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33 Things Affecting Your Skin You Haven’t Thought About
Your skin will literally react to everything around it. Stress, light, food, whatever it may be, your skin is going to respond in an either positive or negative way. Here is a list I made of common things that affect your skin that you may not have thought of.
Let me know of other ways you can think of that these, or other things, affect your health.
- Cell phones: Talking on cell phones without a hands-free device causes increased amounts of heat and oil buildup on your face leading to clogged pores and early signs of aging. Using smart phones forces us to focus on a small screen for extended periods of time and this causes excessive use of facial muscles, which causes wrinkles around the eyes.
- Fingernails: Clean them! Dirty fingernails are one of the easiest ways to spread dirt and bacteria to your skin. Anytime you scratch an itch, dirt and dead skin are being embedded into the layers of your skin.
- Diet: Everything you consume affects your skin. Eat properly balanced meals to ensure that your body and skin are getting all the proper nutrients to be strong and healthy. Here’s one of my past posts about vital nutrients for your skin.
- Bedding: It can be like lying in your own filth. So launder your sheets at least once a week. Washing your pillowcases will have a major effect on your complexion, as well.
- Exercise: Your skin reacts to exercise just as much as your muscles. Exercise boosts intake of oxygen and absorption of nutrients, leading to increased collagen production. More collagen means smoother, stronger skin. Sweating is also a means for your body to remove toxins that are building up internally.
- Sitting: Sitting for extended periods of time shortens tendons and ligaments and compresses the spine and the blood vessels in your midsection and legs. Since your circulation is compromised, your skin will not get all the nutrients it needs.
- Stretching: Stretching does the opposite of sitting. It extends the ligaments, muscles, skin and spine allowing for optimal penetration of nutrients throughout your entire body.
- Shower Temp: Hot water may feel good, but it is actually drying and damaging your skin. Cool water showers are gentler, stimulate nerves under your skin and promote circulation. Be sure to moisturize right after showering when your skin is a bit damp to lock in essential moisture you may have lost in the shower.
- Clothing: Your clothing gets pretty darn close to your skin. Clothing increases heat and moisture near the skin, creating a wonderful little home for bacteria. The quick sniff test may provide relief in that you may not smell, but wearing clothing repeatedly without washing it will quickly lead to a buildup of dead skin, sweat, bacteria and all kinds of gross things that your skin doesn’t want near it.
- Washing your hair: Do you have a routine in the shower? Do you wash your hair first or last? Shampoo or conditioner that’s full of the dirt and oil from cleaning your hair will linger on the skin of your back and shoulders and may even drip down to other areas. Washing your hair first allows you to get an extra wash and rinse of your skin to prevent any buildup of dirty soap residue from your hair.
- Towels: Use fresh towels. You can even use a towel specifically for your face and another for your body to limit transfer of any lingering bacteria. Also, water drips downward, so start at the top and work your way down to keep water from continually dripping into already dry areas.
- Sleep: This is the vital time your body needs to recharge itself. Lack of sleep suppresses the immune system leading to a higher likelihood of getting sick and developing certain skin rashes like eczema and psoriasis. Not getting the proper number of ZZZZ’z can leave your skin with dark circles, fine lines and a pale complexion.
- Touching your face: Your hands touch so many things during a day. Gas pumps, steering wheels, door handles, keyboards, toilet flushers, food, phones, money, grocery carts…you get the point. So, try and limit how often you touch your face, or else it’s like the whole world is touching it with their dirty little fingers.
- Computers: Many monitors emit blue light that brings your brain to a more alert state. This can have a lasting effect and end up causing you to have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping soundly. Plus, it’s difficult to enjoy the beauty of nature stuck behind a computer screen all day. Get outside! Wear sunscreen.
- Driving: Driving can go a few different ways. For me it can be very cathartic and relieve a lot of stress when I just need to “get away”. On the flip side, driving can also be very stressful with all the traffic and especially when the World’s Worst Driver Convention is always in town. Stress raises blood pressure and restricts the flow of vital nutrients to your skin. It can also be a way to expose yourself to UV rays you weren’t thinking about. The sun shines in through the windshield and windows onto your hands, arms and face and this can be an easy way to get dangerous exposure on long drives without sunblock.
- Watching TV: Just like computers, TVs emit blue light that can disturb your sleeping patterns and leave you like a lazy potato on the couch. Get up! Get out!
- Water: Drink it. You can’t live without it. It hydrates your skin, flushes your system of toxins, gives you energy and replaces moisture lost during physical activity.
- Swimming: Swimming in a pool with chlorine will dry out your skin. And although it may not feel like it, you can still sweat while swimming. It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re submerged in it.
- Tanning: It’s in all the headlines. Indoor tanning is not recommended by, well, it seems anyone. Best to follow their advice and not overexpose yourself to harmful UV rays that can ultimately lead to rapid aging and skin cancer.
- Smoking: Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. It’s simply not good for you at all. Besides your respiratory system, the nearly 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes discolor your skin, lead to wrinkles and cause a buildup of free radicals that are very harmful to the structure and health of your skin. Smokers also have an increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer that can easily spread to other organs.
- Smiling: Okay, it may cause a few wrinkles, but a smile on your face means you’re happy and isn’t that the main goal in life? Enjoying life and having a positive outlook are shown to greatly reduce stress, blood pressure and risks of many diseases.
- Music: Finding that perfect song can always bring your state of mind into the right place. Music has been shown to reduce stress, provide energy during a workout, calm the mind, and according to a Yale study, even reduce the need for sedation during surgery. Improving quality of life and reducing stress are ideal ways to give your skin a radiant glow.
- Fresh air: A major reason why illnesses spread in the winter time is because we lock ourselves in doors with the same air recirculating between each person. Getting outside or opening a window gives your body better quality air so that your skin can absorb fresher nutrients. A soft breeze can also cool your skin, which is much better for circulation and the quality of your skin.
- Posture: Slouching compresses your muscles and limits the amount of room that blood can flow throughout your body. Standing up straight, pulling your shoulders back and sticking your chest out opens up your body and lets blood flow more easily to your skin, joints and muscles.
- Yelling: Expressing your negative emotions can be healthy, but yelling is rarely necessary. Yelling at someone can hurt their feelings and provide excess negative energy in the relationship. This causes tension, stress and reduced happiness in life. Your skin responds to every emotion and every ounce of energy you transmit.
- Reading: Taking time out of your day to read is relaxing and a great stress reducer. Find a good book and keep it with you. Or better yet, invest in a Kindle or other e-reader so you have an endless source of reading material with you. When you’re stuck in line at the DMV or waiting on an appointment, using that time to read is good for your brain and will reduce the stress associated with waiting and anticipation.
- Playing games: They’re fun! Again, playing a game and letting loose every now and then reduces stress and improves your overall quality of life.
- Massage: Massage stimulates blood flow and brings nutrients to your skin. It also feels amazing and is a great way to unwind.
- Friends: Don’t go it alone. Spending time with friends gets you out of the house, makes you active and makes you feel involved. A sense of inclusion gives you purpose and meaning, driving you to take better care of your health and your skin.
- Footwear: Those cozy boots may seem incredible, but they can be breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi. Also, your footwear should provide adequate support and fit properly. Cold feet could mean your shoes are too tight or putting too much strain on your body, and this limits necessary blood flow. You’re on your feet all day and putting a lot of pressure on them and the skin on your feet can become dry, damaged or cracked. Be sure to take good care of them!
- Temperature control: Air conditioning and heat dry out the air in enclosed spaces. This will ultimately dry out your skin a great deal so be sure to limit your use of these appliances and use a humidifier when necessary. Ferns or even a bowl of water in a room can be enough to add moisture to the air.
- Pets: Pets can be dirty. And they could carry irritants in their fur that could cause your skin some problems. Be sure to bathe your pets regularly to ensure the health of their skin and to save your own. Don’t forget, though. There are countless studies highlighting that having pets and spending time with them improves your health and quality of life and reduces stress.
- Go on an adventure: Don’t close yourself off from the excitement of the world. Living, really living can give your inner self such an uplifting boost that it feels like nothing can bring you down. A night out camping under the stars, running a marathon or taking a road trip can be those cathartic, “what can I really accomplish” types of activities that bring positive energy to your body and skin.
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