One way or another each of us long to feel beautiful, but little did you know that your everyday routine could be ravaging your beauty...inside and out. What exactly am I speaking of you ask? I will be talking about the two “beasts” that can reek havoc on our bodies and specifically on the body's largest organ-THE SKIN...Stress and the Sun(whether natural or artificial). Doctors have known for a long time that stress plays a large role in the health and well being of all of us. Women are particularly susceptible to stress related medical issues, since we are taught at such a young age to be caregivers and nurturers, except we often forget to take care of ourselves.
The second “beast” aka the Sun, has been making the news a lot lately, when growing concerns about the dangers of indoor tanning are leading to new taxes & possibly new restrictions designed to curb tanning among young people. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (which is affiliated with the World Health Organization), people under the age of 30 who use tanning machines increase their cancer risk by 75%. That agency listed ultra-violet radiation-emitting beds as “carcinogenic to humans”, it's highest category of cancer risk.
So, what are the direct effects of stress and sun/uv to your skin? I will discuss just a few of the effects, & how you can take preventative measures to take care of your skin when it comes to stress, sun and your skin. We were only given one body, so we need to take care of it the best we can.
Q: I have been using the “best” facial products available, so why am I still experiencing breakouts!?
A: If you have been faithfully using an at home skin care regimen and your face is still experiencing breakouts...don't be so quick to toss those half full bottles into the trash just yet. There are 2 factors that can trigger acne 1) external factors, such as skin care products and cosmetics 2) internal factors, such as hormones and stress. So before you toss out your face wash, re-evaluate your life...are you experiencing a lot of stress at home, school or at work!? If you answer yes to any of these then stress could be to blame for your current skin condition.
Stress doesn't directly cause acne or breakouts, however it can act as a trigger for factors that contribute to acne, such as excess oil production. The balance of everyday life can cause chronic stress, which can throw adrenal glands into overdrive. Adrenal glands regulate stress and when a stressful situation arises oil glands create an excess of oil which can contribute to acne. Stress can also cause increased blood flow and expansion of capillaries which give the skin a red or inflamed appearance. Also, when stressed your body tends to have slower healing because of a weakened immune system which can prolong your breakouts. We may not be able to change a difficult situation, but you can do something small to take care of yourself...whether it be joining a gym, deep breathing, yoga, knitting or even having a relaxing facial at The Skin Studio.
Q: I only tan in tanning beds a few times a week and lay out by the pool without SPF...I can't damage my skin...right?
A:WRONG! In fact most damage that is inflicted to our skin is already done by the time we are 18 years old, but that doesn't mean that there is no harm done after that. I have heard many times friends say, “my face is breaking out so bad...I'm just going to go to the tanning bed & “fry” them off.” They would go tan and sometimes the tanning bed would work its “magic” by “clearing up” their skin, when what it really did was dry your skin temporarily, however you are actually triggering future incidences of breakouts. Exposure to UV light can cause an increase in skin cells, which can clog follicle openings & lead to future breakouts. Also, visiting a tanning bed increases your chances of long term scarring and hyperpigmentation (sun/age spots). Still wanna get that bronzed glow? Don't forget your SPF of 30 or higher & apply 20 minutes before sun sun exposure to avoid skin issues in the future such as wrinkles, dark spots and skin cancer. So...if you must sun your buns by the “fountain of youth” don't forget your sunscreen or you will end up looking like a California Raisin...and that look isn't very becoming.