Your Face Will Age Like Your Mom’s & Other Skin Care Myths

What are some of the most common misconceptions about how your skin ages? One is that patients often believe they are going to have bad skin because “you get the genes your parents have,” according to dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee. But, she says, habits make more of a difference than genetics.

Here are some of the most common skin care myths, according to Lee:

Skin Care Myth: Your skin will age like your mother’s.
Reality: While genetics do play a role in how your skin looks, habits — such as tanning, drinking and smoking — make more of a difference than genetics for how you will age.

Skin Care Myth: The SPF number tells you how much protection you’re getting from the sun.
Reality: The SPF number on a sunscreen product refers only to UVB (rays that burn the skin) protection and doesn’t tell you if it protects you from UVA rays, which age the skin. Therefore, look for a product that contains UVA-blocking ingredients, such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone, to fully protect your skin.

Skin Care Myth: Most sun damage happens before age 18.
Reality: According to studies, you’ve only accumulated less than a quarter (18 to 23 percent) of the sun damage you’ll incur over a lifetime by age 18. That means you still have time to protect your skin from future sun damage and aging even if you tanned a lot when you were younger.

Skin Care Myth: Over-the-counter cosmetic creams can reverse your skin’s aging.
Reality: There’s no such thing as a miracle in a bottle, according to Lee, since as you age, facial bones shrink, you lose fat under the skin and skin becomes looser — things that a cream won’t help. If you’re serious about turning back time, talk to your cosmetic surgeon about wrinkle fillers, facelift surgery and other procedures that can give you a younger look, and consider a skin care regimen with medical grade products