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Beauty & Fashion

Crossing Over Skin Myths

Gone are the day of complicated, messy avocado face masks and fiddly yogurt cleansers. The modern approach to skincare is to feed your skin both inside and outside that means understanding how what you can eat can affect your complexion. Follow these tips and both your skin and your body will thank you for it.

Some people wake up the morning after a party with their skin as blemish-free as ever. Others argue that they eat healthily, drink plenty of water and still have less than model-perfect skin. No-one knows for sure how much the food we eat affects our skin, and the truth is, clear complexions are more often due to lucky genetics than a blameless larder. So does food really make a difference?

Eating fried foods gives you spots

There's no medical evidence for this, but if it's just the odd spot we're talking about, then anecdotal evidence (and common sense!) tells us that a night's bingeing could be at least partly to blame. However, if persistent acne or spots are the concern, it's unlike that your diet is the principal cause. To help combat the regular occurrence of blemishes, make sure you get enough vitamin A and zinc.


Chocolate is bad for your skin

Chocolate is not exactly skin's public enemy number one, but its high sugar and dairy content are in danger of negating any positive effects. If you really want to increase your fat content for its positive effects on your skin, it's better to snack on nuts (especially almonds) than chocolate-they're high in essential fatty acid.

Going on a detox diet will instantly make your skin look better

When you detox, you're attempting to eliminate all the toxins that have built up in your system, and as as organ of elimination, the skin is where many of them will escape. Breakouts, excess oil and blotches may all ensure at the beginning of your detox, making your skin look worse than it did before (but don't despair-after a few days your skin will be clearer, your hair shinier and your eyes brighter than ever before, thanks to the improved circulation and absence of free radicals). Remember there's a difference between a detox and crash dieting, though, which can damage the collagen fibres that fend off wrinkles.

Applying vitamins and minerals topically to your skin has just the same effect as taking them internally

Every vitamin is different- there's no hard-and-fast rule. for example, vitamin C taken internally will be nearly all used up by other organs in the body, leaving perhaps only 10-20 per cent for your skin. Vitamin C applied topically, however, can get to work on your skin straight away. Vitamin E is beneficial both internally and externally. With minerals, you should concentrate on getting them internally: many have molecules that are too large to be able to penetrate the skin when added to creams.


Drinking water doesn't help your complexion because it gets used up by your internal organs before it even reaches your skin

While it's true that only a tiny proportion of the water you drink goes directly to your skin, all that water will be helping to improve your circulation and flush out toxins - which in turn will have a direct bearing on your skin's radiance and clarity. Many skincare experts recommend starting the day with a tall glass of water- before anything else passes your lips - in order to help the skin's elimination process on its way. Contrary to some moderns theories, not all liquids are the same - caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and fizzy drinks are diuretic and don't count as part of your 2 litres (4 1/4 pints) of water. In fact, one cup of coffee can 'cancel out' up to a pint of water. For optimum hydration the combination of 2 liters of water and a hard - working moisturiser will keep your skin healthy.


Only fresh foods can make a difference to your skin

If by 'fresh' food we're talking about non- processed, non-packaged food, then it's a safe bet than they'll have a bigger chance of helping your skin than chilled ready meals, for example. However, vegetables that are frozen as soon as they are picked, for example, retain many more nutrients than fresh ones that are left to fester in a refrigerator for days on end. How you cook them also makes a big difference to their nutrient quota: frying is out (although it's not so bad if done in olive oil), grilling is good and boiling is fine but steaming is better (water soluble nutrients don't escape into the discarded water as they do with boiling).

Most of the sun damage you incur happens before age 18.

Recent studies have shown that by age 18, you've only accumulated 18 to 23 percent of the sun damage you'll incur over a lifetime. That means that there's still time to protect your skin from the sun and put off sun-induced aging. Do this by using sunscreen and products with sun-damage reversing ingredients such as vitamin C and retinol.

All skin peels require the application of chemicals to the skin.

This is a myth. The term skin peel refers to a variety of different procedures. Several of these do involve the use of chemicals but newer ones such as the Power Peel involve the use of tiny crystals (micro-dermabrasion) to remove fine wrinkles, acne scars, pigmentation, etc. Other types of skin peels utilize lasers to improve the skins' appearance.

Many women report that a raw vegetable diet, followed for a week, seems to make their eyes bright and skin sparkle. Try to include some uncooked vegetables such as carrots or cauliflower in your diet every day.

- WF Team

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