How are those New Year Resolutions going? Do you have any yet? Or have you broken some already? Well, how about starting with the health and appearance of your skin? Let’s start 2017 by making the most visible part of you look and feel great. Here are my skin detox secrets…
Is your skin feeling supple and baby-like this winter? Thought not. That’s because you have excessive epidermal water loss (evaporation through your skin). It’s too dry. So before you become so crispy that you become a fire hazard, throw away the soaps and shower gels and use some moisturizer to wash instead. Apply more when you have dried your skin
Just about the worst thing you can do to your body is smoke. New research shows that even one cigarette a day or social smoking is still terrible. But smoking is also awful for the skin; It increases the enzymes in your skin that basically dissolve your collagen and make your skin sag, causing wrinkles. It also causes skin cancer. So throw out the ciggies for 2017.
That stuff about increased enzymes that dissolve your collagen… well guess what… ultraviolet light does exactly the same as well as causing pigmentation changes and other unpleasantness. Is ‘moisturizer with an SPF’ good enough? No. Get thee a sun block with factor 30 at least, make sure it is broad spectrum (blocking UVA and UVB). Use it when out an about from April to October and especially when on holiday.
We spend about a third of our lives in this reduced and vulnerable state of consciousness and it’s still a scientific mystery. But we know that sleep deprivation is bad. It causes multiple negative effects on the body including increased stress hormone levels, diabetes, weight gain, impaired immunity and numerous effects on the cells of the body including the skin. Aim to go to bed early enough to wake fairly naturally in the morning. If you are struggling to get up, especially towards the end of the working week, you are likely to be chronically sleep deprived. Try setting a bedtime alarm to remind you to tuck in, and avoid using mobiles of other bright screen technology for at least 1-2 hours before bed.
The skin and the brain interplay closely. Dermatologists see flares of acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and other skin conditions when people are under stress, perhaps through exams, family or relationships. These conditions in themselves affect people’s confidence and cause stress leading to a vicious circle of skin-psyche interaction. Give yourself quiet time, take 15-20 minutes exercise a day, adopt a positive attitude, remember that there are some things that you just can’t control, and if things are getting too much seek out support from family or health professionals.
You get your teeth checked by a dentist (hopefully), so when it comes to your skin why not engage a professional and see a dermatologist. It’s the biggest and most visible organ in your body after all. Consultant Dermatologists are the only medical experts fully trained in the maintenance of skin, hair and nail health and management of problems and can advise on combating skin aging and rejuvenation.
Happy New Year!
The London Dermatologist