Of course you know that smoking is bad for your health and the health of those around you, but what you may not have been aware of is what it can do to your skin. Your lungs, fingertips, and teeth all suffer, that's for sure, but what smokers sometimes fail to see is the progression of failing skin health that occurs over long periods of time. Not only will the skin on your mouth and face begin to yellow, the constant puckering of lips to suck in smoke can cause creases and lines to form around your lips. Colette Bouchez of Web MD reports:
Sibling studies done at the Twin Research Unit at St. Thomas Hospital in London found the brother or sister who smoked tended to have skin that was more wrinkled and up to 40% thinner than the non-smoker.
The smoke itself seeps into your pores and can leave behind some pretty ugly residue that you might not see with the naked eye, but you'll feel if you slide your finger along the surface after a couple of cigarettes have been inhaled. If you're a smoker and you want to keep your skin looking as young as you feel you might want to consider quitting before any permanent effects are incurred.
Too Much Sunshine
Too much sun has been linked to cancer in recent years, but it's also been linked to premature aging, which has been a real downer for beach bunnies everywhere. Luckily you can still lay out and enjoy the summer sun on your skin if you come prepared with a high level of SPF in your sunscreen, a hat to shade your head and face, and sunglasses to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Kara Binbaum of Allure writes:
Don't assume you're inoculated against photodamage just because the sun is barely up when you leave for work and sets on your commute home.
Getting outside and soaking up the natural vitamin D is a great way to promote a gorgeous glow all summer long, but when the tan fades you may not like what's left behind, so if you're looking to get brown and flaunt that freshly baked look, it's better to go with a spray on tan than the real thing, and save yourself the heartache and sun burns later.
The Wrong Products
Of course it's important to properly wash, exfoliate and nourish your skin with moisturizers, but using the wrong products can have disastrous results. It's kind of like when you were a teenager and choosing a wash or moisturizer was generally based on how much extra oil it would produce because you wanted to avoid acne at all cost, except now the nemesis is visible signs of aging rather than an oily t-zone. Fortunately, most anti-aging items are marked with categories that you should find easy enough to situate yourself into. It generally goes from teens to twenties, twenties to thirties, thirties to forties, forties to fifties, and then fifty and up, but each brand will differ in this regard.
There are also products made specifically for people with sensitive skin, and if you suffer from this condition you should be serious about seeking out products with this listing. Using something with intense or harsh chemical additives might be fine for some but if you're prone to allergies or breakouts then these sorts of ingredients could dry your skin out or cause premature lines to form rather than hydrating your skin for you. If you're unsure about your particular reaction to a product try testing it on a small patch of skin 24 hours before use. Keep an eye on this area for the following day and as long as no itchy redness occurs you're probably fine to use whichever brand you've purchased. If you know for a fact that you have problems with certain creams or washes, you can consult other users by looking into forums, blogs, and website reviews to discuss which brand might be best for you with people who have similar issues.
Whether your sleepless nights stem from the curse of not having enough hours in the day to finish all of your work projects, too many nights out with friends, or good old fashioned insomnia, not catching enough z's can wreak havoc on your skin. Yahoo Health has the following to say on the subject:
The problem with this is that too-little sleep is proving to be really, really bad for your health: Research links it to high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, and even just looking tired and older.
When you sleep your body finally has the time and energy reserves available to begin healing itself and balance out chemicals. This promotes better energy when you wake up, a stronger immune system, and skin that has a healthy glow to it. If you've ever seen somebody walking around with tired bags under their eyes and dreary lifeless skin, chances are they didn't get enough sleep the night before. It's far easier to head to bed at a decent hour than to undergo all the cosmetic surgeries and purchase all of the expensive creams it's going to take to reverse the damage incurred by sleep deprivation, so you might as well start catching up on beauty rest now.
Not only is alcohol an ingredient you should try to avoid in face washes and creams due to the fact that it will drastically dry out your skin, but you should also keep it off of the menu when you're out for a night on the town. Sure, one cocktail or a glass of red wine with dinner is fine, but too much alcohol can quickly lead to dehydration, not to mention what it does to your liver. Over time, a lifestyle that's filled with one too many tequila shots can quickly lead to premature aging, skin spots, and wrinkles that appear before their time. The best thing to do when it comes to going to a dance club with the girls is to have a single drink during social hour and then switch to water for the rest of the evening. It may not seem as exciting at the time, but your skin will thank you for it, and you may find yourself feeling pretty good about the decision once you see the state that your friends are in the next morning.