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Track down the factors that can influence your skin health

Your skin under attack.
Your skin is truly amazing in the way it protects your body from outside aggressions. Every day, it has to deal with dozens of factors which have the ability to alter it. These range from the environmental to those linked to lifestyle. Discover what they are and how to fight back.

  • Age

    Beyond external factors, age has a real impact on the state of your skin. Teenage skin is subject to hormonal changes, which can cause acne and other skin imperfections.
     
    As you get older, your skin can change and become duller or drier. Its ability to perform its main functions can decrease and it can be damaged more easily. It does not mean your skin is no longer healthy; just thinner, drier with more wrinkles, and in need of extra care.

  • Air quality

    Polluted air adheres to the skin and may block pores. Aggressive substances like smoke or airborne particles penetrate the outer layer and can saturate your skin’s detox system. Resulting skin damage allows water to evaporate, leaving it dry, exposed and prone to irritation, inflammation, reddening, as well as allergic reactions, and even some skin diseases.
     
    Air-based skin damage is not restricted to the outdoors. Air-conditioning can damage skin by extracting air humidity, creating a cold, dry environment that dehydrates your skin.

  • Climate

    Sunshine might give you a healthy-looking tan and boost vitamin D production, but it can also be a destructive force on skin. Continuous exposure to the sun’s ultra-violet rays can cause dehydration, thermal damage, wrinkles, pigmentation, the production of free radicals and even DNA damage.
     
    Temperature itself does not greatly alter your skin. Rather, it is the humidity of your surroundings that can really affect it. A low humidity index robs it of moisture, while high humidity puts sweat glands into overdrive, giving skin an oily look.

  • Lifestyle

    Lifestyle can also have a direct effect on skin health. A lack of sleep, for example, shows clearly on your face, while high emotional stress levels can cause itching, hives and loss of skin colour.
     
    Diet plays also a role in keeping your skin healthy. If your diet does not provide the necessary nutrients your skin needs, it may look dry and lacklustre.
     
    Bad habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption also take their toll. Alcohol is linked to vascular skin surface changes and smoking can lead to dryness, irritation and premature ageing.
     
    Lack of exercise is another bad habit that can leave skin looking pale and dull, but seemingly good habits like frequent washing can backfire, too. Excessive hygiene with harsh soaps can damage the skin surface and prevent the skin from performing all of its functions.
     
    In terms of physical expression, your choice of clothes can cause skin alterations. People with sensitive skin can feel irritation and itching when wearing wool and synthetic fibres, while clothes that are too tight can cause friction with subsequent irritation. Tattoos and piercings also carry potential risks, such as infections and allergic reactions in the affected zones.

    Finally, your choice of products can trigger skin reactions. Direct contact with irritants and chemicals found in soaps, detergents and dyes can cause contact dermatitis and other conditions, especially in sensitive skin.

Test

your knowledge

How skin savvy are you? Put your knowledge to the test with this simple quiz. Are the following statements true or false?

  • 1

    Drinking 1.5 litres of water a day is enough to keep your skin well moisturised.