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Debunking the top five skin care myths

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('s myth and then there's reality when it comes to skin care, and knowing the difference could help give you the healthy glow that everyone craves.

To help you get the best from your skin, leading dermatologist Dr. Linda Franks debunks the top five skin myths-and lets you know what you should be doing instead.

Myth #1: You should wash your face until it's squeaky clean.

Most people know that good skin care means washing your face and ridding it of excess dirt and oil. Problem is, says Dr. Franks, people are actually stripping their skin of its essential oils.

The right way to clean your face is to use a gentle, soap-free cleanser that's effective at removing dirt, excess oil and makeup but won't rob skin of moisture.

You don't have to spend a fortune. Effective cleansers can be found at the drugstore for under $6. One good choice is Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, which has been clinically shown to have the same gentleness and mildness as water.

Myth #2: Always rinse your face with hot water.

False, says Dr. Franks. Hot water is too harsh on skin. The ideal temperature for cleansing your face is lukewarm water.

Myth #3: You need to drink eight glasses of water a day to be healthy.

There's no scientific research stating that this will improve your skin. However, staying hydrated is a good practice for overall health.

Myth #4: If you've had microdermabrasion by using a kit at home or as an in-office procedure, you need to use expensive posttreatment skin care products that you can only get in a doctor's office.

Not necessarily. Microdermabrasion is a technique that sprays the face with tiny crystals to repair sun damage and signs of aging, but you don't need expensive posttreatment products.

All that's required, says Dr. Franks, are skin care products that meet the needs of sensitive and compromised skin. Look for wording like "dermatologist-recommended" and "soap-free" on products available in drugstores.

Myth #5: You only have to worry about sun exposure at the beach.

Not true, says Dr. Franks. Car and office windows don't filter damaging rays from the sun. To stay protected and keep skin healthy, use a daily moisturizer with at least an SPF of 15.

© Health News 2004 All Rights Reserved.

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