Our skin is so important. The health of our skin is important, particularly in terms of the risk of skin cancer. The look of our skin is also important. Our skin is what shows our age, or if we take care of it, it can keep us looking youthful. Our skin is the first thing anyone is going to notice about us, so we should do all that we can to protect it.
However, certain bad habits can wreak havoc on the look and health of your skin, including the following.
Smoking and Vaping
Along with the general health risks of vaping and smoking, these two habits can be bad for the appearance of your skin as well. When you smoke, the effects on your face and skin are significant. If you smoke, for example, you may be more likely to develop psoriasis, and it can cause premature aging and wrinkles.
According to experts, smokers look 1.4 years older than nonsmokers on average. Smoking prevents the necessary blood supply from reaching the skin so it doesn’t look as healthy and supple.
Vaping can have detrimental effects too. Vaping contains nicotine typically, and that slows blood flow. Vaping can also create oxidative stress in the cells, which accelerates aging.
Doctor Pimple Popper may have created a niche market based on popping pimples, but you shouldn’t follow the trend. While it may be tempting, if you pop pimples and blemishes that show up on your face it can lead to infections and scarring.
When you pop a pimple, it can cause a lesion to burst underneath the skin, which can worsen inflammation.
Similarly, if you have scars or ingrown hairs, or any blemish, don’t pick them either.
Drinking From a Straw
If you drink through a straw, it can pull a certain muscle that surrounds your mouth. The more often you drink from a straw, the more the skin on top of the muscle changes, and it can lead to creases.
If you can avoid straws, try not only for your skin but also for the environment. It’s a win-win.
An Inflammatory Diet
Inflammation isn’t just a buzzword—there’s a reason that so many people work to combat inflammation. Inflammation is linked to nearly all chronic diseases, and what people less often realize is that it can affect your skin and cause premature aging.
If you eat a lot of red meat, processed foods, and sugar, it can trigger inflammation.
When you have foods with a high glycemic index, like sugary foods, then they bind to collagen and elastin and weaken them.
If you instead enjoy anti-inflammatory foods that are packed with omega-3 fatty acids it can improve your health and the look of your skin. Foods high in omega-3s include salmon, avocados and olive oil.
Fruits and vegetables should be an important part of a diet that helps your skin glow too.
Not getting enough lean, healthy protein can also cause your skin to wrinkle more.
Too Much Alcohol
Having a cocktail every now and again is probably fine, but if you drink too much or too often, it may be detrimental to your skin. Alcohol dries you out and takes the natural moisture from your skin.
Going overboard on alcohol can also trigger outbreaks of rosacea, and it can contribute to fine lines and acne.
As well as dehydration, alcohol taxes your liver and makes it work harder to remove toxins and those toxins building up in your body might show on your skin.
Not Being Active Enough
The things that make our bodies healthy are usually the things that also make our skin healthy, including exercise and physical activity.
Moderate exercise each week can help rejuvenate your skin, although too much exercise can cause sagging, so you should always try to aim for a reasonable amount of exercise without going overboard.
Using the Wrong Soap
If you’re using an old bar of soap on your skin, it’s going to remove natural protein and lipids because of the high pH in most soaps. Then, your skin becomes dehydrated and prone to inflammation.
Try to find a mild, pH-neutral cleanser that’s not a soap but instead deposits moisture.
Finally, stress and anxiety can take a toll on your skin. If you’re dealing with excessive stress, work on finding realistic and enjoyable ways to combat it like yoga or meditation. You’ll both feel and look better if you do.