However, flavored lip balms should be avoided as they can lead to more frequent (unconscious) lip licking. The saliva that gets onto the lips in this way can attack the surface of the lips over time with its enzymes, which help to break down food, among other things, so that the desire for even more care arises. This can create a vicious circle that leads to a "feeling of dependency" on even more care."

#6 Will you develop a vitamin D deficiency if you apply sunscreen to your face every day?

Dr. Gürtler: "Yes and no, applying sunscreen to the face every day can impair the skin's ability to produce vitamin D through sunlight. However, many adults in Germany have a vitamin D deficiency that is not caused by applying sunscreen to the face, but by spending most of their time indoors. Since sunscreen is undisputedly recommended from a dermatological point of view, the rule is: if you have a deficiency, simply supplement vitamin D. "

#7 Does chocolate cause pimples?

Dr. Gürtler: "Yes, according to current clinical studies. However, the data is controversial and further large intervention studies are needed to answer this question conclusively. As with other foods, if chocolate subjectively leads to a deterioration in the skin's condition, consumption should be minimized. If this is not the case, there is nothing wrong with moderate consumption."

#8 Do you look “injected” after a Botox treatment?

Dr. Gürtler: "The goal of a botulinum toxin treatment is to smooth fine lines and wrinkles by specifically and temporarily relaxing the muscles. When the treatment is performed by an experienced and qualified doctor, it is a very safe treatment whose result is not perceived as "injected". A "injected" look can rather be caused by the application of unnaturally high amounts of hyaluronic acid fillers ."

#9 Does toothpaste help against pimples?

Dr. Gürtler: "No. The paste can have a drying effect and the zinc contained in some toothpastes can have an anti-inflammatory effect, but other ingredients such as fluoride or menthol can further irritate the inflamed skin and even worsen the skin's appearance. It is better to have your dermatologist prescribe a suitable treatment."

#10 Does drinking a lot of water help against wrinkles?

Dr. Gürtler: "Yes and no, although an extreme lack of fluid in the body can also be noticeable in an increase in skin wrinkles after some time, the influence on the formation of wrinkles is considered to be small in countries with sufficient water supplies. In principle, the recommended daily drinking amount of around two liters of water also seems to be advisable for skin health. In recent studies, no further positive effect could be found from drinking more."

The original article can be found on Vogue Germany.

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