Let me start by telling you a fact that you are already aware of. We all want healthy, glowing, youthful looking skin and we’re even prepared to spend a fortune to get it. Yet, although a robust skincare regimen is an important weapon in your arsenal if you’re waging a war on bad skin… It’s far from being enough to win the battle single-handedly. The gorgeous skin comes not only from without but from within and whether we’re aware of it or not, most of us do a whole lot in the course of a day to undermine our skin. From exacerbating fine lines and wrinkles to aggravating acne, our lifestyle can play a huge part in preventing us from getting the skin that we deserve.
If you’re serious about doing right by your skin, it’s not simply enough to indiscriminately spend more on beauty products. Instead of throwing money at the problem you need to carry out a thorough audit of your lifestyle and quit the bad habits that could be ruining your skin.
Buying the wrong products for your skin type
Do you know your skin type? Most of us have a hunch that maybe our skin might be dry or feel that sometimes it gets a little oily, but few of us have actually tested our skin to find out exactly what skin type you have? If not, you could be endangering your skin’s health (not to mention wasting a small fortune) by buying the wrong skincare products for your skin type. Testing your skin is relatively easy and you can do it yourself without spending any money. All you need is a little bit of blotting paper. Or simply wash your face with a mild cleanser, pat dry and wait for half an hour. Return to the mirror and look for shine on your nose and forehead. If you see these your skin may be oily while if it starts to feel tight, it’s probably dry. Indeed you may have a combination of oily or dry skin in different areas.
It’s important to take this short test and buy your products accordingly. Remember that just because a product markets itself as suitable for all skin types doesn’t mean that it’s effective for all skin types.
Not knowing what to look for in a skincare product
What motivates you to buy a new skincare product? Is it the claims made by the TV and social media advertising campaign? Is it the beautiful packaging? Is it the endorsement by a celebrity or YouTube influencer whom you admire? It’s a fair question, a lot of our purchases are made this way. The trouble is that while bold claims and celebrity endorsements may make for effective advertising campaigns they can also see you spending good money on products that either won’t do your skin any favours or could even exacerbate existing skin ailments.
The trouble with the impressive sounding claims made by a lot of brands is that they’re based in pseudoscience and depend on the ignorance of the consumer. Often they’ll rely on the “pulling power” of impressive sounding ingredients that do little to justify the hefty price tag. Steer clear of anything that contains;
- Stem cells– Sounds impressive but they have to be alive to do your skin any good which they can’t be if they’ve been made into a cream. The very best you’ll get is some mild antioxidant benefits. Save money, and eat some blueberries.
- Collagen- This protein is undoubtedly important for plump, youthful looking skin but it can’t be absorbed into the skin. You have to eat the foods that will allow your body to make its own.
- Elastin- As above. This is important for allowing your skin elasticity to prevent wrinkles and sagging, but it cannot be applied topically. It needs to be produced by the body.
It’s important to know your skin’s needs and buy products with the active ingredients that will help it. Acne treatments are available in their drives, for instance, but to get a really effective one you need to look for the right ingredients. Look for a potent antibiotic like Clindamycin and an antibacterial agent like benzoyl peroxide which will also clear the pores of blockages created by excess sebum. Hyaluronic acid is also useful in preventing bumps and fine lines.
Too much stress
Stress not only causes us a loss of sleep (which can lead to puffy, inflamed skin and accelerated ageing) and making us crease up our skin with frowns, scowls and grimaces, it also affects our skin and the rest of our bodies on a cellular level. Stress inhibits your body’s ability to replace old skin cells with new ones which is what gives us that grey and ashen complexion when we’ve had a stressful week.
Of course, avoiding stress is easier said than done, since we all lead such busy lifestyles. Nonetheless, even visiting the gym or going to a yoga class or any other stress-relieving activity (that doesn’t involve alcohol) can help to reverse this damage.
Eating too much of this…
We all have busy lifestyles. We work hard for long hours and have a whole lot of responsibilities waiting for us at home, whether this means taking care of the kids or just chipping in to keep the place clean and tidy. Nonetheless, we can’t let our lifestyles push us towards the allure of the fast food outlet around the corner or the vending machine at work. These are chock full of foods which can actually accelerate our skin’s ageing process including (but not limited to)…
- White sugar- Sugar molecules can bond with proteins, triggering a process that can break down the collagen in your skin, robbing it of its youthful fullness.
- Processed meat– Not only are foods like ham, bacon and pepperoni cancer inducing type 1 carcinogens, they also aid water retention giving our skin that unflattering puffy look.
- Trans fats- These synthetic fats found in foods like margarine can not only lead to bloated looking skin they can also make it more vulnerable to UV damage from the sun.
And too little of this…
Eating the right foods, on the other hand, can give our bodies everything we need to give our skin the essential nourishment and hydration it needs. Make sure you get a daily dose of…
- Tomatoes- These contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene which can reverse damage caused by free radicals.
- Citrus fruits- All that vitamin C is essential for producing new collagen.
- Nuts and seeds- Rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for helping your skin retain its moisture
- Green leafy veggies- These are nutritional powerhouses but also filled with chlorophyll for healthy circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the skin.
Now that you know what you are doing to ruin your skin you can use the tips shared here to help reshape your skincare routine and paying close attention to what you consume.
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