There is so much more to looking your best than dressing well and expertly applied cat-flick eyeliner, unfortunately. Not only do we have to consider our weight, hairstyle, and fashion, there’s all manner of seemingly innocuous things that will sneak up on us and make us look tired, old, or just plain drab. It can seem like a bit of a minefield, but there are four basic rules to follow.
- Prioritise a good diet
A bad diet can have a really detrimental effect on our appearance, and it’s not just our weight that suffers. Eating fatty or oily food in high quantities can make our hair limp, and our skin look dull or spotty. We also need lots of vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fats in our diets to ensure strong hair growth, clear skin, and healthy skin rejuvenation. Water is also crucial for keeping skin looking clear, aiding weight loss, and just making us look awake. Yo-yo diets can also cause poor skin and lifeless hair, and even result in weight gain. The best way to look great and benefit from clear skin is to enjoy a healthy balanced diet and good hydration – easy peasy.
- Avoid bad habits
It might surprise people to know that there are so many bad habits that people associate with poor long-term health which can also have an immediate impact on physical appearance. Smoking, for example, not only compromises life expectancy and health, but it can seriously affect looks too. Lines around the mouth, skin discolouration, dull skin, and a bad odour are all almost immediate side effects of smoking. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause the skin to look dull and tired, and weight gain is also common.
- It’s called beauty sleep for a reason
If you’re a stranger to sleep, you’ll be no stranger to dark circles and maybe even other skin complaints. When we miss out on sleep, our bodies produce cortisol, known colloquially as the stress hormone, which worsens inflammation such as acne or psoriasis. Our bodies also rely on sleep to rejuvenate and create more collagen, which is essential for keeping skin plump and elastic. Missing sleep can even speed up the aging process, so don’t skimp on it!
- Consider your medications
Some medication can have side effects of skin problems, and it can be difficult to know what to expect before you start taking them. This is especially the case for contraception, as the use of hormones can have a significant effect on skin clarity. The two major types of contraceptive pill, the mini pill or the combined, such as the Yasmin pill, use different combinations of hormones, so will affect the body differently. On the plus side, if one has a negative effect, the other might work perfectly, so make sure you speak to your doctor if you think this could be a problem for you.
There are so many factors which affect our appearance, many of which we never consider, even though their impact can be significant. Just remember, if you’re worried about anything it’s really important to see your GP for advice.