While maintaining clear and flawless skin may be easy and simple, dealing with skin damage is a different story. You need to be more careful with what routine to use and which products to purchase. To make life easier for you, we’ve come up with 6 effective yet uncomplicated steps to repair skin damage. But first, let’s define what skin damage is. 

When skin is damaged, it essentially means that some form of physical harm has come to it that’s potent enough to impair its normal function and create changes at the molecular level. These changes can happen simultaneously to both the inner and outer structure of the skin. Any condition that reflects a deterioration from normal skin can therefore be referred to as skin damage, such as dry and flaky skin and hormonal acne. So, how exactly does skin damage happen?

The Causes of Skin Damage

  • Genetics

Although you can change the products you use and the skin routine you keep, genetics is one skin determinant we cannot change. Hereditary factors dictate what skin type we have, as well as our skin’s predisposition to certain conditions. Although it plays an important role, genetics is not the sole factor that decides if one is to have glowing or problematic skin.    

  • The Sun

Photoaging, which happens as a direct result of sun exposure, is said to be responsible for 90% of visible negative changes to the skin. It is the sun’s ultraviolet light that induces photoaging, resulting in a decrease in collagen production and skin elasticity. Fine lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration—these are but a few of the skin conditions from overexposure to the sun.

  • Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits

Unlike genetics, which we can manage but not completely control, lifestyle habits are 

well within our area of responsibility. Poor eating and sleeping habits, as well as the socially triggered habits of smoking and drinking, can have a cumulative detrimental impact on our skin. Some common effects of an ill-managed lifestyle are high oxidative stress and raised glycemic indices, resulting in such skin conditions as dull and lackluster skin, inflammation, wrinkles, and even itchiness and hives.

  • Environmental Factors

The cause of skin damage can also be extrinsic, such as pollution, chemicals, and other toxic elements in the air. When our skin comes into contact with any of these, it goes into fight-or-flight mode, which induces oxidative stress and produces free radicals. These free radicals damage cells and cause many diseases and aging.

  • Stress

When you are all worked up, you get all stressed and anxious. And this psychological stress can result in the breaking down of your epidermal barrier, that layer of the skin that moisturizes and protects it from microbes like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Another negative effect of stress is that it delays skin repair, making your skin vulnerable to conditions such as skin irritations, psoriasis, eczema, and even hair loss. 

Repairing Skin Damage

Check out these doable yet potent skin-saving steps to repair skin damage.

1. See a dermatologist

A dermatologist has invested much time and money to become a skin expert. Seeing one is particularly critical for people suffering from chronic skin conditions or for those with certain genetic predispositions that make them at risk for serious skin damage. Be confident with your choice of dermatologist by checking on their credentials and experience, asking for patient referrals, and ascertaining if they have insurance.

2. Before buying products, check the label

Different skin types and various skin conditions require as many kinds of products. Initially, the beneficial products in these ingredients may create minute skin changes that can hardly be seen. But over time and through constant use, the molecular changes may be visible enough to show up on your outer skin to improve skin texture

Before buying any product, read the label, even the fine print. Search for skin-loving ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs, Retinol, and Co-Enzyme Q10. On the other hand, watch out for harmful ingredients, such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates, Oxybenzone, as well as fragrances and alcohol. Do check in with your dermatologist to validate if you’re making the right product choices.

3. Be open to alternative skin remedies

Although many alternative skin remedies may prove too good to be true, several are supported by some research. One such remedy is red light therapy or RLT, a treatment that can help skin, muscle, and tissue to regenerate and heal. Through exposure to low levels of red or near-infrared light, the mitochondria of the cells drink up the energy coming from the heat-emitting light. Some experts believe these help repair the cells and make them healthier. Another research shows that RLT helps with wrinkles, rough skin texture, acne, burns, and UV damage from the sun.

4. Protect yourself from the sun 

If your work or daily activities require you to be out in the sun for prolonged periods, wear protective clothing and gear such as sunglasses. Always remember to put on a sunscreen that has a spectrum broad enough to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. Reapplication is also important, especially if you need to be outdoors beyond two hours. 

5. Change your lifestyle habits

Be kind to yourself and make significant changes TODAY. 

  • Get enough sleep

When your body gets enough zzzs, it can make new collagen, which helps repair skin damage and plump up fine lines and wrinkles. Sleep for at least seven hours every night for maximum benefits. 

  • Eat a healthy diet

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that duke it out with free radicals to reduce wrinkles and age spots. Don’t forget to include protein, your cell’s building blocks, as well as foods rich in selenium, omega fatty acids, and vitamins.

  • Stop smoking

When you do, your blood flow improves to efficiently deliver the oxygen and nutrients your cells need. Vitamin C and collagen production also resume restoring your skin’s protecting and strengthening functions.

  • Drink plenty of water

Reverse the loss of skin elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging by drinking at least eight 8 glasses of H20 a day.

6. Relax 

Lastly, pull back and chill out. Apply breathing techniques to slow down your mind and body. Take time off to just be in the moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff. As American author and psychotherapist Richard Carlson would say, “It’s all small stuff anyway.”

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