1) MYTH: "A dermatologist created the skin care line I use, therefore it is Professional"
FACT: Doctors, Dermatologists, and licensed estheticians, can work with chemists or labs to create skin care lines. However, it is the size of the molecules of the ingredients as well as the potency of the ingredients that define whether a line is professional. Lines that can be sold/distributed at department stores, pharmacies, flee markets, or through independent distributors (Mary Kay, Rodan + Fields, ProActive, Younique are examples) are created with medium to large size molecules of ingredients and lesser potency, in order to make them "safe" for easy distribution. Safe as in, you don't need to know the anatomy, physiology, or histology of skin and all its layers in order to purchase it wholesale for use on yourself or on others, or resell it to customers. Safe as in there is less chance for reaction if used without supervision. This is true for most products. For example, essential oils have grades/levels and can be sold from $10 to $100 for the "same" oil. It is not the same...it is based on how the ingredient is harvested and distilled/prepared, if it has been combined with something else to dilute it or make it "safer" to use directly on skin, or used for aromatic reasons only etc. Simply, products are not created equally. If all products were created equally for skin care we'd have only one kind of cleanser, one kind of exfoliant, one kind of serum, one kind of moisturizer, and one kind of SPF for everyone, everywhere. Which is obviously not the case.
2) MYTH: "I have dark skin, or I tan easily, so I don't need to wear sunscreen."
FACT: Ultra Violet Rays, both Aging rays and Burning rays are color blind...They can effect ANY kind/color/texture of human skin. Remember skin is a living tissue/organ therefore it can be harmed, and UVA and UVB can definitely cause damage. Even if you are not seeing the skin "turn red" or feeling the skin "burn" it does not mean damage has not been made. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Sun screens are typically made with chemicals that allow the absorption of sun rays to be slower, thus allowing your body more time to prepare and protect itself from damage. Sun blocks are typically made with "natural blockers" which are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Some SPF's include a combination. Be smart, wear SPF.
3) MYTH: "I have breakouts, therefore I have oily skin."
FACT: Breakouts can be caused by a large number of reasons/conditions/reactions, including but not limited to oily skin. Breakouts can be due to a digestive issue, or reaction to some food or beverage you have had. Breakouts can happen due to hormonal imbalances, or environmental changes, or ingredients in your make up, or the bacteria on your make up brushes - bacteria in general! Breakouts can happen if the pores are smothered or suffocated (make up that doesn't allow your skin to breath, smoking, anything that asphyxiates the skin) These are not the only reasons... It is important to speak with an esthetician and have them analyze your skin and converse with you and work with you and make suggestions for you to address the issue. Also, congestion is not considered acne or a breakout. Congestion is made of comedones and closed comedones. Acne can appear red, inflamed, pustular, hard, tender, discolored with nothing that "comes out" when you try to extract it. It's important to know there are levels of acne and different kinds of breakouts. It is not necessary, in my opinion, to go to a dermatologist right away. I'm in no way saying dermatologists are not important, though. Simply, I encourage you to try an esthetician first if there are not major issues that need to be addressed like oddly shaped moles, open lesions that won't heal etc. These are definitely reasons to see a dermatologist. Consultations range in price from free to small fee.
4) MYTH: "Facials are just a luxury designed to make you relax and be pampered."
FACT: Skin care treatments with good, licensed estheticians are far more in depth. Your esthetician has gone to school to study this specific organ. Studied anatomy, and physiology, and histology of the skin; studied the layers of the skin; studied ingredients, studied conditions of the skin, learned to analyze the skin and use products that address concerns or issues with the skin. It is an industry where the goal is to be the expert, the one with answers/solutions. No, estheticians are not dermatologists, and they (we) will not diagnose or give medical advice but it is important to know that skin care is not a luxury. If something were wrong with another organ in your body and you could see a specialist to get advice and improve the health for that organ - would you?