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Beauty and skin tips: The myths and the ones to try

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It's not easy to know whose advice to trust when it comes to healthy skin. We are constantly inundated with tips like 'drinking two litres of water a day is the key to a perfect complexion' when a fair few of them (including the latter) simply do not work.

Here, Dr David Harris shares some of the top myths he hears and shares his professional tips that help his patients achieve genuine skin health.

Myth: sun damage is irreversible

Skin damage is not irreversible. It's true that 80% of skin ageing is environmental and the majority is pre-determined by your level of sun exposure before the age of 12. But it's certainly never too late to start taking care of your skin when in the sun.

Miracle: There are licensed prescription products in USA that can aid the reversal of photo (skin) damage, called retinoids that utilise the benefits of vitamin A.

Myth: the latest cream will knock 10 years off

The only guarantee these creams can give you, is that your purse will be a lot lighter! Currently, Botox®, or one of the dermal fillers like Restylane®, are the only agents able to give you a quick 10 years off your look both quickly and effectively. But many people don't want to take this route. It's very expensive and it's not suitable for everyone.

Miracle: The safer, more practical approach is to choose an anti-ageing cream containing mainstream active agents that are scientifically proven to work. These agents include antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E which protect against free radical damage.

Myth: you're born with weak nails

Most nail problems, believe it or not, are correctable by adopting a similar type of care plan to the one you'd use for your skin.

Miracle: Follow and stick to these simple steps and the results may surprise you:

  • Reduce how often your hands and nails are in water
  • Pre-apply a barrier of moisturiser that includes vitamin E before allowing your nails to be submerged in water
  • Wear gloves and reapply moisturiser when cleaning with harsh detergents
  • Try to avoid overly clipping nails, manicuring nails, and or filing harshly, as this can severely weaken them

Myth: drinking lots of water keeps you looking young

This is the biggest myth! Drinking three litres of water a day will keep your kidneys functioning well but, sadly, it has little effect on the appearance of your skin.

Miracle: Far better to try the power of vitamins from within to keep skin well fed with essential nutrients. Healthy skin really does begin on the inside. As the largest organ of the body, skin represents an external fingerprint of your nutrition and performs vital functions such as body temperature regulation. It manufactures essential vitamin D and provides a barrier to disease and injury.

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