Myth: Drinking Extra Water Will Give You Better Skin

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Woman with glowing skin drinking water

Why do people think that drinking extra water will improve their skin?

While drinking water is important for overall health, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that drinking extra, EXTRA water will impact skin hydration and appearance in healthy, adequately hydrated people.

It’s more that when you are dehydrated (from not drinking fluids, too much caffeine or alcohol, flying, or just not moisturizing), the skin does appear more lackluster, dull, and sallow. Overall, both due to factors we can control and those we don’t (like aging or previous sun damage), the skin will lose elasticity and plumpness if the epidermis (the outer most of the three layers that make up your skin) doesn’t contain enough water—resulting in a less “glowy” appearance.

What’s the science behind skin and the amount of water someone drinks?

Water helps your body work properly; it impacts blood flow and helps nutrients reach all the cells in your body, but it doesn’t automatically get carried to your skin. Drinking water affects your body at the cellular level.

What actually improves skin hydration?

Here are some tips we recommend for improving skin hydration:

  • Use a gentle and moisturizing cleanser.
  • Avoid any product that contains alcohol.
  • Use a moisturizing serum to help rebuild your skin’s natural protective barrier.
  • Look for products that contain:
    • hyaluronic acid, it can hold up to 1000 tunes its weight in hydration
    • AHAs
    • Lactic acid
    • Glycolic acid
    • Glycerin
  • Moisturize immediately after showering or washing your hands.
  • Do not use very hot water in the shower or sink.
  • Use a humidifier if you live in very dry climates or in winter when heaters are turned on.
  • Protect your hands from the elements, meaning wear gloves when outside in the cold or when washing dishes.
  • Use an overnight hydrating mask.
  • Avoid perfumed products.
  • If your skin is especially dry, avoid salicylic acid, tea tree oil, charcoal, and kaolin as they can strip the epidermis of natural oils.

Is there anything else you think readers should know about this myth or about skin hydration?

Make sure your moisturizing regimen contains an emollient like natural oils, colloidal oatmeal, shea butter to smooth out skin cells, a humectant like urea, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, honey aloe, rice proteins to pull hydration the outer layers of your skin, and an occlusive to prevent water loss and lock it all in with a protective seal on skin. These could include beeswax, olive oil, lanolin, or dimethicone.

Interested in learning more about proper skincare or how to hydrate your skin? Dr. Annie Chiu, Board-Certified Dermatologist and founder of The Derm Institute in North Redondo Beach, welcomes you to visit her practice to see how you can achieve healthy, beautiful skin. To get started, simply call (310) 939-9800 or contact us online today.

Top Tips for Dealing with Maskne | The Derm Institute

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To slow the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, wearing a face mask has become part of your daily routine. It’s now required in many public places, from grocery stores to restaurants, as it is an effective barrier against the COVID-19 virus that spreads through respiratory droplets.

However, wearing a mask may lead to acne breakouts. You are not alone! Known as “maskne” (mask acne), these breakouts are a common side effect of wearing a face mask, especially for extended periods.

Maskne doesn’t merely cause pimples but may also result in skin issues, including redness, bumpiness, and irritation.

What Exactly Is Maskne and Why Does It Happen?

As the name suggests, maskne is a skin breakout resulting from friction, pressure, rubbing, stretching by the mask. You can see maskne where the mask covers and where the mask and face shields touch the skin.

Face masks and coverings trap moisture, sweat, oil, and dirt close to our skin, causing blemishes and various skin conditions:

  • Acne when pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and dirt, resulting in pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads.
  • Rosacea can flare up due to the wearing of a mask, leading to pimples and redness.
  • Contact dermatitis results from being allergic or sensitive to your mask’s material, leading to a red rash, along with irritation and blisters.

If you already suffer from one or more of these conditions, you may be more prone to developing maskne.

Why Do Masks Cause Irritation?

In most cases, maskne results from clogged pores caused by a buildup of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria on your skin, made worse by wearing a mask for hours on end. Add humidity caused by your breathing and sweating inside the mask, and you may increase the risk of acne.

Some masks and face coverings are pretreated with chemicals or feel rough on the skin, leading to sensitivity or an allergic reaction to your mask’s material. Washing a reusable mask in a scented detergent may also cause irritation.

How Can You Clear up and Prevent Your Maskne Breakout?

The key to managing your maskne breakout is preventing it in the first place, as these tips suggest:

Wear a Clean Mask Each Day

Avoid the temptation to throw the same mask on every day. Mask cleanliness affects your maskne breakouts, making it vital to starting every day with a clean mask. It might be better for a long day at work to put on a new mask at least halfway through your day rather than wear just one all day long.

For a reusable mask, make sure you’re washing it every day because of the bacteria it harbors.

Wash Your Face Regularly

During the COVID-19 pandemic, continue with your regular skincare routine to keep your skin healthy.

Make sure you wash your face:

  • Once every morning.
  • Once every night, before going to bed.
  • After sweating while wearing a mask.

After washing your face with lukewarm water, pat your skin dry with a clean towel, being sure not to rub your skin and cause irritation.

Use Gentle Organic and Daily Skin Care Products

Use a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil, sweat, and bacteria. Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or perfume as these can cause irritation and slow the healing of your symptoms.

Since every person has a unique skin type, take the time to undergo a clinical consultation by physician Dr. Annie Chiu and obtain an individualized treatment plan so that you can bring your maskne under control.

Take a Break From Makeup

Even if your makeup is hypoallergenic, wearing a restrictive face covering may smother your skin and exacerbate the clogging of your pores.

At the very least, use the highest quality products possible and keep your makeup very light.

How Can You Prevent Maskne in North Redondo Beach, CA?

Since you’ll probably need to continue wearing a face mask or covering in public for the foreseeable future, here are some maskne prevention tips you can follow:

Wash Fabric Masks After Every Use

Using unscented hypoallergenic laundry detergent, wash reusable cloth masks after every use.

Apply a Topical Antibiotic Cream

Prevent acne-causing bacteria from building up under your mask by applying an antibiotic cream or gel directly on your skin before putting on your mask.

Remove your mask every 4 hours

If possible, every four hours, after washing your hands, remove your face mask for 15 minutes, giving your skin a break from being tightly covered.

Apply Moisturizer Before Wearing a Mask

If your skin tends to be dry, a mask may cause irritation. Applying a noncomedogenic moisturizer can help hydrate your skin and serve as a barrier between your skin and the mask.

Choose the Right Mask

Avoid skin issues by following these tips for choosing the right mask:

  • Snug-fitting, but not too tight.
  • Two or more layers of fabric.
  • Made from natural, soft fabric.

Should I See Dr. Annie Chiu About my Maskne at North Redondo Beach, CA?

Healthy skin is part of your overall good health. With maskne being an uncomfortable sign of the times, if you’re struggling with unsightly, uncomfortable maskne, you can feel reassured of the skilled treatment offered by renowned physician Dr. Annie Chiu. Call us today at (310) 939-9800 or contact us online to schedule your personalized consultation!


Help! My Botox and Fillers are Wearing Off!

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We are now deep into California’s Safer at Home order, and our manicures, hair dyes, and omg—botox and fillers maybe starting to wear off. Here’s the good news—if you have getting these procedures regularly, research shows that your results may last longer than you expect. The bad news? Nothing over the counter really replaces the effects of botox and fillers.

So what can you do to maintain the results as long possible?

  • Self-care and trying to control stress (during stressful times) keeps your immune system strong and inflammation down.
  • Up your skincare game! Fillers look much better with hydrated skin, and products with crosslinked hyaluronic acids like SkinMedica’s HA5 help the skin maintain plump and hydrated, and is a great adjunct to boost filler treatments.
  • Smile. Overuse of frown muscles, or squinting at a computer or phone can make your dynamic wrinkles between the brows and crow’s feet stronger.
  • Some small studies have shown zinc supplementation possibly can increase the duration of botox effects. Since zinc also boosts the immune system, this may be the time to incorporate into your supplements.
  • Limit sun exposure and wear sunscreen. Even if you are indoors more, UVA rays penetrate windows, and blue light from increased digital exposure all contribute to breakdown of collagen.
  • Exercise to keep healthy, but prolonged or extreme exercise and diet does lead to an increased metabolic effect on these products and their benefits can wear off faster.

Most importantly, stay safe and socially distance, because that means we can all reunite and do these treatments all the sooner!