Friday, June 26, 2009

16 sneaky beauty myths

Here is a little quiz put together by totalbeauty. Some of this stuff i did not even know.

Question 1:
Pimples pop up over night
True or False
If You chose False your right!
Here's why:

You go to bed with skin clear as a newborn's and wake up with an angry red zit on your forehead -- but that pimple is no overnight star; it was actually days in the making.

"Sebum naturally migrates out of the follicle to the surface of the skin, but if there's a buildup of dead skin cells or you're using a product that's comedogenic, the process can be interrupted and the pore can eventually become blocked and infected," explains Brentwood, Calif.-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, noting that most zits take about seven days to form.

Of course pores can be come more instantaneously blocked with a product that's not meant for the face, such as misdirected hairspray, warns Dr. Kenneth Beer, a dermatologist in Palm Beach, Fla. Pimples can also appear to pop up overnight pre-period, but this is due to a gradual increase in oil production that's the result of cyclical hormonal fluctuations.

Question 2: It's okay to do at-home extracting


Fughedabout "extracting" at home, which we all know is a nice way of saying "popping pimples."

"Extractions are highly technical and best left to professionals using sterile instruments, " says Beer. Since we use our not-so-sanitary nails, DIY picking can leave skin red and scarred while it spreads bacteria. The common home-extraction scenario is squeezing a pimple -- particularly an inflamed, cystic whitehead (aka an undergrounder) -- so that its infected contents are actually pushed deeper into the skin.

"You may be getting some of it out, but some is going south too which will spread the infection and actually extend the pimple's life," says New York City dermatologist Dr. Francesca J. Fusco. That said, Fusco concedes that blackheads are generally low-risk because their contents are dead skin and sebum without much bacteria, and tiny whiteheads are often superficial enough to gently remove without consequences -- but don't make a habit of it.

Question 3:
Botox Prevents wrinkles?

Botox is a bit of an overachiever. It both corrects wrinkles and, derms attest, prevents them.

This injectable toxin works by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles that contract and contribute to wrinkle formation. Once the muscle is put out of commission, existing superficial lines smooth out and deep creases soften by 50 percent, says Fusco. So it makes sense that if Botox is injected before a wrinkle occurs, it could prevent one from ever forming. "If your family has a hereditary trait of deep frown lines and you can just see yours starting to form, that's an ideal time to begin regular injections [every 4-6 months] to prevent those lines from ever getting etched on your face," says Fusco.

But there is a caveat when it comes to crow's feet injections: They sometimes cause new fine lines to form beneath the eyes when you smile since the muscles can't contract at the outer corners. (That news is enough to make you frown ... if you could.)

Question 4:
Your skin needs a toner?

You know how the sales pitch goes: "Toners are essential for removing residual dirt, oil and bacteria," says the makeup salesperson who works on commission.

The fact is, if you're cleansing properly, your face is clean, so you don't need toner to finish the job. Toners might feel nice on your face, and if you're a toning junkie, by all means, keep it up. Just be sure you use one that's alcohol-free (like one that uses witch hazel) so you don't strip the good layer of natural oils on your skin, advises Fusco.

Or try a "treatment" toner that contains skin-refining alpha or beta hydroxy acids. Skip using an AHA moisturizer in the latter case or you run the risk of over-treating with AHAs and irritating skin.

Question 5:
Facial exercises make you look younger

If butt and tummy crunches tone those zones, then it stands to reason that facial exercises would tighten up and fill in wrinkles.

But it just doesn't work the same way with the muscles in your face. They don't "tone up," says Santa Monica, Calif.-based dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban. Adds Fusco, "We can't do weight-bearing exercises with the muscles in our face so they don't bulk up like the muscles in our trunk and extremities."

Meanwhile, repetitive motions using your facial muscles -- even laughing and smiling a lot -- can bring lines out in the face. So if you want to prevent those lines, stop smiling, already. (Ha! Just kiddin'.)

Question 6: If you lose weight, You'll lose your cellulite?


Cellulite is a skin problem, not a fat problem. "When connective tissue and collagen and elastin fibers in the skin begin to break down, fat cells can push into the dermis, the middle layer of the skin, and show through the surface," explains dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad, author of "The Cellulite Solution." Thus, losing some fat can smooth some of your dimples, but it won't eradicate cellulite altogether.

Genetics play a big role in cellulite, as well as hormonal patterns and aging. "If it makes you feel better, even thin people with very little body fat can have cellulite," says Wu.

Question 7:
Eating French Fries or chocolate makes you break out

The only way either of these foods might cause a breakout is if you smeared it all over your face and let it clog your pores.

You might get bloated from salty fries or get cavities from chocolate, but zits? No. Hormonal fluctuations, bacteria and inflammation cause acne. Period. And there is no scientific evidence linking chocolate or oily foods with any of these acne-causing issues, says Fusco.

Then again, you might scarf more chocolate or greasy French fries during those pre-period "hormonal fluctuations" (a clinical word for "raging PMS") when both estrogen and progesterone surge. But it's still not the food that's causing the pimples to pop up; it's the hormones. So feel free, scarf away.

Question 8: A natural scrub is more effective then a synthetic scrub?



It's that "natural" bias. You think natural scrubs are better because they're made from ground plant seeds or fruit pits. But pulverized seeds and pits have uneven, jagged edges that can be too rough on skin, causing microscopic abrasions -- or worse -- if your skin is sensitive, warns Murad. Synthetic scrubs that contain uniform, spherical beads exfoliate without scratching.

Question 9:

You CAN make a bruise go away faster?


Nope. Like an unwelcome houseguest, that unsightly spot is sticking around. A bruise develops when an area beneath the skin is injured, rupturing blood vessels and leaking blood into the tissue. The pooled blood forms the black and blue color beneath the skin and it takes time for the body to heal and reabsorb the blood, says Shamban.

A homeopathic ingredient like arnica montana can help prevent a bruise from forming when used in cream form or as a supplement before any tissue is injured (like when its used leading up to cosmetic injections), but sadly, not after. "A derm can use an ultrasound on the area to fade the color a bit, but the bruise won't actually go away any faster," says Shamban.

Question 10:
Pricey designer creams are more effective than drugstore brands?

Calling all status seekers: Many drugstore brands use the same active ingredients as pricier products -- and they're often manufactured in the same factories, too.

With spend-y brands, you're not only paying for those active ingredients, you're paying for the foo-foo fragrance that makes it smell better than the drugstore brand, luxe packaging, the real estate in the department store and a portion of the salesperson's salary. Certain ingredients can truly be worth the splurge but if you learn to read labels, you can find great drugstore alternatives to designer products.

What's worth the money? High-tech antioxidants like idebenone and superoxide dismutase, which are difficult to purify and manufacture, and retinols, which must be packaged correctly in an aluminum tube (never a jar) since air and light immediately break them down, says Wu.

Question 11: Cold Cucumbers are the best way to beat under eye puff?

Ah, the dreaded puffy eyes, often a sign of too much salty food or alcohol-laced fun the night before. The botanical ingredient in cucumber, known as cucumis sativus, can help, but it's not your best bet.

"In this case, it's really the coldness that acts as a vasoconstrictor, constricting the blood vessels and pulling excess fluid out of the tissues to reduce puffiness," says Shamban.

Caffeine is also a vasoconstrictor, which is why many eye gels contain it. A puffy-eye double whammy: cold plus caffeine. Shamban recommends chilled tea bags or keeping a caffeinated eye gel on hand in the fridge for a quick morning-after fix.

Question 12: It is OK to wax and use exfoliating products?


Getting burned isn't fun, figuratively or literally, but the latter is likely to happen if you believe this myth. If you're regularly exfoliating with an alpha hydroxy acid (such as glycolic) or a beta hydroxy acid (such as salicylic), then you get your lip waxed ... ouch!

Like these exfoliating treatments, waxing removes a layer of skin cells, so you're giving fresh, new, delicate skin a double-dose of stripping. The result is a red, raw burn. "This goes double if you're using retinols, which actually thin your skin," says Kim Huynh of Wax in Los Angeles, who has seen her fair share of the not-so-good variety of stripped bare.

Huynh's recommendation: If you schedule a waxing -- whether it's brow, lip or bikini -- skip acids and other harsh, exfoliating treatments for at least one week beforehand; if you use retinols, stop treatment at least four weeks prior.

Question 13: Hypoallergenic products are safe for all skin types?


Time to get over our wishful thinking that the sun can do good. Those shining rays might temporarily dry out skin and pimples, but exposure can also leave you with dark pigmentation marks and a rebound bout of acne.

"Since the sun dries skin out, the top layer of the skin thickens and cell turnover is slowed, which leads to newly blocked pores," says Wu, adding that inflammation caused by sun exposure can also aggravate the inflammation associated with acne.

Question 14: The sun will get rid of my pimples?

Time to get over our wishful thinking that the sun can do good. Those shining rays might temporarily dry out skin and pimples, but exposure can also leave you with dark pigmentation marks and a rebound bout of acne.

"Since the sun dries skin out, the top layer of the skin thickens and cell turnover is slowed, which leads to newly blocked pores," says Wu, adding that inflammation caused by sun exposure can also aggravate the inflammation associated with acne.

Question 15: Benzoyl peroxide is the best quick fix for a zit?


And milk does a body good. Teenagers are still fed the idea that benzoyl peroxide is the end-all, be-all for pimples. But if you have sensitive skin, BP can cause contact dermatitis. What's worse, a pimple or an allergic reaction?

Calendula and 2 percent salicylic acid can calm a zit's inflammation but they won't really resolve the infection, which is why derms choose hydrocortisone cream for their own flare-ups.

Fusco recommends dabbing a glob on a zit overnight to reduce inflammation and redness, and resolve the infection. "But only do this for two nights max as a quick fix. Steroids aren't something you want to use on skin consistently or for long periods," she notes.

Question 16: Laser hair removal is permanent?


Let's call it what it is: laser hair reduction. Laser hair removal only gets rid of 40 to 80 percent of hair, so get your expectations in check.

One reason for this is that hair grows in cycles. Since some will be dormant at the time of your appointments, the laser can't zap every hair at every session, says Wu.

Permanent hair reduction is possible but not permanent removal. One bonus: The hair won't grow back as dense as it was before treatment. You decide if it's worth the time and money.

it's sooo long but its very detail oriented :) enjoy lovers.

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