How Does Your Lifestyle Affect Your Skin?

Live the good life and suffer the consequences of dry skin? Now ladies it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out right?  — just how much of an impact is your lifestyle having on your skin? From late nights to junk food and lounging in the sun, Women UK talk to Dermalogica retailer Pure Beauty who examines what effects our lifestyles are having on our skin.

“The junk food junkie”

The culprit: Regularly found at McDonalds, KFC and Burger King, the Junk Food Junkie knows they shouldn’t, but they can’t resist the draw of the drive-thru.

We all crave fast food from time-to-time but, as we delve into burgers, munch on fries and slurp down soft drinks, we often pay little thought to our skin. However, the content of our guilty pleasures can play havoc on our complexions:

  • Refined sugar — When we drink non-diet soft drinks, refined sugars cause a spike in insulin levels triggers a wave of inflammation in the body. The inflammation causes a breakdown in collagen and elastin, resulting in skin that lacks elasticity and strength. Sugar is also closely linked with acne and blemishes developing.
  • Fat — Eating food with a high fat content can leave your skin puffy and looking dull. It could even be the reason behind your under-eye circles.
  • Salt — Fast food is laden with salt. Even if you’re not at your favourite junk food outlet, salt can be hidden in your ready meals and consumed without you knowing. However, too much salt leads to water retention, which can lead to swelling. Because the skin is generally thinner under the eyes, it can lead to puffy eyes. This effect is more common in middle age.
  • Dairy — The occasional ice cream is okay but too much dairy can trigger oily skin, which in turn can increase breakouts.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while. However, if you do find yourself eating fast food more than you should and your skin is suffering as a result, it will probably be worth cutting back — not just for your skin but think about those waistlines!!!

“The caffeine queen”

The culprit: Starbucks in-hand, they get their coffee fix on the hour, every hour.

Coffee is big business at the moment. It seems there’s a Starbucks and Costa Coffee everywhere we turn — but what effect is it having on our skin?

The key impact coffee has is due to its highly acidic content. The acid in caffeine interacts with your stress hormones, causing your skin to produce more oil. Greater oil on the surface of your skin can cause pores to become blocked and blemishes to form.

Some claim that coffee’s impact on your skin is due to dehydration. However, you would need to be severely hydrated to see any real impact on your skin. Of course, because coffee is a stimulant, it may be impacting the amount of sleep you receive, which will negatively alter the appearance of your skin.

“The sleep-deprived zombie”

The culprit: Burning the candle at both ends, they sacrifice their sleep for late nights and early mornings, vowing to sleep when they’re dead! (Yes we know the type right?)

We all love a good night’s sleep but sometimes, there are just not enough hours in the day. Our day-to-day tasks eat into our shuteye and our skin is left worse for wear as a result — but why?

A 2015 study found that reducing the amount of sleep we get each night to just six hours can make wrinkles and brown spots more prominent. If left to develop, it could lead to premature aging. When we sleep, our skin is given a chance to heal, renew and detox. In fact, during the deepest stage of sleep, growth and repair hormones peak. By cutting the amount of sleep we get, the body has less time to rejuvenate the skin, leaving our skin looking dull the following morning.

“The sun worshipper”

The culprit: At the first sign of sun, they’re digging their lounger out of the shed and getting ready to soak up some sun. On holiday, they don’t leave the beach till night time falls.

Everyone knows the damage the sun can do to our skin, yet we still flock to tropical destinations in search of the sun. In the short-term, exposure to the sun without adequate SPF protection can lead to sunburn and blistering, leaving our skin dehydrated and sore to the touch.

Continued exposure to UV radiation can accelerate the aging process, leading to the development of age spots, wrinkles and dullness. In the most serious cases, over-exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer.

“The fitness fanatic”

The culprit: They cycle to work, walk to the gym and run 10k just for fun; the fitness fanatic is an inspiration to us all.

Of course, not all lifestyles have a negative impact on our skin. For example, regular exercise offers numerous benefits not just for our overall health but for our skin too.

The skin’s elasticity is lost as we age, but strength and toning exercises can help firm it up and make it look more youthful. Cardio has its benefits too. Your increased heartrate will deliver more oxygen to skin cells, while helping to flush toxins from your body before they have a chance to take effect. Overall, regular exercising works to regenerate skin cells.

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