Today I’m going to do something different. Rather than tell you everything you need to do in order to behave I’ve provided you with a nemesis list – a condensed source of everything which will bring your skin harm.
To check whether you are on the wrong track – one which will see you totally ruining your skin – please read the following precautionary tips.
1. Stay out in the sun and forget to use sun-screen
Ask any skin or beauty expert and they will tell you that the biggest enemy to your skin is the sun. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer here in Australia (we happen to have the highest rate in the world) and it’s usually related to sun damage, particularly sunburn that occurred during childhood.
Not only does the sun have the ability to cause skin cancer, it can also cause your skin to look prematurely aged and visibly damaged. Consistently failing to use sunscreen will unfortunately result in the development of fine lines, wrinkles, discolouration and textural changes in your skin.
2. Smoke, smoke, smoke!
Smoking is associated with a great variety of detrimental health issues, with the most life threatening being lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. But it also wreaks havoc on another vital organ – namely the skin. Smoking causes changes in the skin, teeth and hair in ways that can add years to your looks. It also causes premature aging and wrinkles. So how does this happen?
Firstly the nicotine in cigarettes causes the narrowing of the blood vessels in the top layers of your skin which consequently impacts blood flow to the skin. Tobacco smoke has more than 4000 chemicals which damages your skin’s collagen and elastin, the fibres that give your skin its elasticity and strength. Once you lose that strength your skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, repeated exposure to cigarette smoke also impacts the facial expressions you make while smoking – such as the pursing of your lips and eye squinting – which contributes to even more wrinkles.
3. Embark on a crazy crash diet
By crash diet I mean any radical change in your food intake, done so with the expectation of losing lots of weight quickly. Crash diets come in various forms such as liquid fasting, consuming very low calories, or not eating at all with the combination of lots of exercise.
Crash diets are typically not safe because they neglect your body’s nutritional needs. Even if you manage to lose weight, other parts of your body suffer as a result. For example your hair may lose its shine, your nails will become brittle, your body feels lethargic and fatigued and worst of all – your skin suffers too as a result.
Because you’re not receiving essential vitamins and minerals your skin will reflect this fact to the world. During extreme dieting, skin tends to look dull and also has a tendency to age quicker. You may begin to notice signs of wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. To help stop this damage and age well, eat the right kinds of food instead of wreaking havoc on your skin.
4. Squeeze your pimples and constantly touch your skin
In case you think popping pimples makes them go away faster, it’s time to lay down the facts. Squeezing pimples will ruin your skin! When you touch your skin you spread bacteria from your fingers and nails to your face and when you pick you simply spread the bacteria deeper into your skin. Picking up spots consequently causes more spots to pop up around the picked areas of your skin and if you are unfortunate enough to touch a spot the wrong way you will cause also bleeding or scarring. So keep your hands away – your face is definitely off limits unless it’s time to slather on some moisturiser or makeup.
5. Pack on the daytime makeup and forget to wash your skin at night
Speaking of makeup there is nothing wrong with wearing some during the day but makeup definitely shouldn’t be a friendly sleepover partner. Sleeping with your makeup on may result in unnecessary exposure to free radicals in the environment, which cling onto your makeup. These free radicals cause breakdown of collagen, resulting in fine lines on the skin. Makeup also has the tendency to clog the pores while you sleep, resulting in the unnecessary development of pimples, blackheads or inflammation. When you sleep with your makeup on your skin misses out on the opportunity to have a chance to breathe and prevents the skin from renewing itself naturally. Eye makeup such as mascara can also lead to eye irritations if left on overnight.
6. Get less than the recommended amount of sleep
Finally some permission to grab some more sleep! Not only does a lack of sleep make you feel bad it also makes you look bad on the outside too. Chronic lack of sleep leads to sallow skin and dark circles under the eyes. It also deprives our skin the opportunity to renew itself. When you miss out on crucial sleep your body releases more of a stress hormone called cortisol. In excessive quantities cortisol can break down collagen, which is the protein that keeps our skin looking smooth and elastic.
So in a nutshell sleep is absolutely essential for your body because it is during sleep that our bodies have the opportunity to restore its energy and rebuild body tissue and cells. This includes the tissues and cells of our skin. Getting sufficient rest will help improve the texture of your skin and give you that special glow. The ideal amount is approximately 8 hours a night.
7. Ignore the power of a good anti-wrinkle injection
They say prevention is better than the cure and it applies just as well to good dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections as it does to slapping on some sunscreen. The fact is anti-wrinkle injections can be valuable as a tool for the prevention of wrinkles. In a nutshell the earlier you start getting Botox the less wrinkling you will get later in life. If you begin indulging in these injections later in life there’s a good chance you are doing it just to treat the wrinkles you have. Whereas the younger you are the greater the power it has to prevent the very formation of wrinkles from occurring.
8. Use the wrong product for your skin type
Yes there are lots of fabulous skin care products available on the market but unfortunately not all of them will work perfectly for YOU. That’s because different products are made to suit different skin types. So how do you know which is the right skin product for you? Even though there are four main skin type categories (dry, oily, combination and sensitive) many women make the mistake of incorrectly self-diagnosing themselves and subsequently choosing products that are not appropriate for their skin type. Telltale signs that you are using the wrong products include: stinging, redness, excessive dryness or oiliness. If you have any of these symptoms take yourself pronto to a skin-care specialist who will correctly diagnose your skin type and set you back on the right track.
9. Avoid taking multi-vitamins
Proper skin care is more than just slathering lots of expensive lotion upon your face. Most beautiful people are attractive simply because they have a beauty nurtured from within. Your skin quality usually reflects your overall quality of health so first and foremost you need to eat well to provide your skin with the vitamins and minerals it requires to stay healthy. However sometimes our diet is unable to provide us with the right amount of all these core nutrients and this is where multi-vitamins come into play. Multi-vitamins can play a great role in helping you achieve that clear and fresh glow. They also have a positive impact on your nails and hair.
10. Be super expressive with your facial movements
Now no-one is telling you not to laugh or frown or be expressive with your facial movements. It’s human to have a chuckle and get angry sometimes. But I am asking you to stop for a moment and begin having some awareness of what these movements are doing to your skin. The reality is extreme expressions eventually causes extreme wrinkles. One of the main reasons why wrinkles form is because of repetitive expressions. In a nutshell this means you move your skin using a similar pattern over and over again until it eventually gets etched into your skin.
However just like an actor must learn to develop self-control with their facial expressions you too can practise maintaining full and detailed control over your facial muscles. You can choose to be less tense, you can chose to relax and be in control of your most expressive expressions. Over time this will have a positive impact on the fine lines on your face.