Four of your skin’s worst enemies (and how to fix the damage)
The state of your skin says a lot about your current health and lifestyle. While some extremely severe skin conditions such as psoriasis have genetic roots and can’t be helped, most of the time, bad skin is a warning sign that you aren’t doing something right. What’s more, if you don’t adopt a healthy skincare routine very early on, you could set up your skin for irreversible damage and premature ageing.
Most people tend to suffer from acne in their teenage years, but because of hormonal imbalances, it can also come back throughout your life. It can be aggravated by a poor diet, sweat and unwashed clothing (or bed sheets and pillows). There are a lot of dedicated skincare products available over the counter but the most efficient, tried-and-tested method to get rid of it reliably is still to pay a visit to your dermatologist who will be able to prescribe adequate treatment. While the condition is usually temporary, acne scars can remain forever. Uneven skin tone due to hyperpigmentation should sort itself on its own after a few months but for deeper scars, you will have to pay another visit to your dermatologist for a laser or dermal filler treatment.
It’s a given but you’ll never hear it enough: the sun is one of your skin’s worst enemies. While you might think your skin looks healthier with a bit of tan, it’s sadly all a bit of an illusion. The sun thickens the skin, which leads to spots and blemishes. What’s more, UV radiation is a well-known cause of premature skin ageing and cancer. Using sunscreen all year round is recommended by most skin experts.
Smoking notoriously deprives your skin of oxygen, which leads to a greyer complexion and older looking skin with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the mouth. If you can’t stop smoking, try to limit your habit and minimise the damage by drinking plenty of water and keeping your skin well hydrated with a good moisturiser.
In recent years, experts have been warning us about the damaging effects of pollution on our skin. Toxic gases combined with UV rays cause huge damage to the skin’s collagen levels, making it harder for it to rejuvenate itself. Anti-pollution products are becoming the latest craze in beauty products in response to the demand, and several skincare brands such as Olay offer recovery creams that are supposed to reduce the damage caused by pollution. Moving to another environment is also advised. In the UK, Edinburgh and Preston have the lowest pollution levels (27/100). On the other hand, London has crazily through-the-roof pollution levels of 99/100. Get packing!
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