The skincare fixes for all your vices (smoking and eating pizza included)

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Vices—we’re all guilty of having at least one. Whether you’re partial to a glass of wine after a long day or can’t completely shelve your smoking habit, some habits are harder than others on skin health. Oxidation, inflammation and dehydration can show up as fine lines, redness, acne and pigmentation on your skin, which can lead to accelerating skin ageing before its time. While dropping these problematic rituals is imperative, we put together a list of skincare products that’ll serve as a stopgap while you work on changing your ways.

While your morning cup of java can help improve focus and get you to start your day right, heaping two tablespoons of sugar and chasing it with a croissant might not be the best practice. Sugar triggers insulin production, which scrambles internal signals and affects the production of collagen, which is a protein that leaves skin looking plump and lifted. Plus, the lack of elasticity from the collagen breakdown leads to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Sugar also causes a weakened immune system, which can’t fight acne-causing bacteria. To add to it, sugar causes the secretion of more testosterone, which leaves pores larger (and more susceptible to breakouts,) and skin oilier.

While reducing processed sugar intake is imperative, if you’re anticipating a chocolate binge, make sure to load up on a retinol like Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair Cream. The Vitamin A derivative is able to exfoliate the skin to rev up cell turnover, thus unclogging pores and evening out discolouration. Retinol is also proven to boost collagen production, so it can help keep skin springy and soft.

Alcohol is a diuretic that forces water to leave the body, hence leaving skin looking and feeling completely dehydrated. This can cause the face to feel flaky, tight, dry and inflamed, leaving fine lines and wrinkles more visible on the surface. The inflammatory effect of alcohol can show up on the skin as acne or congestion as well. Since alcohol is a vasodilator, it causes blood vessels on the face to expand, which creates redness and potentially rosacea on the skin.

To combat this, the La Roche Posay Rosaliac AR Serum has a hydrating gel-texture, that contains ambophenol, which is an antioxidant that helps to reduce the size of blood vessels, thereby reducing redness. Neurosensine helps to soothe and moisturise, so it is great for tired, hungover skin the next morning.

This one is the cardinal sin. Smoking speeds up the ageing process by robbing the skin of oxygen, breaking down collagen and elastin, decreasing the natural Vitamin A levels in the skin and causing broken capillaries and dilated blood vessels. This can result in redness, rosacea, acne breakout, fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation on the skin.

If you haven’t done it yet, quit! But if you’re in the process of weaning yourself off of your daily habit, or you’re constantly being subjected to second-hand smoke, you’ll want to protect yourself from the grime, smoke and dust particles that’ll settle on the skin and clog pores. You’ll want to double cleanse to get rid of all of it, so an AHA-heavy face wash like the Peter Thomas Roth 3% Glycolic Solutions Cleanser is ideal. Massage it into the skin for 2-3 minutes to remove any trace impurities while the glycolic acid improves the skin tone and texture while addressing fine lines and signs of ageing.

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