Monday, 31 January 2011

Beauty Awareness: Inflammation-not so kind for your looks & health

After reading the comments from my post last week on 'Barefaced Beauty', one of the comments struck a chord with me. I'm fully aware of what happens when you don't wear sunscreen or an SPF, which I always do. But what about the effects of air pollution against your skin? I don't wear foundation on a daily basis to protect my skin, although I probably should and perhaps I don't do enough to protect my skin enough, as the levels of pollution can be quite high in areas of Greece, particularly in summer.

I recently picked up on a brilliant article on on Inflammation (there are many kinds that you ought be aware of) and the possible triggers, one being exposure to air pollutants!

I know that when you hear the word inflammation, you immediately think that it's something that you get from say an ankle sprain, a cut, a bruise, or gum disease, or injuries that you got through exercise, a spot breakout - you associate inflammation with the redness, pain, heat and swelling right? It's the healing process, where infection is cleaned out and tissue rebuilt right?

Well, there's much more to it luvvies! There is actually a kind of inflammation that exists in your body but in a deadly and silent way because it doesn't show up on your body as a wound or infection. Think of it as the stealthy 'chronic low level inflammation' because it can remain invisible for weeks, months or even years. The disease triggers can be read here.

Why should we be concerned? Well I'm no expert in this area and don't claim to be, but I wanted to make everyone a little more aware of the damaging effects and the yucky effects it has on your skin long term. Yeah, I'm talking wrinkles, eczema and acne plus more serious health issues too.

Inflammation can lead to the destruction of healthy cells and tissues on a more rapid level should the body trigger an inappropriate inflammation response. So what do you need to do to combat this?
  • Exercise - cardio, yoga or pilates.
  • Don't smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce stress - make small lifestyle changes if you do lead a busy lifestyle.
  • Diet and increasing your intake of antioxidant-rich foods/drinks (Vitamin C, Green Tea). Eating low levels of Trans and saturated fats; increasing the amount of omega-3 in your diet (found in fish, fish oil and flaxseed oil); and increasing your intake of multicolored fresh vegetables and fruit can help keep inflammation in check. An anti-inflammatory diet should also be rich in fiber and low glycemic foods. It can be helpful to eat a lot of fish, beans, soy and nuts in the place of meat as sources of protein (- meat can be pre-inflammatory).
  • Combat free radicals with an antioxidant-rich diet and skincare regime.
  • If you're into pill popping then check out the Elle UK recommendations here. I don't think popping pills are necessarily the answer to everything, as diet plays a much more important role.
Ok, so I hope I didn't freak some of you out on a Monday, maybe this shoot of Giselle made for a good distraction! Have a great week beauties!

Images via FashionGoneRogue
Shoot featuring Giselle, shot by the awesome Regan Cameron


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