How is Your Lifestyle Affecting Your Skin?

Are you daily habits having a negative effect on your complexion?

Every woman dreams of having clear, glowing skin that even the most photo-shopped model would be envious of. After all, we’ve all been there – standing at a bus stop looking longingly at Jennifer Aniston’s powder perfect face, heading straight to the Dior counter in the hope that the beauty consultant behind the counter can turn us from a spotty mess into a flawless superstar in a matter of minutes. However, even if this is achieved, the price tag on the products will then lead you to have a serious conversation with yourself as to which is more important, a roof over your head or the flawless foundation that hides every imperfection?

Whilst this all sounds like a particularly uncomfortable experience, there are other, less stressful ways of achieving a picture perfect complexion. By altering just a few simple life choices, you can achieve the complexion you’ve always dreamed of, without putting your house up for sale!

  1. Quit smoking


Many, if not all, smokers are aware of the organ damage that smoking can cause, however, very few smokers are aware of damage that this addiction can do to your skin. Smoking has been proved to cause premature aging of the skin, and whilst scientists are currently unsure of exactly how this occurs, most believe it is due to a lack of blood supply to the skin, subsequently causing changes in the elastin fibres within the skin that keep it looking smooth and youthful. Smoking also prevents enough oxygen and vitamin A from reaching the skin, causing it to look old before its time.

Solution: The first, and most obvious solution is to quit smoking as soon as possible. However, if this idea is simply too terrifying to contemplate, try and minimise the effects of smoking by massaging a vitamin based moisturiser into your skin twice a day. Spend at least 5 minutes massaging the moisturiser into the skin, moving in circular motions and getting to each and every part of your face. This will increase blood flow, subsequently reducing the appearance of wrinkles and thus producing a glowing, healthy complexion.

  1. Avoid the ever-alluring sunbeds!


It’s true, summer is awesome, and having a beautifully bronzed body will undoubtedly make you feel like a goddess. However, achieving this look through the use of sunbeds will only end badly. The British Medical Journal refers to the damage that sunbeds can cause on the skin, with Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Shuttleworth stating that repeated exposure to ultraviolet A radiation (what sunbeds are filled with!) often leads to increased skin wrinkling as well as irregular pigmentation– not the good news we were after! In short, sunbeds might give you that beautifully even bronzed complexion, but the results are only temporary, and once the tan fades, wrinkly skin and irregular pigmentation will take its place.

Solution: Give up your sunbed membership ASAP! Swap the booth with a bottle of tinted moisturiser or instant fake tan and apply regularly. This will allow you to show off that bronzed summer skin without the risk of turning into your grandmother 40 years early!

  1. Minimise stress


Studies have shown that stress is explicitly linked to facial acne, with excess stress causing unwanted breakouts. By triggering an excess of sebum, sebaceous glands become blocked, causing acne to occur – the last thing you need when you life is already going crazy. Whilst stress is often inevitable, there are ways of reducing the effects of excessive stress that don’t necessarily include removing the stressor.

Solution: If your stressor is in fact, your boss, your children or your boyfriend, all of which I appreciate are tough to simply ‘remove’, I recommend finding ways to reduce your stress levels. Holistic activities such as yoga and reflexology encourage you to focus on your breathing, whilst also providing you with an hour of peace from the busy outside world. Treating yourself to regular massages will also allow you to ease the tension in your muscles, whilst booking in for a relaxing facial will help to cleanse your face and remove all the unwanted dirt trapped in your pores. Whatever you choose, make sure you get at least an hour to yourself and you leave feeling totally refreshed!

We could of course write a short book on the ways in which your lifestyle negatively impacts your skin; unhealthy diets have been linked to acne, and excessive consumption of sugar causes glycation, now known to be one of the leading causes of ageing of the skin. But, I also appreciate that you have to enjoy yourself every now and then! So give into those sugar cravings from time to time and forget the diet on your summer holidays. However, try not to be so slack when it comes to both smoking and sunbeds. These will cause damage to your skin that is irreversible, so if you can avoid these things, you will quickly notice that your skin possesses that healthy glow that every woman desires.