The Holidays are just barely behind us, but now comes the stress of the Christmas bills, we may still not be eating the best either. Stress is the last thing your body, and your skin, needs this time of year. Besides stress, there are other factors that can cause your skin to be dry, blemished, and dull.
Lack of sleep.
Sleep is very important to skin health, because it’s the only opportunity your skin gets to repair itself. No matter how many tasks you have to do, make sure you allow at least 7-8 hours for your skin to rejuvenate and heal from the barrages of the day.
What you can do – Ambian, Lunesta, and other sleeping pills aren’t the cure as they are addictive to one degree or another. Alcohol also doesn’t help as it may help you get to sleep, but then you wake up a few hours later from the sugar. Some things which do help and are healthy are:
- Don’t eat within 3 hours of going to sleep. If you have a full stomach your body is putting energy towards digesting the meal, not repairing your body. You’l find you may sleep well, but you may not really feel refreshed.
- Don’t consume caffeine in the afternoon or evening as it can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Even if it has been a hectic day, try to spend 30 minutes letting your brain wind down: Read, meditate, listen to soothing music, etc.
- Dim your bedroom. The light from at TV or computer monitor is very harsh and stimulates your brain. Bathe your bedroom in soft warm light, think of a candle light. Your brain associates the reddish lights, like sunset, with approaching night and begins to produce melatonin. The harsh white/blue light from a TV, computer, laptop, tablet, and cell phone resembles daylight and tells your brain to stop producing melatonin and to wake up!!
- Speaking of melatonin, it is the sleep hormone and take 0.5 to 2.0 mg and let it dissolve under your tongue and hour before you go to bed and you’ll find you’ll fall quickly to sleep. Melatonin is a strong antioxidant and is actually good for your skin too. Just use caution with over the counter melatonin as most of what is available comes from the pineal glands and retinas of cows and because they can’t get it 100% pure they have found fully intact viruses, like mad cow disease, in melatonin tablets. This is why melatonin is illegal in many countries. The brand of Melatonin I use and recommend have developed a process to synthesize natural human melatonin in the lab so that it is 100% pure and no chance of any bovine viruses.
Although there is still debate on whether or not diet is linked directly to acne breakouts, the general consensus is that certain foods to certain people can trigger acne flare-ups, and that eating more healthy foods will only help your skin. However, remember that a pimple, papule, or cyst takes days, if not weeks to form and surface. So the results of an overload of candy, chocolate, fatty and salty foods that may contribute to a breakout will appear later in the month. If you want nice, clear skin during, and after, the holidays, try to balance your diet as much as possible, drink plenty of water, and avoid dairy if you can (it is the largest culprit of acne flare-ups). However, don”t be afraid to indulge every now and then; as long as you generally eat well and follow a skin care regimen, your skin will be fine.
In general foods which are High Glycemic, meaning that the rapidly raise your blood glucose levels, will also cause general inflammation which will show in your skin and can cause other damage in your body you can’t see. In general avoid white foods. For example, white flour, sugar, white rice, potatoes, etc. These foods are typically highly refined and in the case of flour and white rice, all the fiber and the nutritional parts have been stripped away and all that is left is the starchy part which is very quickly digested, absorbed, and turned to sugar. Not only are these foods bad for your skin, they also cause you to gain weight.
Exposure to the elements
Whether your winter vacations are white and cozy or sandy and sunny, the weather – heat and cold – affects your skin, especially sensitive areas on your face. Cold weather strips your skin of moisture, while hot weather can bring about an overproduction of oil in your skin, as well as too much sun exposure. Both of these problems can be solved with one product – a moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher. Your skin will be hydrated and protected from any type of weather that comes your way this winter.