Having beautiful, soft skin seems like a feat of Olympic proportions. To achieve a flawless, woke-up-like-this complexion, you have to eat a healthy diet, avoid the sun and have a top-notch skincare routine. *le sigh* Yes, taking care of your skin can be tedious, but it’s important for maintaining an overall healthy body. The condition of your skin, especially your face, can reveal so much about how your body is feeling on the inside. We had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Hari Nadiminti, the Chief of Dermatology at Summit Medical Group, and learned some not-so-subtle signs that your skin might need some TLC. Here are five signs you need to take better care of your skin.
1. You Have Sun Spots. While you may think summer is all about tanning your bod, extensive sun exposure can seriously damage your skin. If you’re not careful, tanning can leave sun spots on your face, making your skin look uneven or raw. “Cosmetically, signs of sun damage usually come in the form of uneven skin pigmentation (darker and lighter spots),” says Dr. Nadiminti. Ladies with fair skin are at a greater risk of sun damage and possible cancer after prolonged exposure.
2. You Have an Extensive Amount of Wrinkles. It’s inevitable — we’re all going to get wrinkles someday. But exhibiting premature signs of aging at this stage in the game can signal that you’re not taking care of yourself (you can’t blame it all on genetics, ladies). Some of the leading reasons why this might happen are smoking, tanning or not drinking enough water. “Sun exposure can damage and lead to premature aging of the skin, precancerous growths, and skin cancer… The sun can also damage collagen (a structure protein in the skin), which can cause wrinkles, fine lines and thinning of the skin,” says Dr. Nadiminti. The takeaway here is that if you see a few lines before their time, remember that they might be a result of poor skincare.
3. Your Skin Is Dry and Flaky. It’s hard to maintain healthy skin during the extreme heat and humidity of the summer season. But if your skin becomes itchy or flaky or feels extremely dry any time of the year, then you might want to pay attention. While bizarre skin conditions could be the result of a new beauty product, it could also be because you are exposing your skin to harmful conditions. Using strong soaps or extremely hot water, or taking extra long showers and baths, can strip your skin of much-needed natural oils. Avoid shaving unmoisturized skin and always remember to pat your skin dry — these are just a few pointers that can keep you from adding to your troubles.
4. You Have Dark Circles Under Your Eyes. Dark circles are the worst, right? But what if we told you that (besides hereditary reasons) dark circles might appear as a result of an unhealthy diet? The skin below your eyes is very sensitive and thin, which allows higher visibility of the blood flow just beneath the surface. Those dark circles can become baggy because of an increase in cortisol, or the “stress hormone,” that regulates the body’s response to physical and emotional stress. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body pumps more blood, causing those puffy eyes we know all too well and, eventually, stretching out the sensitive skin around your eyes. This whole terrible chain of events can make your dark circles appear even darker and stretch the thin skin surrounding them. So feel free to hit that snooze button a couple more times.
5. Your Skin Is Dull. We all want beautiful, glowing skin, but those of us who are not genetically blessed have to take extra care. It is no shock that your dull complexion can be the result of a poor diet and lack of sleep. Jumpstart that glow with a simple exfoliator, which helps to smooth the skin and reflect light. Then moisturize, moisturize, moisturize your way to a healthy routine until your diet tweaks start to show results.
Take care of yourselves, ladies! Your skin will thank you.