Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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The cold winter months are known to be drying your skin. This can make it appear lifeless. To reassure you, ageing is inevitable but it can be delayed with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle practices. As you progress towards your middle age, wrinkles, fine lines, dullness, pigmentation and various signs of ageing may start appearing on your skin. Well, we know of something that may help! But, before diving into what can reverse your skin woes, let’s know what gives it a dull appearance in the first place.
Dr Stuti Khare Shukla, Founder of Elements of Aesthetics, spoke to HealthShots about the reason why our skin may seem lacklustre.
“Skin can lose its radiance due to many reasons. Not eating a good diet is one of them. Vitamins are very important in reducing the free radical damage. Citrus fruits like oranges, leafy green vegetables are important to reverse the free radical damage from your skin. Berries, guava and grave are rich in antioxidants,” Dr Shukla says.
“I advise my patients to include protein-rich sources in their diet like chicken, egg, fish, soybean, tofu and legumes. In addition to this, dehydration is the biggest reason for dull skin. Thyroid hormones can also be notorious for causing skin dullness. Try to get a complete assessment of your hormonal issues. Always cleanse, tone and use a sunscreen on your skin to avoid that washed appearance of your skin,” adds the expert.
Reasons for dull and mature skin
What you put in your body is what reflects on your face! Your entire functioning depends on the balance of nutrients you manage to keep in your body through your diet. This goes with your skin and hair health too. Eating food that’s rich in protein, Omega 6 and 3, vitamins, minerals and amino acids can delay the effects of ageing by helping the skin heal from the daily wear and tear and photo-aging.
Not using sunscreen
As well advertised as it sounds, sunscreen is not only a protection against skin cancer-causing UV radiations but an everyday essential. You need to apply sunscreen when indoors and even on a chilly cloudy morning. Sun or no sun, the weather doesn’t change the fact that you’re always exposed to UV damage. Years of exposure to the sun can make you look older than you actually are.The ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) light is responsible for chronic effects of ageing such as photoaging, wrinkling, and age spots which can be avoided by slathering on sunscreen daily.
Using a variety of skincare products and questionable DIY hacks on your skin may do more bad than good to your skin’s texture. Get a detailed insight on the ingredients and their effects on skin can be helpful when trying to tackle skin troubles.
Lack of skin hygiene
A cleansing routine after a long day out is the first step you can take towards healthy and glowing skin. Our skin is constantly exposed to heat and pollution which makes it susceptible to dullness and damage. Washing those off before dozing off to sleep is crucial for boosting your dermal health while also removing residues of skincare products you used earlier during the day.
Stress has a negative impact on both our mental and physical health. However, not many people know of its harmful effects of stress on skin and hair health. The release of stress hormones triggers pro-inflammatory factors to develop, which can cause adverse effects on your skin. In addition to this, your body produces a hormone called cortisol when stressed. This hormone stimulates the hypothalamus in your brain to release oil from the sebaceous gland, causing your pores to clog and leading to acne and breakouts.
It is known that estrogen plays an important role in maintaining our skin health. As we age, estrogen in your body begins to decline thus, taking you closer to mature skin and other skin issues. On the other hand, your skin’s sebaceous glands, which are responsible for oil production on your skin, are controlled by testosterone in your body. Having said that, your skin has a different response to various hormonal variations occurring throughout your life.
If you’re experiencing skin ageing, here’s what you should do to reverse the way it looks:
Do not underestimate the power of a moisturiser
Moisturising your skin well is the first groundwork for supple skin. So basic, right? Dry skin will ultimately start looking dull. But some people experience dullness on their skin despite using a moisturiser. If you’re one of them, you need to find a moisturiser best suited for your skin type. You can choose from an endless variety of moisturisers, formulated according to your skin type, with ingredients that can help with dryness and hydrate your skin. Just remember, moisturise every season for all the good reasons!
2. Follow a simple beauty regime
If you’re somebody who’s ever ready to jump on the trendy skincare products that hit the market without good research, we’re calling you out! Buying products with speculative claims and no testing and certifications may damage your skin in the long run. Do not spend your money on empty promises and get educated about the skincare ingredients you need. When buying a product for dull skin, look for ingredients like Niacinamide, Licorice root extracts, rice extracts, Vitamin C with good formulations. Always, do a patch test before going all in.
3. Stop over or under exfoliating
Exfoliation can be a key to glowing skin. It is known to turn up cell rejuvenation and prevent aging by removing the dead skin cells,letting your skin breathe and draw in skincare products better. If physical exfoliants don’t work for you, try using skincare acids like AHA’s and BHAs to exfoliate your skin without harming your skin structure. Exfoliating once or twice a week with a mild exfoliator is good enough for overall skin health.
On the subject of exfoliation, Dr Shukla adds, “Over exfoliation in winter should be avoided at all costs. Invest in Hyaluronic acid based, ceramide based products which will keep your skin supple, healthy and hydrated. Choosing the right skincare ingredients is necessary. If using salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, you need to stay away from exfoliation.”
4. Protect your skin from pollution
One cannot sit indoors all day to protect their skin. Pollution may harm your skin more than you think. The pollutants disrupt the normal balance, causing dryness, sensitivity, rashes, acne, allergic reactions, hair loss, dandruff and related conditions. They make the skin and hair lack vitality and become dull. Wear a scarf or a hat as physical protectors from pollution. Try shielding your face with a barrier-creating range of skincare
5. Not cleansing your skin enough
Not cleansing your skin may harm your skin because of the excess buildup of dead cells and skincare or makeup. Using a mild cleanser is necessary to let your skin breather. In addition to this, your tap water’s pH can be harsh for your skin. Try washing your face or doing the final rinse using fresh water.
The last words:
Lastly, do not fall for high skin standards you see on social media. Because a lot of them are just filters! Your skin is supposed to look like skin with bumps, open pores and redness in some areas. So, you do you! It is a long road to good skin and you can achieve it by following the above tips. Following a good skin care routine and a balanced diet can reverse ageing and give you that radiant glow!
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