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Fact or Fallacy


Myths about Acne l Myths about Bodycare l Myths about Health l Myths about Skincare l Myths about Suncare

CleansingMyth: Acne is caused by dirt, so wash, wash, wash that face!

Truth: This is one of the biggest myths because dirt actually doesn't cause acne, bacteria does. Hormones, like testosterone, stimulate the sebaceous glands, which in turn produce excess oil - or sebum - and clog pores. Bacteria then gets trapped inside. With the combination of excess oils, clogged pores, and bacteria residing inside, acne develops.
Does this mean good hygiene isn't that important? Not at all: You should cleanse your skin twice daily. Also, washing too vigorously and too often can actually exacerbate acne, leaving you with red and irritated skin. Not to mention that you'll end up with dehydration which will in turn causes your skin to produce more oil to combat the dryness. The more oil, the worse the acne can become.

Myth: The sun is great for my acne, zapping it right up.

Truth: Yes, it may be the case that your acne appears as though it has improved after sun exposure, but it's actually a misleading and dangerous "treatment" of choice. In addition to causing skin cancer, sun exposure – excessive and without sun protection - also dries out your skin. This causes wrinkles, and the dehydration can produce excess oil (which will cause more acne). Bottom line: You'll look like an oily prune!

Myth: Acne is caused by what you eat

Truth: Acne is caused by over production of sebum (oil) and obstruction of the pores. The amount of sebum produced by the skin is regulated by hormones, not food. This includes chocolate, greasy food, soda, and fast foods.
However, certain types of food, especially diary and fatty foods can create imbalances within the body such as an imbalance in hormones that regulate sebum production. Acne is as individual as each person is. What works for, or affects, one person may not work for, or affect, another person in the same way. If you have a skin problem, the healthier the diet, the healthier the skin so eat lots of raw fruit & veg, drink lots of water and take supplements such as Zinc, Vit A and Vit C.

Myth: The best way to deal with oily skin is to dry it out.

Truth: There is a difference between oiliness (sebum/oil) and hydration (water/moisture). Oil production in the skin is a natural and vital part of the skins overall maintenance. If you dry the skin too much, it can become irritated, scaly and produce even more oil to combat the dryness. This irritation and over-drying often contributes to acne as the oil becomes trapped beneath the dry, flaky layer and becomes a source of inflammation. Just because your skin is oily doesn't mean that it doesn't require some moisture. In fact, from my 25 years of experience, sorting out the water and oil balance in the skin is the first step to reducing the severity of acne. Keeping your skin balanced and clean is the goal, not drying it out.

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Myth: You can get rid of cellulite.

Truth: Ah, if only. And for what it's worth, it's not for lack of women trying. The truth is, nothing can be done to permanently eliminate it — not even liposuction. Cellulite consists of fat deposits that get trapped between the fibrous bands that connect the skin's tissues. The bands squeeze the fat under the skin, resulting in a lumpy texture. Luck of the gene pool mostly determines who will and won't get cellulite. It doesn't matter whether you're fat or thin, rich or poor, famous or just plain folks, if you've got the gene, you've got the cellulite.
You can, however, temporarily reduce or improve the orange peel-like appearance. Firming creams often contain caffeine and other ingredients to tighten and smooth the skin. Massage in general will stimulate the blood and lymph circulation, bringing fresh oxygen and removing toxins. But a basic moisturiser will also work to hydrate and swell the skin, making cellulite a little less obvious. Body brushing before you showing is a great way to start the day!!

Myth: Crossing your legs will give you varicose veins.

Sitting cross leggedTruth: Sitting down and crossing your legs won't cause varicose or spider veins, but standing may. Pronounced veins often crop up on people who either have a genetic predisposition to them (so thank Mom or Dad), or have jobs that require them to stand a lot. Standing makes the vascular network work extra-hard to pump blood from the legs up to the heart. If the valves, which keep blood flowing in one direction within your vessels, aren't functioning properly, a pooling of blood can occur and result in unsightly veins.
Pregnancy, which puts added pressure on the circulatory system, or a trauma — getting hit by a ball or a car door, for example — can also lead to varicose or spider veins. But simply crossing your legs will not cause them. If you do spend lots of time on your feet, make sure you spend a few minutes in the evening lying down with your feet slightly raised above head level. Breathe deeply throguh your nose for a few minutes to allow increased oxygenation.

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Myth: Eating carbohydrates makes you fat.

Truth: Cutting carbs from your diet may have short-term weight loss benefits due to water loss from a decrease in carbohydrate stores, but eating carbs in moderation does not directly lead to weight gain. The body uses carbs for energy, and going too long without them can cause lethargy/fatigue. Remember that carbs are vital for brain function!! So the bottom line is, you may loose a few kilo's but you're probably to tired to notice because the only thing you can think about is eating something sweet!

Myth: Fat makes you fat.

Truth: That depends on what fats you're eating. There are 'good' fats and 'bad' fats but at the end of the day it's all about kilojoules. If you could get enough kilojoules from fruit and veg, you'd get fat too. See Know your fats

Myth: Eating eggs will raise your cholesterol.

Truth: This myth began because egg yolks have the most concentrated amount of cholesterol of any food. However, there's not enough cholesterol there to pose health risks if eggs are eaten in moderation. Studies suggest that eating one to two egg per day will not raise cholesterol levels and that eggs are actually a great source of nutrients. Also the yolk of an egg contains lechithin which helps to digest fats, so keep the yolk soft to prevent destroying the lechithin.

Myth: All alcohol is bad for you.

Truth: Again, moderation is key. Six ounces of wine and 12 ounces of beer are considered moderate amounts, and should not pose any adverse health effects to the average healthy adult. All alcohol is an anticoagulant and red wine also contains antioxidants, so drinking a small amount daily can actually be beneficial.

Myth: Drink eight glasses of water per day.

WaterTruth: You should replace water lost through breathing, excrement and sweating each day - but that doesn't necessarily total 8 glasses of water a day. If you exercise or perspire a lot or eat an unhealthy diet, then you're likely to need more water. When the body cells are hydrated, they function better and in turn the body's organs work better. Remember the skin is an organ too.
It's hard to measure the exact amount of water you have consumed daily in food and drink, or how much your body needs but remember that the body is 75% water and a good way to tell if you're dehydrated is:
If you are constipated, you need water in the colon. Water + fibre will sort you out in no time.
If your urine is pale yellow, you're doing a good job. If it's a darker yellow, drink more H2O.
Remember Vit B can make the urine bright yellow for a few hours. On average we need 1 glass of water for every 10 kgs we carry in body weight. i.e. 60 kgs = 6 glasses of H2O
If you end up with a dry mouth, the last place in the body to dehydrate, you need those 8 glasses!!!

Myth: Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by eating foods low on the glycemic index.

Truth: High levels of glucose are not what "cause" diabetes; the disease is caused by the body's resistance to insulin. Foods high on the glycemic index can cause glucose levels to spike, but this is just an indicator of the presence of diabetes, not the root cause.

Myth: Colds are not caused by going outside without a coat.

Truth: Sorry, Mom. You meant well, but the only way to catch a cold or flu is by picking up a virus. Going out into the cold without a jacket or a hat, or with wet hair, does nothing to facilitate transmission. It's true, though, that we are more prone in the winter and when we're run down. Viruses are more easily shared when people are clustered together indoors - your body can only fight so much. And remember colds and flu are caused by a VIRUS not bacteria, so boosting your immune system and resting are the key to getting better - not antibiotics. Antibiotics kill BACTERIA not viruses. If you've opted for antibiotics anyway, then remember to supplement your diet with probiotics!!!

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Myth: You can shrink a pore. (This has got to be my biggest pet peeve)

Truth: The plain truth is this: pores can't shrink. The size of your pores is genetically determined which means that if your large pores run in your family, you're likely to have them too. Cosmetic companies are making millions by convincing women they can be shrunk but there is no cream or ointment or skin care regime that can change this fact. You can refine the skin so the pores SEEM to look smaller but Pores cannot shrink!!! Once you reach puberty, the pores become their adult size. Pores are not little openings that can expand and contract like muscles. They can become enlarged, especially in oily skin, because oily skin is usually congested. Debris nestled in the pores over a period of time will expand the opening to support the enlarging plug or blackhead. Keeping the skin clean will help keep your pores from enlarging. Pores will naturally enlarge as you get older due to the downward pull of gravity (especially in the cheek area).

Myth: You can permanently erase wrinkles.

Truth: They may be kept in check, and you can certainly improve the appearance of wrinkles, but there is no way to completely and permanently remove wrinkles. There are several good products and cosmetic procedures that can help with improving the appearance of wrinkles. Many of these will remove fine lines, but wrinkles are made way down deep in the skin and they will eventually make their way to the surface again.

Myth: Cucumbers contain a special ingredient that reduces bags under the eyes.

Cucumber eye padsTruth: While a cool cucumber may feel relaxing on the eyes, there is no special ingredient that reduces bags. Rather, the cooling effect of the water in the cucumbers, combined with increased humidity, reduces swelling. Cold, slightly damp tea bags can do the same thing. Some products, however, do contain cucumber extracts, which in high concentration can help hydrate skin. This is due to the vitamins and mineral content of cucumber but these vitamins and minerals don't do anything for bags under the eyes or puffiness.

Myth: Mineral oil is bad for your skin.

Truth: Mineral oil has gotten a bad rap. Cosmetic makers claim it is bad for skin because it is made from petroleum and causes an oily film that suffocates the skin. Mineral Oil is a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons produced from the distillation of petroleum - this is true. BUT, it is refined to meet specifications appropriate for its use in cosmetics and personal care products, pharmaceuticals and food. Once it becomes mineral oil, it has no resemblance to the original petroleum. Cosmetic-grade mineral oil is one of the safest, most non-irritating moisturising ingredients ever found. See FDA guidelines

Myth: Skin breathes.

Truth: Well, the truth is your skin doesn't breathe. Not externally, anyway. Your skin is nourished internally by the oxygen and nutrients carried in the blood. No measurable amount of oxygen is absorbed from the outside air. Your outer skin does eliminate toxins, sweat and oil, and absorbs moisture from the air. When you put a heavy cream or foundation on for instance, you might mistakenly say your skin "can't breathe." These foundations and heavy creams can inhibit elimination and absorption, but not the actual oxygenation of the skin. Now you know -- skin does not breathe.

Myth : Soap is a good cleanser.

Truth: You may feel soap really gets your skin clean - and you're right. But soap gets it too clean. It may make your skin feel squeaky clean, but in reality, you've just stripped all the oil and water off the surface of your skin. This will give you a taught feeling (which you may associate with clean), but your skin is now stripped! You don't have to strip everything off in order to get a good cleanse. And when your skin is stripped, it is left vulnerable until the proper pH is restored. For acne or problem skin, a soap can enhance the problem as oil production is increased to help the skin feel 'comfortable'. The best way to clean your skin is with a water-soluble cleanser. Almost all companies include a cleansing milk, cream, or wash in their product line that is water-soluble.

Myth: Food doesn't affect skin.

Fruit and vegTruth: Food does affect your skin. From my experience I have seen too much evidence to believe otherwise. It just doesn't make sense that what you eat doesn't affect everything about you, including your skin. It's like saying I can fill up my car's gas tank with orange juice, and this won't affect how it runs. A car requires a certain type of fuel to run efficiently, and so does your body. If you put low-quality foods into your system, sooner or later your system (your body) will rebel. Good food, especially those high in antioxidants, affects every cell in our body and that includes the cells of the skin. We are what we are by What we Believe, What we Inherit and What we Eat.

Myth: Department store cosmetics sales people are the experts.

Truth: Sales people are just what they imply, they are there to sell you "stuff". Most often they are not aestheticians and will just repeat the marketing material they receive from the manufacturers. Don't be sucked into heavy sales pitches, do your homework and start with products that don't make outrageous claims and have a good track record. There are however, some cosmetic houses (Clarins and Gatineau for an example), which do employ aestheticians to sell their "stuff". And remember, many sales people work on commission so, they'll say anything to pay their bills.

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Myth: It is not necessary to wear sunscreen during winter.

Truth: Just because you don't feel the sun's rays pounding down on you, doesn't mean its harmful UVA and UVB rays are not penetrating your skin, causing significant damage. Sunlight can penetrate clouds and even cause your skin to burn. A good rule of thumb is this: if you see a shadow, you need sunscreen but personally I feel it should be part of your daily skin care routine, just like brushing your teeth. Remember, a tan is the result of your skin's reaction to an injury.

Myth: If you get a mole, your doctor can cut it off before it turns cancerous.

SunscreenTruth: The problem with this logic is that by the time many people consult a dermatologist about a suspicious mark, it may already be cancerous. Skin cancer can be fast growing; a mole can appear on your skin and turn into melanoma within six months. It seems pretty foolish to wait until you've been sporting a weird spot for a while before taking action by seeing a dermatologist. Another problem is that the longer you wait, the larger the spot may get - meaning a bigger, more visible scar when/if it is finally removed. Remember, doctors are not always qualified skin specialists so see your dermatologist for skin related issues.

Myth: Tanning salons are a safe way to get colour.

Truth: It's amazing how many sun-savvy people stretch out inside a tanning bed like a rotisserie chicken on a weekly or even daily basis, truly believing that frying their skin indoors is somehow safer than roasting in the sun outside. Sunbeds are not a 'safe' alternative to sun tanning. In fact, the intensity of UV rays from sunbeds can be up to 10-15 times higher than that of the midday sun. Sunbeds give out UV rays just like the sun. Exposure to UV rays, whether from the sun or a sunbed, damages the DNA in your skin cells, which can cause skin cancer. So just like getting too much sun, using a sunbed increases your risk of skin cancer. Using a sunbed will also age your skin.

Myth: The SPF added to some makeup provides plenty of sun protection.

Truth: Beauty gear with built-in SPF sounds like a match made in heaven. But unfortunately, while they give you an added boost, many of these products generally don't have an SPF that's high enough (at least 15) to keep you safe from the sun for very long. Another problem with cosmetics-sunscreen combo's is that most aren't made with broad-spectrum ingredients. This means they only defend you against 1 type of ulta-violet ray, usually UVB.


Sun damage

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