Each month our advisory dermatologist Dr Charlie Mitchell shares his top tips to keep your skin health & glowing:
"Clean your kit! Seems simple, but it is still important - washing your running kit regularly will remove sweat and residue of skin oils. This is what bacteria like to live on, breaking these organic molecules down, and producing that lovely old gym-bag smell. Then putting on unwashed used kit could transfer the now thriving bacteria back onto your skin, increasing the chances of body acne or spots occuring.
So remove the bugs' favourite nutrient source by washing clothes before they get a chance to set up a home in your damp running kit!"
"Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory or practical way to be able to see when heading towards the sun, the UV protection that sunnies provide protect your eyes, reducing the chances of cataracts developing in the lens, and reduces exposure damage to your conjunctiva.
If buying cheaper makes of sunglasses, just be sure to check they are certified to protect against UV light at the very least"
"If you suffer from a pigmentation change in your skin, such as melasma, try to use SPF 50 suncream when outside in sunny weathers. This is because your skin's natural tanning response will enhance the visible colour changes, and will make the pigmentation darker and more obvious compared to the surrounding normal skin."
"Excess ultraviolet light ages your skin, and puts you at higher chances of developing skin cancers, even if you are able to avoid burning. Both skin aging and cancer risks are lowered substantially by a few easy additions to your exercise plans:
1) Try to avoid the hours in the day when the UV Index will be at the highest level - this is usually between 11am and 3pm in the UK.
2) Protect yourself - use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30, or even SPF 50 if you are very easily burnt or visiting an overseas hot country. And reapply the sunscreens every 2 hours at least. Do not believe the "one-application" hype touted by several brands - all sunscreens will get wiped off, sweated off or washed off in your exercise routine.
3) Cover-up - wear a hat, long-sleeves and leg coverings if possible."
"Most people who come to see me with new or problematic skin rashes, such as eczema or psoriasis, have already tried to cut out a lot of things from their daily routines, especially avoiding eating certain food types, in an attempt to rid themselves of the skin problem.
Unfortunately, this is a mistake, as most rashes are not due to a reaction to something you have eaten. So, if you develop a new rash, please get some advice on it from your GP or Dermatologist, but don't restrict your diet unnecessarily. Otherwise you'll just be having a rubbish time suffering from a rash, and will also be missing your tastier foods, for no good reason!"
"Did you know you need about 15 minutes of sunlight on your face, neck, hands and arms, for 2-3 times per week to produce a healthy amount of Vitamin D? This applies if you are of skin types 1,2 or 3, but if you have a darker skin you'll need a little longer, especially in the winter months.
Staying fully covered up, or out of the sun, all the year round will mean you could develop low Vitamin D levels, which will impact on your body's immunity and its calcium absorption (needed to keep your bones healthy and strong).
So everyone should try and get a bit of direct sunlight on a regular basis, and don't feel you should hide away too much from this important part of our natural environment!"
"You may have noticed that the winter air is dryer, as less moisture is held by cooler air, so your skin needs a little help with this new challenge. Increased moisturising will keep your skin barrier hydrated and fighting-fit.
Popping on a nourishing moisturiser before those outdoor exercises will go a long way to help your skin work at its best. Then, after your post-excerise cleansing routine, a top up of your favourite moisturising cream is essential."