Last year we wrote a post about skin care myths to help shed some light on commonly held misconceptions about skin care products and skin function. In the months since that post, many of you have sent us messages via Facebook and email to ask about more topics to determine if they are skin care facts or fiction. You've asked some great questions about general skin care, as well as acne and oily skin, which prompted us to share the answers in this follow-up post.
General Skin Topics
Does pulling on your skin (e.g. when putting on makeup) cause wrinkles?
No. Most wrinkles are caused by a combination of genetics, sun exposure and lifestyle factors, such as smoking or living in an area with high air pollution. Others are caused by repetitive muscle contractions, such as those that appear between the eyes and smile lines around the mouth. Simply pulling on your skin when applying makeup is generally not a force strong enough or consistent enough to create a wrinkle.
How to Prevent Photoaging, the Main Reason for Premature Skin Aging
Are age spots a normal part of aging?
While some individuals have a genetic predisposition to developing age spots, small areas of darkened skin pigment, they are overwhelmingly caused by sun exposure. This is why they're most often found on sun-exposed areas, including the scalp, face, ears, nose, shoulders and hands.
Hyperpigmentation: Causes and Treatment Options
Can pore size really be reduced?
Pore size is predominantly determined by skin type, genetics and sun exposure. Those with oily skin naturally have larger pores than other skin types. Meanwhile, excess sun exposure breaks down collagen, which gives skin its support. With less collagen, pores' natural structure because loose and appear larger. When pores are enlarged, they become more likely to trap dead skin cells and sebum, which only makes them appear more visible.
While there isn't much that can be done for pores that are already enlarged, you can minimize their appearance through proper skin cleansing, regular exfoliation and consistent use of sunscreen. Professional treatments, such as facials with extractions, can also be beneficial.
Acne / Oily Skin
Does sugar contribute to the development of acne?
While sugar does not directly cause acne it is a secondary factor in the development of acne. Foods with a high glycemic index - those that are quickly converted to glucose and cause insulin levels to spike - cause inflammation in the body. When the skin is inflamed, sebaceous glands increase their production of oil, which increases the potential for breakouts. Therefore, for overall good skin health and to minimize breakouts, it's best to keep sugar consumption to a minimum.
The Diet and Acne Link
Can acne develop because you don't wash your face enough?
There are two sides to this coin: First, properly washing your face is necessary to remove excess oil sitting on the skin's surface (note that we said "excess" oil, not all oil), as well as dead skin cells, makeup and debris that can clog pores. However, those with acne don't need to wash their face any more than those who do not have acne. In fact, washing your face too much can exacerbate acne breakouts. This is because over-washing can strip the skin's acid mantle and encourage inflammation, which leads to an increase in oil production as the skin tries to protect itself.
How to Properly Wash Your Face
Is it true that oily skin types don't need to use moisturizer?
Not true. Like all other skin types, those of you with oily skin definitely need to use a moisturizer; just make sure it's a formulation appropriate for your skin. That means avoiding heavy moisturizers and instead using a lightweight version in gel or serum form that won't clog pores. (Lexli offers two formulations: Daily Moisturizer for Oily Skin or Moisture Intensifier Serum.)
Regardless of your skin type, moisturizers are needed to help prevent trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), a process whereby the skin loses moisture to the surrounding air through evaporation. TEWL leads to skin dehydration, which ultimately impacts skin function.
To Treat Dry or Dehydrated Skin, Start by Understanding TEWL
Interested in learning more? Download your free copy of Dr. Abdullah's ebook!
If your skin had a user's manual, this would be it! Get the ebook written by Lexli founder, Dr. Ahmed Abdullah.