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6 Myths About Diet and Skincare

December 19, 2020

6 Myths About Diet and Skincare

When it comes to taking care of your skin, there’s a lot of mixed information out there. From new ingredients and products to techniques and treatments, it’s difficult to keep up—and it’s hard to know who to listen to! 

While much of the information floating around the skincare industry is true, it unfortunately comes with a lot of myths. This is especially the case as it relates to skincare and your diet.

Science proves that thereis a connection between the food we put into our bodies and our complexion. And, there are ways to incorporate skin-loving superfoods into your diet. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stick to an incredibly strict set of rules. 

Thankfully, a lot of research has been conducted on diet and skincare. Despite this, there are still plenty of myths out there that simply aren’t true! Follow along as we debunk 6 of them.

Myth #1: Avoid Fats for Healthy Skin

One of the biggest misconceptions about nutrition in general is that all fats are bad. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, certain types of fats can be harmful to the body, but there are also healthy fats, which are essential to our well-being. It’s important to make the distinction between the two

Saturated and trans fatty acids fall into the category of ‘bad’ fats. Both can clog arteries, raise cholesterol levels, and increase the risk for heart disease. You’ll often see these types of fats on the labels of baked goods, sugary treats, and packaged snack foods. It’s best to consume these sparingly.

‘Good’ fats, on the other hand, are unsaturated fats. This includes both mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease when eaten in moderation and used to replace unhealthy fats.

So what about your skin? One type of polyunsaturated fat is omega-3 fatty acids, which are key to healthy skin and hair. Omega-3s have been linked to protecting skin against sun damage, reducing acne, and guarding against irritated skin. They may even reduce hair loss and boost hair growth. 

Omega-3s can be found in foods like fatty fish, nuts and seeds, and plant oils. A deficiency can cause scaly, rough skin and a swollen, red, itchy rash. It’s important to ensure you’re getting enough Omega-3s in your diet. 

The next time you read something about fats being bad for your body or skin, think again. Fat isn’t something to be afraid of—our bodies rely on healthy fats to function properly and keep our skin glowing!

Myth #2: Oily Food = Oily Skin

Another common myth about nutrition and skincare is that oily foods cause oily skin. While this might seem like it only makes sense, there’s no scientific evidence that there’s a correlation between the two. 

Fried foods aren’t great for you, but they’re most likely not to blame for oily skin or acne. The oil our skin produces comes from our sebaceous glands, and some people are more genetically prone to having oily skin than others. 

In addition to this, there are many other factors that influence the amount of oil our skin produces. These influences include products we use, hormonal changes, the environment, and medication, just to name a few. 

While it might seem counterintuitive, it’s important for those with oily skin to keep their skin hydrated and not over-wash their face. Stripping skin’s natural oils can lead to an imbalance in the skin. This in turn causes oil glands to compensate by producing even more oil.

Oily, fried food isn’t good for our bodies in general, but by crediting our skin issues to it, we might be missing the real problem. Instead, focus on establishing a skincare routine that works for your specific skin type and concerns. In the meantime, you can enjoy your favorite fried foods—in moderation, of course.

Myth #3: It’s Best to Cut Out Dairy 

Dairy is one of the most controversial topics when it comes to diet and skin health. Researchers have found that dairy does have the potential to worsen acne, however, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Many of the studies that have been conducted on this topic have focused on teenagers and young adults. Researchers have primarily found a correlation between milk and acne—not a cause and effect relationship.

As there is still much more research to be done on the topic, don’t be quick to cut out dairy as a whole. Everyone is different, and some foods that contain dairy, such as hard cheeses, may be less of a concern for the skin.

Additionally, whenever it comes to cutting out a specific food group, it’s important to ensure you’re still getting the nutrients you may lose by no longer eating those foods. For example, if you’re thinking about avoiding dairy, you’ll want to identify other sources of calcium and vitamin D. Otherwise, you may introduce a whole new set of health issues. 

If you’re someone who suffers from acne, it might be worth cutting back on some dairy products to see if your skin improves. Before deeming dairy as bad, try avoiding just milk, for example, to see if you experience results. As with anything, consult with your dermatologist when in doubt. 

Myth #4: Chocolate Causes Breakouts

The idea that chocolate is bad for your skin most likely stems from its dairy and sugar content, both of which have been in question when it comes to their effects on the skin. However, you’ll be happy to know that chocolate itself is most likelynot the cause of flare ups on the skin. 

The effect chocolate has on the skin is dependent on the type of chocolate, the source, and its ingredients. For example, a piece of pure dark chocolate is much better than a piece from a sugary, processed candy bar.

In fact, chocolate has even been linked to skin benefits! Studies have found that dark chocolate with more than 70% cacao is an amazing source of antioxidants—which protect our skin and organs. So, the next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can reach for a square of dark chocolate guilt-free.

Myth #5: Drinking Water Hydrates Your Skin

Have you ever talked to someone with great skin and asked for their tips, all for them to say, “Drink more water?” Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. The condition of our skin is influenced by a variety of factors, including our genetics, the products we use, and our lifestyle.

Drinking water is incredibly important for your overall health. But, there’s actually no scientific evidence that drinkingextra water affects skin hydration

Skin has three layers: the outer layer (epidermis), the skin beneath it (dermis), and the deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis). If the outer layer doesn’t contain enough water, it will become dry. However, there is no research that shows drinking water has any impact on the appearance or hydration level of the skin. 

Water offers a long list of benefits—so be sure you’re drinking enough each day. However, if you’re suffering from dry skin, it might be time to look at other factors, such as your skincare routine and the ingredients in the products you’re using. A dermatologist can help guide you through this process and give you recommendations on how to bring your dehydrated skin back to life.

Myth #6: DIY Skincare Recipes are Better for the Skin

This myth doesn’t directly relate to your diet, but it does have to do with the food in your pantry. In the past few years, DIY face masks and skincare products have become all-the-go, claiming to do wonderful things for your skin. 

While the intent behind these recipes is good, they may not be the best option for your skin. These recipes might be ‘natural,’ but if you’re not careful, you could be causing your skin more harm than good. 

For example, many at-home face masks and treatments call for lemon juice and vinegar. Lemon contains a high amount of vitamin C, but it’s also very acidic. This can burn the skin and lead to redness, drying, and peeling. It can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays.

Rather than swiping a lemon wedge across your skin, look for a quality vitamin C serum if this is the ingredient you’re after. The same goes for any other food you’re thinking about applying to your skin. Try to choose skincare products from trusted brands—it’s best to leave the chemistry and formulation to the experts!

At the end of the day, always do your own research and listen to sources you trust when it comes to skincare. Remembering these 6 myths can help to ensure that you’re taking the very best care of your skin. 

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