10 Common Skin Myths -- Exposed!

Kauvar said that an oatmeal bath could have a similar soothing effect, and given a choice between the two, she would side with the Quaker over the cow.

Brancaccio pointed out that milk does have other soothing benefits, and can be used as a compress for sunburn and rash because it is both moisturizing and lubricating.

"Compresses with milk are very soothing around the eyes," he said. "I use those quite a bit for people with irritation around the eyes. It's very helpful."

And as far as drinking the white stuff?

Milk can be part of a diet that contributes to good skin, but any diet that includes vitamin D and calcium can have the same effect.

There is some preliminary evidence that skim milk can contribute to acne in teenage boys -- a finding attributed to hormones given in cows' feed -- but that study lacks the follow-up to be of concern yet.

"The takeaway message is you want a healthy, balanced diet," Kauvar said.

Fact or Myth? Dry-brushing your skin eliminates cellulite.

Answer: Myth

"We have very little that will help cellulite, at the moment," Kauvar said.

Superficial fat that grows in globules in the skin is behind this unpleasant phenomenon.



Among current treatments, Kauvar pointed to those that try to increase the thickness of the skin and hide cellulite, and others that try to melt superficial fat in the skin to improve the appearance of cellulite.

Other procedures involve massaging the skin deeply several times a week, which may help cellulite look better temporarily, but need to be done repeatedly.

"There are lots of procedures in development right now, some of which will eliminate or improve the appearance of cellulite, but dry brushing is not one of them," Kauvar said.

So, why do so many snake-oil cellulite treatments garner attention?

Brancaccio says that the skin irritation many of them cause may make it seem like they're working, if only temporarily.

"Some may cause swelling, which gives the appearance that the cellulite has evened out a bit," he said.

In other words, by irritating the skin, the swelling makes the cellulite itself less noticeable. Of course, once that irritation goes away, the cellulite will still be there.

Fact or Myth? Dirt (or chocolate, or greasy food) causes acne.

Answer: Myth

"Specific food associations with acne have never been demonstrated to have any scientific basis," Kauvar said.

As mentioned before, there was a connection made between skim milk and acne, but scientists couldn't explain why that same connection didn't exist between fattier milks and breakouts.



Kauvar explained that low-fat, low-carb diets seem to show some benefits, but there has been nothing conclusive.

As long as you are a reasonably neat eater, you have nothing to fear from the foods you are eating.

"Vegetable oils, if they get on your face while eating, they can cause acne, but consuming them does not," Draelos said.

Dirt is also not a culprit here.

"Dirt is not the cause of acne, and neither is bacteria," Kauvar said.

Thinking that may lead to its own problems, as over-washing your face and drying it out can cause acne. Face washings should be limited to twice a day, she said. And you should exfoliate to unclog pores, which is different from simply washing your face.

The villain behind acne is sebum, a fatty secretion produced in the skin. When it clogs the pore, a pimple is formed. Efforts to clear up acne should focus on clearing sebum away.

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