Peer pressure on skin you say? Yep! There are a multitude of internal and external factors that influence the physiological functioning of our skins! Let’s have a look at these internal and external factors:
- Genes – Just like genes determine your hair and eye colour, so do they your skin type
- Hormones – During different stages of your life, adolescence, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause, certain hormones are dominant, and 99% of the time that affects the functioning of your skin. During adolescence, testosterone levels are high and this causes an increase in sebum (oil) production, enlarged pores, breakouts and blemishes. During perimenopause, androgen production increases and oestrogen levels decrease, and the effect is much like that of testosterone. During menopause, oestrogen levels are at their highest causing skin to thin and dry. Oestrogen also affects collagen and collagen may decrease up to 30% in the first five years of menopause thanks to hormones.
- Diet – Your diet plays a vital role in skin health. Try to have a healthy, balanced diet packed with fresh fruits and vegetables that contain essential vitamins like Vitamin A and C that regulate skin functioning and health and are packed with antioxidants. Your skin will thank you.
- Stress – Stress hormones like cortisol are released, and this affects your skin negatively.
- Lack of sleep – Beauty sleep is a real thing? Yes, it is, and you need to get sufficient sleep/rest for your skin to rejuvenate itself. Did you know your skin is most busy with its natural recovery process at night? That’s why you should try to put all the good stuff on your skin at night.
- Medication and medical conditions – Certain medications like sinusitis meds and antibiotics can have really negative effects on the skin, as they can dehydrate and sensitise the skin while medical conditions like diabetes and heart conditions can impair the skin’s natural healing ability and its ability to nourish and detoxify itself.
- UV Rays – these are the largest contributors to skin ageing, increased cell turnover and pigmentation. Luckily, wearing your sunscreen daily and re-applying it, as well as using products containing antioxidants can curb the effects of the sun. (Check out article on Sunscreens and antioxidants)
- Incorrect product usage – one of the most common reasons our skins act up, is that the products you are using might be too harsh for your skin, or not adding back enough moisture.
- Weather – The climate can have a major impact on your skin. Hot conditions tend to activate our sebaceous glands to increase sebum production, while colder conditions tend to dry out our skins. Make sure you change your products or add on appropriate products for each season.
- Pollutants – unfortunately these are not something we can escape, so make sure you use non-comedogenic gentle cleansers to remove these from your skin, as well as sufficient antioxidants to combat free radicals.
I literally cannot stress enough how important a good skin routine and a balanced lifestyle is for looking and feeling great. External factors are the biggest contributors to damaged skins, but the good news is that we can also minimise the damage of external factors with proper skincare and lifestyle changes. Speak to your skin professional on this, you won’t regret it.