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Seven Skin Sins

Stress. 

Modern lifestyles seem to involve stress as being normal, but it can take its toll on us, both inside and out! Stress can affect all sorts such as minimise good blood circulation and cell renewal, leaving skin dull and lifeless, and more worryingly for some, stress can induce or flare up some skin conditions such as acne or rosacea.

Damage Limitation: Exercise for health, don’t make it a chore, make it part of life; exercise is the best thing to get blood circulating and oxygenate the whole body including the skin.

The Sun.

Accumulated exposure of sun without adequate protection can have negative consequences on the skin. The main types of rays that damage our skin are UVA, UVB, and recent studies indicate perhaps Infrared rays too, all of which have the ability to penetrate into the skin and cause damage. On the surface, this damage manifests as the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, sagging and loss of density, and an un-even looking skin tone; however beneath the skin’s surface there is additional damage.

Damage Limitation:   Sun protection needs to be a part of an everyday skincare routine. It is important to ensure the sun protection is broad spectrum. This indicates a level of protection from both UVA and UVB rays; whereas SPF only indicates the length of time one is protected from the UVB rays.

Pollution. 

Where as sun-damage is fairly well known, information about the damage of pollution is limited.  Failing to protect our skin from environmental toxins such as pollution and bacteria is a big cause of premature ageing.  Environmental assaults generate free radicals in the body, damaging the skin’s DNA, causing pigmentation, wrinkles and inflammation, plus airborne germs mix with the skin’s natural oils to clog the pores and trigger acne and breakouts.

Damage Limitation: Firstly keep skin clean, this means not going to bed with make-up on and washing your skin after coming home from busy streets.  Secondly, use a good antioxidant daily to help neutralise free radicals and protect the skin.

Smoking. 

Beyond its known links to cancer, lung and heart disease, smoking is known to be associated with premature skin ageing and delayed wound healing, as well as a number of skin disorders. Smoking can accelerate the skin ageing process, theories include:

  • Heat from cigarette directly burns the skin;
  • Changes in the elastic fibres of skin;
  • Narrowing of blood vessels reduces blood supply to skin, cause changes in skin elastic and loss of collagen;
  • Reducing Vitamin A levels and moisture of the skin.

Damage Limitation:  This might sound harsh but, try to give up if you smoke and limit time surrounded by smokers, there’s a lot to be said for passive smoking, and not just for skin health. Antioxidants as mentioned above will also help with protection from smoke.

Lack of sleep. 

Our skin and body renews and regenerates whilst we sleep.  We are all guilty of depriving ourselves of sleep; whether we work long hours, party hard or are up with young children they can all take a toll on our health, and our skin. Lack of sleep actually puts stress on our skin. Hormones spiral out of control and can cause inflammatory problems like acne and rosacea.

Damage Limitation:  Products containing Vitamin A (retinol) can be used at night. They increase cell turnover and collagen production, so you get a smoother, brighter surface when you wake. For Normal to Dry Skin, plant acid (phytic acid) removes old skin cells while promoting new skin cells for a lighter, brighter complexion.

Alcohol. 

A glass of wine here, a quick pint there, the units can quickly add up.  Not only can your head suffer the consequences but your skin becomes very dehydrated too. Dull, dehydrated skin leads to a slow sluggish skin – collagen production and cell renewal will slow down, allowing lines to appear which get worse and deeper over time. Alcohol also dilates the blood vessels in the skin, so it can promote puffiness around the eyes and may also trigger rosacea.

Damage Limitation:  Obviously drinking less alcohol will help, but increasing plain water intake will also benefit. Use a nourishing moisturiser over night to further help lessen the loss of moisture. Hydration replenishes nutrients the skin needs to feel smooth and appear younger looking.

Bad diet. 

We all know that eating the right foods helps keep you healthy. Here’s more good news: a healthy diet can also make you look and feel young. It may even slow the ageing process!

Damage limitation: Eating foods such as fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, and whole grains also protects against many chronic conditions that could limit your life, including diabetes and heart disease. These foods help keep your blood vessels in top shape. That’s important for your heart, and for every organ of your body, including your skin.

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