5 Unhealthy Vices That May Be Sabotaging the Appearance of Your Skin
You invest so much in caring for your skin, why let a few vices throw you off course? To allow your hard work to shine through, you should eliminate the bad habits that may be causing more harm than good to your skin. Not sure what they are? No fear. Below, we share five common vices that could be sabotaging the appearance of your skin.
VICE #1: CONSUMING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL
Heavy alcohol consumption can do a number on the appearance of your skin. Imbibing in too many glasses of alcohol can dehydrate your body and may cause your skin to appear less-than-stellar. Luckily, you don’t have to swear off bubbly completely in the name of great-looking skin. Indulge in moderation, which—according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism—is up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Sub in a glass of water regularly to help keep yourself hydrated. In addition to drinking moderately, be smart about what you drink. It may be good to pass on the sugar-filled drinks—ahem margaritas—or those with salted rims, as those drinks can further dehydrate your body..
VICE #2: EATING SUGARY FOODS & DRINKS
There’s long been a debate on whether or not diet plays a role in skin’s overall appearance. According to the AAD, some studies suggest that diets full of high glycemic index foods—think: processed breads, cookies, cakes, and sugary carbonated drinks—may contribute to acne flares. Do your best to limit the amount of sugar you consume daily.
VICE #3: NATURAL TANNING
Sorry to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as a safe natural tan. If your skin has some color as a result of unprotected UV exposure, the damage is already underway—and it can be permanent. You may not notice the appearance of negative side effects—think: wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, etc.—of unprotected UV exposure right away, but they will increase in appearance as your skin ages. If you’re headed outdoors—be it for a beach day or a quick jog—apply broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher before leaving home and remember to reapply continuously, especially if you are sweating or swimming. Also, it’s wise to invest in a wide-brimmed hat and seek shade where possible. Sun damage is nothing to joke about…trust us. Oh, and don’t even get us started on tanning beds!
VICE #4: SMOKING
You’ve heard it time and time again. Smoking is bad for your health. But did you know that smoking is also really detrimental to your skin? Smoking can damage your skin’s natural collagen and elastin—the fibers that give skin its youthfulness and bounce—which may contribute to the appearance of loose, saggy skin. Smoking can also speed up the normal aging process of your skin and cause the appearance of a dull, sallow-looking complexion. Do you want to look 55 when you’re not even 30? Didn’t think so.
VICE #5: PULLING ALL-NIGHTERS
There might have been a point in time during college when pulling an all-nighter was the “cool” thing to do. Let us tell you, too many of those late nights can actually result in the appearance of a dull, lifeless-looking complexion and noticeable under-eye circles and bags. If you feel tired, you may also look tired—it’s as simple as that. And, since our skin refreshes itself overnight, you could be cutting away from time that your skin needs to rejuvenate. The result? More noticeable visible signs of skin aging. Try to get at least six to eight hours of shut-eye per night. Your skin will thank you.