Every year we make resolutions with the best of intentions to follow through. However, right around that 2 week mark, many of us begin to waver in our resolve. This year perhaps you’ve resolved to give up a bad habit, like smoking or excessive drinking. We’re really happy that you did and we want to give you a little motivation to help you stick with it!
It is well documented that smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are two habits that negatively effect overall health. Did you know that they both contribute to poor skin health as well?
The plain truth is that smoking is bad for your skin. It causes damage and leads to changes that make your skin look older. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to regeneration of skin cells and causes your skin to take on a grey color. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin in your skin – which results in sagging and wrinkles. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking —pursing your lips when inhaling or squinting your eyes to keep out smoke – can contribute to wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. The best way to protect your skin and the rest of your body is to quit smoking.
Just like smoking, alcohol can age you! Think about how your body feels when you have a hangover – dehydrated and bloated. Your skin is going through the same thing! When you drink alcohol, your kidneys are triggered to remove excess water from your system, instead of sending it to your organs, leaving your skin dehydrated. When skin is dry, it is much more likely to wrinkle and make you look older then you are.
It doesn’t end at dryness, alcohol can also make skin look grey, bloated or red and splotchy. Alcohol robs your body of vitamin A which is essential for cell renewal and turnover, so your skin could take on a dull, grey appearance. Being so depleted of vital nutrients, electrolytes and fluids, your skin often shows signs of bloating and swelling. If you have rosacea, alcohol can cause it to flare up or worsen and it can cause blood vessels in your face to dilate and burst which will leave your face with red spots that are not easy to get rid of.
Drinking excessive alcohol also affects sleep quality, which could leave bags under your eyes. To counteract the effects of alcohol on skin you need to avoid excessive alcohol consumption (for women 4 drinks within 2 hours is considered excessive) and drink water to counteract the effects of dehydration.
For any intensive skin care regimen to work, you have to already have mastered the basics. Beyond the products you use on your skin, healthy lifestyle choices like giving up smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help delay the natural aging process. So stick with your resolution this year and see improvement in your skin health!
Assessing your skin health and getting help from your own personal skin care coach is easy with OKU, the only device that enables consumers to see below their skin’s surface and analyze and address their skincare problems.