Is chocolate really going to make you break out? Are you stuck with your acne scars forever? We asked famed dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt to weigh in on a handful of the most common skin myths. He’s talking Greek yogurt, SPF truths, and more, above.
Greek yogurt makes a great at-home mask for your skin.
“The lactic acid in the milk acts as a mild exfoliator,” Dr. Brandt says.
A frozen spoon will de-puff your under eyes in seconds.
This one’s tricky. Dr. Brandt says that if the under-eye puffiness is from fluid accumulation—if you’re particularly hungover or even just exhausted—then a frozen spoon will make a visible difference. If, however, it’s from fat deposits (so you were basically born with under-eye circles), this quick trick won’t help.
There's no real difference between SPF 25 and SPF 75.
“Even though the percent of increase is not proportional to the number you see written on the sunscreen, higher SPF does offer higher protection,” Dr. Brandt says.
Eating chocolate will make you break out.
“Evidence suggests that high-glycemic foods cause acne-prone people to break out,” Dr. Brandt says.
Lasers are the only way to treat acne scars.
Dr. Brandt mentions a handful of other ways to treat acne scars, including peels, injectable fillers, and relatively easy surgical procedures. (Stay tuned for a more in-depth answer to this oft-asked question!)
Toothpaste makes for a great zit cream.
If you’re battling acne, invest in a real zit-zapping formula. Sometimes chemicals are a good thing! Try Origins’ Super Spot Remover Treatment Gel ($15), Sonya Dakar’s Blemish Buster ($29), or Yes to Tomatoes’ Acne Spot Stick ($10).
You have to sleep on your back to avoid wrinkles.
If wrinkles are starting to become a concern, try one of these anti-aging moisturizers: Dr. Brandt’s Collagen Booster ($78), Ole Henriksen’s Truth Crème Vitamin C Advanced Hydration ($45), or Lancome’s Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night ($115).
You don't need to use eye cream until you're in your 30s.
It turns out there’s never a bad time to start using eye cream. Dr. Brandt says it’s especially helpful in your late 20s when the aging process is occurring at the micro or even macroscopic level. Click here to see our favorites.
People with dry skin age faster, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Don’t fret. Those with dry skin might need extra hydration, but a heavy moisturizer will keep the aging process at bay (or at least slow it down).
If my tinted moisturizer or foundation has SPF, I don't have to worry about a separate layer of sunscreen.
“You’re usually not applying enough tinted moisturizer or makeup to get the full degree of SPF stated on the bottle,” says Dr. Brandt. Make sure you’re using a generous layer of sunscreen every day—even in the winter!
Dairy is bad for your skin.
We’ve gone over this before, but Dr. Brandt agrees that enough studies show that dairy causes acne. So, if acne is a big concern for you, it’s probably better to step away from the cheese.
You should use some sort of exfoliator—whether it's a brush or a scrub—every day.
As you might expect, over-exfoliating can actually inflame the skin, making it age faster than it would otherwise. Stick to two to three times a week, depending on your skin’s sensitivity.