(BPT) - Figuring out what's best for your skin can feel like solving a difficult mystery — everyone’s condition is unique, there are countless treatment options and people will do almost anything for a clear complexion.
"When it comes to your skin, there are many elements to consider," says Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist, CEO and founder of Curology. "Clogged pores, acne and other common issues can be a result of age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. I often hear about common misconceptions that cause otherwise well-meaning people to make mistakes that trigger larger skincare problems."
To help people better understand skincare and take control of their daily regimen, Dr. Lortscher shares the top misconceptions about skincare and acne.
Misconception: Exercise and sweat can cause acne.
Fact: Sweating while exercising doesn't cause acne. The eccrine glands produce sweat and the sebaceous glands produce oil — so revving up the sweat glands doesn’t actually turn on the oil glands involved in acne breakouts. The truth is sweating and humidity can aggravate breakouts by giving the bacteria on the skin a better environment to grow.
Cleansing is key post-workout, but keep in mind vigorously cleansing your skin can also be a source of friction that aggravates acne. The best strategy is to splash comfortable-temperature water on your face and neck, then pat dry gently.
Misconception: Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.
Fact: Many people have heard that chocolate and junk food are the worst foods for your skin, but modern science hasn’t found a direct link between acne and oily foods.
Diets are like acne treatments: highly individual. That’s not to say your eating habits can’t affect your skin. Eating simple carbs and sugar raises your blood sugar levels, causing your body to produce excess insulin, in turn stimulating oil production and leading to more inflammation and increased acne severity.
Misconception: DIY skincare and home remedies are good for your skin.
Fact: The DIY craze has extended to skincare routines, giving people ample ways to create their own remedies at home. However, it’s wise to be careful about the ingredients applied to your skin.
Some people try baking soda as a cost-effective scrub or mask. Baking soda is pH 9 and the pH of the skin is 4.5-5 or so. Therefore, scrubbing your face with a baking soda paste can be harsh and disturb your skin’s natural barrier, leading to red, raw and sensitive skin and leaving it susceptible to breakout.
Others suggest lemon juice as a home remedy for acne but it can cause significant dryness, redness and irritation. Lemon juice may have an exfoliating effect on the most superficial dead skin cells, but there are better ways to treat your acne.
If you're fed up with DIY remedies and over-the-counter products just haven’t worked for you, you have options. Try custom prescription skincare like Curology, a service that gets you expert dermatology care from the comfort of your home. Just take a few photos and a skin quiz to get a prescription formula customized to your individual needs.
Misconception: You can make your pores smaller.
Fact: Most people want smaller pores, but in reality, you can’t change the size or force them “open" or “closed."
Pore size is genetic; you can't shrink them or make pores go away. To keep large pores from worsening, treat acne breakouts, don't pick and use sun protection. Sun exposure breaks down collagen, which is the support structure surrounding the pores, so pores do appear larger as you age.
Misconception: You only need to wear sunscreen on sunny days.
Fact: It doesn't matter if it's sunny or cloudy; if you plan to spend time outdoors, wear sunscreen daily. It is estimated that damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun is responsible for up to 80 percent of skin aging.
SPF is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
While using a cleanser or lathering on sunblock may be an obvious part of a guy’s summer grooming routine – applying deodorant, and underarm health in general, is surprisingly important to men. Learn about proper underarm care and simple ways to manage common issues with this information.
Caring for Your Underarms
An essential summer grooming guide for men
(Family Features) With summer weather finally here, increased sweating is bound to happen. While using a cleanser or lathering on sunblock may be an obvious part of a guy’s summer grooming routine – applying deodorant, and underarm health in general, is surprisingly important to men.
Research from Dove Men+Care shows that nine out of 10 men agree that deodorant is one of the most important personal hygiene products they use in order to feel clean, fresh and confident – and half of men feel it’s especiallyimportant on a warm summer day.
Don’t Sweat It
“The study clearly reveals the gap between the issues men face and easy solutions to their problems. Many men are dealing with underarm issues, but only three out of 10 have spoken to their friends or family about experiencing these challenges,” said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Terrence Keaney. “We need to change this. As a physician, I want men to feel comfortable speaking to a medical professional about their underarm issues, as there are many ways to treat and prevent them.”
“I see so many men continue to switch their deodorant trying to find the one that’s right for them instead of seeking help from a physician or talking to one another about what’s bothering them,” Keaney said. “I highly recommend using a product that has moisturizing agents, such as Dove Men+Care’s Cool Fresh antiperspirant stick, which was developed with a clinically proven, non-irritating formula and moisturizing technology to actively care for men’s skin.”
With so many men facing these common challenges, Dove Men+Care has teamed up with leaders in fitness, style and grooming, along with Keaney, to create the Guide to Complete Underarm Care, which aims to open a dialogue around underarm health.
“Since men are so hesitant to talk to their doctors or friends, I think this online guide will be a terrific resource for them to ask the tough questions they have traditionally been too embarrassed to ask,” Keaney said.
Tips for Underarm Care
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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