In case you didn’t know, please don’t try every other skincare trend that is doing the rounds on social media. Contrary to what results you may have noticed, applying toothpaste or garlic to acne is never a long-term solution; skipping sunscreen will not help give your face a natural contour. The truth is, there is a whole lot of unverified and unchecked skincare advice that is doing the rounds, and if you’re ever tempted to try an instant fix, remember to ask your dermatologist if it’s a good idea.
The thing about skincare is that it is very personal and individualistic. There is no fixed formula that guarantees results, yet most of us tend to try out remedies and hacks that other people swear by. While some people might just get lucky with social media-promoted skincare hacks, more often than not, they do nothing, and the worst case, they end up damaging your skin. In most circumstances, we choose to opt for medical counsel only when our skin conditions become extremely severe.
To cut through the noise about skincare and the myths surrounding it, we reached out to celebrity skincare expert, Dr Harshna Bijlani, medical head of the Mumbai-based The AgeLess Clinic
Myth 1: Applying toothpaste on acne can cure it
While applying random DIYs like toothpaste and even garlic on acne is very common, Dr Bijlani strongly recommends steering clear of these hacks simply because these can lead to pigmentation and burns.
Instead, she suggests visiting a doctor and letting them treat your skin.
Myth 2: Chemical peels will damage my skin
“When people hear the term chemical peels, they automatically assume that these are harsh, artificial formulas that can harm the skin. Contrary to this, mild peels that contain lactic acid or glycolic acid are made from ingredients like milk and sugarcane,” clarifies Dr Bijlani. The benefits of these peels are numerous, including fading of acne scars and pigmentation and brighter skin.
In most cases, Dr Bijlani explains that the risks are minimum like mild irritation, redness, and peeling. If you have excessively damaged skin (think extreme sun damage and spots), chances are you may need a stronger peel. These are in-clinic treatments that will be done under medical supervision.
Myth 3: Use anti-ageing products once you see fine lines and wrinkles
“False! Right from your 20s, there is a steady depletion of collagen–the stuff in the skin that makes it look young–and by the age of 40, you’ve lost 30 per cent of it,” adds Dr Bijlani. Unfortunately, she tells us that even losing three per cent of collagen makes a noticeable difference. But, you can prevent this if you like by using anti-ageing formulas from your mid-20s.
Myth 4: You don’t need sunscreen if you’re indoors or if it isn’t sunny
“Not true at all! It is essential to wear SPF every day, no matter what! If your house has windows and sunlight is streaming in, you need to wear sunscreen because there are two types of rays that reach the earth: UVA and UVB,” says Dr Bijlani. The former will pierce through clouds, smog, and glass and will penetrate your skin, deeply damaging it. The latter, on the other hand, causes immediate, visible damage to the skin (think tanning and burning).
Myth 5: Once fillers or botox wears off, my skin will look saggier
“False! Fillers boost the production of collagen and make skin look taut and plumper. Botox reduces muscle activity which prevents fine lines from forming,” she explains. When you stop a treatment like botox, your muscles will eventually go back to working the way they used to before.