Skip to content

9 Skin Care Myths Debunked

The truth about products, treatments, and what’s right for your regimen.

Myth: Antiaging products (or "wrinkle creams") can erase wrinkles.

Most wrinkle creams simply hydrate skin, plumping it out and making it look better temporarily. So don't buy into the hype. There is one product that has a solid history and reputation for reversing fine lines, however, Bauman says. That is topical retinoids.

Often sold under the name "Retinol" or "Tretinoin," these creams or drops penetrate the skin and increase skin cell turnover. Studies have shown them to be fairly effective at treating acne, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and reversing the effects of photoaging or sun damage. Some retinoids can be purchased over the counter. For greater strength, ask your doctor for a prescription.

Kim also recommends using an antioxidant cream containing vitamin C but cautions that these creams tend to destabilize very quickly. So they should be purchased from a reputable company.

But be advised, Kim warns: "Nothing is magic."

Myth: Lasers can make you look 20 years younger.

"There are many different types of lasers being marketed, and they all do different things," Kim says. "Some help with sun spots, some help with wrinkles. Some go deep and activate collagen. It's all marketed so much that people think it can make you a completely different person."

She believes that while lasers are much better than they were a few years ago and produce better results with fewer side effects, patients still need to be realistic about what they can actually do. "If you've done intensive damage to your skin, there's only so much we can do," she says.

So what's the bottom line when it comes to skin care tips and anti-aging strategies? Stay out of the sun, say the experts -- and use a good sunscreen every day and throughout the day.

Brush up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices