1. Skipping the gym
Regular exercise boots skin circulation, detoxifies your skin and encourages your body to produce endorphins, which keeps you (visibly) happy.
ACTION IT: Exercise at least every couple of days – even if it’s a brisk walk.
2. Burning the candle
Insufficient sleep causes your body to release cortisol, increasing dryness and inflammation, accelerating skin ageing, resulting in fine lines, uneven skin colour and slackening of skin.
ACTION IT: Set a bedtime that allows a good eight hours before you need to get up and do a sleep hygiene audit, clearing sleep enemies like laptops and other electronic devices from the bedroom.
3. Bypassing sunscreen
Both UVA and UVB promote premature skin aging (photo-aging), although UVA is the one that penetrates skin causing oxidative stress and damage of DNA, collagen and elastin, resulting in skin damage and ageing.
ACTION IT: Use full spectrum sunscreen and antioxidants like vitamin C, E every morning.
4. Eating low fat
A low fat diet combined with a high glycaemic index promotes a process called ‘glycation’ which accelerates ageing. Glucose can damage cells and tissues by randomly reacting with proteins.
ACTION IT: Favour foods with a low glycaemic index, rich in essential fatty acids found in walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, and olive oil.
5. Drying out
While a number of factors influence movement of water through skin (trans-epidermal water loss or TEWL), skin hydration is directly affected by fluid intake. TEWL increases in response to any disruption to the skin barrier (wounds, scratches, burns, exposure to solvents or surfactants, extreme dryness) and is affected by humidity, temperature, season, and moisture content of the skin (hydration level).
ACTION IT: Stay away from too much sun or wind and extremes in temperatures. High humidity will result in lower TEWL. Apply an occlusive moisturiser to create an oil barrier to retain water within the epidermis (upper layers of the skin).
Image courtesy of womenshealthandfitness.com.au