Beauty Tips

What increases the ageing process?

As well as chemicals in skin care causing irritations and increasing the rate of ageing, there are environmental factors that can increase the rate of ageing.  A modern lifestyle of drinking alcohol, smoking, late nights, starting a new career (or business) and exposure to the sun with minimal protection are all key environmental factors that can damage your skin and increase the ageing process.

Smoking
Smoking puts toxins into the skin both directly through inhalation and external contact, which can speed up the normal aging process of the skin.  The more  cigarettes a person smokes and the longer they smoke, the more skin wrinkling they're likely to have.  Smoking doesn't only cause wrinkles on the face.  It is also is associated with increased wrinkling and skin damage on other parts of the body, including the inner arms and legs.  While the skin wrinkles may not be reversible, you can prevent worsening of wrinkling by quitting smoking now.  In addition, repeated exposure to the heat from burning cigarettes and the facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke may contribute to wrinkles.  Think Deirdre Barlow.

How does smoking lead to wrinkles?
The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of the skin which impairs blood flow.  With less blood flow, the skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. There are  elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking.  YUK!!
Late Nights
Many people will suffer broken sleep patterns at some point or another.  You look in the mirror after a particularly bad night and instantly notice those familiar suitcases under your eyes that someone packed for you without your knowledge.  Many people are late retirers, heading for bed well after midnight, meaning your body clock is already out of sync with itself.  We humans are diurnal organisms (meaning we are active during the day), so by forcing our bodies to go nocturnal, we are going against our natural pattern and the body is placed in a raised state of stress.  It is important for healthy skin (and mind) to go to bed when we feel tired.  For many this can be the middle of the day, but you know what I mean.  People will often be busy late into the evening, collapsing into bed exhausted but so full of things whizzing around their heads that sleep doesn’t come easily.  They then get up the following morning even more tired than they were when they got into bed that the whole process feels like a torment.  Is it any wonder our skin suffers in the process.  It is important to try to go to bed before midnight.  This is the time when our bodies are most susceptible to healing, which means our skin will benefit from a good nights sleep.  We are also naturally more tired before midnight, so if you head for the hills at around 10.30pm to 11pm, your chances of helping your skin feel its best increases immensely.
Stressed out
Stress causes fine lines and wrinkles.  That is a fact.  I am not going to stress this enough, or I may become stressed myself and get wrinkles.  Stress is a state of mind that none of us can avoid, but being aware that stress can put much pressure onto the body which causes fine lines and wrinkles to form should be enough to get us all heading for the yoga mat.

How does stress affect the skin?
During times of emotional distress, the flow of blood is directed to areas of the body that are considered vital for responding to the stress that we are under. At the same time, blood is withdrawn from areas that are considered non-essential, such as the skin.  Unfortunately, as the skin is the largest organ and one of the most sensitive areas of the body, during times of stress the skin is constantly being starved of both blood and oxygen, which causes the skin to take on a dull and lifeless appearance.

In addition to changing the skin’s natural appearance, continuous stress can increase cortisone secretion, which suppresses the body’s natural immune system.  Once the skin’s defense system is lowered, it becomes extremely susceptible to irritation from outside pollutants which can then lead to skin conditions such as rosacea.  Stress can also affect more than just our immune system.  It may impact the body’s ability to properly digest food, which can impact the health of the skin, as well as the health of the body. When food is not properly digested, the nutrients are not absorbed as they should be, allowing undigested impurities to remain and accumulate in the body.

Though stress has been known to trigger or aggravate skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, warts, cold sores, and blisters, it most commonly causes three specific skin reactions: hives, itching, and acne. Allergies are the most common cause of hives, but stress has been known to make hives appear as well.  During times of stress, histamines are released into the bloodstream, which can cause hives or small bumps to appear on the skin.  In some cases, the hives will not be noticeable, but the skin will be very itchy. Usually, an antihistamine or a soothing lotion will help.

Though these reactions are common, most people who are under stress will find themselves afflicted with acne.  Stress can unleash chemicals within the body that stimulate sebaceous (oil) glands.  The excess sebum tends to clog pores and irritate skin, causing acne to form.

Did you know that whatever you put on your skin is absorbed within 26 seconds?  Armed with new knowledge, lets feel amazing and have amazing skin from now on ...