5 Surprising Ways Your Lifestyle Affects Your Skin
Did you know that the condition of your skin isn’t just determined by your DNA? There’s a myriad of influencers that contribute to the quality and youthfulness of your skin as well. And when you know what these are and understand the impact they play, you’ll be armed with knowledge that will help combat these effects for clear, beautiful skin throughout life.
Stress. We cannot stress how much stress shows up on your face. Beyond puffy eyes, blotchiness, and redness from crying, emotional turmoil ages the appearance of the skin in many ways. Stress can exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions, such as psoriasis and rosacea. It can also cause inflammation and excess sebum production, both of which contribute significantly to acne and breakouts.1
- Take action: Managing stress is important for overall health, not just to kick stress to the curb. You can start today by making sure you’re getting plenty of quality sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, getting routine exercise, and practicing mindfulness through meditation, prayer, yoga, and whatever else feels right to you.
Smoking. If your goal is to look like your great-granny, smoking a pack a day is the way to go. As a smoker, your skin suffers significantly. First of all, cigarette smoke actually constricts blood flow, decreasing healthy circulation to vital organs, including the skin.1 It also encourages premature wrinkling and fines lines.
- Take action: You guessed it: stop smoking. Shocking, right? The best thing you can do for your skin is to lay off the cigarettes and make sure you’re not around secondhand smoke either. If you can’t just go cold turkey, there are plenty of helpful programs and resources to help you quit.
Sun exposure. UV exposure can cause serious long-term effects on the skin, including wrinkles, loss of elasticity, premature aging, and sunspots. While we all need the vitamin D that comes from the sun, too much makes your skin look less than youthful.
- Take action: Easy. Wear sunscreen. And a hat. Done.
Environmental factors. If you live in an urban area, chances are your skin is being damaged through air pollution right at this very moment. Dangerous airborne impurities interact negatively with the surface of the skin and can also accelerate the damage you’re receiving from the sun’s UV rays.
- Take action: It’s important to cleanse morning and evening to remove pollution from your skin, especially your face, neck, and hands. Several times a week, a gentle exfoliation will help remove more difficult impurities and dead skin cells. A diet rich in antioxidants also helps combat harmful free radicals in the air.3
Exercise. Suffering from couch-potato-syndrome? Well, you aren’t doing your skin any favors. By being active, getting your heart rate up, and sweating it out, you increase blood flow that nourishes the skin, flushes waste products from cells, and washes away debris from the skin’s surface.
- Take action: Put the remote control down and get off the couch. Easy-peasy. If you’re just getting out of sedentary lifestyle, start with brisk walks, working your way into more vigorous forms of exercise like cardio workouts and strength training. The point is: make sure your heart rate is up and you’re sweating and your skin will thank you.
Is your lifestyle helping or hurting your skin? If you want a clearer complexion and the appearance of long-lasting youthfulness, we encourage you to take action, changing your lifestyle so you can love the skin you’re in.
 Wojak, T. (2013). Combating harmful lifestyle effects on the skin. Accessed February 15, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.skininc.com/treatments/wellness/nutrition/Combating-Harmful-Lifestyle-Effects-on-the-Skin-189239501.html.
 Health24. (2015). Your lifestyle and your skin. Accessed February 15, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Perfect-Skin/Natural-Beauty/Your-lifestyle-and-your-skin-20140115.
 Perricone (2016). Environmental pollution, problems, and solutions. Accessed February 15, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.perriconemd.com/anti-aging-resources/environmental-factors-and-aging.html.
 Gardner, S. (2016). Exercise for healthy skin. Accessed February 15, 2016. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/exercise.