SKIN: The 10 Biggest Beauty Betrayers

Exposing ourselves to environmental and life stresses and making less than healthy lifestyle choices leads to dis-ease and accelerated aging.

1. SUN EXPOSURE: chronic sun exposure causes premature aging of the skin. Exposure to harmful UV rays leads to sunburn, fine lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, and the development of skin cancer. 

2. POLLUTION AND EXPOSURE TO TOXINS: Pollution is a major source of dis-ease caused to the body and our skin. Poor air quality in urban areas and big cities have our skin working overtime to fight the elements. Harmful gases, chemical emissions, smog, dirt, and dust are all in the air around us. They create free radicals which attack and damage our cells. Damage to the skin caused by pollution appears as dryness, discoloration, hyper-pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin allergies and over time can lead to the development of asthma, eczema, and even lung cancer.

3. OZONE LAYER DEPLETION: Pollution of the atmosphere is a cause of ozone layer depletion. Like the skin, the ozone layer is an outer barrier in the earth's stratosphere which protects the earth from life-threatening external elements, like harmful UV radiation. Ozone depletion is linked to an increased risk of skin cancers. While it is impossible to rid the world of pollution, we can protect our skin from it and alter our habits to wear sunscreen, take public transportation, car pool, or consume less meat in our diets. 

4. LIFESTYLE: Health is a lifestyle. Our lifestyle is ultimately defined by the day-to-day choices we make with regard to sleep, diet, exercise, hygiene and overall outlook on life. A lifestyle of unhealthy (processed/fried/sugary) eating, all-nighters, smoking, drinking, and a reluctance to exercise will show as it manifests physically. The best way to look healthy is to be healthy; this is where lifestyle comes into play. Sleep allows the body to replenish and restore itself. Conversely, a lack of sleep leads to inflammation and stress not to mention visible signs such as dull skin and dark-circles. Another major key to health skin is physical activity. Exercise increases blood circulation as well as tones the body and lifts your mood. Lastly, our diet contains the vitamins and nutrients needed for body function and a diet rich in both leads to healthy, glowing skin. 

5. NEGATIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE: Health is a mindset. So yes, it is true... a negative mental mind-set can manifest physically and energetically through expression, betraying our own natural beauty. Happiness is definitely a major key. If you are less than happy, ask yourself some questions: where do you live? does it have what you need? do you feel supported? Are you happy at work? what is life like at home? Do you love or hate what you do? Do you get exercise? Are you on any medications? Mental hygiene is so important yet often over looked. Make sure you are taking care of you.

6. DEHYDRATION: Healthy skin, hair, and nails require adequate hydration of the internal organs and is vital to keep the body functioning properly. Dry climates can cause dehydration of the skin, leading to flaking, cracking and peeling. Moisturizing creams can be applied to help the skin retain its moisture. Aside from an externally moisturizer applied to the skin to prevent dryness, we should be aware of when it is necessary to replenish the body which loses water content when we sweat (in heat or by exercising) or lose body fluid (via vomiting, diarrhea), and definitely when we drink coffee or alcohol... ;) .

7. SMOKING: Nicotine in cigarettes are toxic to cells... and healthy cells are vital for a healthy body, and healthy skin. Nicotine and other cigarette by-products put the skin under stress; their toxic chemicals generate cell-damaging free radicals and age-accelerating enzymes (matrix metalloproteinase) which build up on the skin, depleting levels of oxygen and causing a breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers which keep the skin looking young and healthy. Blood vessels in the dermis layer of the skin narrow resulting in reduced blood flow and depleted levels of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The effect? Dark circles and broken capillaries. Smoking also causes stained teeth, darkened lips, dull skin, yellowed nails,  over time. 

8. DRINKING ALCOHOL: Alcohol is a diuretic and can lead to dehydrated skin. It contains sugars which cause inflammation in the body leading to damaged cells. Puffy eyes, and flushing of the face are all effects of drinking alcohol. Red wine however, can be beneficial in moderate amounts due to its antioxidant rich content. 

9. STRESSING OUT:  Stress is one of the biggest beauty betrayers. It effects us physically and mentally, putting out mind and body on constant red alert, looking out for possible threats in our environment. Stress is a body, mind, and spirit killer, and sends hormones like cortisol into a confused frenzy. Therefore, it is imperative that we pay attention to signs of stress as soon as we are aware of them. 

10. HORMONE IMBALANCE: Health is balance. Chemical messengers called hormones circulate throughout the body, controlling bodily functions and regulating mood and emotion among other things. Hormones are secreted directly into the blood stream via the endocrine glands. Major endocrine glands include the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, as well as the pancreas, testes, and ovaries which secrete small amounts of various hormones which all have effects in the body (respiration, digestion, sex, reproduction, sleep). Hormones react in many different ways to bring about change in the body. If there is a stress response coming to the body, hormones will react appropriately. However, factors such as poor diets or taking medications can alter the balance of hormones, causing an excess or a deficiency. As you can imagine, because hormones trigger bodily responses, a lack or excess influences the state and function of the entire body system; as a beauty betrayer, hormone imbalance can trigger chronic inflammation, acne, weight gain, hyper-pigmentation, and more. It is really important to make sure your hormones are not going haywire.


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