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5 Habits That Are Bad for Your Skin

Woman With Flawless Skin
Caring for your skin should be an essential part of your health care routine. To slow down the process of aging skin or prevent issues later, be mindful of your daily habits. Everything from diet to your environment may play a key role in how your skin looks and feels. Here are bad habits that could be sabotaging your healthy skin care routine.

1. Letting Stress Overwhelm You

Did you know that stress can play a factor in the health of your skin? Letting stress overtake your life and not finding a way to relax can be detrimental in ways you might not have imagined. When you are overwhelmed by stress, your body releases hormones. As a reaction to stress, the hormone cortisol has a tendency to produce excess oils.
If you are prone to oily skin, you may notice that you tend to have acne flare-ups more frequently when you are under stress. In addition, stress hormones may accelerate the aging process. Those with conditions such as psoriasis may also experience more flare-ups while under stress.
A basic way to combat everyday stress is to find time to unwind and relax. Find a pastime or activity that makes you happy and feel well. Whether your feel-good activity includes yoga or exercise, or a creative hobby such as painting or creating music, set aside some time each day to enjoy these pleasures. When you feel good, your skin will show the positive effects.
Lastly, don't let stress compromise your sleep. Aim for a healthy, good night's sleep in order to allow your skin cells to repair and heal.

2. Smoking Cigarettes

You probably are aware of the hazardous effects of cigarette smoking to one's general health, but did you know that smoking may also affect your appearance? The negative effects of cigarette smoke may deprive your body of oxygen and nutrients for healthy skin cell repair. If you are a smoker and you have noticed your skin has lost elasticity or is beginning to sag, it's a good time to quit.

3. Neglecting Your Diet

The old adage "you are what you eat" should not be taken lightly. In order to achieve healthy skin, you need to nourish it from the inside. Eating foods that contain a high level of sugar or saturated fat may affect your skin negatively. Even though your lifestyle may keep you busy and on the go, you need to find a way to incorporate a healthy diet into your daily routine.
If you tend to have dry skin, eat more foods that are rich in omega-3. Fish such as mackerel or salmon are good choices that may help replace lost moisture to skin. In addition, fish oil may help combat skin conditions such as psoriasis. Colorful fruits and vegetables are also good for your skin, as are walnuts and sunflower seeds.

4. Venturing Outdoors Without Proper Protection

You may recognize the importance of using a quality sunscreen that blocks harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. However,  you should be taking other measures when you go outside, even for a short period of time.
When you expose your skin to the sun, you're more vulnerable to developing wrinkles or the possibility of sun cancer. Minimize the risk by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.

5. Taking Hot Baths or Showers

Have you ever noticed that after soaking in a hot bath, your skin feels a bit irritated and flaky? Does a steamy, hot shower make you feel itchy afterward? This effect is not so uncommon. Hot baths or showers may also cause redness and inflammation, especially for individuals who have sensitive skin.
Take a moderately warm or lukewarm bath or shower to alleviate this problem. In addition, you should also limit the amount of time for your baths and showers.
Break free from the negative habits that are compromising your healthy skin. If skin issues are causing you concern, make an appointment with a dermatologist like John M. Humeniuk, M.D. who can help.