Are You Your Skin’s Worst Enemy?

It was Roman politician Cicero who said that “man is his worst own enemy” and this is especially true when it comes to skincare. Genetics and congenital attributes (nature) aside, there are many personal and lifestyle habits (nurture) that damage the skin, causing it to atrophy and make you look beyond your years. Coffee drinking is a good example: it contains caffeine which acts as a diuretic and prevents the body from holding on to water, causing the skin to be dry and rough. And yet, millions of people start their day with a cup of coffee! Here are some other seemingly harmless but actually anti-skin habits that you could be doing, unknowingly perhaps.

Never Sleep With Makeup On

This can cause bacterial infections and clogged pores as “leftover makeup residue inhibits the absorption of skincare products by creating a barrier that prevents beneficial ingredients from penetrating the skin’s surface,” explains American dermatologist Dr Dennis Gross. Dry skin, breakouts and wrinkles could also appear soon after. Recounted one beauty writer who was just too tired to remove her makeup one night, “…my eyes were super red and burning, and my face felt sticky — an overwhelming feeling of yuck.” Leaving makeup on your face throughout the night also makes it exposed to free radicals, “leading to collagen breakdown and skin that ages faster,” warns plastic surgeon Dr James C. Marotta.

Stop The Pop!

Pimples, that is. Squeezing a pimple – an inflamed pore – injures the wall of the pore and sends chemical messages of ‘Kill & Destroy’ in the bloodstream. The immune system then creates more inflammation and over time could leave you with a cyst or nodule in your skin. Skin doctors never tire of reminding their patients to not pop their pimples and to let the skin take care of them on its own. Dabbing MOM (milk of magnesia) is a cheap and fast way of taking the redness out quite quickly. Benzoyl peroxide is the most common antiseptic used for the skin as it is great for killing bacteria though many people tend to get dry and flaky skin for the first week. Regardless – do not pop the pimples!

Don’t Skip Meals

Maintain a reasonable weight and keep it steady. If your weight see-saws by more than six kilograms, your face may lose its natural ‘padding’ of fat which helps to plump out lines. This will lead to fine lines and wrinkles on your face. Also, shedding the kilos fast and furious usually results in loose skin that hangs on the body – much like the oversized clothes from a weightier past would. The longer you’ve been obese, the less elastic your skin will be and it is unlikely to snap back. Like a balloon, once deflated, it doesn’t go back to its original shape. If you do not want to look older faster, you have to nourish your body properly with the required nutrients. If you have a busy day ahead, pack healthy skin-loving foods such as apples, almonds and oranges to maintain skin health and youth.

Treat Your Skin Right
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