Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Sep 11

    We do have to take care that what we believe is correct.  So to help you wise up, this article titled Thirty-one Skin Care Myths has been written by Bea Kinnear Your Skin & You 5th Edition.
    Your Skin and You by Bea Kinnear

    1. Facial exercises tone facial muscles and make a person appear younger.

    The face is the only part of the body where muscles are attached directly to the skin;  there are no facial ligaments and tissue. Constant facial exercise and tugging contribute to additional lines. Actually, wrinkles often form along expression lines caused by facial movements.  You would never want to do anything that moves the facial skin, or over manipulate the skin, especially as it ages.  It would create more wrinkling, increasing the loss of elasticity in the skin.²

    2. Vitamin E minimizes scarring.

    Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps build skin, but there is no evidence that it does anything to help with scarring. There is even some research that suggests it may have a negative effect on scarring.

    3. Cucumbers help reduce puffiness around the eyes.

    The principle ingredient in cucumbers is 90% water with the balance being inert fiber.  They can be soothing and, with moisture, hydrate skin temporarily. The same results can be obtained from a cold compress without the mess of the cucumber.  You are better off to eat it rather than put it on your face.

    4. Skin pores open and close.

    Pores are openings in the skin that allow oils (sebum) to reach the surface. If pores are larger, this can be due to dead cells, genetics or scarring from squeezing blemishes.

    5. The higher the skin protection factor (SPF) rating, the better.

    SPF ratings, soon to be revised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), only refer to protection from UVB rays. A person needs sun protection that has chemical and physical blockers, plus antioxidants. A higher SPF also gives a false sense of security and introduces more chemicals to the body. Plus, an SPF of 50 is only marginally more protective than a 40 or a 30SPF. Sunscreens need to be reapplied every 90–120 minutes.  People just don’t do that and pick higher numbers thinking it will give them more time in the sun with more protection.  Don’t forget sweat and water removes  sunscreen.

    6. Layering several products with SPF ratings increases protection.

    You are only protected to the extent of the higher rating of one product. A foundation with an SPF of 10, moisturizer with an SPF of 15 and a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 does not yield an SPF rating of 45.  In this example the SPF 20, if put on last, is the protection.

    7. Topical creams containing collagen can replace collagen.

    There is a lack of impartial, empirical evidence that the topical application of collagen or elastin can penetrate the dermis, even when using nanotechnology. They can provide moisturization to the epidermis, but only injections are conclusively effective.  Don’t always trust the advertising.

    8. Preservatives in skin care products are bad.

    Preservatives help prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and other organisms that can not only deteriorate a product’s effectiveness and spoil the product itself, but also allow harmful bacteria to get on or in the skin.  Checking out the preserving used is very important especially if the products are all natural or organic.

    9.  Packaging is not important.

    Packaging in skin care is vitally important—not for aesthetic reasons—but to protect the efficacy of the ingredients. Wide-mouth jars, transparent containers and pumps that are not airless all pose problems in keeping ingredients safe and potent.

    10.  Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.

    Eating chocolate does not cause acne. Hormonal factors, bacteria and skin cells are at the root of problematic skin, and stress can exacerbate flare-ups. Some individuals may have allergic reactions to foods  that could cause inflammation, as well.  The main key is controlling increased levels of the enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase that does or will produce excessive sebum in the pores.

    11. Natural and organic products are always better.

    Buyer, beware! Many natural and organic products are not as they claim. Plus, many times, active ingredients have to be synthesized to be bioavailable and efficacious.  Synthetic compounds can actually be identical to those found in nature and be more effective. Natural vs. laboratory-processed should not lead to an up or down decision about whether a product is good or bad. Not all chemicals are bad, and not all natural or organic ingredients are good.

    12. Using larger quantities of a product will yield better results.

    Less is more. Normally, a pea-sized amount of facial product will do the trick. Excessive amounts can cause your skin problems and waste money.

    13. Blackheads are  caused by improperly cleansed skin.

    Blackheads or comedones are caused by clogged pores, and excessive scrubbing can irritate and further inflame skin. Blackheads often contain, bacteria, oil, and dry and dead skin cells that need to be removed. Products that help dissolve sebum are the most effective.

    14. Drying problematic or oily skin clears up acne.

    The opposite is true. When skin becomes overly dry, an environment is created in which the skin is signalled that is too dry and produces more oil. Use drying products sparingly, and look to lightly moisture oily skin. The goal is to keep skin balanced.

    15. Get a base tan to prevent burning before going on vacation.

    Any tan is a scar, and there is no such thing as a healthy, safe tan. Self-tanners are the safest way to obtain tanned skin, if that is your desired look.

    16. All sun damage to skin occurs before 18 years of age.

    Sun damage continues to occur throughout life, although recent information suggests less than 50% of sun damage happens before a person is 18. ² It is never too late to protect your skin.

    17. Indoor tanning is safe.

    The argument that tanning beds and booths do not cause skin mutations that may cause cancerous lesions to develop is patently false. UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not need to have a sunburn to create damage to skin cells.  Tanning beds or lamps puts your skin within inches of the harmful rays.

    18. Antioxidants reverse wrinkles.

    Antioxidants are essential in fighting free radical formation and are important in helping prevent skin damage, but they cannot make present wrinkles go away.

    19. Skin damage and signs of aging can be cleared up quickly.

    If a product sounds too good to be true, you can bet its claims are false. The damage did not happen overnight, and it cannot be magically repaired. Expect at least three skin cycles—a cycle can be between 21–40 days, depending on age—to begin to see measurable results. 3

    20.  All alcohol in skin products is bad.

    Some compounds that contain alcohol can act as emollients, which can decrease the skin’s water loss. Cetyl, benzyl and oleyl alcohol are examples of good alcohols. It is important to know what comes before the OH in chemical compounds.

    21. Sun exposure will improve acne.

    Sun exposure can hide the appearance of acne for awhile, but will lead to skin damage, pigmentation and drying that signals the skin to produce more oil.

    22. Alcohol abuse can cause your nose to become red and bulbous.

    The intake of alcohol can temporarily dilate blood vessels and make skin appear flushed, but in most cases, a large, inflamed, red and bulbous nose is a result of rosacea.

    23.  Skin repair only happens at night.

    A good night’s sleep is certainly helpful to skin health; however, skin repair is ongoing. Inadequate sleep can cause stress, skin puffiness and can slow the natural development of collagen.  Although a well formulated night cream will assist is providing skin repair.

    24. Skin care products can last three or more years.

    Despite a number of claims to the contrary, most skin care products lose a great deal of their potency within 12 months. It is best  to use the entire contents within one year because preservatives do not last forever  and ingredients can get contaminated with bacteria, or they can evaporate.  Especially in jar lid type containers.

    25. Strong scrubs, soaps and abrasives are good for your skin.

    Be careful how you wash your face. Too much scrubbing or too many abrasive products can remove protective oils, create tiny micro tears and contribute to aging, irritated skin. Less is more, and a gentle detergent free cleanser and light moisturizer work well for most people.

    26. Vitamin A thins the skin.

    Actually, the reverse is true. Skin can become thin due to the lack of vitamin A because it helps to create new, healthy and normal skin cells. Vitamin A is arguably one of the most important skin care ingredient. It is one of the few—if not the only—ingredient that is backed by more than 50  years of objective, scientific research supporting its efficacy.

    27. The only form of vitamin C that works is L-ascorbic acid.

    L-ascorbic acid only remains in its most potent state for a limited time. A new era in vitamin C formulations, one of the best antioxidants for your skin, has arrived. There are several forms that have been developed that are not water-based, which means they can better penetrate the skin and remain more potent for longer periods of time.

    28. There is one antioxidant ingredient that is the best.

    Every year, there is a hot, newly discovered antioxidant that is touted as the best, but this is not true. A cocktail of antioxidants provides better results than just one. Seek products containing a plethora of antioxidants.

    29. Skin care products don’t need all those ingredients we see on the labels.

    An inert cosmetic product (no real efficacy) based on one or a couple of ingredients at the most turns out to simply not being well-thought-out.  Where would all the innovation be?  Where would all the efficacy be?  Where are the ingredients your skin needs to help it be healthy?

    30. All Chemicals are dangerous.

    Our bodies, themselves are composed of chemicals and everything we put in or on our body is composed of chemicals. With the right knowledge of chemistry, Cosmetic Scientists can find out which of these chemicals are safe, effective and actually good for us.

    31. Cosmetic Claims are Always True.

    As a consumer you need to be a “Super Detective”.  You need to look at all skin care product advertising as a super sleuth finding clues to a crime.  Why; because ads are not always honest about their claims or the impression they want planted for your mind to receive.  A classic example of this is a product “lifting” your skin.  No skin care cream anywhere can lift skin.  Only a plastic surgeon can do that for you.  Yet over and over again we see advertisements that will offer this or leave you with that impression as part of the creams name.  Some will come right out and declare their cream will lift your skin. That is not true or legal.  One would suspect they find the risk, the massive sales are worth the fines.  You will also see other bold statements that loose the wrinkles without the need of injections, or your eye wrinkles (crows feet) are gone in seconds.  They even show pictures to prove this!  They are not gone, the ingredients inflame the skin to swell and when that swelling has gone down the wrinkles are still there. As the consumer you need to be smarter than the Marketing Agency’s that get paid huge amounts to twist and fool the public with words of promise that public so wants to hear.

    “Separate Truth From Hype”

    Have a Sensé-tional Day!

    Bea Kinnear, Author

    Your Skin & You 5th Edition


    1. LS Baumann and J Spencer, The effects  of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic

    appearance of scars, Dermatol Surg, 25(4), 311–5 (Apr 1999)

    2. WF Berfeld, A lifetime of healthy skin: implications for women, Int J Fertil Womens

    Med, 44(2), 83–95 (Mar/Apr 1999)

  • Apr 30

    What are the damaging effects of smoking? Smoking cigarettes ages skin faster than anything else apart from sun damage. There’s no gentle way of saying this. If you smoke cigarettes you need to stop. Aside from the many health issues associated with smoking – if you care at all about wrinkles and you want to look younger for longer – then smoking is out.

    Smoking restricts blood flow through the capillaries (tiny veins near the skins surface) preventing oxygen and nutrients getting to the skin smoking increases production of an enzyme which breaks down the supply of collagen to the skin’s structure. Collagen supply is vital to the skin’s elasticity. It decreases with age but smoking cigarettes accelerates this process. Vitamin C is required for healthy collagen prodcution and smoking destroys Vitamin C fast.

    Smoking reduces the body’s store of vitamin A which provides protection from skin damage smoking gets in the way of absorption of vitamin C – a vital antioxidant for skin protection and health smokers continual puckering from drawing on a cigarette and squinting in reaction to the cigarette smoke results in deeply wrinkled skin around the eyes and mouth – classic signs of ‘smoker’s face’.

    Acknowledgement: Julie Dennis Skin Care

    To combat aging for smokers I would recommend you take a broad-spectrum high-quality mega antioxidant and multi mineral, a high quality grapeseed extract and high quality omega-3. That way you would get the extra nutrition that your body is lacking as well as prevent further aging.

    Cigarette smoking in New Zealand is on the decrease. Slowly the message is getting through that it is one of the most toxic things we can put into our bodies. I don’t have any friends who smoke which is great, because I hate being around smokers as I am sensitive to the smoke – it stinks!

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