7 things to avoid for perfect skin

photo courtesy of fitsugar.com
1. SUN - Exposing your face to the sun is the quickest way to age your skin. When ultraviolet rays hit the skin's surface it produces molecules called free radicals which destroy healthy cells. They're particularly fond of collagen and elastin, the two ingredients that help keep skin firm and elastic. The more collagen and elastin degrade, the faster wrinkles appear on your skin. Use a teaspoon of SPF 30 on your face. Apply it before going into the sun. Reapply every 9 hours. Avoid sunlight between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm. Even the strongest sunscreen can only filter out so much during this time which will cause damage to your skin.
2. SMOKING- Nicotine in cigarrettes constricts the blood vessels of the face, making your skin look gray or sallow. An ingredient called acetaldehyde goes to work, attacking the fibers in your skin that hold it together. Finally a chemical reaction occurs creating a protein that causes the destruction of collagen and elastin. Add this to the constant creasing of the face while due to smoke irritation and the wrinkling of the skin while you inhale, its no wonder women who smoke look around ten years older than a non-smoker of the same age.
3. ALCOHOL- Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and in sensitive skins this can lead to broken veins . Alcohol also contains acetaldehyde which attacks skin fibers, reducing firmness and elasticity. As little as 2 drinks a day will dehydrate the skin enough to make wrinkles. Alcohol destroys all vitamin c, one of the most important nutrients for skin functioning.
4. STRESS- Stress increases the level of adrenal hormones like testosterone, which have been linked to the triggering of acne. In fact, stress is being blamed for the increase in so called adult acne in career women. Stress hormones cause blood flow to be directed away from the surface of the skin to your limbs and major organs. This means that your skin doesn't get all the nutrients it needs. To add insult to injury, you can't repair these problems with skincare as effectively when your stressed. Studies show it doesn't absorb products as well as relaxed skin. Learning to relax will help your skin survive.
5. LACK OF SLEEP- Nighttime is when the skin repairs itself. You build new cells and replace collagen and elastin damaged by the day's exposure to sun and pollution. The skin is also more absorbent at night which means it takes in treatments more effectively. Research shows that up to 25% more of some vitamin treatments enter the skin at night compared to during the day. Lack of sleep is responsible for dark circles, sallowness and fluffiness under the eyes, as the skin diverts blood to fuel the tired brain and other organs.
6. POLLUTION- Not only is air pollution bad for your face but so is taking in toxins to your bodies. On average we breath in 2 grams of pollution and eat 11 lbs each in food additives. Avoiding pollution is tricky. You can help fight pollution by eating better. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid salty foods, caffeine and hydrogenated fats.
7. LACK OF EXERCISE- Physical activities will help boost skin tone by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood and reducing the amount of toxins that build up under your skin, it will also boost your skin health by increasing your tolerance to stress and help you sleep. For optimum skin health, try to do 3 sets of 20 minute exercises a week.
information curtesy of Helen Fosters "The Beauty Book"


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