For healthy, glowing, young-looking skin, many of us turn to the skincare aisle of our favourite local boutique. But did you know that some of your life's external factors may have more of an effect on your skin than your moisturiser?
Although a proper skincare regimen is vital for healthy skin, it's important not to forget about the other factors that change your skin every day. Want to learn more?
Keep reading. We'll review all of the major external environmental factors that have the biggest effect on your skin's health. Let's dive in!
Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is a great way to keep your skin fresh and glowing. So, what should you eat and what should you avoid? Let's break it down.
Fruits with deep, rich colours and dark, leafy greens are excellent ways to get your daily dose of antioxidants. These heroic molecules fight free radicals and help our skin fend off the signs of ageing.
Eating lean meats is another great way to get your skin looking healthy. So, go for fish instead of steak, and you'll both feel and look better.
Although there's no proven scientific evidence linking dairy consumption with acne, many people find that their skin clears up after eliminating dairy from their diet. This may be due to the hormones present in dairy. If you find that you suffer from pesky acne, it's worth a try!
This one's a no-brainer. If you want skin that's dewy, you have to give it hydration from the inside.
Drinking water is one of the simplest ways to improve your skin health and overall health, even if you're on the go. But if you find it challenging, just add your favourite fruits like strawberries and lemons to give your water a flavourful upgrade.
UV Rays: One of the Most Dangerous External Factors for Skin
Although the sun has many benefits for our bodies, like regulating sleep and delivering us vital Vitamin D, it also has a dangerous side. The sun's rays can cause extreme damage to our skin, exacerbating the natural signs of ageing or even leading to skin cancer.
In fact, Australia has one of the highest rates of diagnosed skin cancer in the world. Let's break down which of the sun's rays are the most harmful and how to protect your skin.
“A” is for “ageing”.
Out of all the sun's UV rays, UVA rays reach Earth the most easily. Most people are exposed to large amounts of this sort of radiation throughout their lives. Because UVA rays penetrate the skin with ease, they're responsible for many signs of ageing, like pigmentation and wrinkles.
“B” is for “burning”.
UVB rays are best known for causing sunburns. This damage is a big part of the development of many kinds of skin cancers. These rays are most potent during the summer.
“C” is for “cancer”.
UVC rays are the most dangerous type of solar radiation. However, at this time there's no reason to panic. Most UVC rays cannot reach us through the earth's atmosphere.
How to Protect Yourself
Even though they each have different wavelengths, all of the sun's UV rays can cause skin damage and cancer. To protect your health, make sure that you're wearing a high SPF sun cream at all times.
Even during the winter, or on days when you're not outside very much, it's still necessary. After all, UVA rays can travel through glass! So, even if you're sitting near a window at work, you're in danger.
Some medicines may dry skin out or create sensitivity. If you are prescribed any medications, ask your doctor if and how it will affect your skin. This way, you will know how to combat any negative effects.
Extreme heat and cold can have a drastic effect on the health of your skin. This is especially true if the temperature around you changes quickly, like going from an air-conditioned room to the outdoors on a hot summer's day.
In environmental conditions where the air is cold, the skin's blood vessels contract. This happens to protect the body from releasing too much warmth.
Cold air conditions also prevent skin from creating oil by limiting the sebaceous glands‘ production. This tends to dry skin out. In cases where the air is both cold and dry, like on an aeroplane, your skin may become both dry and sensitive due.
Conversely, in humid and hot air conditions like a tropical climate or sauna, your skin produces more sweat. This creates extra moisture and oil that can lead to acne. These muggy external environmental factors can also trigger some skin conditions, like Rosacea.
Although we usually think of sweat as a surefire way to get acne, exercise has the opposite effect on the skin. It increases circulation and gives us a beautiful glow.
The increased blood flow provides nourishment to every cell. It also clears the skin of waste materials like free radicals. It's like giving your skin a deep clean from the inside out!
The everyday stresses of life can really take a toll on our skin's health and appearance. A tense work or home environment can speed up your skin's ageing process, cause acne, and trigger sensitivity.
Although it's impossible to remove every stress from our lives, a little mindfulness can go a long way. Instead of accepting an aggravating situation or environment, remove yourself from it.
Practising yoga or meditation can also work wonders. Take time for self-care and remember that life shouldn't be stressful. Enjoy yourself.
Use the information above to protect your skin from life's harmful external factors. All it takes is a little effort to make huge improvements to your skin's overall health.
Just remember to wear SPF every day, to exercise, and to drink plenty of water. And don't forget to take some time to de-stress!
Want to learn more? Check out the health section of our blog. We have tons of tips to create a healthier you!