It’s time to set the record straight. We asked four local specialists to give us the inside scoop on the most commonly believed myths surrounding skin health.

Dr. Daniel L. Smith, Dermatology Group of Arkansas

Myth: “Some tanning beds are safe to use.”

“I often hear the myth of ‘safe’ tanning beds, but they don’t exist. Indoor tanning equipment emits UVA and UVB radiation, which can cause premature skin aging and skin cancers. In fact, some studies say indoor tanning may cause up to 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year.

Indoor tanning before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma by 59 percent. Women younger than 30 are six times more likely to develop melanoma if they use tanning beds. Even one indoor tanning session can increase a user’s risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent and basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent.”

Dr. Marla Wirges, Pinnacle Dermatology

Myth: “I will not get enough vitamin D if I use sunscreen.”

“The American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend getting vitamin D from sun exposure or indoor tanning because ultraviolet radiation from the sun and tanning beds can lead to the development of skin cancer.

You can get vitamin D from a healthy diet, which includes naturally enriched vitamin D foods, fortified foods and beverages, and/or vitamin supplements.

Vitamin D from food and dietary supplements offers the same benefits — without the danger of skin cancer — as vitamin D obtained from UV light.”

Dr. Bruce Sanderson, Lasercare Skin Clinic

Myth: “Tanning will cure my acne.”

“Many people think that sun exposure helps clear up an acne breakout.

On the contrary, sun exposure causes the acne breakout to take longer to heal and causes sun damage to the compromised skin. This false remedy can also speed up the aging process.”

Jennifer Gabbard, RN, The Skin Retreat

Myth: “Everyone needs a moisturizer.”

“The truth is our skin is inherently built to keep itself hydrated. We need to strengthen our skin from the inside out. Keeping the layers of skin healthy may be the only thing you need to do to keep your skin hydrated.

Some tips for promoting healthy skin are to cleanse both at morning and night, exfoliate regularly (2-3 times a week), control oil production, protect your skin from the sun and drink lots of water.”

Also see Pore-Plexed: Solving the Mystery of Bad Skin