FROM anti-wrinkle creams to Botox, there are countless products that are supposed to reduce signs of aging.
One dermatologist has dedicated himself to debunking anti-aging myths and other skincare misconceptions and shared some of his top lessons with The U.S. Sun.
Dr. Muneeb Shah, who is part of the Fora Dermatology team in North Carolina, revealed the common mistakes people make when it comes to anti-aging efforts.
"I started getting into dermatology because I have a passion for skincare. I also liked that it’s a very visual specialty so you’re able to see people’s acne or you’re able to see their psoriasis," he said.
"You’re able to prescribe treatments and actually see them get better through pictures over several months. It’s an amazing and very gratifying field."
While dermatology can range from anything from pimples to treating skin cancers, Dr. Shah revealed the three most popular areas for treatment are acne, hyperpigmentation, and anti-aging.
When it comes to preventing visible signs of aging, one of the doctor's main concerns was misinformation online.
Dr. Shah (@dermdoctor) is one of the most-followed dermatologists on TikTok, with 17.9 million followers.
"I started creating content on social media about three years ago and I never really intended to create dermatology content but there was such a big demand for it," the skincare pro explained.
"People kept asking me in the comments about how to treat acne, how to treat hyperpigmentation, and the best skincare products. So I started to create videos in response to these questions," he said.
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After taking a "bird's eye view of what was out there," Dr. Shah realized the level of "misinformation out there on skincare."
"So I started to invest more time in creating educational content on TikTok.
"We spread out to YouTube and then Instagram and now we have the largest dermatology chain on all three platforms where we create content about the skin," he explained.
Some examples of misconceptions include using ginger to treat pores and lemon to reduce dark spots.
Dr. Shah also highlighted the promotion of unnecessary and expensive products.
In addition to blindly following homemade hacks online, people are guilty of mistreating their skin and even increasing signs of aging in other ways.
According to Dr. Shah, the most common skincare mistake he sees people make is overexposure to the sun – meaning you'll need to take extra care now the weather's getting warmer.
"A very large percentage of what’s happening to your skin is due to the sun," he revealed.
"I see this all the time in my patients. When doing skin checks, they take off their shirt or their pants and the skin on their body is 20 to 30 years younger looking than the skin on their face and hands," he said.
"A lot of people will apply [sunscreen] to their face but then neglect their neck or the backs of their hands.
"Those areas are very common areas [to] show signs of aging. So sun protection is super important because not only does it prevent aging but it also prevents skin cancer as well."
And for anyone who opts for a cosmetic procedure to reduce visible signs of aging, Dr. Shah has a general rule of thumb: Less is more.
"For me, the most important thing with my patients is that they look natural and they age in a healthy way," he explained.
"So if we are putting volume and filler into the face, we’re doing it only with what they lost.
"A lot of times with enhancement of the lips, enhancement of the cheeks, it can look very unnatural because you’re putting volume where there never was volume before.
"But what happens with natural aging is you do lose volume with the upper cheeks.
"You have fat redistribution down towards the center of gravity and so by placing the amount that you lost in the upper cheeks, it can look very natural," he said.
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However, Dr. Shah warned: "If you put more than what you lost it can look very unnatural."
To learn more from the Derm Doctor himself, you can purchase his book Skincare Simplified: A Dermatologist's Guide to Better Skin.
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