Our skin puts up with a lot of challenges this time of year: cooler temps and drier air to name just a few. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to sacrifice a healthy, clear complexion just because Autumn’s rolled around again. Consider these tips your seasonal skin saviours.
When the weather is mild many of us skip the sun protection, but wearing sunscreen is essential – no matter how grey and grisly it is outside. Clouds block as little as 20 per cent of the harmful UV rays, which are directly responsible for accelerating ageing and damaging the skin. Because of this, the Cancer Council recommends we slip, slop, slap anytime the UV has been forecast to reach 3 or above (which is generally all year-round in NSW).
Water improves the appearance of our skin by preventing dehydration and flushing out toxins and bacteria. The drier our skin is, the less resilience it has and the more prone we are to wrinkles. As per the Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, women should aim to drink 2.1 litres or approximately 8 glasses per day, while men should go for to 2.6 litres or roughly 10 cups.
As the skin is the largest organ in the body, it makes sense that it needs the right nutrition and support to be healthy. Research shows that antioxidant and vitamin-rich foods (such as nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables) can significantly affect its elasticity and appearance. What’s more, a poor diet can result in serious skin problems, including acne and eczema.
When we go through periods of high-stress, our skin is often the first thing to show it. That’s because stress causes a chemical response in the body that makes it more prone to inflammation and sensitivity. In turn, this makes it harder for skin issues (e.g. rashes and rosacea) to heal and can lead to breakouts too.
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. When the body is in a deep, restful state, it boosts blood flow to the skin, which encourages cell turnover and renewal. Skimp on the Z’s too often and your complexion may look dull, pale or lifeless. The National Sleep Foundation advises the average adult needs 7-9 hours each night.