Can chocolate cause breakouts? Is tanning actually good for my complexion? Here, we ask Holly Sherrard, Education Manager at The International Dermal Institute to dish on the most common skin care myths and the truths behind them.

1. “If I wash my face before I go to bed, I don’t have to wash it again in the morning. It’s already clean.”

TRUTH: Day and night our skin cells shed and the secretions of oil and sweat continue. Oil, sweat, and skin cells along with environmental pollutants collect on our skin leading to a dirty morning face. Cleansing should start with a light-weight plant oil based pre-cleanser to remove surface debris then followed with a soap-free, pH balanced cleanser appropriate for the skin condition. This regimen should be done day and night.

2. “If I have oily skin, then it can’t possibly be dehydrated.”

TRUTH: The International Dermal Institute has a saying, “If you want good skin you need to pick your parents well.” We cannot choose our skin type, we are born with it. Skin conditions such as dehydration fluctuate on a daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal basis depending on the internal and external influences experienced.

Oily skin can experience dehydration or lack of water even though the skin is producing too much oil. It can be caused from harsh soaps, over exfoliation, changes in humidity or incorrect product usage.

3. “Exfoliation is a no-no. It breaks down your skin’s natural barriers and makes it more sensitive.”

TRUTH: Proper exfoliation is the key to hydration, can reduce pigmentation, breakout activity and signs of premature aging. By using too many exfoliating products or “cherry picking” from many different brands a person may have a sensitized response. When exfoliating, make sure to use a professionally recommended product designed for your skin condition.4. “If you have sensitive skin, you should use as few skin care products as possible to avoid irritation.”

TRUTH: A sensitive skin type can be more reactive due to the genetics of a person whereby a sensitized skin condition can result from internal and external influences. When treating a sensitive or sensitized skin, it is important to eliminate any ingredients contributing to the redness such as SD alcohol, artificial fragrance, artificial colour, and lanolin and also minimizing factors such as stress, sun, pollution, alcohol and caffeine. Look for ingredients such as organic silicones, Fumaric Acid, Canadian Willowherb, Avena Sativa (Oat Kernal Extract), Red Raspberry Extract and Panthenol which can help to minimize the occurrence of inflammation and protect from environmental assault.

5. “Chocolate makes me break out.”

TRUTH: The skin is affected by what we eat and a healthy diet including plenty of water and fresh fruit and vegetables can minimize toxins in our bodies. By eating more junk food, our body has more toxins in it therefore leading to more stress on our organs. What you eat affects your overall health as well as the health of your skin however it is not a cause of acne

However, high levels of sugar in the diet can elevate hormone levels which in turn can lead to acne breakouts. Any time we have an increase in hormones we may see skin conditions such as breakouts.

6. “Tanning will help clear acne.”

TRUTH: Tanning will temporarily reduce acne breakouts by drying out the oil in the skin, however due to the increase in keratinization of the stratum corneum acne can worsen with sun exposure. Sun exposure also causes cancer and can be fatal or disfiguring.

7. Popping pimples is the best way to treat and get rid of them.”

TRUTH: Treating breakouts with Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Tea Tree, Zinc Sulfate and Hydrolyzed Algin will help to dry, heal and peel an acne lesion. When a pimple is “popped” the keratinized cells (skin cells), sebum, and bacteria may enter the Dermis and cause a larger scar or possibly spread more bacteria into the adjacent follicle leading to a breakout right beside the old one.

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