5 Things Your Skin Hates (and 5 things it loves)

Our skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects us come wind, rain or shine, changes throughout our life and reacts to its environment. But there’s lots we might not realise that our skin doesn’t like. Read on to see a skin specialist’s take on what your skin hates (and loves!)

Hate no 1- this view

The water we use on our bodies is way too hot for your face. I bet you’ve turned the shower up a bit for winter as well, haven’t you?

Water that’s too hot will damage the protective barrier of the skin, leading to redness, dryness, dehydration and sensitivity. If you are washing your face in the shower, take a muslin cloth in with you and use that to remove your cleanser. Don’t stick your face under the water.

Hate no 2- going to bed without cleansing

The clever people at SkinBrands did some research, and found that going to bed with the day’s build up of skin oils, make-up, bacteria, air-borne pollution, etc.. on your skin makes it age SEVEN TIMES FASTER. So if you only do it once a week, at the end of a year, your face will have undergone 2 years of ageing!

Cleanse and moisturise before bed to rid your skin of ageing free radicals. Night night!

Hate no 3- UV exposure

Even in the winter, you need to wear SPF. As weak as the sun might feel, there’s still enough to do damage, causing collagen breakdown, sagging, pigmentation, redness and roughness. Take a vitamin D supplement and slap on some suncream!

Hate no 4- over exfoliating

The face on your skin is much thinner than on the body, so a separate exfoliating product is needed. Avoid scratchy, rough, irregularly shaped particles like apricot kernel, almond shell, or (and I was horrified to see this on an ingredient list) pumice. Rough exfoliating particles cause micro tears to the skin, leading to irritation, sensitivity and long term problems.

Hate no 5- cigarette smoke

Yes, yes, we’ve all heard that smoking is bad for your health, but what exactly does it do to your skin? Smoking produces free radicals, which scavenge electrons, damaging tissue at a molecular level. This means your skin looks dull, repairs itself more slowly, and ages faster. Additionally, the repeated lip movements cause lines directly around the mouth. Once those have formed, you are looking at seriously deep peeling or erbium laser to erase them. I’m talking “burn away a whole level of skin and staying inside for 1-2 weeks while it heals” medical grade treatment.

While the “smoke” from a vape is less directly destructive to the skin, the wrinkles will still build.

Fun Fact! Antioxidants fight free radicals. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, but you would need to eat two oranges for every cigarette smoked to outweigh the damage from the cigarette.

Love no 1- reapplying your SPF

If you look at the back of any bottle of dedicated SPF, it tells you to reapply every 3-4 hours (okay, there’s a few exceptions which last longer, but APART from those). Oddly enough, moisturisers with SPF don’t mention that. Guess they don’t want to admit that it’s a bit of a sales gimmick rather than genuine skin protection!

I always recommend a separate SPF product, and unless it’s a long lasting one, reapply at lunchtime and after work, otherwise you’re as good as walking around with zero protection when you nip out for lunch.

Love no 2- sunglasses

Don’t leave home without them! Squinting into bright light, summer or winter, forms dynamic wrinkles around the eyes- laughter lines or crow’s feet. So I advise to always have a pair of sunglasses around. I have them stashed in the car, by the door, in various bags…

Love no 3- Polyhydroxy Acids

The skincare world is just starting to buzz about the anti-ageing benefits of these little beauties, but Nimue have been using them as a staple component to repair sensitive, damaged skins for over a decade.

Look for PHAs, gluconolactone or lactobionic acid on the ingredient list, or check out Nimue’s range of products formulated for interactive skins.

Love no 4- Omega 3&6 oils

I like to think of these as moisturising from the inside. The body cannot make essential fatty acids like the omega oils, we need to get them from oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, or from supplements.

They help to keep skin cells healthy, lock in moisture, and balance oil production in the skin.

If you get dry, red dots on your upper arms, try an omega oil supplement for a couple of weeks (I recommend Biocare for excellent quality supplements.)

Love no 5- Regular facials

See a skincare specialist to get the best treatment to suit your skin goals; to deep cleanse, to brighten, to rejuvenate or to lift and firm. Take a peek at the wide range on offer at Natural Balance or book in for a skincare consultation.

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