lifestyle lemons

Thou shall not judge (unless thou is perfect).

I'm not into pointing fingers... therefore, I don't believe our role is to tell our clients to refrain, rather, it is to educate so clients can take responsibility and control.

If our clients are making informed choices to engage/not engage in lifestyle activities that affect skin health then that is their prerogative. I choose to educate so that others can make 'informed' lifestyle choices, and offer alternative ways to combat their habits if they choose to keep them.

Below are the top lifestyle habits I see contributing to poor skin health in clinic,

  • smoking, nicotine causes vasoconstriction, this is a restriction or narrowing of blood vessels limiting oxygen-rich blood flow, this decrease creates oxygen and nutrient deprivation in skin tissue, compromising skin health and wound healing abilities. Smoking is also strongly associated with elastosis in both sexes. Studies show fewer collagen and elastin fibres in the dermis of cigarette smokers causing skin to become slack, hardened and less elastic. This habit also increases free radical formation and has been shown to be a risk factor for developing skin cancer, notably, squamous cell carcinoma. For poor functioning, prematurely aged and sallow toned complexions.. smoking is your go to lifestyle habit.

  • alcohol, regulation of vascular control in the brain falls with alcohol use, this leads to dilation of blood vessels and contributes to facial flushing, telangiectasia, and general 'redness' of the skin. Further, pruritus (generalised skin itchiness) can occur due to poorly metabolised substances that aggravate nerve endings, and additionally, frequent consumption can also impair the immune system, disrupting barrier function and increasing risk of bacterial and fungal skin infections.The following conditions are linked to and/or exacerbated by alcohol intake, rosacea, rhinophyma, psoriasis, dermatitis, urticaria.

  • stress, this is a common theme for many and a result of modern day life. Our bodies naturally have an inbuilt stress warrior, a steroid hormone called 'cortisol'. This little gem is what prevents us from having a heart attack when someone jumps out to scare us, it's what slows down our heart rate, lets our pupils re-constrict and lowers all other aspects of our fight or flight response. Cortisol should naturally fluctuate in response to daily challenges, rising when needed, and falling when not. In todays high stress culture, cortisol is often seen at a chronically high a circulating level due to constant challenge. Among many other health consequences chronic cortisol can have, in terms of skin, lowered immunity, poor wound healing, sluggish circulation and inflammation are a concern.

  • diet, ok this is a HUGE topic with many implications on skin health, look out for a future blog post covering this in more depth, however the bottom line is... High sugar intake = glycation. Glycation occurs when the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, forming harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. This leads to premature loss of elasticity and compromised collagen, this is the loss of your skins beautiful plump mesh. Further, there is an abundance of study on the implications of diet on conditions such as acne and rosacea. Low acidity, low sugar (dairy, processed carbs, sweets, honey, sodas & juices) & high intake of colourful vegetables will ensure you're getting loads of antioxidants and micronutrients to keep your complexion radiant.

All things in moderation, however (without getting too science-y on you) the above are all interrelated and together create an environment of an inflammatory nature, providing grounds for disorder and disease.

Balance is key.

If you don't know, you don't know... but now you know.

Are you sabotaging your glow?

With love

x L

With thanks to the following sources,

Adam Friedman, M. (2017). You Are What You Drink: The Harmful Effects of Alcohol on Your Skin - The Skin You're In. Everydayhealth.com. http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/adam-friedman-the-skin-youre-in/you-are-what-you-drink-the-harmful-effects-of-alcohol-on-your-skin/

Cortisol and Adrenal Function | Dr. James Wilson's AdrenalFatigue.org. (2017). Dr. James L. Wilson's AdrenalFatigue.org. http://adrenalfatigue.org/cortisol-adrenal-function/

Cutaneous adverse effects of alcohol | DermNet New Zealand. (2017). Dermnetnz.org. http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/cutaneous-adverse-effects-of-alcohol/

Farage, M., Miller, K., Elsner, P., & Maibach, H. (2017). Intrinsic and extrinsic factors in skin ageing: a review.

Glycation associated skin autofluorescence and skin elasticity are related to chronological age and body mass index of healthy subjects. (2017). Experimental Gerontology. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lieve_Declercq/publication/5518539_Glycation_associated_skin_autofluorescence_and_skin_elasticity_are_related_to_chronological_age_and_body_mass_index_of_healthy_subjects/links/00b7d51938428c2308000000.pdf

Knuutinen, A., Kokkonen, N., Risteli, J., Vahakangas, K., Kallioinen, M., & Salo, T. et al. (2017). Smoking affects collagen synthesis and extracellular matrix turnover in human skin.