Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that smoking, not wearing sunscreen and going to bed with your makeup on hardly produces the coveted look of Instagram’s “glass skin.” Aside from these three ‘skin sins’ there are many others that are not so obvious. We turned to Denver Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Manish Shah who is a big believer in pre-juvenation and a holistic approach to youth. (Image by Melan Cholia/Unsplash)
“Many people think caring for your skin is skin-deep,” quips Dr. Shah. “It is not.“ Inconsistent or inadequate nutrition that has your body mass and weight moving in a yo-yo motion up and down the scale can contribute to ruined elasticity and reduced collagen in the skin. This is part of the reason why specialists will recommend a two-pound maximum weight loss goal per week because your skin needs time to adapt to the loss of mass. Dr. Shah explains that the skin needs to be nourished from the inside as well and many of the trend diets like keto and paleo focus on one group of food and though it can help keep a caloric deficit, it can also create a deficit of the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to keep your skin looking healthy.
Drinking Too Much Coffee
“Excessive amounts of caffeine can increase the levels of insulin and cortisol in the system,” explains Dr. Shah. Insulin increases inflammation and cortisol is known as the stress hormone. This combination could mix up your sleeping habits and contribute to continued stress which can lead to sleep deprivation. “Sleep deprivation prevents that regenerative rest our skin and mind need to stay healthy.”
Neglecting the Skin Around Your Eyes
“The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and has very few oil glands,” says Dr. Shah. Pamper your eyes and stave off signs of aging by choosing a daily eye cream that includes peptides. Dr. Shah explains, “They work to stimulate collagen production and prevent fine lines. Be sure to check the label.” Other notable ingredients that reduce puffiness, lines, wrinkles, and under eye circles are caffeine and nicotinic acid (a form of the B vitamin niacin).
Expecting Instant Results from Beauty Treatments
Most of us are guilty of trying a face cream or anti-aging treatment once or twice and then giving up on it before it has had a chance to work. A majority of anti-aging treatments take up to a month to begin showing positive effects. Dr. Shah explains, “This is due to the cycle of your skin, which undergoes a period of cellular structure renewal over a span of 30 days. In our instant gratification mode, we often toss a product before giving it time to work.”
Taking Medications With Side-Effects on the Skin
Certain medications like corticosteroids for asthma and arthritis cause the skin to thin and weakens blood vessels. Medicine to treat seizures can cause heightened sensitivity to sun damage in the skin which is a common perpetrator in premature aging. Blood pressure medications that block calcium channels have been studied in relation to their inhibition of collagen production by obstructing the absorption of vitamin C by the cells. Vitamin C is an important part of collagen production. “If these medications are being prescribed to you by your physician then the benefits outweigh their effect on collagen production. There is no need to stress over this, as long as you take care of your skin in other ways you should be fine,” explains Dr. Shah.
Consuming Excessive Amounts of Salt
“By all measures, an excess of salt in your diet is detrimental to your kidneys, your cardiovascular health and, yes, your skin,” says Dr. Shah. Salt absorbs moisture and it can aid in making your skin look dry and less vibrant. Reducing your sodium intake and sticking to a moisturizing routine should help your skin stay healthy and smooth.
Every time you move that beautiful face, your skin wrinkles a little bit. Most of the time your face bounces back and those little wrinkles disappear once new skin cells grow.
While you may think that soap is your skin’s best friend, this is actually not the case. The reason for this is that your skin has an acid mantle which is a natural protective barrier of the skin. When you wash with soap – which is generally alkaline – it can remove this protective layer of oils and dry out the skin, eventually leading to wrinkles. Dr. Shah says that “While it is not advisable to stop washing entirely, try swapping the soap for a PH-neutral and chemical-free cleanser, and bear in mind that there is such a thing as over-cleansing your skin.”
Tugging on Your Skin While Applying or Removing Makeup
To minimize the damage to the skin around your eyes, follow these quick tips from Dr. Shah:
Use your ring finger to pat on products around your eyes, including serums, oils, moisturizers, and concealers. Your ring finger is the least likely to pull or tug at your skin.
Apply eyeliner and eyeshadow by gently closing your eyelids, rather than by pulling them taut. If you’re struggling to apply without pulling, consider investing in products that are made to apply smoothly, like cream or gel formulas.
Have patience when removing makeup from the eye area. Use cotton or another soft product, coated well with your favorite makeup removing solution. Hold the cotton over your closed eye without wiping, allowing the product to break down the makeup. After a minute or so, wipe gently to remove the makeup.
Picking Your Skin
You’re not a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician. You should not be picking at your pimples, ingrown hairs, or anywhere else on your face. It’s one of the biggest assaults against your skin and can have permanent effects. “The more people press and manipulate blemishes, the more inflammation they create underneath,” explains Dr. Shah. “The result is scars, pockmarks, and discoloration that can become permanent.”
Licking Your Lips Constantly
There’s a myth out there that claims people can get addicted to lip balm. “These people just have dry skin and miss the feeling of the balm when it’s gone,” says Dr. Shah. Lip licking can become a bad habit. But when you moisten your lips that way, you actually wind up making things worse. The water in your saliva evaporates, leaving lips dry and cracked. “Saliva can contain bacteria and irritants, so you can end up with a rash around the lips as well,” says Dr. Shah. Try a lip balm such as Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm, Original Beeswax with Vitamin E & Peppermint Oil.
Manish Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S. was born in Canada and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in biomedical engineering. He then completed his medical training at the University of Virginia, earning his Medical Doctorate.
Dr. Shah’s specialties include revision facial aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty (“nose reshaping”), and aesthetic surgery of the breast (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction). He is, however, well-trained in all areas of aesthetic surgery.
Dr. Shah’s aim is to obtain a natural appearing transformation that complements the real you!