9 quick fixes to improve your skin

Living in such a harsh climate as the UAE can play havoc with your skin – leading to premature ageing, dryness, rashes, and dehydration – or worse. Here are The Private Clinic‘s top tips for keeping your skin looking healthy and glowing!

Drink Green Tea

If your complexion is red or blotchy, this tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can be soothing. Iced is best because hot beverages can worsen redness and other symptoms of rosacea. Another benefit: the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea may help prevent the collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles as well as sun-induced DNA damage in the skin (think lines and discoloration), according to some experts. Consider subbing tea for your morning mug of coffee.

Keep Stress in Check

It takes a toll on nearly every part of your body, including your skin. In a study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that during exam time, students who felt stressed had more severe acne breakouts than did those under less pressure. That’s because stress increases the body’s production of hormones such as cortisol, which can make skin oilier and decrease its ability to fight off acne-causing bacteria. To keep that frazzled feeling under control, regularly practice stress-management techniques, like yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. This can help conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and seborrhea.

Improve Your Air Quality

Avoiding smoky environments is smart, since “just being around smoke can lead to the release of free radicals that damage skin and hasten aging,” says Diane S. Berson, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in New York City. Other indoor pollutants can adversely affect skin, too. If you cook with oil, use the fan over your range. Also keep in mind that dry indoor air can dehydrate skin and make fine lines more noticeable. Run a humidifier in your bedroom to minimise these problems.

Switch to Plain Toothpaste

Those with tartar-control ingredients or added flavours, like cinnamon, may contribute to a common skin condition called perioral dermatitis. It looks like pimples, redness, and scaling around the mouth. Use a basic paste instead, like Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste. Note: If you suffer from this problem, see a dermatologist for antibiotics to clear it up.

Watch Sun Exposure Indoors

Yes, you read it right: UV rays (in particular UVA rays) can penetrate the windows in your home and office and cause wrinkling and brown spots. The same goes for car windows: Studies have found higher rates of skin cancers on the left side of the face and upper body than on the right, since that side is more exposed when you’re driving.

Monitor Your Dairy Intake (If You Have Acne)

Research found that teenage girls who consume a lot of milk are almost 30% more likely to have acne than those who drink less, and experts believe the same holds true for adult women prone to serious breakouts. Surprisingly, skim milk seems to be a worse offender than whole milk. Scientists don’t understand exactly why milk products can lead to acne, but some surmise that the natural hormones present in dairy may be to blame.

Pay Attention to Your Cleanser

It may sound counterintuitive, but if you have dry skin, your choice of face wash may be even more important than your moisturiser. A non-soap cleanser is ideal because it helps replace the moisture barrier in the skin. Consider it a preventive approach – you can use your cleanser to avoid dryness, eczema, and psoriasis rather than just treating these issues when they flare up.

Choose Water-Based Hair Products

Some conditioners, as well as pomades, volumisers, and styling creams, contain oils or waxes that can clog pores and create acne, especially on the forehead, the back, and the hairline. Even if you’re careful to avoid getting them on your skin, they can run down your face and body as you shower and when you sweat, or be transferred by your pillowcase while you sleep. Instead, look for water-based formulas and avoid those containing mineral oil, beeswax, or microcrystalline wax.

Sleep a Full Night

While you’re snoozing, the skin’s repair mechanisms swing into action. Being sleep-deprived, by contrast, puts stress on the body, causing it to release more adrenaline and cortisol, which can trigger breakouts and other skin problems. And research from China found that insufficient sleep was a significant risk factor for acne among adolescents. Make getting seven to eight hours of shut-eye your last good-skin move of each day.

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