Your skin is made up of dozens of unique skin characteristics. Your DNA, your environment, your diet and even your quirky lifestyle – they all impact the specific needs of your skin. In this 4 part blog, to set the scene, in part 1 we explained the 8 main skin concerns, in part 2 we will explain how ethnicity could impact your needs and in this 3rd part we discover the importance of environment & lifestyle. Finally in part 4 we explain what you can do to help treat those concerns.
To understand your skin is to understand your environment & lifestyle
We can’t control our DNA, but to a certain extent we can influence our environment and lifestyle, or at least the impact of these. We just have to become aware of how these factors affect our skin and then we have the power to better manage it.
How does the environment impact your skin?
The environment is all of the external factors that surround us and the skin’s primary function is to act as a protective barrier to the outside world, to protect from amongst other things; drying effects of high temperature or low humidity, hazardous chemicals & harmful micro-organisms. The skin’s reactions in response to any of these environmental factors can bring about a change in the skin’s look or feel.
We can often notice changes to skin when we go on holiday to a warmer climate. For example skin can become more oily in appearance, this is because oil flows more easily in warmer conditions and shine can be a problem for people in hotter countries.
UV exposure or chemicals in polluted air can damage the outermost layer of your skin, making it dull and dry. Pollution can also cause a worsening of any uneven pigmentation.
UV exposure is the biggest contributor to wrinkles, followed by smoking, pollution and stress. Changes caused by sun induced changes in skin elasticity can also impact on the appearance of eye bags & puffiness.
If you have sensitive or reactive skin, this can be heavily affected by the environment, with UV, pollution, stress all contributing. A poor skin barrier, with a broken or weakened epidermis can lead to an over-reaction to everyday environmental changes, some people uniquely react to exposures to hot or cold environments. A poor barrier may let in irritating materials from the environment, pollution or other chemicals. This can worsen by exposing nerves and blood vessels within the skin to these irritants, increasing discomfort leading to a vicious spiral.
Lifestyle choices that affect our skin
Lifestyle is the way in which we live our lives, our behaviours & the choices we make. These lifestyle factors, or any fluctuations in ‘normal’ behaviour can have an impact on our skin, for better or worse. The skin is a living, breathing organ, any changes are reflected in how it looks and feels.
There is evidence that a more balanced diet can improve skin health helping to reduce the expression of oiliness in oily skin types and healthy diets and adequate exercise can have a small contribution to improving a dull, dry appearance
Increased emotional stress, including lack of sleep can weaken the barrier in outermost layers of skin, as well as worsen puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. Impacts to hormonal changes can happen as a result of emotional stress and lack of sleep, contributing to blemishes.
Stress reduction, better sleep, healthy diet and exercise can contribute to reducing the incidence and severity of many of the lifestyle related skin concerns.
How to manage the ever-changing?
We all live in a changing world and it is impossible to manage a constant in our environment and our day to day lifestyles.
The next best thing is to learn and educate ourselves about the influencing factors and the effects. Wǒ has something for all skin concerns, whoever you are, wherever you are from, whether it is a quick fix or a long term solution you are looking for. If you aren’t sure, or need some support, you can take our online skin diagnostic or reach out to us via email info@wearewo or Instagram @wearewo_uk