Are you in an abusive relationship with your skin? Many people are…without realising it. You may be one of them. There are things we do without thinking about the consequences of our actions. Bad idea.
At Austin Clinic, our medical experts see the results of poor skin care habits every day. That’s why we’ve devised our Kick the Habits primer. We’ll walk you through some common anti-beauty practices you should give up immediately…now…today.
Ignoring Moles is Risky Business
How often do you check yourself for moles on your skin? “Probably not often enough,” says Dr. Austin. “Even if you do check, you likely cannot identify the difference between a dangerous mole and one that is benign.” Moles are categorised into three types:
- Melanoma (this includes nodular melanoma)
- Basil cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
A skin cancer check performed by a skin expert is the only reliable way to know if you are at risk for cancer. The Cancer Council of Australia reminds all of us the sooner you identify and begin to treat moles, the less likely you are to suffer
- Skin cancer
- Loss of life
“Skin care checks should be performed regularly at home and by a professional,” says Dr Austin. She recommends patients review the CCA’s Melanoma Detection Guide for guidance when doing a monthly self-exam.
Today’s broad-spectrum sunscreens are your skin’s best protection against damage, so use your favourite early and often. Dr Austin recommends re-applying it every two hours when you’re out in the sun.
“Don’t be skimpy,” she says. “You’ll need a tablespoon of a product like Dry Touch SPF 50+ Sunscreen to protect your face and about a shot-glass full to protect your body.”
Ignoring Your Skin Type When Purchasing Products
“I’ll have what they’re having,” is the attitude many people have when purchasing skin care products. Rather than basing their decision on what their skin needs, consumers want to use what their favourite celebrities use or promote. “This is a critical mistake,” warns Dr Austin. “It’s important to have your skin analysed by a professional so that you may shop accordingly.”
A skin expert is qualified to evaluate whether you have skin that is oily, sensitive, dry, or a combination of the three. “Understanding your skin type will help you select cleansers, creams, and other products wisely,” says Dr Austin.
Being a Dirty Girl
Do you wear make-up daily to look your very best? If so, then be sure to wash it off at night so your skin doesn’t look its very worst the next morning. In the course of a day, make-up and skin oils conspire to clog your pores and create a breeding ground for acne. “The heat your body produces overnight as you sleep allows dirt and toxins to penetrate your skin’s surface,” says Dr Austin.
Just a few minutes of gentle cleansing is all you need to do to correct this problem.
Being a Dirty Girl. Part 2
Have you ever wondered what lurks in the bristles of your make-up brushes?” asks Dr Austin. “You should.” Left-behind dirt and bacteria can lead to
- Clogged pores
- Bacterial infections
Some cosmetic companies have begun marketing brushes treated with solutions to destroy germs. A quick wash once a month keeps them in tip top shape. A more economical approach is to use a gentle shampoo. “Wash them, rinse them thoroughly, and then let them dry overnight,” says Dr Austin.
Smoking: Every Breath You Take
The human body lives for oxygen, not cigarette smoke. Smoke is filled with tiny, harmful smoke particulates that block your lungs and airways. The irritation leads to inflammation and swelling. Beyond serious respiratory disease, this bad habit also wreaks havoc with your skin.
- Uneven skin tone and facial discolouration
- Facial furrows
- Baggy eyelids
- Crepe-y skin
- Deep wrinkles
- Slack jaw
- Saggy neck
“10 years of smoking added about 2.5 additional years of ageing” found researchers in a study of twins and the effects of environmental stressors on ageing. You can correct facial ageing with rejuvenation techniques such as chemical peels and our V2 Skin Booster, but you’ll save your skin (and your money) by giving up ciggies.
Giving Your Neck & Chest the Cold Shoulder
Skin care shouldn’t stop at your chin. The delicate skin on your chest and neck is exposed to UV rays for long periods of time, just like your face, yet many individuals ignore this part of their body when it comes to sun protection.
“When we prescribe professional skin care products to patients, we always remind them to include caring for their décolletage as part of their daily regimen,” says Dr Austin.
Inflammation, Dehydration and Alcohol
Cheers to cocktails…in limited quantities. If you’re indulging in more than one cocktail a day, you are making it more difficult for your skin to stay healthy. “The American Academy of Dermatology found that alcohol consumption increases the risk for rosacea in women,” reports Dr Austin. “It’s also a diuretic, leaving skin dull and dehydrated.”
Don’t expect to see immediate results when you cut back on consumption. “It takes about seven days for your skin to rehydrate and regain its youthful dewy glow,” says Dr Austin, “but the wait is worth it.”
Going Overboard with Exfoliation
“Many of my patients tell me how wonderful they look after they exfoliate their skin,” says Dr Austin. “Unfortunately, what feels good to your skin isn’t always good for your skin.” Excessive exfoliation can:
- Increase oil production
- Worsen breakouts
- Spread bacteria
“Having a professional skin peel is a safer, more controlled approach to exfoliation,” reports Dr Austin. “Our experts can assess skin damage in order to select a mild, moderate, or powerful peel to rejuvenate skin rather than irritate it.”
Austin Clinic is Habit-Forming
Austin Clinic wants to help you create the healthy habits that will keep your skin healthy and your complexion glowing. We invite you to book an appointment now or use our online form to ask a question. It would be great to see you at our skin clinic in Balgowlah soon.