Since the skin skin is your largest organ, it’s no wonder small changes in your diet, behavior or activities show up in your complexion. Figuring out which factors impact your skin can help you make positive changes in the tone, texture and clarity of your body’s outer layer. Let’s look at some of the most common causes for skin problems and what you can do to keep looking your best.
One of the biggest external factors in skin care is controlling how much the sun touches your skin. The UV rays can cause damage, even on cloudy days. UV rays break down collagen, corrupts DNA and forms free radicals. All these contribute to wrinkles, age spots and uneven skin tone.
The best line of defense is the covering your skin with sunscreen, clothing and hats. Look for a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, in addition to having a high SPF. Be sure to reapply often as the sunscreen can lose effectiveness over time. Those with sensitive skin should look for formulas with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as they are less likely to irritate than chemicals like PABA.
A few drinks in moderation won’t contribute to significant skin damage, but in larger amounts, it can take its toll on your complexion. Alcohol is a diuretic and causes dehydration, which means dry, dull skin. It can also cause blotchiness and, eventually, broken capillaries. In addition, acne breakouts can increase with alcohol consumption. Higher levels of alcohol are associated with higher levels of hormones, which can cause acne flare ups.
To keep looking young, drink in moderation. Be sure to drink plenty of water to increase hydration and flush out toxins. Be sure to eat food with plenty of Vitamin A and C to give your body what it needs to repair itself.
It’s well documented that smoking causes cancer and many other serious, fatal conditions. It also causes wrinkles and premature aging. The nicotine causes restricted blood flow, meaning your skin doesn’t get the oxygen and vitamins it needs. Also, the act of smoking, puckering the lips and squinting against the smoke, can lead to wrinkles around the mouth and eyes.
It’s best to quit smoking right away. To help the repair process, eat lots of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A and C. Drink lots of water to increase hydration and use a product with Retinol or an Alpha Hydroxy Acid to build collagen and elastin.
Sugar and Carbohydrates
Dark chocolate is good for your skin in small amounts, thanks to zinc and antioxidants, but beware other sugary and starchy foods. When sugar is broken down in the body, it leads to a process called glycation, which can lead to decreased firmness and elasticity in skin tissue. There is also a link between sugar, hormones and oil production, which may lead to acne flare ups.
Be sure to eat whole grains and complex carbohydrates and fewer sugary desserts and foods like pasts and white rice. If you’re craving something sweet, try fruits like mangoes, strawberries and blueberries, which have healthy benefits for your skin.
In short, the better you are to your body, the better, younger and brighter your skin will look. An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure. And more people telling you how amazing you look.
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