Close to $135billion is going to be spent this year on skincare products worldwide; it’s not uncommon for an individual to spend several hundreds of dollars in that time frame to keep looking youthful. And it makes sense that we invest so heavily in keeping our skin in its best shape. It’s what people see first of us, and in addition it plays a bigger part in keeping the rest of us healthy than a lot of people realize.
Of course, skincare products can do only so much. They’re not magical potions, and our skin faces a lot of stresses and strains over the course of time. The everyday world offers a bunch of threats to the well-being of our outer layer, and dealing with those threats is something that takes a lot of time, effort and awareness. Below, we’re going to look at some of the ways modern life puts pressure on our skin, and how to handle that pressure.
1. The Sun and Its UV Rays
So the sun has, of course, always been there and cannot by itself be called a threat from the modern world. However, as fashions change and the right to bare arms is proudly proclaimed far and wide, it’s worth remembering that up to 90% of skin aging signs are caused by excessive exposure to UV rays.
Then consider the fact that retinol – a popular ingredient in many skin treatments for dark skin and lighter alike – is one of a number of compounds that cause the skin to become more photosensitive. This can be prematurely aging and increases the risk of skin cancer. If you’re going to use it, do so sparingly – and always wear sunblock (reapplying it every two hours) if you’re going to be out in the sun for longer than a few minutes.
2. Our Working Lives and Unwinding From Them
If you’re anything like most workers in the world, your day starts at around 7am or earlier as you get ready to commute to work, and you may well only be getting home twelve hours later. Once you’ve eaten an evening meal, you’re already in sight of the 11pm lights-out that would be ideal for getting enough sleep to meet the next day in stride. That’s bad news for your skin, which repairs while you sleep; it also means raised stress levels, which cause an increase in cortisol and further aging to your skin. As well as booking some time off to get the benefits of a med spa, you should also take care to leave your phone alone after 10pm – the blue light it emits is disastrous for clean sleep.
3. Pollution and The Things We do to Mitigate It
It’s not going to be news to anyone that clean air is hard to come by in this day and age, particularly if you live in a big city. Side note: If you’ve ever wondered what you’ll do with masks once the pandemic has died down, the answer is “keep them” – it’s not ideal to be breathing in traffic fumes either.
But I digress… air pollution is also an aggressor to our skin, and nasties can embed themselves unseen, in and on our epidermis. What’s more, if you’re touching up your cosmetics, you’re just embedding pollutants even further. As a fightback option, look out for any treatment that contains antioxidants – they’ll fight the free radicals that do the most damage to your skin and cause its premature aging.