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Getting the Facts Straight

By: Mark Lees, PhD
Posted: December 31, 2009, from the January 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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page 4 of 5

37% answered true; 63% answered false

Skin dryness and dehydration can certainly make wrinkles and aging skin look worse, but wrinkles are primarily caused by facial expression and cumulative sun exposure. Using a daily moisturizer with hydration agents that also contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a great way to help wrinkles look better and prevent the daily exposure that actually causes damage to the dermis making skin wrinkled.

Also, daily use of some the newer peptide products, along with agents such as alpha hydroxy acid and retinol, can actually have long-term benefits in making the skin look much less wrinkled.

True or false? 100% all-natural products are chemical-free.

3% answered true; 97% answered false

Nothing is chemical-free. Everything, including plant extracts, skin care products and even the human body is made up of chemicals. Without chemicals, people could not move, think or live. Natural substances can contain hundreds of chemicals that are naturally present, and in fact, one-third of all prescription drugs are made from plant sources.

True or false? Allergic reactions are the No. 1 type of reaction caused by skin care products.

54% answered true; 46% answered false

The No. 1 type of reaction to skin care products are irritant reactions, mostly caused by overexfoliation, which damages the barrier function of the skin, causing both inflammation and dehydration. Overuse of foaming-type cleansers or using cleansers that are too strong for the skin type can also cause irritant reactions.

Irritant reactions can also affect anyone who overexfoliates or overuses stripping products, or even overstimulates the skin. Allergic reactions only occur in people who have a strong immune reaction to the product.

True or false? Drinking alcohol causes phymatous rosacea, or rhinophyma.