The three worst things for your skin

Hello everyone!

Today, we wanted to discuss the three worst things for your skin: sun, sugar and smoking.


By sun, we mean sun exposure. The sun emits rays known as ultraviolet (UV) rays - there are three types: UVA (the most common form), UVB (more intense) and UVC (the worst but the earth’s ozone layer blocks these rays).

It is important to remember that a small amount of UV rays is good for us because it creates vitamin D which absorbs calcium which is needed in our bodies to build and maintain healthy bones. It can also help treat some health conditions such as eczema or psoriasis (check out @claritasofficial on Instagram for our series on skin conditions!).

However, too much sun exposure can be bad for your skin for many reasons. It causes changes in the skin as some skin cells with melanin form clumps, creating freckles and moles which over time can become cancerous. It also causes early ageing through signs of wrinkled, tight or leather skin and dark spots. Not only is it bad for your skin but it can also lower your immune system and cause the less common, but more severe form of melanoma skin cancer.

How to control sun exposure?

  • Wear SPF (i.e. sunscreen) on the exposed areas of your skin all year round - this means wearing it on your face every day!

  • Plan your exposure - the sun’s rays are strongest in the middle of the day.

  • Take breaks by going in the shade.

  • Cover up using clothing, hats and sunglasses.


Excess sugar in your bloodstream can cause Glycation which is a natural chemical reaction that occurs when sugar levels in the bloodstream spike beyond what our insulin can process. This reaction affects the collagen and elastin that keeps our skin elastic - when they link with sugars they become weaker and the signs of ageing are more apparent. Skin tends to become drier and less elastic, causing wrinkles, sagging and a dull appearance.

How to control sugar intake?

  • Read food labels and make healthier choices when buying food - use the traffic light labelling system.

  • Remember that fruit juice and alcohol contain high amounts of sugar.

  • Drink water - fizzy drinks, juice and energy drinks contain hidden sugars.

  • Sleep eight hours - this reduces glycation damage.

  • Relax - an increase in stress increases the effects of glycation.

  • Remember not to restrict yourself though!


Smoking is linked to early skin ageing, delayed wound healing and increased infections as well as skin conditions including psoriasis. It is known to cause facial wrinkles and furrows, baggy eyelids, a slack jawline, uneven skin colouring and dry, coarse skin.

It is not completely known as to why this happens but theories include heat from the cigarette directly burning the skin, changes in the elasticity of the skin, narrowing of blood vells (reduces blood supply to the skin and causes changes in skin elastin fibres and loss of collagen) and reducing vitamin A levels and moisture of the skin.

How to combat the effects of smoking?

Reduce the amount of cigarettes you are smoking each day or stop!


We hoped you enjoyed today’s blog post. Next week we will be discussing the best ingredients for healthy hair.


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