How often were you told as a child and teenager that chocolates are bad for your skin? You were probably told ad nauseum that chocolates would cause pimples, acne, and other skin breakouts. This wasn’t the only belief we grew up with; we were also told that drinking several glasses of water can reverse ageing and constantly rubbing your eyes could cause wrinkles. There’s truth somewhere in these myths; but don’t get carried away.
The list goes on. And it doesn’t help matters when marketing campaigns of beauty ads entice us with their products, making us believe something that isn’t true. The result is that there is a lot of inaccurate information and hyperbole around skincare.
Experts explain the truth behind some of these myths. See what’s real for yourself what isn’t.
Is chocolate bad for the skin?
Like most things in life, you can eat chocolate in moderation.
The answer isn’t quite so straightforward as the myths have us believe. “It really depends on which type of chocolate you eat,” explains Fadi Haddad, a dermatologist at Dr Kayle Aesthetic Clinic, Dubai. Any food that contains high levels of refined sugar and fat, including chocolate which has a lot of these ingredients and cocoa butter, can lead to skin conditions such as acne. “High quality chocolate such as those types with sixty per cent cocoa or more can in fact offer benefits to the skin as they contain high levels of antioxidants,” explains Haddad.
"Chocolate types containing more dairy fat and sugar negatively affect your body," adds Fazeela Abbasi, a dermatologist from the Euromed clinic, Dubai. Avoid milk chocolate and white chocolate because these are foods with high glycaemic levels and can trigger acne. Choose dark chocolate and have it in moderation.
Does soap have a negative impact on your skin?
If soap is part of your skincare routine, you might want to think again.
Most soaps have more hydrogen ion concentration, or pH as it’s called, than the skin itself. This can disrupt the skin’s barrier, compromising its function and making it susceptible to skincare issues, explains Haddad. It’s not a good skin cleanser as it is harsh on the skin, adds Abbasi.
Does constantly drinking water reverse the ageing process?
Hate to break it to you, but there’s no quick fix. The moisture level in your skin is indeed impacted by the environment, including humidity, age, but gulping down copious amounts of water isn’t going to fix that. That’s not how you can banish the crow’s feet under our eyes and remove fine lines.
"Drinking more water isn’t going to help get rid of wrinkles or plump up your skin unless you are extremely dehydrated," Elizabeth Damstetter, a dermatologist tells the American medical site, Web MD. If you need water to stay healthy, and if you’re healthy, your skin might not look how it did when you were younger, but it would still look good.
You can hydrate the skin externally with a moisturiser. That’s the reason why there’s so much focus on water in rigorous skincare. “It keeps the skin barrier intact which ensures that the pH of the skin is at the right levels to keep inflammation at bay,” adds Abbasi.
If your skin is well hydrated, it means that your skin will be supple and glowing, rather than dull and lacklustre. For this reason, one of the most popular skincare products on the market is hyaluronic acid. It is a humectant, which means it binds water to itself and if you follow this with a ceramide moisturiser, you will lock in the moisture to the skin.
“If your skin is well hydrated, it means that your skin will be supple and glowing, rather than dull and lacklustre,” explains Haddad. “For this reason, one of the most popular skincare products on the market is hyaluronic acid. It is a humectant, which means it binds water to itself and if you follow this with a ceramide moisturiser, you will lock in the moisture to the skin,” he says.
Can you shrink your pores?
Pores are not just determined by genetics, but also by lifestyle and environmental factors.
“As you age, the collagen and skin’s scaffolding start to break down and the pores will open up and become more visible,” explains Abbasi. “You need optimal level of hydration and oil levels, as well as optimum pH of the skin. If you enhance the collagen with consistent skincare, it keeps skin healthy and by doing this you will shrink the pores,” she adds.
Can a regular makeup routine lead to skin breakouts?
This can vary from person to person, as it depends upon the skin-type.
If you do not follow a skincare routine to ensure that skin is properly cleansed, then pores may become clogged, which can lead to breakouts, explains Haddad.
Will your skin glow if you have carrot juice?
If you do want that ‘glowing skin’, you can add a glass of carrot juice to your breakfast routine.
Carrot juice provides a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A in skincare is often called retinol and is a crucial element in anti-aging skincare. The presence of Vitamin A can do several things, including stimulate the cells to make collagen and promote cellular turnover, which removes the dead layer of skin cells from the skin’s surface. Both will enhance the skin’s glow, says Haddad.
Carrot juice does help in reducing wrinkles, fade age spots, soften skin, and impart a healthy glow, says Abbasi. However, do not try eating carrots by the dozen, as it can cause your skin to temporarily turn yellowish orange in colour. It should be eaten in moderation. And it can add to the blood sugar levels in your body, so moderation is key.