Many people suffer from skin issues such as dry or oily skin, acne, blemishes, breakouts, or discolouration. More often than thought, these issues arise due to small, common habits we adopt every day. Luckily, even making simple changes with regards to these habits can lead to significant improvements in your skin health.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common daily habits that impact your skin health – some of which you may not even be aware of. We’ll also discuss preventive measures you can take to protect your skin’s health.
1. Your stress levels
Stress impacts your body as a whole, and this includes your skin. When you are under high levels of stress, your body begins to produce hormones such as cortisol to counteract the negative effects that are sure to arise. However, a side effect of cortisol is that it promotes oil production in the glands in your skin, which leads to pimples and break outs. Additionally, these hormones produced during periods of high stress can also trigger or contribute towards the worsening of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rashes. Reduce your stress levels by giving yourself ample time to relax and rejuvenate and you will notice your skin becoming clearer. To that end, those relaxation techniques will help you maintain low stress levels.
2. Your sleeping habits
Your sleeping habits and stress levels are closely related – if you have too little sleep on a regular basis, you will notice that you are more stressed in general. Sleep deprivation also promotes the production of cortisol in your body and thereby contributes to unhealthy skin. Furthermore, not getting enough sleep can lead to a whole host of other issues that affect your skin’s health, such as an increase in the breakdown of collagen which keeps your skin elastic and youthful and an accelerated aging process that will lead to your skin looking duller. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night to limit this damage to your skin.
3. Your water consumption
Dehydrated skin looks dull and lifeless, and wrinkles become more prominent. Drink at least 9 cups of water every day, if not more, to keep your skin cells hydrated and you will find that your complexion will soon be brighter, smoother and more youthful. Water helps your skin to get rid of toxins, so without sufficient water intake, these toxins damage your skin cells. Remember – your skin is 64% water so you must drink enough every day to maintain this.
4. Air conditioning
Air conditioning is a staple element of our lives in Hong Kong, and it certainly helps beat the heat on hot summer days! However, air conditioners tend to suck the moisture out from air as well as from all the layers of your skin, thereby drying it out. Over longer periods of exposure, this can lead to your skin becoming dry and flaky, or you may notice your skin becoming stretched out and aging prematurely. It’s best to limit your exposure to air conditioning as much as you can and drink plenty of water to counteract the drying-out effects.
What you eat has a huge impact on your body’s health, and this includes your skin. Indulging in fatty and oily foods can easily cause breakouts, especially in those who are predisposed to it. Skip those foods and instead add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Not only do they contain plenty of water to hydrate your skin, they also have the essential nutrients your body needs to produce important proteins such as collagen to help your skin glow with vitality.
6. Physical exercise
Getting regular physical exercise helps rid your entire body of toxins, including your skin. Aim to exercise at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes per session to detoxify your skin and prevent pimples, blemishes and breakouts. Additionally, regular exercise helps lower stress levels and can thereby help maintain your skin’s health. If you need help to exercise from home, take a look at our piece dedicated to home gym.
7. Make-up usage
Make-up such as foundations and concealers can block your skin’s ability to “breathe”. Additionally, it traps all the oils and toxins your body produces on your skin’s surface, causing pimples and blemishes to erupt. Opt for make-up brands that are more light and breathable, and ensure you remove it completely before going to bed each night to give your skin time to relax and repair. You can look up natural alternatives for foundations and bases like aloe vera and rose water.
Smoking cigarettes causes a significant amount of damage to your skin. The toxins in cigarette smoke damage collagen and elastin, leading to your skin becoming more saggy. Furthermore, it increases your chances of developing skin cancer and worsens certain skin conditions such as psoriasis. As smoking cigarette also causes your blood vessels to constrict, it limits the amount of nutrient your skin cells receive and causes them a build-up of toxins within them. This causes premature aging and overall damages your skin’s health. Not even speaking about the other general health benefits, but quitting smoking is the one thing you can aim at if you are concerned about your skin.
9. Facial cream usage
Many facial creams actually damage your skin in the long run. Using them for long periods of time can cause your skin to become more dry as well as cause pimples, blemishes and acne issues to crop up. Furthermore, using facial cream inappropriate for your skin type can also contribute to these issues. Avoid face creams that have fragrances, retinoic acid, parabens or salicylic acid, as these products will cause your skin to eventually become worse. Pay attention to the list of ingredients of your facial cream, and again look up natural alternatives or at least opt for an organic option to be on the safe side.
10. Sun exposure
Last but not least sun exposure if not well controlled can be devastating for your general skin health. Every time you go out into the sun, you’re exposing your skin to UV rays. Getting a tan isn’t the only side effect of this – you’re also causing some damage to your skin and forcing them to age prematurely as a result. UV rays cause your body to produce free radicals, which are the driving force behind premature ageing as well as a whole host of other health problems. Be sure to apply sunscreen regularly – and remember, it washes off when you get into water or if you sweat! Aim to use one that is SPF50 as it offers the best protection. Of course getting sun exposure is also crucial or vitamin D intake, but we just strongly suggest you do it responsibly.
Most people are actually completely unaware that making such small changes to their lifestyle can have such large positive impacts on their skin health. As an added benefit, all these habits will help you live an overall healthy life so not only will you look young and fresh, you will feel energetic and full of vitality.
Some people may require additional treatments to help correct long-term skin damage. For example, to improve your skin’s elasticity and regain its youthfulness, you may want to consider the Trilipo Face Collagen treatment at BIO Beauty Spa.
Those with some skin discolouration can make it easily go away with laser treatment. We recommend Hermitage Spa, for just 1380HKD, you can improve your skin’s health and look like a 20-year old once again!