My New Year's Skin Care Solutions

Healthy skin with 7 simple habits!

Eat well, drink well and sleep well

It’s true – food is your best medicine! A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish oils goes a long way. Making sure your diet includes essential nutrients such as antioxidants, amino acids, omega oils, iron, Vitamin D, biotin etc. is not only a must for healthy skin, hair and nails, but in the long run will also reward you with more global health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and prevention of heart disease. Dehydration makes skin look aged, tired and crepey. The average recommended daily fluid intake is 2-2.5L of water to help flush out toxins and vital organs. We are all probably guilty of not drinking enough water and could improve on our water intake. Lack of sleep shows! Tired, pale skin with dark under-eye circles are some of the common give-aways of a bad night’s sleep. Make it a habit of getting enough sleep for you – the average is around 8 hours but everyone is different!

Sun protection

Sun damage and excessive sun exposure is the biggest cause of skin cancer by damaging the DNA of skin cells. It is also the most important external ageing factor on the skin. UV causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin, proteins that give our skin the natural plumpness and bounce we all had as children. Whilst collagen is renewable, elastin is not. The loss of elastin is what creates the lax and leathery look. Get into the habit of incorporating sunblock into your daily routine. We would recommend choosing a high factor sunblock (at least 30+) which covers UVA and UVB. Many moisturizers and foundations now include sunblock but check it has the level of cover you need.

Stop smoking

Cigarette smoke creates more toxins in the blood (and skin) which breaks down collagen and elastin. So, one more reason to stub it out for good.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Warm baths and showers have a tendency to leach oils from the skin. Moisturising after washing replaces this and prevents further loss of fluid from the skin. This is even more important if you suffer from dry skin conditions such as eczema. Many face creams now combine the hydrating effects of a moisturizer with the anti-ageing effects of sun protection, retinol and antioxidants eg Vitamin C

Mole check: Make it a habit to self check moles once every 3 months, getting partners and family members to check those you can’t easily see eg on the back and back of legs. Getting into the habit of knowing what’s normal for you will enable you to spot changes to your moles which may indicate skin cancer. Remember, the earlier it is detected, the better chance that skin cancer can be treated and cured.

Don’t pick spots

Spots themselves can leave blemishes which generally fade with time. Picking at spots delays healing time and can leave darker and deeper scars which can be more difficult to treat

Be hair aware

Knowing your hair type is extremely important so that your hair care products are tailored accordingly to bring out the best of your hair quality. Sulphate free shampoos means they are made without SLS (sodium laurel sulphate)– a strong detergent that cleans hair but often causes scalp irritation and directly damages hair fibres. Conditioning is important for damage-limitation with styling practices such as blow drying, straightening irons etc. but it is important to treat hair gently. There is much truth in the saying that ‘less is more’. If you style hair regularly, make it a resolution to give your hair a break and reduce the frequency of harsh styling practices. This can greatly relieve the tensile (pulling) forces and excessive heat your hair is subjected to which can otherwise contribute to hair loss (traction alopecia), brittle and dry hair.

Christina Vlachou