There’s lots of conflicting advice online with regards to skincare, and the do’s and don’ts can be confusing for even the most well-informed skin experts. We’ve compiled a handy list of skincare tips, as well as debunking some of those old myths!
Get more sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be emphasised enough, and scientists have found links between lack of sleep and obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even certain forms of cancer. Sleep also plays a vital role in the appearance of your skin, and research at Stockholm Stress Centre found that sleep-deprived individuals are perceived to be less attractive, sadder, and less healthy than when they’d had a good night’s sleep.
This is because 80% of our production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) occurs during sleep, and HGH plays a vital role in repairing damaged skin. Additionally, lack of sleep leads to an excess production of cortisol, a hormone which breaks down skin cells, and a hormone which inhibits the production of a protein called collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and is believed to ‘hold’ the skin together. When you’re young, your skin is made up of around 80% collagen, but after the age of 25, we lose collagen at the rate of 1% per year, leading to the process of ageing. Beauty sleep is most definitely real, and can be the key to healthy skin, as well as fighting the ageing process.
Find the right skin products
Many skin problems can be solved by finding the right skin products, and sometimes the products you use could even be the cause of the issue, or at least making it worse. Speak to your GP/dermatologist for expert advice about what’s best for your skin
Don’t forget the hands either – people all too often ignore having dry, chapped or itchy hands, but the reality is that unkempt hands increases the risk of spreading bacteria and infections. This is why it’s vital to give our hands the attention they deserve, so why not check out the Yes! Nurse range to give yourself some handy TLC.
Although a tan is often associated with having healthy skin, the reality is that tanned skin is actually a symptom of damaged skin, and is the result of your skin trying to protect itself from harmful ultraviolet light emitted by the sun. If you’re prone to sunburn, it’d be recommended to apply a small amount of sunscreen even on cloudy days, as the sun can still damage your skin.
Drink more water
This may seem an obvious one, but there are so many good reasons to drink water, and most people don’t drink enough. Hydrated skin means healthier skin, and two-thirds of the population are believed to not be drinking enough water. Studies have shown that drinking more water increases the blood flow to the skin, and hydrated skin can minimise the appearance of wrinkles.
Cut out the cigarettes and alcohol
Again, there’s a thousand more important reasons to cut down on smoking and alcohol, but the two can significantly affect the quality of your skin. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it removes water from the body – considering that your skin is the largest organ in the body, it is particularly affected by the dehydrating effects of alcohol, leaving it dry, puffy, and redder in appearance.
As far as smoking is concerned, apart from the obvious health concerns, it can leave a lasting effect on the skin. Smoking can change the elastic fibres of the skin, narrow the blood vessels and restrict the production of collagen, that all-important protein we talked about earlier.
Make some diet changes
The following foods are believed to improve the skin:
Olive oil: Surprisingly, researchers have found that a higher consumption of olive oil (within reason, don’t go overboard) is associated with younger-looking skin.
Tomato paste: This is believed to promote the skin’s natural SPF qualities. Researchers found that people who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste daily had 33% more protection against sunburn.
Dark chocolate: Healthy doesn’t always spring to mind with chocolate, but dark chocolate has lots of beneficial properties. It’s full of antioxidant properties, and a study on women who drank a high-cocoa powder drink daily for 12 weeks experienced less skin roughness and dryness.
Eggs: Eggs are an ideal source of protein, and also don’t contain high amounts of fat. A recent study found that a higher fat intake can increase the prevalence of wrinkle development by 28%
Oysters: Oysters are high in zinc content, which plays an important role in the growth and function of skin cells. Some studies suggest a correlation between zinc content and proneness to acne.
Ignore the Myths
Hot water opens the pores, and cold water seals them shut
Pores are nothing more than tiny openings in your skin and are most certainly not temperature-sensitive. They don’t have muscles, meaning there’s nothing you can do to open or close them.
You should scrub your face morning and night
Whilst everyone’s skin is different, harsh scrubbing usually strips the skin of its natural protective oils, leaving the skin dry, dehydrated, and absent of its defensive barrier against the elements.
Your skin will eventually adapt to the products you use, making them useless
Your skin will not become immune to the products you use on it, and this myth is fuelled by the fact that, when people find the right product, the initial improvement will become less apparent, and instead the product will maintain the new-found healthier appearance. The difference just becomes less noticeable with time, but the product will still be having the same effect.
The rate at which you develop wrinkles is genetic
People often assume that they’ll age just like their parents (we’ll let you be the judge of whether or not that’s a good thing or bad thing), but some experts suggest that ageing is up to 90% influenced by your lifestyle, and is particularly influenced by sun exposure.
Expensive branded skincare products are more effective than cheap ones
In pretty much every example, the more expensive branded skincare products contain exactly the same active ingredients than their cheaper counterparts. Additionally, cheaper skincare products often perform better in blind sample tests than the more expensive brands.
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