At the moment, there’s a fair amount of negativity in the world. The global Covid-19 pandemic has created fear, worry, anxiety and mistrust. Let alone a serious illness that is still infecting thousands of people each day in the UK alone. But out of all of this negativity, has come some good news.
Carbon emissions have been reduced by fewer vehicles on the road and many of us have changed our shopping habits opting for the little guy over the supermarket giants. (Big wave and hello from a little guy over here!)
Thanks to Clap for Carers, we’ve all met new neighbours and developed a newfound appreciation and admiration for key workers and staff on the frontline.
Without downgrading the awful effects of the coronavirus, positivity out of negativity has got us thinking.
As a skin care company with a range of products designed to support and nourish all different types of skin, skin care is obviously at the forefronts of our minds when we have our work hats on (and actually, also when we don’t have our work hats on, such is the life of small business owners!)
When it comes to our skin, there are so many do’s and don’ts and things to worry about. We’re sort of guilty of it ourselves sometimes, when we talk about the things we shouldn’t be doing to our skin in our skin journal.
So this week, we’ve decided to focus on the things that are really great for your skin, whatever your skin type, that you’re probably already doing…
“Getting our beauty sleep” is now an outdated saying and reminiscent of fairytale, helpless princesses, but there is an element of truth in it.
We need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to let our bodies rest and repair themselves, so that we can function on all cylinders the next day. But we also need sleep in order to keep our skin looking and feeling its best.
So if you’re already getting plenty of shuteye, you’re doing great! A good test is the under eye test. If the skin under your eyes is looking puffy, dark and sunken, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. Red, bloodshot eyes are also a sign of tiredness.
But if your under eye skin is looking healthy and normal, and your eyes are bright and sparkly, you’re doing things right.
Drinking enough water
Hands up, if whilst reading this, you have a (hopefully reusable) bottle of water next to you? Hurrah! Well done, you’re doing one of the best things you can for your skin - keeping it well hydrated.
Staying hydrated keeps our bodies functioning as they should. But it also keeps our cells healthy, including our skin cells.
Well hydrated skin appears more plump and shows fewer fine lines and wrinkles. This is because hydration helps to promote collagen production. And we all know what collagen does - plumps, tightens and lifts!
Water is the best fluid to drink for hydration, and we should all aim for around eight glasses a day. But herbal teas and unsweetened, diluted fruit juices also count. Alcohol, caffeine and sweetened drinks all have the opposite effect, so keep an eye on how many of these drinks you’re drinking and compensate with more water.
Eating our five a day
What we eat, as well as what we drink also contributes to healthy, non stressed out skin. Eating our five (at least) portions of fresh fruits and vegetables (as we’re sure you healthy lot are all doing!) means that we’re consuming lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
This helps to ensure that we keep inflammation to a minimum. Inflammation is caused by substances called free radicals that are caused by eating a poor diet, smoking and breathing in environmental toxins and pollutants. They’re also caused by normal biological functions such as breathing and digestion.
Free radicals are very unstable and move around the body trying to stabilise themselves, but damaging cells in the meantime.
Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables help to neutralise these free radicals. If left alone, free radicals can cause high levels of inflammation which is no good for the skin. So keep up the five a day good work!
Not touching your face too often and washing your hands more often
In these times of a viral pandemic, we’ve all become painfully aware of the risks of poor hygiene. The message of washing our hands (or using an alcohol gel hand sanitiser) is loud and clear to help minimise the spread of the virus.
But keeping our hands clean and avoiding touching our face so often is also good for our skin. Our hands carry a lot of dirt, bacteria and viruses that we don’t know are there, simply by touching surfaces and objects.
If we then touch our faces (and we all do it), this collection of dirt and microorganisms can transfer to our skin and potentially cause pore blockages which can then lead to spots and breakouts.
The coronavirus has changed many of our habits, from how we socialise and travel to changing our homes into workplaces. So if it’s also meant you touch your face less, then there’s another thing you’re doing right for your skin.
Washing your phone more often
Similarly, our phones are also carriers of bacteria and viruses. If you think about where you take your phone, you’re probably like the majority of us - and the answer is pretty much everywhere. Including the toilet, which could mean that we pick up our phones after doing our, ahem, business, and before washing our hands.
Then what do we do when we take a call? We put those bacteria ridden phones to our faces. This has the same effect as touching our faces with unclean hands - passing on spot causing dirt and bugs.
In fact, some estimates suggest that our phones could be up to ten times more dirty than our toilet seats! Yep, gross, huh?
A quick wipe with an antimicrobial wipe every day should help to keep these nasties at bay. So if you’re already doing that - go you!
Spending more time outdoors
So, so many of us don’t spend enough time outside. We rush from one end of the week to the next, and especially now since more of us are working from home, we simply don’t get outside.
But if you’re one of the people who make a point of going for a walk, jog or cycle each day, you’re doing wonders for your skin.
Being in the fresh air has incredible benefits for our mental health. It helps to relieve stress and anxiety and can have a positive effect on our mood. This in turn helps to promote healthy, happy skin.
If we’re stressed or unhappy, it can cause our skin to break out and become just as stressed out. Looking after our mental health with a daily half hour walk really can make all the difference to both our mental health and our skin.
Simple steps to healthy skin
None of these things are that difficult, in everyday life, to achieve. So if there is anything on this list that you think you could improve on, you’ll also be taking some simple steps towards better skin.
Couple them with a skin care regime using kind, skin nourishing skin care products, and you’re most definitely onto a winner!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.