Guest Post: 5 Ways The Environment Affects Your Skin

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Beautiful, healthy, and youthful-looking skin is something most of us strive to possess. After all, our skin is the canvas behind the look we show off to the world day in and day out. Our skin, however, can be a bit tricky to care for and many of us struggle to achieve balance, particularly with changing seasons or during travel. Have you ever noticed that your skin looks and behaves differently in spring, summer, winter, and fall or when you travel to a new location? This is because skin serves as a protective barrier from the environment and, in serving this role, it is exposed to environmental elements that affect it. Keep reading to learn about 5 ways your environment can change the look and feel of your skin:

Hot Temperatures: When temperatures are high, our bodies sweat to cool down. Perspiration may cause a variety of skin issues such as irritation, rash, and acne.  A gentle cleanser to wash away perspiration is often a great idea. Moreover, heat can cause drying of the skin, leading to skin that is rough or flaky in feel and appearance. To re-hydrate your skin, drink plenty of water to add moisture from the inside out. Also, moisturizers, particularly those that are oil-free, are helpful in providing topical hydration to the skin.

Cold Temperatures : Colder climates are generally characterized by cold temperatures and windy conditions. These elements can often strip moisture from the skin, leaving it dry, flaky, and even chapped or cracking. What’s more, keeping warm with indoor heating can further dry out the skin. If you find that you have dry skin, try to steer clear of lengthy, hot showers which tend to be drying and remember to apply a quality moisturizer whenever necessary.

Humidity : The amount of humidity in the air can have a huge effect on your skin. Low humidity can pull moisture from skin and leave it dehydrated, dry, and flaky. In contrast, high humidity prevents evaporation of sweat, leading to clogged pores, oily skin, and in many cases, acne breakouts. In both situations, it is important to keep skin clean and clear by cleansing and moisturizing. Ask your dermatologist about products that will work best for you.

Pollution : The places we live, particularly urban areas, often contain environmental pollution. Exposures to contaminants such as cigarette smoke, smog, and exhaust from automobiles can enhance the creation of skin-damaging free radicals, which may lead to wrinkles and other signs of skin aging. Also, smog and dust in the air can build up on the skin, causing it to appear dull or dry as well as clogging pores and causing acne. There’s no way to completely avoid pollution. However, to protect your skin from some of its effects, cleanse and moisturize your face daily, exfoliate as necessary, and look into the health benefits of free radical-fighting antioxidants.

Sun : No matter where you are living, the sun’s rays can cause quite a bit of damage to the skin. It has been proposed that the ultraviolet radiation contained in sunlight damages the structure of skin tissue, paving the way for the formation of wrinkling, premature signs of aging, sun spots, and skin cancer. Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF daily regardless of the weather.

To learn more about taking care of your skin in various climates and seasons, talk to your dermatologist for advice that is suited to your specific skin care needs.

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Guest blogger Leah currently works as a Biomedical Engineer for Isis Biopolymer, a pioneer in skin rejuvenation technology.  Isis Biopolymer recently released the Biobliss patch, a noninvasive transdermal patch that reduces the appearances of wrinkles and fine lines in just one hour.  Leah conducts research for Isis Biopolymer and helped develop the Biobliss patch.  She  earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology from Brown University, graduating magna cum laude and with honors. Leah then went on to receive her Master of Science degree in Biology (Artificial Organs, Biomaterials, and Cellular Technology) from Brown University in 2010.  In her spare time, Leah enjoys rooting for her favorite sports teams, the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox, and spending time with her family and friends.

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Note: The post has been completely written by the guest blogger and the thoughts expressed are hers alone. mySkin does not endorse to any products or sites mentioned in the post.