Dr. Lum (Medical Professional at IDS Clinic)
#1 Insufficient Exercise
Everyone knows that exercising on a regular basis can benefit our body in many ways. Exercising can help improve our heart, our mind, our physique, etc.
However, not many know that exercising can help our skin look and feel better. It keeps the skin healthy and radiant. It does this by increasing the blood flow and improving the lymphatic system, carrying oxygen and important nutrients to vital organs including our skin. It also helps to carry away the waste products from the cell. This way, it helps to nourish the skin and flush away the toxins giving the skin a healthy, rosy color.
In addition, exercising also helps to reduce the stress levels that one experiences. Stress causes an increase in the release of stress hormone cortisol which leads to an increased production in sebum and that in turn causes clogged pores.
Exercising on a regular basis quickly alleviates stress and anxiety levels which can lead to the over production of cortisol. This helps to improve skin condition such as acne prone skin.
Exercising also helps tone the muscles, which in turn leaves a firmer or “fitter” appearance in skin tone. It can also help to reduce the appearance of “slack skin“ such as cellulites.
In addition, exercising helps one sleep better. With better sleep, it improves the blood circulation under the skin and that will help give a more radiant and brighter complexion. Also, it helps to reduce the puffy appearance in the eyes when one gets a good night rest.
Smoking is notorious for its carcinogenic effects and its higher risks of causing strokes, heart attacks and failures. Not only is it detrimental to many major organs in our body, it is also detrimental to our skin.
The following are ways that smoking can cause harmful effects on the skin:
• Dry, coarse skin
• Gray and sallow looking skin
• Premature aging and wrinkles
• Sagginess and less defined jawline
• Yellowish teeth
Why does smoking cause these harmful effects on the skin?
Smoking really stresses the skin by reducing the oxygen supply in the blood carried to the skin. By starving the skin of the much needed oxygen, circulation is compromised and that can lead to a breakdown of collagen and elastic tissues. It also reduces the immunity response.
Other harmful effects of smoking include delayed wound healing, increased infections in the skin and skin cancer.
Make it your resolution to quit smoking in 2018!
#3 Insufficient Sun Protection
Although in recent years, awareness for sun protection appears to have increased vastly, many people are still not wearing sunscreen on a regular basis or they are not applying sufficient sunscreen to protect their skin.
Often many find that wearing sunscreen is a chore and may cause their pores to be clogged resulting in pimples. Many do not realize the harmful effects of over sun exposure and insufficient sunscreen.
Some of the harmful effects from insufficient sunscreen and sun damage include:
• Premature, aging skin
• Flushing and skin sensitivity
• Skin cancer
The most devastating part is that people may not realize the harmful effects of sun damage until much later on in life when the consequences are irreversible.
What should we do in 2018 differently for those who have not been so religious with their sunscreen usage or application?
Apply sunscreen every day.
Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. We recommend a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sufficiently, at least one teaspoon amount for the entire face with a second or even a third layer over pigmented areas if any.
Reapply every 2 to 3 hours.
#4 Improper Cleansing Routine
You should be washing your face not just twice a day but double cleanse as well. Double cleansing means washing the face twice with 2 different types of cleansers. The first round of cleansing involves using an oil cleanser, cleansing balm or micellar cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen and the oils from the face. This is then followed by a second round of cleansing using a water-based cleanser.
Why double cleanse?
It results in a deeper, more thorough kind of cleansing. It is essential for those who wear heavy makeup or one who is exposed to high levels of pollution on a regular basis.
How should we go about double cleansing?
1. Dispense the cleansing oil, balm or micellar cleanser onto your palms and massage gently onto the skin, including the eye area to remove all traces of makeup. This should take about 30 to 45 seconds but can vary depending on how heavy the makeup.
2. Gently massage water-based gel cleanser on the skin all over the face for a minute and wash off. Finish by patting the face dry with a towel.
When skin is thoroughly cleansed, it allows skincare products to be better absorbed into the skin.
#5 Popping Pimples
Popping pimples can provide a great sense of satisfaction. Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper @drpimplepopper with 2.6m followers is proof of that. We all know that popping zits on our own can do more harm than good yet we can’t help but squeeze it. It is almost an uncontrollable reflex action to squeeze the pimple until all the gunk (basically a mix of oil, debris and acne bacteria) oozes out.
What happens when you squeeze your pimples:
1. You will likely end up tearing that skin whilst forcefully trying to get the contents of the pimples out. This may end up in an open wound and that can often appear worse than the original papule itself.
2. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Popping zits if not done properly can result in more inflammation and that can leave behind PIH (blemishes or dark brown spots). This is often more obvious in people with darker skin tones.
3. Scarring. This is probably the most devastating of all the possible side effects of popping that zit. If the pimple is not extracted well, that can result in hurting the hair follicle leaving behind scars that will require many treatments to resurface the skin, and even then, often not 100% successful.
Think about these possible damaging side effects the next time you are tempted to pop that zit. That being said, extraction of pimples if done properly under professional hands can help treat skin conditions like acne well.