Skin, the most preferred and nurtured organ of our body can be the victim of several external and internal assailants. A beautiful skin can make you look younger by years. But when it is damaged by any unpleasant incident or element, the natural aging process of the skin is augmented. Here we shall discuss about the common culprits of skin damage. As you complete reading this article, you will better acknowledge these elements on your own. Simply by avoiding those factors and some lifestyle modifications, you can be younger for years to come.
Smoking tobacco – by far, this is the most common and one of the most harmful elements you are exposed daily. Both the active and passive smoking has some detrimental action in your skin. Cigarette smoke has more than 40 such elements which are known to cause skin cancer. Aging process of skin of a smoker is 200 times more than a non-smoker. Cigarette smoke has coal tar as one of its compound.
Coal tar reduces the Vitamin C content of our body. As this water soluble vitamin is primarily responsible for maintaining the nutrition and water supply of the skin, depletion of Vitamin C can badly harm the vitality. Researchers have noticed that a pack of cigarette daily can make you look 15 years older than you normally are. Tobacco smoke also reduces connective tissue structure in the skin. Connective tissues string different structures of our body. If this is damaged in the facial skin, you will look much older. The heavy metals in tobacco smoke like lead, copper and mercury may get deposited in the skin tissue and harm your skin badly. Not to mention about those free radicals present in tobacco smoke. They are highly effective agents for premature aging of the skin. Hydrogen cyanide present in tobacco smoke can give you an itchy skin. In the long run, there is eczema, ulceration of the skin and even skin cancer.
Exposure to sunrays – sunrays may be beautiful at times. But there are some harmful rays present in it. We all know about the ultraviolet rays (UV ray). It has two main components – UV A and UV B. Both of them are really damaging to your skin. UV A and UV B are also present in flood lights used in photography and film shooting. Continuous exposure to sunrays and flood lights for more than 5 hours a day can give you wrinkled skin. These UV rays combined with many other cosmic rays (like gamma ray and stream of electrons), which are present in sunlight; coagulate proteins present in your skin. These proteins are needed to maintain the strength of the skin. As these proteins are damaged, they cannot hold your skin tight and eventually wrinkles appear. We have a false impression that cloudy sky will not cause any harm to our skin. But the truth is that, cloud cannot prevent these rays from badly affecting our skin. This is also true for the dawn and dusk time. Even at these hours, UV rays can damage our skin. Application of a good sunscreen can prevent skin damage to some extent. But the best way to prevent skin damage from sunrays is not to go outside during daytime.
Effect of stress – stress, in the long run, can damage your skin. Although a little stress can be good in improving your work potential, but a stressful life triggers the release some stress hormones like epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, dopamine and histamine. These stress hormones increase the metabolic procedures of your body and deplete the essential fibrous structures in the skin. Thus skin becomes weak and wrinkles appear.
Alcohol abuse – chronic alcohol intake dilates small blood vessels in the superficial part of the skin. Therefore, the keratin layer of the skin increases in thickness. This makes the skin look dull and harsh. There is dehydration of the skin also.
Environmental pollutants – several chemical ingredients, dusts and factory smoke will deplete water from the skin. Even some chemicals like nitrates and toluene are irritant to the skin. Carbon monoxide present in the vehicular and factory smoke affect skin by exhausting the water and nutrient content of the skin. As it is the outermost organ of our body, skin suffers the maximum blow from these pollutants. Aniline present in dye industry can cause skin cancer and kidney problems.
Extremes of temperatures – exposure to extremely hot or cold weather can badly damage the skin. As our body gets accustomed to a certain environmental ambience, it cannot withstand drastic changes in the temperature. This makes the skin dry and lusterless.
Role of sleep, diet and exercise – adequate sleep is mandatory in maintaining normal functions of our body. All the metabolic processes work normally if a person sleeps at least 8 hours a day. Wrinkles appear in much faster rate in a person having insomnia due to lack of proper nutrition. This is also true for a balanced and nutritious diet. If you are taking plenty of fresh green vegetables, with a diet perfectly balanced for non-vegetarian and vegetarian ingredients and sufficient water, you can suppress wrinkle formation for years.
Regular exercise helps in proper flow of blood in skin and muscles. Adequate blood flow in the skin helps in preserving proper nutrition. Exercise also helps in release of certain hormones (endorphins) which are essential for healthy skin.
These are common culprits of skin damage. By changing our lifestyle and with a little precaution, we can avert many skin problems and defy the normal aging process.