In honor of skin care awareness month I offer 7 myth-busting facts to help you have beautiful ageless skin, and great health to go with it. The goal is not just to look better but to be better. Here’s how:
Diet is not a factor in acne: The fact is that diet can have a big impact on how your skin looks, especially if you have acne or rosacea. Studies have shown that dairy is a causative factor in aggravating acne in many who are prone to it and who have acne that has not responded to medications. In these cases, it’s not the milk fat that’s an issue, it’s the milk proteins. This means that having fat free or low-fat milk will not help. Sheep’s and goat milk have different proteins and do not seem to have the same impact as cow’s milk.
Other diet triggers for acne are simple carbohydrates, aka candy, sweets and “junk food” like chips and other highly processed foods. This is because they are inflammatory and contribute to the inflammatory process of acne. On the other side, eating high value foods like green leafy vegetables, berries and fatty fish can improve acne, along with a great skin care regimen. It’s always a good idea to see your board-certified dermatologist for guidance. I’ve put together a few of my favorite products for at home use: TAC Stick, Acne Conditioning Gel and Medicated Cleanser. These are great for spot treatment as well as helping to minimize acne flares.
There are also excellent studies that show that a Mediterranean diet can help against UV damage and skin cancer. Diet alone won’t help prevent skin aging or skin cancer but it works well along with being sun smart in protecting your skin from damage and in repairing damage that has occurred. Even conditions like psoriasis and eczema have a component of diet that contributes to flares. These are immune-based conditions with a genetic predisposition and we are learning how the gut biome and leaky-gut may contribute to exacerbation and progression of the conditions.
Sunscreen ingredients are dangerous: The FDA requires rigorous safety testing for all sunscreen ingredients used in products sold in the US. This is why we have not had any new ingredients in nearly twenty years! Sunscreens in Europe are treated as cosmetics and the testing requirements are much more lax. The FDA has asked for more data on some ingredients like avobenzone, but has not made any changes regarding it’s use. One other thing to consider: the World Health Organization has categorized all forms of UV, that is UVA, UVB and UVC as known carcinogens. This means that anyone exposed to enough of these will ultimately develop skin cancer, not to mention premature aging, wrinkles, blotchy skin and uneven skin tone.
Nothing looks more beautiful in your 50’s than sun protection in your 20’s. Do yourself a favor and use sunscreen every day. Studies show that using sun protection every day rather than just some days or when it’s sunny, can dramatically slow skin aging and skin cancer formation. It’s never too late to start, today is the perfect day to protect your skin. I recommend using SPF 30 or higher and I prefer mineral sunscreens over absorbed ones like the Hydrate Facial Silk or the Vitamin Essential Spf.
I only need to spot treat pimples: By the time you see a pimple, it’s already been brewing under the skin for days to weeks and, where you see a pimple, there’s most likely one brewing right nearby. It’s a good idea to treat the entire area to help the pimple you see clear more quickly and to prevent ones you don’t see from coming up at all. Spot treatment with the TAC Stick can help the already formed pimple clear quicker and the Acne Conditioning Gel can help minimize acne flares, without drying out your skin. There are a few things you should absolutely avoid when it comes to acne:
|Don’t pick at pimples, it only makes them mad- makes them last longer, more likely to come back in the same spot and more likely to scar||
Do reduce simple sugars and processed foods as much as possible and look for non-dairy milks like rice, almond or oat milk
|Don’t use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, these only dry out and irritate your skin and have zero effect on the bacteria that causes acne||Do eat high antioxidant foods like berries and green leafy vegetables as well as healthy fats like avocado|
|Don’t over-wash or over-scrub your skin- that will irritate and make redness last longer||Do use sunscreen every day, this will help reduce scarring since UV rays damage collagen in the skin|
|Don’t overdo it with acne treatment products||Do look for products with retinol, salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid|
Skin aging is only genetic: The fact is that about 90% of how your skin ages is due to lifestyle choices like sun exposure, smoking and diet as well as exposure to pollution. Simple steps can go a long way, like using sunscreen every day all year round, making sure to remove all makeup at the end of the day with a good cleanser, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep and using a retinol body serum to help with sun damage and crepiness on the body. All these efforts will show in your skin and will be a beautiful reflection of your overall health. I also like adding in antioxidants like my Triple Brightening Complex. My Retinol Body Serum is a great anti-aging serum that leaves your
I can always tell when someone’s had fillers or Botox: The biggest compliment I get when a patient looks in the mirror after a treatment is seeing them smile and hearing them say “I look just like me!” My goal is always to be invisible. You should look better and more refreshed, and this comes from your doctor knowing anatomy and proportions and how to properly assess your face as well as selecting the right products to use for you. It helps to bring in photos from when you were in your 20’s or 30’s. The injection part is the last step and doesn’t necessarily take very long, but it’s the years of training and study that deliver the true and best results.
I can get a “safe tan” at a tanning salon: The only safe tan is from a bottle. Tanning beds can be 10x stronger than UV rays from the sun. They increase your risk of skin cancer and those exposed to tanning beds before the age of 30 have a 75% greater risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. In a word, don’t go to tanning salons and use sunscreen every day all year round for beautiful, youthful, healthy skin.
Hair loss only comes from my father’s side of the family: Hair loss comes from both sides of the family. Sometimes you don’t see it in your parents directly, but it’s still in your genes from one or both sides of your family and it shows up in you. It can start as early as in your 20’s. There are excellent treatments and products to help slow or even reverse the process. The earlier you start, the better the results. It’s much easier to help prevent or slow hair loss than it is to grow hair back after it’s gone. The Hair Kit can manage hair loss and stimulate new hair growth.
Note: Full blog and video on hair loss here!