Think for a minute about your worst enemy. Chances are you don't really have
one. Unless you're a comic book character or have done something really bad to
someone in the past few years, you probably don't have what you would call an
And that's good news of course. Anyone that is told to think of their worst enemy
and immediately thinks of ten or twelve people might want to think about some
type of counseling, or at the very least a good home security system!
An enemy however doesn't necessarily mean a soldier or mercenary that's out to
kill us or to destroy our family, the way we might think of the word. An enemy is
really just a foe, or someone that is opposed to us and our goals. While we think
of the word as being applied to a real person, it can also mean just general
concepts or circumstances.
For instance, someone trying to lose weight and stay in shape might consider the
fast food industry as an enemy. Because they spend so much on advertising and
because they're on virtually every street corner, this temptation is in direct
opposition to their goals. They're an enemy to that aim you have of being in good
shape and being healthy. So referring to them as an enemy might be a bit harsh,
but it's also very fitting.
Along the same lines you might think of an enemy as anything that's opposed to
something you're trying to accomplish, and this might even include your own
habits and such. You've probably heard the phrase, "He's his own worst enemy,"
and this can be true for so many things. Our laziness can be the biggest enemy or
threat to those weight loss goals. Our own quick temper can be a threat to the
health of our marriage and other relationships, so we make ourselves an enemy
to those things.
So in talking about your skin and its health and appearance, keep in mind that
something can be an enemy simply if it's in opposition to your goals for your skin.
It might seem a bit odd to talk about goals for your skin and its health and
appearance, but most people who want smooth skin need to make that a goal of
theirs. Some people are just naturally blessed with all the elements that make
beautiful skin, and God bless them, but typically the rest of us need to actually
work at having good skin if that's what we want.
They say that forewarned is forearmed, so if we can understand the 10 biggest or
most common enemies to that goal of beautiful, smooth skin, then we can be
better prepared to face and combat those enemies. So here they are, in no
particular order.

Never underestimate the effect on your skin when you live in a heavily polluted
area or work around harsh chemicals or a lot of dust and dirt. Our skin is meant
to keep our inner parts from being exposed to everything in the atmosphere,
meaning that it will easily absorb all that dust and dirt and be affected by those
We as humans are not meant to exist in an environment that is laden with
chemicals and irritants, so of course these things will have an adverse affect on
It's very important to not just cleanse your skin properly if you live or work in an
area like this, but to protect it in the first place. Women who shy away from
makeup may want to consider using it everyday, as it can act as a barrier to these
harmful elements. Moisturizers can do the same.
This applies to the men as well who might notice some skin irritation, if they live
or work in a very polluted environment. Using moisturizers or other skincare
products can protect them throughout the day. There are many that are designed
just for men, so there's no need to think you're going to smell like makeup or
perfume if you use them in the morning.

Have you ever noticed when you're outside in the cold weather that your lips start
to get chapped and your hands get very dry? This is because cold weather makes
it more difficult for your skin to produce its own moisturizers.
Think of what happens when you put water in the freezer. It becomes solid,
right? The same thing happens to your body's own hydration and moisturizing
system. It doesn't exactly freeze, but it does get less fluid and therefore not able
to reach the top laKeeping yourself warm during the winter months is essential for good skin, and
this helps your body's own circulation and natural moisturizers. But covering
yourself when out in the elements is also important. You should always wear
gloves and a scarf especially when there's a cold wind. And again, wearing
protective moisturizers or makeup can also go a long way toward protecting your
skin. These form a barrier against that harsh weather and can protect your skin.
This is of course especially important if you participate in winter sports. Moving
is like that cold wind - it just makes the problem worse.
It's thought by many that the vast majority of adults are consistently dehydrated
and don't even know it. Scientists and doctors blame this on not just a lack of
fluids but also on the fact that most people drink a lot of caffeinated beverages.
Caffeine is actually a diuretic meaning that it causes the body to lose fluid,
making you dehydrated rather than refreshing you.
The body has many built-in defenses that keep it healthy, and this includes for
the skin. We have moisturizing systems in place that keep us hydrated and that
keep the skin moisturized and healthy, but these systems only work if they
actually have enough fluid to pump to the surface of the skin. When we don't
have enough water in our bodies, the body will react by pulling it from the skin or
from delivering it to the skin last, after it has hydrated all the vital organs and
muscles first. The body does this as a survival mechanism; if the muscles don't
have enough hydration they freeze up and can't move and of course we can't live
without our muscles, while we can survive with very dry skin.
But we can combat this by making sure that we're adequately hydrated as much
as possible. Switching to decaffeinated coffee and soda is a big help, but of course
drinking water is the best thing we can do. If you're someone that hates water,
try cutting it with a bit of fruit juice or use a drink mix like Crystal Light.
Get into the habit of drinking water by scheduling it, for instance, have a glass
before lunch and another before dinner. Keep a water bottle at your desk at work
and another in the refrigerator. This way you always have chilled water readily

Blood and oxygen are two very vital components of the body's system, and you
probably already knew that. They are also incredibly important when it comes to
your skin's health and appearance also because blood not only delivers nutrients
to the skin but also takes away things like dead skin cells and such. This gives
your skin a very radiant look and appearance.
Blood that is circulating more often is going to have more nutrients and work
harder at getting rid of those pollutants in the skin. This also means more fresh
blood that will fight free radicals, which are those nasty elements that break down
healthy cells.
We increase our blood and oxygen circulation by being more physically active.
This gets our heart pumping and the blood flowing more freely, which also carries
the fresh oxygen to our cells.
People today usually just aren't very active. Being able to sit behind a desk and
work on the computer all day may sound very convenient, but it's not very
healthy. We need to be active and we need to be active on a regular basis.
Exercise is therefore one of the best things we can do for our skin. If you don't
work out regularly or engage in some type of physical activity on a regular basis,
it's time to start. This is good for your skin and your system overall.

Skincare companies have made great progress in recent years when it comes to
consulting with actual dermatologists in order to create their products. These
skin doctors can advise on products that are just going to clog the pores or irritate
the skin, and so many makeup and skincare products are now much healthier for
your skin and can actually work to improve it.
But unfortunately there are still many skincare products out there that are harsh
and unnatural and that actually damage your skin rather than care for it.
Because most breakouts and acne are caused by dirt and oil clogging the pores,
many people assume that getting as much oil off of your face as possible is the
best thing to do for your skin, but we have many natural oils on our skin that
keep it soft and healthy. When you use harsh products that contain a lot ofalcohol or other such elements you're just going to strip your skin of these helpful
properties as well.
And there are some makeup products that contain elements that will irritate the
skin. Keep in mind that makeup manufacturers need to have their product sit on
store shelves for weeks and even months, so they need to add chemicals that will
preserve the product and keep it from separating for that time. These chemicals
are usually fine for your skin but sometimes they can be rather harsh and irritate
your pores and cause wrinkles.
It's better to try makeup that's noncomedogenic, meaning that it won't clog your
pores, or that's made for sensitive skin. And while you might be thinking of your
budget, sometimes those more expensive brands are the best. Consider doing
some comparison shopping until you find a brand that sets well on your face and
that doesn't seem to irritate your skin.

Using these products too often can also do much damage to your skin. It's
tempting to scrub it with some type of cleanser the minute you see a little shine in
the mirror, but sometimes the body is just reacting to this cleansing by producing
more oil.
You can also irritate your skin every time you cleanse if you're very rough with it.
Using exfoliates every day or too often or using elements that scrub harshly can
make your skin dry and rough.
Whatever skincare products you use, it's good to treat your skin gently, not as if it
needs to be punished for breaking out or having blemishes! Think of how you
would treat a cut or scrape - you may need to apply an antiseptic to get rid of any
germs but you definitely wouldn't rub it harshly. The same applies to your face.
You need to clean it, but you need to be gentle as you do or otherwise you'll just
irritate it and cause it more damage.

Some years ago the term "healthy glow" was coined to advertise tanning beds and
tanning products. However, that healthy glow is actually your skin's sign that it is
being damaged by the sun, one of the worst enemies to healthy skin there is.
We have a tendency to think of a tan as being attractive but in reality it's very bad
for your skin's health. The ultraviolet rays that cause your skin to change color
are doing damage to that same skin.
If you regularly tan, you should give some serious consideration to stopping. A
tan is really just a burn that's healing. You wouldn't think of purposely burning
your skin on the stove or with a blowtorch, would you? And yet that's what you're
doing by tanning. It's not healthy, it's actually a scar.
When you're outdoors for any length of time you should consider using a
sunscreen as well. This means for your face and neck, and if you're going to be
bent over doing gardening or yard work, you want to consider the back of your
neck as well.
When you're on or near the water such as at the beach or on a boat, remember
that this water acts as a mirror that reflects the sun and makes those rays even
more powerful. If you're out on the boat you definitely want to consider a
sunscreen, and even for lounging around the pool.
There are several reasons why cigarette smoking is one of the worst enemies to
your skin's health and appearance, and these reasons apply to not just the person
smoking but to the one exposed to secondhand smoke as well.
The nicotine in cigarette smoke gets absorbed into the bloodstream almost
immediately, and because blood is transported to every cell in the body this
means that this poisonous nicotine is then sent to every corner of the body as
well. Your lungs are therefore not the only things affected by cigarette smoking.
This means your skin as well.
Remember, that blood and oxygen it carries are very important to your skin's
health as it is supposed to be delivering healthy nourishment to your body's
systems as well. But when you smoke, what it's delivering is poison!
Smoking is also especially bad for the skin on your face because when you exhale,
you're sitting in that cloud of smoke. This smoke too contains many poisons that
are bad for the skin, and yet you're purposely exposing yourself to it several times
per day.Smoke is also a drying agent that makes it impossible for your body to adequately
hydrate all its systems, including the skin. The poison in the nicotine and other
elements just seeps up that moisture and hydration, which is also very bad for
your skin.
Cigarette smoking is probably one of the worst enemies for your skin, right along
with the harsh rays of the sun. There are absolutely no benefits to smoking and
many reasons why you shouldn't, so if you smoke, it's time to stop. Your body
can do much repair itself on its own, but not as long as you keep smoking.
And if you're around those who smoke, you might want to give some
consideration to the damage this is doing to your face and skin on other areas of
your body as well. Can you at least open a window or go in another room when
someone is smoking? Can you ask them to go outside?
You might need to give up that weekly poker game or switch to a bowling alley
that is smoke-free, but it can be worth it and not just for your skin's health. Every
single study that comes out about secondhand smoke just adds to the damage
that we already know it does to those around it. Your lungs are breathing in
almost as much smoke as if you smoked yourself, and of course your skin is being
consistently damaged.
Do whatever you can to avoid cigarette smoke; this means not just quitting
yourself but getting away from that secondhand smoke as well.

9. AGE
It's a sad fact that Mother Nature can be heartless and this is certainly true when
it comes to the things that affect us as we get older.
The body has a tendency to get very dry skin as we age, and this is due to many
different facts. Our blood circulation gets worse as we get older so those
necessary nutrients don't get delivered the way they should.
We also get wrinkles because every time our skin folds in or out it makes a slight
impression. When we're young, our skin is very elastic and can snap right back
into place. However, when we get older that elasticity breaks down as well,
meaning that it won't snap back into place the way it should. We are then more
prone to wrinkles and lines.There's probably not much we can do about old age, at least not until scientists
find some type of cure for it. But we can realize that some skin problems are just
going to be natural as we age.
Keeping ourselves in good shape on a consistent basis is important but especially
as we get older. This will help our skin to stay in shape as well, and to keep that
blood and oxygen flowing the way it should.
Moisturizing is also important but especially as we get older and our body's own
systems tend to break down.
Those people who are just naturally blessed with beautiful skin are very
fortunate, but the rest of us typically need to work hard at taking care of our skin.
Unfortunately, most people give very little thought to their skincare routine, if
they even have one. They might run a wet washcloth over their face at night and
then hop into bed. Or they may just buy whatever moisturizer is the cheapest at
the pharmacy and just slap some on in the morning.
Taking care of our skin is like taking care of our teeth and every other part of our
body. We need a regular routine, and we need one that is personalized to our
particular needs.
For instance, someone with very dry skin may need a different routine than
someone with very oily skin. If you have sensitive skin and are prone to
breakouts, you need different products to avoid irritating your skin.
There are some common elements that everyone should be considering as part of
a good skincare routine, regardless of your skin type. These include:
No matter what your skin type or needs, you should always cleanse your face at
night. When you sleep, this is when your body renews and repairs itself. The
skin gets taken care of during the night but if you still have dirt, oil, and makeup
products in your pores there's not much your body can do.
Be sure to use a cleanser that is meant for your face and don't use just hand soap.
Regular soap is usually very harsh and irritating to the skin on your face. Good
old-fashioned cold cream is also beneficial for removing makeup. A toner can
reduce oily patches as well.
Unfortunately many people exfoliate far too often, while other people never
exfoliate at all.
An exfoliate works by sloughing off the top layer of skin, removing dead skin
cells, dry skin, and other impurities that make your skin look dull. The healthier
skin underneath is revealed and new skin grows in.
But an exfoliate also removes those important oils and other natural elements
you need for healthy skin. Doing this too often means you're stripping your skin
and making it overly dry. And when you make your skin overly dry, it sends the
oil glands into overdrive, producing even more oil. So you then think you need to
exfoliate again, and then you make it worse and get caught in a never-ending
cycle of exfoliate, oil, exfoliate, oil, and so on.
Usually once per week is enough for an exfoliate, and sometimes even less than
that. There are also a wide variety of products that you can use; those scrubs that
you by at the pharmacy can be very rough on the skin. Shop around a bit and
find something that's much easier on your own skin.
No matter what your skin condition or type, you need a moisturizer to help
protect it against harsh elements and its own dryness. This is true even if you
have oily skin. There are areas of your face that don't have oil glands, including
around the eyes and mouth, and so need moisturizers from you in order to stay
healthy and hydrated.
This is especially important when you cleanse and exfoliate, as these two steps
are stripping your skin of natural oils. You need to replace those oils with a good
moisturizer in order for you skin to remain healthy and for it to look as good as it
You men need to think about this as well. Especially during the cold winter
months will you want to consider keeping your skin moisturized and protectedappearance. While there may be some that don't particularly apply to you - if you
live and work in smoke-free environment then you're very fortunate - chances are
there are some that you need to give some thought to in order to protect your
Not many of us are blessed with beautiful, healthy, radiant skin. Most of us need
to work at it, and this means every single day. Our skincare routine needs to keep
in mind that these enemies are out there, everywhere we look, working to age and
dry our skin and cause wrinkles. Just like you might need to work harder to face
the enemies that work against your goals of weight loss or career advancement or
something else, you need to work against these enemies of your healthy and
radiant skin as well.

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