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Factors that affect skin

The condition of your skin is determined by several factors, both internal and external. Of these, the state of your internal health is probably the most important.

    * Pollution: The high level of chemicals in the air has become a matter of universal concern. These pollutants are skin aiirtants. The increase in the incidence of problems like sensitivity, rashes, acne and other eruptive conditions, as wel as dehydration of the skin, is being attributed to air pollution.

    * Physical fitness and life style: THe skin reflects the state of internal health. We immediately associate a glowing skin and a clear compexion with good health. A diet that is high in vitamins and minerals, regular exercise and adequate sleep are found to benefit the skin. The skin is fed by the nutrients in the blood. It also depends on the efficient functioning of the other organ systems in the body, for its good health. Your habit and lifestyle are important too. Smoking for instance hastens the premature ageing of the skin by damaging the collagen fibres. It also affects the color tone of the skin, apart from increasing the build up of toxins in the system. Similarly, alcohol depletes the body of the vitamins that are so essential for good skin and good health.

    * Air conditioning: If you spend long hours in an air-conditioned room or office, your skin will suffer from loss of moisture. Without adequate protection , the dryness can persist and start affecting the inner layer of the skin.

    * Sun: The sun is the skin's worst enemy. Exposure to the ultravoilet rays of the sun changes the collagen fibres and is the single most improtant factor in the ageing of skin. the damage is cumulative and may not be immediately apparent. It can also deplete the skin of moisture and interfere with the skin's natural ability to retain moisture.

    * Mental stress: Mental stress and negative emotions affect the functioning of the internal organs, in many ways that are reflected on the skin in the form of problems, like acne. Mental Stress can also upset the normal balances of the body, which show up on the skin.

    * Seasonal changes: Changes in climate conditions can bring about the changes in the requirement of your skin. In the cold, dry winter months the skin looses moisture to the atmosphere. Even people with oily skin experiece dryness of the outer layer. Dry skin can get further dehydrated and in some cases develop sensitivity.