Weird things ruining your skin

4 September 2017 by
First published: 15 September 2017

Weird things ruining your skin

Skin looking a bit off? We investigate the weird things ruining your skin.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so when it’s under strain it will show up via complexion issues like spots, dry skin or dullness. And it’s not just the beauty routine you follow that can help or hinder your skin, in fact everything from your eating habits to how much time you dedicate to relaxing affects the state of your skin. ‘It is important to pay attention to what your skin is telling you and also to look after it as much as you would any other part of the body,’ believes Kay Greveson, aesthetic nurse practitioner at Regents Park Aesthetics. Here Kay reveals the five biggest factors that could affect your appearance.

1 Digestive health

Housed in your gut is your body’s own little ecosystem of microbes – good and bad, and the level of the beneficial microorganisms in your digestive tract dramatically impacts your skin. ‘There is a well-known link between the gut and the skin. Diet and digestive problems such as constipation or gut bacteria imbalance can all lead to skin problems such as breakouts and dull appearance. Furthermore, some bowel conditions such as coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease can have secondary effects on the skin,’ says Kay. Maintaining a healthy diet packed with probiotic foods like natural yoghurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha can help maintain healthy skin by repopulating the gut with healthy microbes.

2 Hormones

The balance of hormones oestrogen and testosterone have a massive effect on skin health, especially as we age. ‘After the age of 40, oestrogen levels reduce which in turn affect skin elasticity and collagen production,’ shares Kay. The knock-on effects include premature fine lines and sagging skin. ‘Testosterone is also important. It stimulates the sebum (oil) producing glands, which are important for protecting your skin with natural oils, but high levels of this in the body can lead to acne breakouts,’ continues Kay. Eating a balanced diet including omega-3 fish oils from nuts, seeds and oily fish like salmon can help to balance out hormones so make sure to include lots of these in your diet.

3 Blood flow

Circulation isn’t just related to heart health, improving blood flow around your body can also boost the skin’s appearance. ‘Regular exercise can help with blood flow. Keeping active can benefit the skin by improving circulation and blood flow to your organs, it also helps carry oxygen and nutrients to your skin,’ reveals Kay. Aim for around three workouts per week to help maintain a healthy glow.

4 Stress

Conditions like eczema and acne are worsened by stress so keeping stress to a minimum is important to keep skin looking its best. ‘Stress also impacts sleep and if you are suffering from lack of sleep this can show in puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. As hard as it may feel when you are stressed, taking time out for you by trying to exercise more or practising mindfulness or relaxation techniques can help,’ says Kay.

5 Sugar

Food affects skin and sugar is the ultimate culprit for causing inflammatory conditions like spots so try and keep your intake low. ‘Trying to minimise sugar and following a balanced diet including fresh fruit, vegetables, fibre, protein and omega-3 fats can all help towards better skin,’ adds Kay.

Want more? Check out the make-up that’s good for your skin or our 10 ways to boost your digestion.