The pursuit of the perfect skin doesn’t have to be impossible or never-ending. Did you know your lifestyle can have a huge impact on the appearance and health of your skin? It may seem obvious but many of us are skipping basic steps that could not only prevent various skin problems but also help to delay the natural process of ageing.
We’ve listed our top ten lifestyle changes that you can make every day to send you on your way to having healthy, glowing skin.
Staying well hydrated is key to improving both your overall health and your skin. If you drink lots throughout the day, your skin will be left feeling fresh, full of moisture and radiant, and the water will also flush out any unwanted toxins. Keeping skin well moisturised helps to improve its elasticity and colour. Not only does the quality look much better than dehydrated skin but it also helps to delay the first signs of ageing.
It’s best to try to hydrate with drinks like water or green tea and reduce your intake of sugary drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcohol. The current recommended intake is 2-3 litres a day.
When your body is under stress, your appearance reflects this. Stress doesn’t only have an impact on your overall health, leaving you feeling run down, but it can also cause outbreaks of acne and start to leave you with permanent wrinkles or frown lines. Reducing and maintaining your stress levels isn’t always as easy as it sounds, however. Good exercises to help combat stress as part of your everyday routine include meditation, regular exercise and taking time each day for yourself.
3. Improve Your Surroundings
Air quality and your surrounding environment can drastically change your skin’s quality and appearance over time. Avoiding areas such as smoky or polluted environments can help to protect your skin. Such surroundings can lead to the release of free radicals, which damage the skin and cause unnecessary early onset skin ageing. To help with this, you can install a small and inexpensive air filter in your home and ensure you cook with the fan on. You could also have a humidifier in your bedroom and turn it on when you sleep for your skin to recover.
4. Avoid Sun Damage
UV damage is one of the major signs of ageing skin and can even lead to serious health complications. It’s not only outside that you need to think about this; the sun’s UV rays can penetrate windows in your home, work and car and cause wrinkling and brown spots. To protect your health and your skin’s appearance, apply an SPF moisturiser daily.
5. Reduce Dairy Intake and Improve Nutrition
Those who suffer with acne should consider reducing their intake of dairy. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health has shown that those who consume lots of milk are almost 30% more likely to have acne than those who drink less. Currently, no one is quite sure why, and although cutting down won’t cure your acne it may help to reduce severe breakouts.
It’s also important to eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables and limit your intake of processed junk foods. The fresher, more colourful and more natural your diet is, the better your skin will appear.
6. Go for Regular Eye Exams
Repetitive eye movements such as squinting that cause you to frown can eventually lead to permanent wrinkle damage. Whether you think you have an eye problem or not, an eye examination every two years will help to identify and resolve any problems early on – before they impact your skin.
It may seem obvious, but getting enough sleep regularly can ensure that your skin looks younger and healthier. Those who get less than seven hours a night may start to see a tired and dull appearance and dark circles develop under the eyes. If you’re worried you’re not getting enough sleep, there is lots of advice available and you can even download mobile apps to monitor your sleep.
8. Check Your Medicines
If you are taking any form of regular medication such as oral contraceptives, antibiotics or anti-seizure or fertility drugs, these might be the cause of some of your outbreaks. Medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants can also lead to dry skin, whilst diuretics and diabetes treatments can leave you vulnerable to sun damage. If your skin’s reactions are worse when on these medications, it may be time to talk to your doctor.
9. Avoid Long, Hot Showers
Think you’re treating your skin well by taking long, hot showers regularly? Think again. Spending too much time in a hot shower can cause damage to the layer of lipids that bonds your skin cells together and locks in moisture. Although your body will naturally top your moisture levels back up over the following few hours, it is often too late and will eventually dry out, leaving you irritated.
10. Develop a Good Skincare Routine
Last but not least, if you’re really serious about looking after your skin, it’s time to develop a good skincare routine suitable for your skin type. This usually includes cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising, but what is most important is that this matches your skin’s needs; otherwise, you could be doing more harm than good. For more advice on developing your very own routine, read our steps to the perfect skincare routine. (hyperlink)
With these ten easy changes, it won’t be long before you have glowing, beautiful skin and feel hydrated and refreshed.