Friday, 22 January 2016

10 Random Things that affect your Skin

Ah skin. That pesky thing that shows clearly what you've been doing, or not doing, to those that can spot the signs.
When someone asks me about their skin, they frequently look surprised when I fire off questions that are outside the normal spectrum of 'How do you wash it? What moisturiser do you use?' etc etc - so I've been keeping track of the most reoccurring issues and list them for you below (in no particular order):

  1. Are you sleeping well?
    Lack of sleep is killer. It shows in your system., it shows on your face. There's a reason sleep deprivation is classed as a war crime. Do whatever you can to get better sleep.
  2. How much sugar do you eat?
    This is nearly always greeted with an eyebrow and 'I'm trying to give it up.' I love a Crunchie as next as the next person but if you're caning all forms of sugar outside of the odd period-craving chocolate bar, maybe have a rethink for the sake of your face.
  3. Do you like a take-out/eating out?
    Junk food - for the purpose of this think of junk food as anything out of a packet or with more than 5 ingredients (with obvious exceptions like salads), or both. If you have to pierce the film to cook it, you aren't getting the best out of your food. Rethink.
  4. How much water do you drink?
    Dehydration is the pits for your skin, but more importantly, for your brain. It gives your headaches and makes it impossible to think clearly. Don't drown yourself, I'm not suggesting you near hyponatremia levels, but do stay hydrated. 
  5. How much alcohol do you drink?
    Booze does nothing for your skin. Alcohol and sugar. Literally liquid sugar. If that's your bag, carry on. Your skin will show it though, even if you sit there on your pedestal with a good red. It's still booze.
  6. Have you been ill?
    Your skin is a direct reflection of your general health, if you've had the flu, your skin won't be great. If you have any illnesses, long-term diseases, problems with your immune system etc, it will show on your skin. Also true of problems with your gut or reproductive system. There's very little you can do about it except ride it through and enjoy your skin when it's behaving.
  7. How's the weather?
    If you're in and out of the cold, if the weather has changed suddenly from warm to wet, from cold to hot, all of that will affect your skin. Easiest things to remember re weather fluctuations: Change your coat? Change your moisturiser. Change the season? Change your cleanser. 
  8. Are you a salt addict?
    Why yes, thank you, I am. Salt is my crack. On a crisp. On a chip. I've slowly weaned myself away from it as I've gotten older but when I was a teen the running joke was 'Are you having any dinner with your salt?' NOW I recognise craving salt as my anaemia playing up, as it can be for a lot of people. There is a difference between preferring salty foods, and craving them. If salt is also your bag, do some research, it could be an underlying hint that something else is amiss. It might just be that you like a bit of salt. Either way, skin-wise, it can make you puffy. Puffy face, puffy eyes, puffster. If you get puffy, think about your salt intake.
  9. Office/airplane/travel environments
    Have you been on an airplane? Do you work in an air-conditioned/heated office? Recycled air is the pits for your skin. You need oxygenated air. Get out of the office. Go for a walk. When you're on the flight, take your makeup off and spritz often. Stay hydrated.
  10. Poor product choices.
    This is probably the biggest one. Cleansers that are too harsh, toners that are full of alcohol, moisturisers that are too thick or oil-free when you might need oil, choose wisely. Do your research, be led by your skin, not ads or people on counter who are trying to make a target by selling you the entire range. Please note: the majority of my friends on counter absolutely do not do this, but every industry has its bad apples.

If your skin is not up to scratch, if you're not happy with it for any reason, ask yourself all of the above. do your research, proceed!




47 comments:

  1. Hi Caroline,

    Thank you for this post, it's made me think twice about some things that may be triggering my bad skin.

    I have combination/oily/dehydrated skin and the last couple of months my skin has broke out terribly. I keep getting clusters of red spots that don't really come to a head forming on my cheeks. My gut instinct is that i may have sensitivity to shea butter, can you recommend a good moisturiser that doesn't have shea butter in but is still moisturising enough to hydrate the skin? (I find a lot of them that don't include that ingredient don't provide enough hydration which just leads to my skin producing more oil to counteract this). I use a facial oil of an evening (toss up between the Emma Hardie and Aurelia one) so it's a moisturiser for the day time that I am having trouble finding.

    Any advice/recommendations would be very very much appreciated!!

    Thank you,
    Sophie x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not Caroline, clearly,but I cannot recommend Skyn Iceland Arctic Hydrating Balm highly enough. I am constantly boring my friends with it! It is a hyaluronic acid and oil rich moisturiser that is great under make up and surprises me every day with its effectiveness. It does have PEG 75 shea glycerides in but as far as I can gather this is different to shea butter and certainly isn't a main ingredient. I love it...

      www.gildedmagpie.com xx

      Delete
    2. I also have a combination/oily/dehydrated skin (partially because of acids and retinols I am using) Small amount of shea butter (not among the top 5 ingredients on the list) should not cause you any problems. I like the Dr Dennis Gross Hydration Booster serum, it calms my skin immediately and is one if the best moisturizing serms that I ever tried. I rotate two night moisturizers, they are light but well moisturizing, though hard to find - SBT Prevent light lotion and Cefine Premier night gelee. Also, as Caroline suggested, you may try another cleanser, perhaps it has a pH level that is too harsh for you (around 5 is ideal). Cerave has some mild cleanser that many people recommend. I am using IsClinical cleanser, it has pH close to 5 and is perfect for me. When my skin is dry or irritated (happens very rare now) I use Avene Clean-Ac cleansing cream (not gel), it is created for people with oily overdried sensitive skin and is very mild. Sometimes I skip moisturizer all together and only apply Declare Anti-irritation serum. It moisturizes and calms skin and with oily skin you won't need any cream over it.

      Delete
    3. I would add nicotine, but maybe it is obvious. It immediately changes my skin to its very worst condition and causes me acne. Otherwise, lack of sleep makes my skin look really bad - dry, red and, again, causes me acne.

      Delete
    4. I as well have dry/acne prone skin. Renewed hope in a jar& neutrogena hydro gel are awesome but don't get the neutrogena for extra dry skin. Also I'm new to this site so idk how Caroline feels about them but the First Aid Beauty radiance pads are amazing, I've tried a lot of pads that dry me out way to much these are the best at not completely drying you out!

      Delete
  2. Guilty as charged on the sleep and water front .. I am very bad at not drinking enough and my face will tell me that in an instant , so this year on my desk I have a double walled beaker to keep the water cold and a Clinique Moisture Surge spray ... double attack !
    Interestingly enough I eat a lot of salt with the blessing of the doc as I have genetically low blood pressure and the salt keeps me upright , but it has never made me puffy and I don't suffer from water retention .. but I do try and make it good salt Cornish Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt ..wonder if that helps ?

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  3. Guilty of war crime #1. Oh sleep, how you elude me!!

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  4. Thank you Caroline. I think I need this wake up call. Guilty on charges 1, 2 & 4.
    And I'm stealing 'change your coat, change your moisturiser. Change of season, change your cleanser' as my new mantra!
    X

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Caroline, this is a great list, and something we all need to be reminded about. You might want to add #0, something that you take as so true that you didn't even mention -- if you smoke, it's doing terrible things for your skin and the rest of your system. Stop smoking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never mention smoking anymore. I've learned smokers don't care. They may say they do, but ultimately it's not enough to stop. No-one who smokes needs me to tell them it is bad for them.

      Delete
    2. Hi Caroline,

      I hope you read this so you know your words haven't fallen on deaf ears. I'm an ex-smoker. Not proud of the fact that I smoked in the first place, and I knew it wasn't good for me. I had been telling myself that I need to quit for ages but couldn't quite do it. Your blog and advice was the final push that I needed. Haven't smoked for 6 months now. It hasn't been easy but I feel a lot better about myself. So, THANK YOU!

      Delete
    3. Hi Caroline,

      I hope you read this so you know your advice hasn't fallen on deaf ears. I used to smoke. I'm not proud of it and I knew that it was bad for me. Kept telling myself that I should quit but didn't have the discipline to actually do it. Your blog was the push I needed to give up smoking. It wasn't easy but I feel so much better about myself. So, THANK YOU!

      Delete
  6. As a new mom, I've seen exhaustion take a serious toll on my skin. Truth is, I just don't know what to do about it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Caroline. You mentioned that a person should consider changing their cleanser when the seasons change - would that mean a lighter cleanser in the summer and a heavier one in winter? And if so, what would be the reason for that? Absolutely love your blog - it's been a never-ending source of help and my skin thanks you for it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a great post. Of COURSE for #1, the lack of sleep, is currently what I'm majorly struggling with at the moment, and my poor 29 year old face is acting like it's 16. Not fun.
    www.divaandthedivine.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. This post is very helpful, I always put the blame on the products I use ( in case of bad skin day) yet, I rarely think of what I've been eating. I also notice that sometimes, some bad food can wait several days before affecting my face, is that possible?

    https://fannyanddailybeauty.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. I need to stay more hydrated during all seasons. Working long hospital hours, I sometimes fall short. My skin is dry and during the night I try to sleep with humidifier to help offset the dryness from the heater.
    I am trying to curb the sweets.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I need to stay more hydrated during all seasons. Working long hospital hours, I sometimes fall short. My skin is dry and during the night I try to sleep with humidifier to help offset the dryness from the heater.
    I am trying to curb the sweets. My sleep pattern has been off x 3wks.
    www.mavensinmedicine.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Brilliant post from a brilliant lady. Thanks and have a great weekend Caroline xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dry air is SUCH a killer. When I moved from London to NYC, I was gobsmacked by how much drier the air is here - I was getting cracked skin on my hands, my eyes burned and skin at corners of eyes cracked, constant colds, etc. Anyone who lives in NY has to invest in decent humidifiers/vaporizers. I have them in every room of my apartment, and even got a mini humidifier (against health and safety rules!) for my office - it plugs into the USB port of my laptop and chugs away. Can't overstate this enough, major game changer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What brand of humidified is this usb one? I have a Sunbeam tower in my bdrm. I wish I can get a "central" home humidifier like they have A/C.

      Delete
  14. I like to blame my skin issues on my pregnancy, but to be honest I have been indulging in sugar way too much and I just know it wreaks havoc on my skin. Ah well, blame that on pregnancy too.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    ReplyDelete
  15. Would you consider doing an update on rosacea skin care? my husband now has this problem on cheeks, forehead and eyelids. As he does presentations it makes him feel a bit embarrassed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Caroline would you still recommend fish oil and probiotics for acne?
    I'm on a mission to up the h20 and study the ingredients in my products a bit more (having already cut sugar and salt right down, given up smoking and started eating fresh in the last couple of years)
    Also do you think stress is a big trigger for acne? Or is it a coincidence? Great post as always

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have changed from a foaming cleanser to an oil cleanse and it has made all the difference. Now following your a.m. and p.m. protocols. Adore all you do. Thank you, Caroline! I am a devotee! Love from Georgia, USA!--Allie

    ReplyDelete
  18. An overall healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress, and sun exposure affect skin most

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post, I was wondering if the type of water can have a difference? I have pretty much always had good skin apart from the odd hormonal breakout, following your routine for the past 3 years made it great (I would regularly get compliments on it!).

    5 months ago I moved from London back up north and ever since my skin has been awful, spots (whiteheads and hard bumpy ones especially on my jawline and neck?), dehydrated, wrinkles around my eyes are 10 times worse than they were 6 months ago :-(

    I eat better, sleep better, drink (much) less booze and much more water, get more exercise, fresh air and have about 90% less stress than I used to. I really should be glowing!!

    Have cut things out of my routine and diet in case it was an allergy but nothing seems to help. The only difference I can think of is changing from really hard water to very soft (and wouldn't most peoples skin love this??)

    Any advice as to what to try next? Dr is my next step but dont really want antibiotics as I feel it's not just acne but the whole general "blurgh-ness" of my face.

    I have rambled on, but it really is getting me down.

    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not Mrs Hirons obv, but yes, hard water can take a toll on skin and hair. I know Cult Beauty sells a showerhead with a built in water softener, and the product description talks about the effects of hard water. Expensive, but may be worth checking out?

      ~El

      Delete
    2. Thanks for taking the time to reply EL, but I have gone the other way from hard (London) to very soft water (The Lake District) perhaps my skin just needs time to adjust?!

      Delete
    3. I am going through the exact same thing. I've just moved to an area with really soft water and my skin had been a mess for the last 2 months since I got here. I've tried all the obvious things too, diet, products...would love to hear if you've found any solutions!

      Delete
  20. And hormones, PMS. My skin breaks out several days before my period...

    ReplyDelete
  21. Any night shift skin tips? I never know when to do my night regime when I'm working overnight. Only get 3 hour sleep in the day so not enough time for my night treatments to work then but could/ should I use them under make up at work?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh yes, wonderful suggestions & advice and all SOOO true.
    I have had gut problems for two months & just coming out of it....My skin has looked yucky !!!!
    Also it is highly sensitive to fluctuations in temperature = I go from hot to cold in a trice & my skin shows its objections by going from red to blue to white in a trice. It has been the same same since childhood & nothing I can do about it.
    I never go without a skin protection for the cold, the wind, central heating & sun.
    People like myself make the product producers rich !!!!!
    Thank you again Mrs. Hirons.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm definitely guilty of too much sugar, not enough water or sleep. My job also means I am in and out of houses all day and especially in winter going from hot indoors to freezing outside and back makes me shrivel up. Would love an SOS kit type list/ advice for skin emergencies! Have changed my routine and now following your regime morning and evening and my skin is looking a lot better. Thanks Caroline! Xx

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for this. Definitely guilty of too much sugar not enough water/ sleep. Also central heating/ freezing winds makes my skin shrivel. Would love to see an SOS skin emergencies type list/ advice. I've just started following your morning and evening plan and really seeing the difference! Wish someone had sat me down when I was younger and given me all this advice. acid toning was totally scary but worth it!! Thanks! Xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. amazing picks i need to check out! i'm a constant rebuyer of the "tea tree cool and creamy wash" by the body shop. i think it works great to deeply cleanse the face without stripping. what do you think about the tea tree range? :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great post! One thing I'm working on is hydrating with at least six glasses of water a day. I have to work on getting more consistent sleep ; that's my downfall.
    In my humble opinion SMOKING number one and SUN number two. Those do havoc on your skin: deep wrinkles and dark spots and not to mention skin cancer.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have oily/combination skin and am experiencing tightness (dehydration?) for the first time in my life. I don't use a foaming cleanser, but my face feels "stripped". My toner is alcohol free - Loreal Hydrfresh. I've just turned 39 - my skin feels 60. What should I add/change? I fear a breakout with anything too heavy.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Caroline. I am somewhat surprised you usually do not mention sport in more generic lifestyle tips for better skin. Is it because you do not exercise yourself and you're not comfortable in recommending something you personally do not do yourself? I do not mean to sound rude, just wondering :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course not, it's because this is about things that negatively affect the skin, and exercise is good for you the same as smoking is bad for you - they can both be filed under 'bleeding obvious'. This is 'things that you may not think are bad for you'. if you know what I mean....

      Delete
  29. I recently cut out caffeine and after a week my skin is already soo much clearer, plumper and my acne is clearing up. I'm assuming this is also because I'm having less sugar and no dairy.

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  30. Hi Caroline, the heat has come on at work and my already dry skin is now very dehydrated but simultaneously my foundation also looks oily and patchy by mid day. I went to Kiehl's and bought their skin balm and when I was there the shop assistant told me that using hydroluron(a routine staple) can make your skin too oily if you use it every day. Is that true?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Red wine contains a very potent class of antioxidants, the polyphenol. They are being studied at the moment fit their outstanding antioxidant capacities and red wine is in deed considered the healthiest and most benificial alcoholic drink you can have. It's not a pedestal. It's science. Vodka and coke gives you nothing good, red wine gives you potent antioxidants!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Caroline, I have been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitus. The doctor prescribed me a steroid cream called daktacourt however I would love to manage it using good skincare rather than steroid creams. Is this something you are able to advise me on? Or know any products that may be good for this? Any help is greatly appreciated. I love your advise. Thank you, Hayley xxx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Caroline, I'm having a problem with my adult acne for a long while now. I have tried different gylcolic/salicylic products and even double cleansing etc and it didn't really help my skin. Recently more pimples have started to pop around my jawline and lower cheeks and I have white bumps all over my face. I'm working in a polluted environment and am under a lot of stress. Please advise on what I should do to solve this skin problem. It would mean a lot to me as I'm really at a loss. Thank you

    ReplyDelete

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