Urbanites out there, ever wondered how your work life and stress could be affecting your skin health?
Think no more, because the answer is fairly straightforward – it does to a great extent!
First, you have to know that our skin is the largest organ in our body, with an average of 21 square feet for an average-sized person. So evidently, whatever goes on in and into the body will show up on your skin. And so what we do on our daily basis or how we lead our life could largely be reflected on our skin. If you are stressed, you could expect acne and dark circles under your eyes. If you are dehydrated, your skin could look dry and flaky. If you are sick, your face appears pale. Eat or drink too much and you might just wake up with puffy skin. But when you get a stretch of feeling great, exercising, eating right and drinking plenty of water, and you would positively glow with health. So, the moral of the story is, whatever is going on in our life seems to show on our face.
Now let’s talk about to stress. Stress comes in many forms and shapes, from studies, work, family, and even from your own self whilst striving to achieve certain goals in life. And stress does not just directly and adversely affect your general health and particularly your skin; it also indirectly does through many other ways you would easily overlook.
Stress leads to many habits such as smoking. In fact, a large percentage of workingmen smoke to de-stress. Studies find that smoking prematurely ages skin by disrupting the body's natural process of breaking down old skin and replacing it with fresh skin. Smoking also triples your risk of getting skin cancer, and not to mention numerous other cancers as well.
Stress also affects the way you eat and what you eat. People with a hectic schedule tend to go for fast-food or quick solutions, without thinking much of the adverse effects these foods would bring to their general health, and most importantly, their skin. Overall, your best bet for your skin is also what's best for overall health: a low-fat, high-fibre diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, plenty of water, regular exercise and enough sleep every night (not just on weekends). Not to mention, drinking plenty of water throughout the day and not just to replace the water lost in sweat or urination. But with a hectic round-the-clock work life with improper eating times and sleeping habits, it would not be imaginable to have a skin that looks flawless.
For men who work outdoors, there are other problems altogether. Spending a lot of time in the sun could also cause premature skin aging, uneven tones as well as brown spots (known as age spots) on your face and the top of your hands. Frequent sun exposure causes thickening of your skin, making it rough and leathery. It even weakens the cellular framework that binds your skin together, so your skin would not recover from the sun damage as readily. And not forgetting, such long exposure damages skin cells, putting you at increased risk of skin cancer.
In short, many aspects of your daily life can have a huge impact on your skin health. What you eat and how stressful your life is affects how healthy your skin is, as does exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun.
All said and done, what can we do with the little time we get for ourselves during our round-the-clock routines daily?
Let’s start from the basics. Good daily habits that can benefit your skin include drinking lots of water; eating fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates and proteins; and making sure that you control or reduce your stress. Remember, a healthy diet provides the nutrients that your skin needs to stay strong and stretchy, and to regenerate itself through all the pollution and stress it gets through everyday. And reducing stress, either by making lifestyle changes or adopting some relaxation techniques, could reduce the sensitivity of your skin. And last but not least, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, as staying hydrated gives the skin the moisture it needs from becoming dry and flaky. For men whose work requires them to be under the sun for long, try wearing sunscreen or protective clothing to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Try out these quick but workable lifestyle changes, and you’d be surprised how much it would actually benefit the look of your skin.