As you go about your daily life, you may not always give that much thought to your skin — until something happens that causes you to take notice. This can include any type of unhealthy skin condition or common skincare challenges. They can range from a severe sunburn to skin challenges like rosacea, eczema and more. It can also include the signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles and discolorations. As long as your skin radiates a beautiful glow, you may neglect the care that it needs to retain that image. This also means you may start to avoid lifestyle choices that can lead to unhealthy skin.
However, having beautiful skin is more about just appearances. Lifestyle choices can greatly determine whether you have healthy skin. They can also be a factor in how you feel about the “skin you’re in.”
Let’s take a look at five factors that can lead to some common skin challenges. That way, you can begin to build a better relationship with your body and how you care for it.
1. Poor Sun Protection
Okay, so it’s the 21st century, and whether or not the sun damages your skin is no longer a mystery. In fact, the chances are good that you know someone who is even battling skin cancer at this exact moment. After all, over 5 million new cases are diagnosed every year.
Now, these aren’t scare tactics, but just basic facts about how you need to care for your skin. Even running errands out in the sun all day can cause sun damage to your exposed skin. This is why many are opting to use foundation or moisturizers with an SPF.
And when it comes to having a beach day, always wear a wide-brimmed hat. Remember, your scalp is also made of skin, and it can burn easily in the direct sunlight. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you wear an SPF 30, which should block around 97% of the sun’s rays. If you really don’t want to take any chances, there are even swimsuits and other pieces of clothing made from fabric that blocks harmful UV rays.
There are numerous reasons that smoking is bad for your overall health. But, when it comes to your skin, it’s the nicotine that really creates the worst problems. Nicotine can inhibit the flow of oxygen and blood — even to the skin. When this happens, the skin doesn’t receive the nutrients and the oxygen that it needs to stay healthy.
And you’ve probably heard about all of those other toxic chemicals in tobacco-related products, right? Well, those can be problematic, too. They can reduce the collagen and elasticity in the skin, leading to a less-than-youthful appearance. Smoking is definitely one of the primary lifestyle choices that leads to unhealthy skin. So, taking steps to stop smoking as soon as possible is a good skincare must!
We all know by now that stress can cause all sorts of health problems. They can range from high blood pressure to strokes and heart disease. But, stress isn’t exactly great for your skin, either. Plain and simple — stress can wreak havoc on your skin. It can manifest in the form of unexpected breakouts and flare ups of any skin disorder that you may battle.
Stress can increase inflammation, cause hormonal changes and release little spikes in adrenaline. These are all factors that can be terrible for your skin. Plus, you may even pick up stressful habits that can impact the condition of your skin. This can include rubbing your face and transferring oil and other debris.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Our bodies (and our minds) need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day to function. Many even suggest an ample 8-10. If you find that you’re barely scraping by on 5 hours of sleep, then you may be creating a cycle that will have serious ramifications for your entire body — your skin included.
It’s important to understand that, when you aren’t suffering from sleep deprivation, your body secretes certain hormones that can ensure it produces enough collagen. This will keep the skin healthy and supple. However, if your body is lacking the proper requirements for healthy sleep, then it can produce too much cortisol. This can lead to serious breakouts and inflammation.
5. Lack of Hydration
For some reason, many people find it difficult to get in those 8 glasses of water every day. Yet, not being properly hydrated can create problematic situations for many different body parts and processes. And you guessed it, that also includes your skin!
Not drinking enough water can make your skin dry and flaky. It may also present a dull appearance. Some people also experience itchiness and discoloration. And since water helps flush out toxins from the entire body, it definitely makes sense that being dehydrated (or close to it) can also create acne breakouts and other blemishes.
6. Neglecting Your Skincare Regimen
We all lead very busy lives, so it’s understandable that spending 10 minutes in front of the mirror at the end of a long day may not be that appealing. However, to combat breakouts, premature aging and inflammation, the extra effort is totally worth it.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser of your choice, and be sure to remove all remnants of the day’s makeup. Pat your face dry and top it all off with a hydrating moisturizer. Also, add any other specialty products that you like to use.
If you’re in a rush, you can always use a facial wipe. However, actually taking the time to wash your face is always preferred. Just always be sure to try any new products on a small section of skin to make sure that you don’t have an adverse reaction.
Taking care of your skin is an investment, and not one to be taken lightly. Often, a change has to come as a revolution from within, as you decide that the appearance — and the health — of your skin is important to you.
No one has perfect skin. But, the way in which we care for our skin can greatly reduce the chances of breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven textures and more serious, chronic skin conditions. Make the conscious decision to make caring for your skin a priority today. Avoid those lifestyle choices that can lead to unhealthy skin for good!