Skin care is not just the use of products to cleanse and moisturize the skin. The process also includes diet, sleep patterns, exercise habits and stress levels of the individual.
"Did you know that unprotected sun exposure is the No. 1 cause of premature skin ageing?"
UV radiation is part of the light spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. It has wavelengths shorter than visible light, which are classified as UVA and UVB rays. Both types of radiation damage the skin in different ways. Ultraviolet B (shortwave) rays are responsible for burnt, red skin, while ultraviolet A (longwave) rays can penetrate deeper into the skin and cause DNA damage.
Sun damage has short and long-term consequences. An immediately visible sign of sun damage is sunburn. In a mild form, this appears as red, inflamed skin that feels warmer than usual. In more severe cases, it is accompanied by blisters, as well as nausea and dizziness. In short, sunburn can be very serious.
The more long-term consequences of unprotected sun exposure include dry, dull and uneven skin tone. The sun can dry out skin and deplete its levels of essential fatty acids, leaving skin looking and feeling dry, flaky and rough. Sun damage also slows down the rate of skin cell renewal, causing a build-up of old, dead skin cells that result in dull, congested skin.
One of the most obvious, long-lasting signs of sun damage is discolorations (either dark spots or more diffuse, patchy hyperpigmentation) due to sun exposure. The brown spots come about because UV light triggers excess melanin production within skin. In the absence of broad-spectrum sunscreen, skin overproduces melanin to protect itself from sun damage. For many people, the excess melanin is produced unevenly and concentrates in smaller areas, causing stubborn pigmentation marks.
Sun damage can destroy the collagen and elastin in your skin too. Collagen is a protein that retains the firmness of your skin and elastin is the support fiber that allows skin to bounce back. Collagen and elastin degradation in the deeper skin layers can result in premature signs of skin ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines, because your skin loses its elasticity and firmness. Making matters worse, unprotected sun exposure also diminishes skin’s hyaluronic acid content, leading to thinner, more fragile skin.
While the effects of sun damage are mainly cosmetic, it can become a serious threat to your health when it causes skin cancer. Repeated sunburn and unprotected sun exposure increase the chance of various forms of skin cancer, which is why sun protection is so important.
Everybody feels stressed from time to time, but when it becomes chronic, it can have serious consequences on your health.
Stress can also leave a mark on your face. Dry skin, wrinkles and acne are just some of the ways that it can manifest itself. Keep reading to find out what other effects stress can have on your face.
Chronic stress can show on your face in two ways. First, the hormones that your body releases when you feel stress can lead to physiological changes that negatively impact your skin. Second, feeling stressed may also lead to bad habits such as grinding your teeth or biting your lips. Here are a few examples of stress-induced skin problems:
Acne and Cortisol
When you feel stressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes a part of your brain known as the hypothalamus to produce a hormone called corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH is thought to stimulate oil release from sebaceous glands around your hair follicles. Excessive oil production by these glands can clog your pores and lead to acne.
Bags under your eyes
These are characterized by swelling or puffiness beneath your eyelids. They become more common with age since the supporting muscles around your eyes weaken. Sagging skin caused by a loss of elasticity can also contribute to eye bags.
Stress caused by sleep deprivation increases signs of aging, such as fine lines, reduced elasticity, and uneven pigmentation. The loss of skin elasticity may also contribute to the formation of eye bags.
The stratum corneum is the outer layer of your skin. It contains protein and lipids that play a critical role in keeping your skin cells hydrated. It also acts as a barrier that protects the skin underneath. When your stratum corneum isn’t working the way it should, your skin can become dry and itchy.
Smoking is associated with a range of ill effects like cancer, but there are many lesser known health effects as well, including effects on the skin.
In many cases, these changes to skin are not life threatening, though they can change the physical appearance of the smoker. For example, smoking is associated with premature ageing and wrinkles. Smoking is also associated with very serious skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Studies suggest that tobacco smoke decreases blood flow, possibly damaging connective tissues that help maintain healthy skin. The skin cells in connective tissue that form collagen and elastin, proteins needed for a firm skin are damaged by tobacco smoke.
There is also evidence that tobacco smoke is phototoxic, meaning, smoke becomes more toxic in the presence of UV light, which is found in sunlight, and causes more damage to skin cells than either smoke or UV would cause on their own.
So, knowing all this now, you must start today. The three ultimate enemies of your good skin are- SUN, STRESS and SMOKE!