Skin Care

The Top 10 Skin-damaging Culprits

Lack of sleep or poor sleeping patterns harm our skin. And it shows on our faces: dull complexion, lined features, red patches, bags and dark circles under our eyes. Our skin needs its beauty sleep if it's to strengthen and repair itself. A chronic lack of sleep speeds up skin ageing and prevents our skin from regenerating. A good night's sleep helps it to mount a defence, so it can brace the elements the following day.

Our skin gets put through the mill during winter: cold air dries it out, wind stings, warm clothes can give you irritated skin and temperature changes between cosy homes and the freezing outdoors make your skin ultra-sensitive. All of these damage our protective hydrolipidic film. The result? Our skin becomes fragile, sensitive and loses elasticity. Add to that leathery skin alongside chapped lips and hands.

Smartphones, TVs, PCs and tablets... Being glued to a screen leads to wrinkles, crow's feet and frown lines. And sitting down in front of a screen for long periods causes crumpled features and double chins. The connected world's pet beauty peeve? Smartphone induced wrinkled necks!

It make keep us cool, but it's far from skin-friendly! Air conditioning dries our skin and in time causes lines and wrinkles. Working under an AC can shrivel up fair or sensitive skin.

Dry skin, deep wrinkles, loss of elasticity, age spots...We all know that UV rays age our skin, particularly UVA and infrared rays that penetrate as far as the dermis. So it's essential that we protect ourselves with a sunscreen and be careful between midday and 4pm. But don't avoid it all together! We need our daily dose to boost our vitamin D levels and sychronise our internal body clock.

Drinking too much ravages our bodies and skin! It slows down collagen production, reducing skin elasticity to make lines and wrinkles even more furrowed. Our skin becomes dry and dehydrated, whilst poor circulation causes bags and dark circles to appear. Alcohol wreaks havoc with sensitive skin and can cause acne, rosacea and psoriasis to flare up.

Smoking is really bad for our health. And just as bad for our skin. Smoking causes our skin to age. It causes irreversible oxidation and messes up our circulation. Smokers get wrinkles early on and will find that their skin thins. Facial contours begin to sag and a healthy glow gives way to a sallow complexion.

Pollution attacks the hydrolipidic film, intra-cellular bindings and skin cell membranes. This leads to oxidation, which despite our skin's best efforts can overload our immune system, resulting in poor repair mechanisms. Our skin may sweat profusely, lose suppleness, peel or become greasy. And over time our skin becomes increasingly sensitive.

Stress and anxiety show on our skin. In the short term, stress leaves our skin dry, sensitive and itchy. It produces sebum in an attempt to protect itself, but this leads to clogged pores and blemishes. Eczema may crop up on parts of our body. Over time, collagen levels in the dermis fall, our skin becomes less supple and toned, age spots appear and wrinkles deepen. Chronic stress can add years to our face and skin!

Sugar in junk food and soft drinks sticks to collagen and munches away at elastin, meaning our skin-firming scaffold collapses. The scientific term is glycation. Too much sugar causes sagging and wrinkles. As for salt, the high levels found in junk food and ready meals dehydrate our skin. This leads to premature lines and wrinkles.