It occurred to me this morning as I was driving in to work that you tend to have “good skin days” (and bad skin days) just as you would have good and bad hair days. Of course, the latter is the most well-known expression. However, the former is also very true, it’s just not as often discussed.
Just as you have good and bad hair days, your skin has good and bad days too. How could your skin be subject to look different from day to day? After all, we know there are a million variables that affect your hair such as humidity, the products you used that day, the alignment of the stars (ok that’s sarcastic) and so forth.
But what variables could cause your skin to look so dramatically different from day to day like your hair would? And are some people more immune to fluctuating skin appearance than others, like some seem to also be immune to dramatically varying hair appearance?
Here are some things that can dramatically alter the appearance of your skin in a matter of days:
This one is HUGE, especially if you’re a woman. Estrogens and some of the circulating androgens (male hormones) can make your skin look dramatically different. They can make you break out in a single day with acne. They can flush the face and change its color. Being on the birth control pill can even cause melasma and age spots to accelerate! My dermatologist recommended that I get off my pill because of some of the brown spots it was causing or worsening on my skin. Of course, this is just not an option for me at this time since it does a lot more for me than just prevent pregnancy, such as help keep my skin clear and regulate my period, but hormones are really no joke in what they can do to your skin.
I’m talking primarily internally by drinking plenty of water, but I also do mean externally by keeping the skin smooth and supple with effective external hydration agents (natural oils are the BEST at doing this hands down, you just want ones that won’t clog pores). You would not believe how much being dehydrated can age you. When I took a vacation in a tropical, very hot location, I was often dehydrated because I couldn’t constantly have water on me and I was constantly sweating it out of my pores. When I look at the pictures of me there, I look ten years old. My nasolabial folds (the creases the extend down to the mouth from the outer corners of the nose) were much more visible. My eyes looked more hollowed out, and my fine lines and wrinkles were more visible. Think of your skin as a grape that needs hydration to stay plump. Now think of a raisin. That’s your skin, dehydrated.
Believe it or not, the environment you live in can really affect your skin. This could mean anything from the temperature and humidity typically in the air where you live, to the amount of sunlight your area gets, to the amount of smog and pollution your skin is exposed to. Humidity can make your skin look more dewy and hydrated, but if you’re not internally hydrated it can still look “older”. Dry climates make your skin appear dry and requires that you apply topical moisture products more often. Areas with lots of smog and pollution can really promote free radical damage much faster since the toxins promote aging. Areas that get a ton of sunlight expose your skin to a lot more UVB rays than you think, even when you’re not thinking you’re getting a lot of exposure, such as in your car. These factors ALL make your skin look different from one day to the next.
This totally applies to me. Some people may be a little more immune to it but there are a lot of people like me who absolutely, unequivocally show their diet in their skin. If I have a day where I eat a lot salt and sugar, my skin looks terrible. It becomes reddish, more easily flushed, and has a generally bad color to it. On the days where I’m eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and lots of wholesome, unprocessed foods, I can look a decade younger and my coloring looks worlds different.