Dr. Sonia Batra Q&A: Skin & Beauty Myth-Busting

When you want the facts about skin care call Dr. Sonia Batra. She recently visited our home and separated fact from fiction on skincare myths and breaks down how-to use collagen and protect skin after frequent mask use.

Q: Does collagen cream replace the collagen we lose as we age?

A: This is a myth. Collagen provides the structural support for our skin, giving it strength and elasticity. As we age, our collagen production slows down, and after age 30, we lose 1-2% per year, leading to sagging and wrinkles. Collagen is made in the 2nd layer of the skin, which is called the dermis. Intact collagen molecules are too large to pass through the outer layer of the skin down to the dermis. Most collagen creams contain broken-down versions of the molecule (hydrolyzed collagen). While collagen creams may provide your skin with some of the building blocks it needs to produce its own collagen, this has not been proven by scientific study

Q: Can collagen injections improve your skin?

A: Yes, if it is placed directly in the dermis, injectable fillers can both stimulate one’s own collagen production and also help prop up the skin in areas of volume loss, wrinkles and sagging. Make sure to use a licensed, board-certified professional if you are going to try this.

Q: Some people say you can use one good cream throughout your adult life. Is this fact or myth?

A: This is a myth, and as mentioned in the previous myth, we know that as we age, our own collagen production slows down and we lose the scaffolding of our skin. In addition, skin becomes drier, cell turnover slows down, and skin tone becomes more uneven

  • Early on, skincare should focus on the prevention of damage. A zinc-based broad-spectrum sunscreen to prevent ultraviolet injury to the skin is essential. Antioxidants such as vitamin c or e applied to the skin in a serum will help mop up ongoing sun damage.
  • For aging skin, add-in products that promote cell turnover and stimulate collagen. Alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid can help gently exfoliate and fade discoloration. Retinoids are derived from vitamin a, and though they can be drying, help speed cell renewal, and stimulate collagen production. With age, decrease any abrasive products such as harsh scrubs, as the skin becomes more fragile. Irritating products can traumatize capillaries, leading to red, inflamed skin.

Q: Is this fact or myth? You grow out of acne.

A: It’s a myth! Acne affects more than 50 million Americans annually and, can occur throughout our lives. Post-adolescent acne is on the rise. Over 50% of women have acne in their twenties, and over 25% of women still have acne in their 40’s.

Adult acne looks different than adolescent acne.

  • Adolescents tend to have oilier skin, more clogged pores, and worse acne in the central face
  • Adults often have more cystic and inflammatory acne along the jawline and lower face.

Use skincare products that are non-pore clogging or non-comedogenic.

  • Wash as soon as possible after exercise or sweating, and remove makeup at the end of the day
  • Use products with alpha or beta hydroxy acids to unclog pores
  • Topical sulfur can help kill bacteria and settle inflammation
  • Topical retinoids can decrease oil production and unclog pores

Q: Last question. Are you seeing any skincare issues from our frequent use of masks?

A: Yes, while it is essential to wear a mask these days, it can contribute to acne. Oil, sweat, and dirt build up inside the mask and can form a film on skin that clogs pores. Heat and friction from the mask can also contribute to inflammation.

  • It is essential to change or wash your mask frequently
  • Avoid layering heavy makeup under the mask
  • Gently exfoliate at least 2-3 times/week
  • Use light moisturizers and hydrate well to maintain the skin’s barrier.

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