How to prevent harm to your skin condition
Don’t miss anything when it comes to your skin
Sometimes we’re doing everything we can to help our skin feel calmer, brighter, and more manageable. When caring for volatile skin, balance is so important. Check on your your skin care routine by learning about five ways we might (unintentionally!) harm our skin conditions.
Using too much moisturizer
You read everywhere about hydration, hydration, hydration. It’s absolutely essential to preventing dryness, protecting the skin barrier, and keeping skin glowing. However, there’s a difference between hydration as water and hydration as oils. Most lotions, creams, and moisturizers have copious amounts of water, which is good for you. All natural body care is also formulated with nutrient-dense or skin-repairing oils that serve to lock moisture in. However, over-applying your products can suffocate your skin. This brings about clogged pores, blackheads, bumpy skin and excess oil. Clusters of small white bumps on your face are a telltale sign of over moisturizing. They're called milia and form when certain proteins of the skin become trapped within pores. Your skin can also feel heavy, and weighed down. If this happens, slow down on the moisturizer first. Then, switch to a lighter product. In the cooldown period, drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated from within. Rest the skin until its condition returns to normal, and make small adjustments as you return to your routine. Remember: it’s always okay to make changes to your routine on the fly, rather than following a fixed schedule.
Scratching, rubbing, and poking
Our hands and fingers, carrying dirt and impurities from daily life, shouldn’t touch the face regularly. But it is hard to resist itching that comes from a flare-up. The force of trying to hold back the discomfort can even lead to headaches. Instead of rubbing the skin, try splashing gently with clean, cold water when possible, using a cooling pack, or adding anti-inflammatory cooling products to your collection. Ingredients that help cool down itching include aloe vera, cucumber, menthol, tiger grass, and witch hazel. A key point is to look for formulations that feed tons of water deep into the cells as well as cool the skin’s surface. Remember this when you get bug bites, spring hives, or other unintended scrapes and bumps. Apply this principle to prevent small inflamed patches from growing larger.
Using tissues to deal with a runny nose
Oh, don’t we all know it. Our sinuses are acting crazy, our throats are sore, and everything just aches. As you try to deal with a nonstop flow of mucus from the nostrils, you might find yourself reaching and emptying a box of tissues. While it’s a fast solution, this instantly aggravates the skin. The friction of tissue paper rubs against sensitized skin, making it worse—it could get dryer, redder, itchier, or more. There’s a few techniques to helping calm those sinuses that don’t involve a Costco-sized box of tissues. Ever heard of nasal irrigation? Check your local pharmacy. They can supply you with a simple tool that helps you flush your nasal cavities with pure saline (saltwater solution). The sinus flush washes away allergens, mucus, and other debris, and help to moisten the mucous membranes. It can give hours of relief for nose and throat, and save your skin too.
Healthy skin depends on our circadian rhythm too. Consistent hours of rest ensure our physical bodies can heal during the night. During sleep, skin creates new collagen, which prevents sagging. This is an essential part of skin repair, and has major effects on fine lines and wrinkles. More importantly, proper rest helps reduce inflammation, a key component of recurring skin conditions. Sleep deprivation is known to increase inflammation in the body overall, and wear our immune system down.
Excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeine or other drugs
Drinking a lot of caffeine can mask a deeper issue around rest and sleep. Furthermore, caffeine can cause your blood vessels to constrict, and as a result, the vessels at the surface of your skin won't deliver as many antioxidants and nutrients to promote collagen production. Alcohol has been documented to increase oil production in the skin. Other drugs may impact your skin through the body’s depletion of necessary nutrients. Being awake all night, irregular or interrupted sleep, lack of water, and inconsistent meals through a drug-enhanced lifestyle will affect your entire body. As your body works overtime to process these substances, your skin’s health suffers.
Stay positive, learn from what didn’t work, and remember: care for yourself. You were born in this body, and you are the only one who will ever live in it.
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Burcham, C. (n.d.). Is your moisturiser giving you milia? Here's how to nix those tiny white bumps. Stylist. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.stylist.co.uk/beauty/skincare/milia-white-bumps-causes-treatment/464447
Effects of Drug Use & Alcohol On Your Skin. (2022, September 14). American Addiction Centers. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://americanaddictioncenters.org/health-complications-addiction/drugs-skin
Sinus Flush: How to Do it Safely. (2019, January 28). Healthline. Retrieved April 5, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/sinus-flush