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Here's How the Environment Takes a Toll on Your Beauty (and How You Can Prevent or Undo the Damage) ...

As if aging and the effect of makeup as well as the crazy swings and roundabouts of our hormones isnโ€™t enough, our poor skin also has to contend with environmental factors. So what is it about just stepping outside your door you need to consider?

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1. We Love the Sun but the Sun Loves Us Too Much

The sun is undoubtedly the greatest example of how the environment affects your skin, and it does so in something of a double approach. The sun sends out both UVA ray and UVB rays, both of which are extremely harmful to your skin in different way: UVA rays break down the structure of your skin cells which leads to an aging effect, and UVB rays cause burns that can lead to melanoma. The best way to go about combating this is to apply high SPF sunscreen every single day that you are outside, and do so every two hours.

2. Do You Love to Feel the Wind in Your Hair?

Windswept hair may look sexy in the movies and in music videos, but in reality is that exposing your hair to such strong winds will only serve to damage your strands and follicles. Strong gusts have the potential to lift or tear hair cuticles, which can results in unwanted frizz. Want an easy solution that still goes in keeping with summer style? Try a classy headscarf like the ones Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn used to wear!

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3. Salt Water is Only Good for Mermaidโ€™s Hair

There is nothing more relaxing than a casual dip in the sea when your get the chance, but the one problem that arises from this is that the salt water from the ocean works to draw all of the moisture out of your hair, making the strands tangled, ragged and almost impossible to work with once your hair has dried. Solution? Apply a protective barrier like coconut hair oil before you even step foot in to the water, and then pour a bottle of still water over your hair after each sea dip.

4. BPA is a Pollutant to Avoid

Better known as Bisphenol A, BPA is a chemical that is used in the making of plastic, especially plastic water bottles. The problem is that when this plastic gets overheated, the chemical can seep in to whatever is being contained, and it has been known to disrupt the hormonal system. To avoid this, do not drink from any plastic water bottles that have been left in the sun for too long; stick to glass and aluminum instead.

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5. Formaldehyde is a Chemical Thatโ€™s Found in Products That Might Surprise You

This chemical is about as toxic as they come but is found in many hair straightening products to act as a stiffener. When lying dormant there is little risk, but the problem comes if the chemical becomes overheated and certain compounds can cause it to be released. The best advice is to always check the labels of the straightening products that you buy and avoid ones that contain the chemical.

6. Loose Powder Has an Element of Risk

It sounds crazy but loose powder from products like aerosol sunscreen or dry shampoo can actually be as harmful as second hand smoke or car exhaust fumes in the sense that it can build up in your lungs and increase your risk of pulmonary disease. To avoid this happening, simply hold your breath whilst you apply these products, or even better, avoid altogether!

7. Do I Really Need to Tell You about Smoking?

This one is self-inflicted but it bears reminding! Tobacco smoke damages the elastin fibers and collagen that provide the elasticity to your skin. The toxins in the smoke increase sagging and premature wrinkling. This is also applicable to second hand smoke! My advice? Ditch the cigs before itโ€™s too late health wise and encourage your friends to not smoke around you. Life is too short to actively be making it shorter!

Which are you most concerned about?

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