Your skin is one of the most important parts of your body – it protects your insides from the outside and it’s always on display, therefore it’s so important that you look after it. There are a lot of things that affect your skin from the food you eat to how much sleep you get to the type of water in your area. Dermalogica retailer Pure Beauty has examined what effects our lifestyles are having on our skin.
“The junk food junkie”
The culprit: Someone who can regularly be found at McDonalds, KFC and Burger King.
We all crave fast food from time-to-time which is completely normal and there’s no problem with indulging every now and then but, it can be really bad for our skin.
- 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. This is why it’s not a good idea to have several cans of full fat coke per day.
- Fat — Eating food like burgers and fries with such 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 absolutely laden with salt. It can be hidden in your ready meals and consumed without you knowing and 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. It’s much better to cook food from fresh so you know exactly what is going in it.
- Dairy — The occasional ice cream is okay but too much dairy can trigger oily skin, which in turn can increase breakouts. Some people are even allergic to dairy which can have the same results.
“The caffeine queen”
The culprit: Often found in Starbucks with a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Coffee shops are the place to be at the moment, it’s where a lot of people meet friends, have business meetings or simply go for a bit of peace and quiet with a book. We’re drinking more coffee now than ever before but this isn’t great for 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 – not ideal!
“The sleep-deprived zombie”
The culprit: Usually a student trying to balance studying and partying.
We’ve all noticed that our skin looks a bit lacklustre after a couple of bad night’s sleep and here’s 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: They’re often the first people to get the sunlounger out once the temperature gets over 20 degrees in the UK.
Although everyone knows the damage the sun can do to our skin, each year 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 which can be fatal.
“The fitness fanatic”
The culprit: They’re always at the gym and you don’t know where they get their energy from.
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 which is perhaps another incentive to use your gym membership.
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 heart rate 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.