Remember when you were a teenager and having clear skin meant you just had to wash your face and avoid eating chocolate and greasy food*? If only obtaining gorgeous, vibrant skin were that simple in adulthood!
Truth: It just might be that simple. Unless you have an underlying health issue, a dull, sallow complexion often is the result of habits or activities that trigger bad skin. Read on for six common ways you could be making your skin unhappy.
1: Problem: Smoking. Besides being horrible for your body, it’s widely known that smoking makes your complexion look dull, dry, sometimes yellow-y, and well, old. The American Academy of Dermatology actually calls it “smoker’s face.”
Fix it: Get yourself on the path to kicking your smoking habit.
2: Problem: Alcohol. Boozy beverages dehydrate the body and steal moisture from your skin. Research shows that alcohol also depletes the body of vitamin A, leaving facial Skin Dry and flaky.
Fix it: Drink less alcohol and when you do drink, restore your body’s moisture balance by drinking water.
3: Problem: Unhealthy diet. You are what you eat! If you want yo ur skin to look vibrant, pay attention to your nutrition. Overindulging in carbs, sugar, and foods high in fat doesn’t do your skin any favors. Salt causes water retention; carbs and sugar break down the collagen and elastin in your body, two key components that keep skin supple and healthy. Maybe you have a lack of “good oils” in your system. One writer found out she had an omega-3 deficiency and it was impacting her skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in such things as flax seed oil, walnut oil, and seafood, can help reduce inflammation in the body and, in turn, help keep facial skin bright.
Fix it: So what happens if you’re eating healthy and not boozing it up regularly and your skin still lacks a glow? If you’re concerned about how your diet is impacting your complexion, talk to your dermatologist to see if there are conditions you should be tested for.
4: Problem: Allergy medicine. Antihistamines and decongestants may stop your “achoo!” this allergy season, but a common side effect of both medications is dry skin.
Fix it: If you’re using these meds to help your allergies, make sure you stay hydrated. You should also use a facial moisturizer, such as Olay’s Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, to help protect your skin from drying out and to enhance your overall complexion.
5: Problem: Stress. Spikes in stress can cause the body to produce more of the stress hormone called cortisol, causing blood vessels to constrict. Your complexion reacts by looking sad and pasty.
Fix it: Work on reducing your stress level.
6: Problem: Too little sleep. Besides giving you dark circles under your eyes, research shows that lack of sleep causes skin to age prematurely. Like stress, sleep deprivation causes your body to produce more cortisol, which causes your body to produce more sugar. You can end up with dry, inflamed and red skin.
Fix it: Time to change your sleep habits. Try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. And be sure to examine the foods or drinks you are consuming late in the day — they may contain caffeine, which is triggering your bouts of insomnia…and unhappy skin.