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07-26-10 | Posted by


Reprinted from HealthNewsDigest.com

Photo Credit: skinsogood.com

A lifetime of bad habits can result in skin that lacks radiance and resiliency, and premature wrinkles. However, you can reverse the damage by changing your evil ways today and starting on the path to beautiful, healthy, glowing skin.

1. SMOKING

The simple fact is that smokers do not age as well as non-smokers. You can’t smoke a pack a day and expect to counteract the effects it has on your skin with cosmeceuticals and lasers. Smokers take on a gray or yellowish hue and develop more wrinkles because of the repetitive action of pursing their lips and squinting, and the carbon monoxide from cigarettes reduces the blood supply and oxygen to the skin, which diminishes its ability to repair itself.

2. DRINKING ALCOHOL

When you drink alcohol your skin’s capillaries dilate, which causes flushing and blushing, as well as blotches. Alcohol is also very dehydrating and slows cell renewal, leading to a dull, lifeless complexion. Alcohol consumption over time will cause puffiness under the eyes and inflammation, which is the enemy of looking youthful. Substantial alcohol intake will age you rapidly and will impact the effectiveness of your skincare regimen, healthy diet and other good skin habits.

3. SUN EXPOSURE

Sunscreen of SPF30 is essential 365 days a year, no matter where you live or what your level of outdoor activity is. UV light damages the skin – direct exposure to UV light causes premature skin aging which leads to wrinkles, creases, blotches, sun spots and potentially deadly skin cancer. It also causes your skin to lose it smooth texture and develop rough, coarse, thickened areas. SPF in your makeup or moisturizer is also not sufficient to protect your skin adequately because it breaks down quickly. If you are near a window, or staring at your computer screen, or spending time outside during the day, beware of how much UV light is around you and protect your skin accordingly.

4. OVERZEALOUS SKIN CLEANSING

Harsh daily exfoliation can scratch the surface of your skin, which leads to irritation, dermatitis and inflammation. Be careful not to use exfoliants that contain large rough particles or beads or rub too vigorously. Use a gentle product that is kind to your complexion as your skin tolerates it – a few times a week may be sufficient – such as Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant. Toners containing alcohol will strip the skin of its natural sebum, which will in turn send your oil glands into overdrive and more oil and blemishes pop up. Redness is a sign of inflammation – so if your skin is already irritated avoid exfoliating until it heals itself. Treat your skin with care and TLC!

5. PILING ON MOISTURIZERS

We are trained from the earliest age that if you want to prevent lines and wrinkles, you should use a moisturizer. However the fallacy of that premise is that oily skin doesn’t need extra hydration, and even dry skin can get too much of a good thing. the truth is that women tend to overmoisturise. If your skin is dry and tight, moisturize it. If you need less moisture, use a lotion or light cream formula. If you want emolliency, use a heavier cream or facial oil. If your skin is oily, use only non-comedogenic products in the form of a lighter matte lotion or gel to avoid breakouts, such as La Roche Posay Effaclar Active Matte Moisturizer.

6. GOING TO BED WITH MAKEUP ON

Not removing all your makeup at night is unhealthy for your skin for several reasons. Makeup and a day’s worth of debris from the air and environment can clog your pores and breakouts may occur more frequently. A daily cleansing of the face is essential to keep your skin clear, glowing and healthy looking and helps to remove dead cells that accumulate. No matter how tired you are in the evening, don’t forget to cleanse your skin and remove all lingering residue from your makeup. The simplest method is a to use a premoistened wipe to take it all off, like Olay Daily Facials. During the night your skin needs time to repair itself. Apply night time moisturizers and anti-aging products such as DDF Retinol Energizing Moisturizer on clean, dry skin.

7. SQUEEZING PIMPLES

We all have the urge to squeeze to get rid of a pimple, but it can cause scarring and spread infection. Squeezing of your skin causes inflammation and bacteria to get a foothold – the result is redness, lumps and bumps, unsightly blemishes. You may even leave permanent holes or depressions in your skin in some areas, such as the chin which is more prone to scarring. Instead of squeezing, cleanse your face thoroughly, apply a sulphur or clay based mask to draw out impurities, and attack surface bacteria with a daily regimen of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Check out Clearasil Ultra Solution Acne Treatment – and resist the urge to squeeze!

Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy, author of 10 beauty books, and Founder /Editor in Chief of Beauty in the Bag

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