Your skin is your biggest organ and the only one we can actually see every day so its easy to notice if your skin is looking in good or bad shape. If your skin is looking a little lack lustre maybe you need to start avoiding a few things to get your skin back on track.
Here are the absolute worst things for your skin- The 3 S’s!
Yes we know you will have heard it over and over again but sun damage can be catastrophic for your skin health. While sunlight gives us the essential amount of vitamin D we need, too much of it can actually cause damage to our skin. Many studies have shown that if your skin is exposed to excessive sunlight, it can be severely damaged – from sunburn and wrinkles to most dangerously, skin cancer. Sun damages the natural fibres of the skin, known as elastin, which leads to your skin becoming saggy and loose. Then because of the loss of elastin, the skin also loses its ability to protect itself against bruising or tearing as it is unable to heal at the same speed it used to.
What can you do? Limit your time in direct sunlight and don't go into the sun at peak times of the day when UV rays are at the highest. And of course, wear SPF! Even if it isn't a hot day get in the habit of wearing sunscreen everyday by implementing it into your daily skin routine.
Top Tip- ALWAYS apply SPF to your hands. Hands are one of the first signs of ageing on the body and what people don’t always realise is our hands are always out in the elements, so we need to nourish and protect them the same as our face.
It goes without saying that its a terrible habit. Not only for your skin health but your all round wellbeing so if you can, stop.
What does smoking do to your skin? A lot of damage! Cigarette smoke actually changes the structure of your skin and a recent study has shown that smoking dramatically increases the risk of skin cancer. Another recent study found that cigarette smoking is the biggest environmental risk factor for developing acne. It also prevents wounds on your skin healing as effectively and quickly. And don't even get us started on the dehydrating and premature ageing affect it has on your skin! The toxins in cigarette smoke damage collagen and elastin, which are the fibrous components of your skin that keep it firm and supple. Without them, your skin can become hardened and less elastic, leading to deeper wrinkles.
What can you do? If you do smoke, please stop. Here is a helpful resource to start you journey to quit :)
OK we know you aren't going to be happy about this one! I am sure all of us at some point love a splurge of our favourite chocolates or sugary drink but sugar is terrible for your skin. Like really!
Time to get technical… Sugar causes damage to your skin’s appearance through a process named glycation. Glycation is the biochemical term for the bonding of sugar molecules to fats, proteins and amino acids. This bonding is a prominent feature of ageing. When proteins become glycated, they become stiff and substantially less functional. You can imagine what that does to the proteins in your skin!
What can we do? Cutting out all sugar in your diet would be a pretty difficult task but just by switching out a few things and making smarter choices you can make a difference. For example switch from creamers and milk to unsweetened almond, coconut or soy milk. And from sugary juices to no added sugar smoothies. Every little bit helps, but do avoid sweeteners, reducing sugar intake is a much better option.
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