Cleansing, Diet and Skin Care Q & A with Dr. Rivers


Thank you for all of your questions following our winter skin care Q&A with Dr. Rivers.  As always, if you have anymore inquiries please email us at

  1. Does diet or hydration play a role in healthy skin?

    It is said that you are what you eat.  In part this is true as it pertains to the skin.  A balanced diet will provide for healthy skin.  A severe lack of different vitamins may result in a number of skin conditions (zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B for example) and this highlights the role of nutrition in skin health.  Acne may be worsened by certain foods (dairy products, foods with a high glycemic index), and other conditions like rosacea can be aggravated by certain foods and alcohol.  Avoiding these factors will often help to settle the skin.  A common myth is that drinking 12 glasses of water a day will make your skin more youthful. Unfortunately this is not the case but you will spend more time in the bathroom where you can apply your skin care products.

  2. What food items should one consume for healthy skin?

    As mentioned above, a balanced diet will generally result in healthy skin.  That being said, there is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids (from fish oil), antioxidants (green tea, resveratrol), vitamins (vitamins A, B6, C, D3 for example) and minerals (zinc, selenium) will help to maintain the skin in an optimal condition.

  3. What is the proper way to clean my face?

    Skin cleansing should be done with a mild cleanser applied to the skin without excess pressure or rubbing.  Trying to clean the skin too rigorously may result in the formation of acne like lesions, while washing the skin too often will strip the skin of its natural oils and may lead to skin irritation, sensitive skin, or even eczema.  For the face, some prefer the use of a mild non-soap cleanser (such as Riversol gel cleanser) combined with a sonic cleansing brush.

  4. If you are an adult suffering from blemishes and pimples in one localized area, how can you distinguish between whether you are suffering from acne rosacea or just ordinary acne? 

    Sometimes it is difficult. However, acne is always based around hair follicles and has white heads and black heads  (open and closed comedones respectively). Also, rosacea is generally symmetrical on the face and associated with redness of the cheeks and nose. 

  5. If you happen to have both adult acne and rosacea, do you need to treat each condition separately in order to experience relief? 

    You do need to treat condition separately but for more advanced disease, some of the treatments overlap -  for example oral antibiotics, though the dose needed for rosacea is much less than that for acne. 

  6. Will moisturizers help or exacerbate the symptoms of rosacea or adult acne?  

    Moisturizers are helpful for both rosacea and acne. They are useful for moisturizing the skin from the drying effects of some acne treatments and they are useful to restore the barrier function of the skin in people who have rosacea as this is part of their sensitive skin problem. If a moisturizer is too occlusive, it can make acne worse. 

  7. Why is my skin becoming ridiculously more sensitive every year for the past three years (I'm 39)? 

    If you have rosacea this is not uncommon. Many people are completely normal until the mid 20's or 30's and then for reasons not fully understood, the skin starts to react to things it would previously ignore. This might include but is not exclusive to bacterial or environmental agents that get onto the skin.

If you have a question you would like answered by Dr. Rivers, please email us at Dr. Rivers also has developed a range of skincare products to help the patients in his Vancouver clinic manage facial redness. He is offering a free, 15-day supply of his Redness Control line for a limited time.

  1. Diet or Hydration and Healthy Skin
  2. Food Items for Healthy Skin
  3. Properly Cleaning One's Face
  4. Acne Rosacea or Just Ordinary Acne?
  5. Adult Acne and Rosacea Relief
  6. Moisturizers and Symptoms of Rosacea or Adult Acne
  7. Increased Skin Sensitivity with Age