Although it is mostly experienced during the teenage years, peer pressure surrounds anything that involves influence from friends to family. Usually, the term refers to socially undesirable behaviours that we consciously or subconsciously take on. If we are not careful in the decisions we make in order to fit into society, we may be doing ourselves more harm than good.
During this phase in life, many women have admitted to encountering peer pressure. Seeing other women looking their best because of external factors instead of putting in the effort, suddenly it becomes easier to adopt a bad habit than putting in hours at the gym. Also, we become indulged in having a social life that we may take on bad habits as well just to fit in. In extreme cases, doing so can lead to permanent negative effects on our health.
How does peer pressure affect us, and how do we watch out for ourselves?
Effects of Peer Pressure
It becomes natural to give in to peer pressure. It is a way to adapt ourselves to the social norms, depending on the company we mix with. In spending time the wrong company, we may find ourselves in a dilemma, trying to do the things they do for social acceptance.
You may be facing one of these situations:
Adopting fad diets to slim down
It is easy to spot a fad diet. Generally, it promises you quick weight loss, promotes certain magic foods, and excludes or restricts certain groups of foods. It also has rigid rules that can be difficult to follow.
These so-called “quick fix” diets may give you short-term results, but they are not sustainable and they don’t provide the essential nutrients. Only a balanced diet can offer the nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water, that your body needs.
These diets can cause various health problems to your body and may impact your livelihood in the long run. More often than not, they restrict key foods from your daily diet. Some of the symptoms that you may develop from abstaining from key foods for too long include dehydration and fatigue. In worst case scenarios, it can also include weakness, constipation, headaches, and nausea.
You may also develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies. As your body depends on a moderate vitamin and mineral intake to function well, these can cause a serious impact. Your skin health may suffer and you may develop dryness, dullness and premature aging of your skin.
Consuming slimming pills to achieve a better figure
In physically looking your best, it drastically helps in you emotionally feeling your best and boosts self-esteem. But to attain the best body figure and shape, resorting to slimming pills may not be the best way to go. You may also be tempted to follow certain diets to maintain your body figure.
The alarming disadvantage here is that these slimming pills and fad diets can have negative effects on your own health.
Side effects of slimming pills vary depending on the kind of drug you consume and its mechanism. Drugs that work as stimulants, such as phentermine, may result in increased blood pressure, rapid heart rate, insomnia, drug dependence and abuse, restlessness and symptoms of withdrawal.
Drugs which work by interfering with the absorption of fat, like orlistat, may result in gas, soft stools, and oily spotting. Similarly, slimming pills which affect brain neurotransmitters, like Contrave or Belviq, may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, constipation, and dizziness.
Having a bad habit (or taking up one)
The tendency to pick up vice habits, such as smoking from colleagues and friends, implies an attempt to feel a sense of belonging in society. It is especially heard of at the beginning of a new job. However, do note that there are various side effects of these vice habits on your health and skin.
In general, tobacco in any form is dangerous to your overall health. Smoking may result in a variety of health complications in your body.
Smoking, despite its ability to temporarily stimulate your mood, has its consequences. Dependence on tobacco is common, and withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and anxiety can prove to be difficult to manage.
Inhaling tobacco smoke can also damage your lungs and makes you prone to increased lung infections. This applies to both firsthand and secondhand smokers. You may run the risk of developing emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Other health risks include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, especially in the long run.
Smoking can also increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It also raises your risk of cervical cancer, osteoporosis and fertility and problems with menstruation. These negative effects on your health should suffice in deterring the smoking habit!
Smoking may also cause dry skin and premature aging of the skin. This is caused by reduced blood flow to your skin, leaving it dry, peeled and even wrinkled.
What should you do?
If the above situations feel somewhat familiar, you are facing peer pressure. No one is making you do anything; however, you feel a particular pull towards having to do these things to feel better about yourself.
A great alternative to the poor habits above is eating a balanced diet and increasing your physical activity. To best maintain a healthy body and slim figure, here are a few proven tips:
- Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
- Include a wide variety of whole grain cereals in your diet.
- Include lean meat, poultry or fish in your diet.
- Include low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Limit your intake of saturated fat and also total fat intake.
- Choose foods that are low in salt.
- Limit your intake of alcohol.
- Limit your intake of sugar-containing foods and beverages. Avoid consuming sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Aim for at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate intensity physical exercise on most days of the week. If you want to lose weight, increase the time of the exercise gradually.
What about breaking bad habits?
Kicking bad habits is not easy. It requires will and determination, as well as a profound motivation. Adversely, there are people who have successfully thrown away a bad habit, including smoking. Read on to find the best tips gathered to help you in your quitting journey:
- Decide on a reason for why you desire to quit the habit of smoking. It may be as simple as that you want to improve your health.
- Pick up a date to quit. This may be the start of a month.
- Bring change to your routine. For instance, if you smoke generally in the morning along with a cup of coffee, then, break this habit. Instead of drinking coffee, drink tea. If you smoke after a meal, go for a walk.
- Wait and the craving to smoke will pass. During the time you have a craving, do something to distract you such as take a short walk, call a friend, take deep breaths, sip a cup of water or play some game on your smartphone.
- Stay busy. If you are in a habit of smoking due to boredom, then by keeping yourself busy, you will be able to keep your mind away from smoking. You may chew gum, do meditation, go to a movie or spend time with non-smoker family and friends.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps in flushing the nicotine from the body. Hence, when you have a craving, sip ice cold water.
- Get active. It may help you reduce the craving of nicotine.
Effects of Peer Pressure on Skin & Remedies
Giving in to negative peer pressure can be harmful effects on your skin. Just because a particular approach works well for a person, it might not work the same way for another. It is also important to note that the skin is a reflection of your overall body health. This means that if your skin feels dry or has wrinkles, it almost always is because something is not right.
Dull and dry skin
Dull and dry skin is a common skin condition in which there is a lack of moisture in the skin. This, in particular, is in the outermost skin layer, also called epidermis. Areas of the body that have an increased tendency to develop dry skin are your arms, lower legs, and hands.
Treatment of dull and dry skin
You can treat dull and dry skin by applying an emollient regularly on your skin. An emollient is a substance which prevents the evaporation of moisture from the skin. You can also apply mild moisturizing lotions such as Cetaphil lotion, curel lotion, and Lubriderm lotion. Lotions are effective at improving mild dryness of skin.
To improve severe dryness of skin, you can apply certain high moisturizing products such as Vaseline and Aquaphor. Your doctor may also prescribe topical creams containing steroids to relieve dryness when moisturizing lotions prove ineffective. These can include hydrocortisone 1%, triamcinolone 0.1%, pramasone 2.5% and fluocinonide 0.05%.
Natural/organic ingredients to treat dull and dry skin
Grapeseed oil is obtained by pressing the seeds of grapes. The oil is a rich source of vitamin E as well as omega chain fatty acids. Due to the presence of many herbal ingredients, it improves softness, moisture, and elasticity of the skin.
How to use Grapeseed oil?
You can use pure Grapeseed oil by putting a few drops of it in the palms of your hands and then massaging it to your face before going to bed. You can also mix a few drops of the oil in your moisturizer or body cream. This way, Grapeseed oil helps to lock the moisture into the layers of your skin.
You can also mix the oil with other essential oils such as lavender or frankincense oil to make your skin extra supple and soft. Mix a few drops each of juniper, lavender, and frankincense oil with an ounce of Grapeseed oil and apply it as a face mask. Leave it on your face for 10 minutes for a spa-like relaxing treatment!
Avocado oil is a rich source of vitamins A, E and D and omega-3 fatty acids, lecithin, potassium and many types of other nutrients, which can moisturize and nourish your skin.
How to use avocado oil?
You can use the inside of fresh avocado and massage it on your face. Leave it for around 15 minutes and then wash with lukewarm water. You can also massage a few drops of avocado oil on your face before going to bed at night and wash it in the morning.
You can also add a couple of tablespoons of the oil to your bath water. It helps in making your whole body soft and supple, and prevents hot water from making your skin dry. You can also apply a few drops of the oil on your body after taking a bath.
Sweet Almond oil
Almond oil is derived from the kernels (dried) of sweet almonds. It is a rich source of many nutrients including vitamin E, A, B1, B6, B2, D, oleic acid and linoleic acid. It possesses lubricating, moisturizing, softening and nourishing properties. Additionally, it helps in making your skin smooth and soft. You can use it irrespective of your skin type – normal, dry, sensitive, oily, or a combination!
How to use sweet almond oil?
You can take a few drops of oil in the palms of your hands and massage it over your body immediately after a shower. For sensitive and dry skin, use sweet almond oil as a cleanser. Massage pure almond oil into your face for a couple of minutes and then wash using lukewarm water.
You can also mix a few drops of the oil with a moisturizing lotion and use it on your face. This helps in soothing itching and irritation associated with dry skin.
Olive oil acts as a natural humectant, which attracts moisture to your dry skin. It is a rich source of many antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin E and other ingredients that also provide anti-aging benefits.
How to use olive oil?
Put a few drops of olive oil in the palms of your hands and massage it on your face for a couple of minutes. Keep it for 5-10 minute and remove it using a warm washcloth.
You can also use it as a nourishing mask twice a week to relieve dry skin. Mix olive oil with coconut oil, and apply this mixture on your face. You can also mix some amount of olive oil with yogurt to make a hydrating and exfoliating mask! This mask is excellent for dry skin that needs exfoliation.
To mix it up, add a small quantity of olive oil to your cream or moisturizer to provide extra hydration to excessively dry skin. Also, massaging olive oil on your body before taking a shower helps to prevent dryness of skin due to hot water.
Jojoba oil acts as a humectant, and works as a protective barrier on the skin. This keeps it from losing its moisture. It is non-comedogenic (it doesn’t cause acne) and hypoallergenic. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in relieving dryness and itching of the skin.
How to use jojoba oil?
Take a few drops of jojoba oil in the palms of your hands and gently massage it on your face. However, avoid using more than six drops of oil at a time, as more oil may make your skin appear greasy.
Additionally, you can add two to three drops of the oil to a small amount of your regular moisturizer and apply it your face. Do this by mixing an ounce each of Grapeseed oil and jojoba oil in a bowl. Then add the contents of a capsule of vitamin E. Add a few drops each of lavender and neroli essential oils. Lastly, blend all the ingredients well and apply this mixture to your skin.
Rose flower oil
Rose flower oil is a rich source of various minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, which makes it an excellent emollient to moisturize and hydrate dry skin.
How to use Rose flower oil?
You can mix a few drops of Rose flower essential oil with your regular moisturizer and apply it to your face to soak its benefits. You can also apply the oil directly to your facial skin or get a full body massage by mixing a few drops of the oil in a carrier oil.
Honey acts as a natural emollient and humectant and increases the moisture content of the skin and reduces its dryness even after it has been washed off.
How to use honey?
Apply good quality raw honey on your skin directly and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse it off thoroughly with lukewarm water.
If you want a little extra, add other great ingredients like yoghurt and avocado! Begin by mixing two tablespoons each of yogurt and mashed avocado. In this mixture, add two to three tablespoons of pure raw honey. Then mix thoroughly to obtain a smooth consistency. Apply this mixture on your neck and face, leave for about 15-20 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water.
Lifestyle changes to relieve dull and dry skin
Relieving dull and dry skin requires commitment and constant effort. It may not be a walk in the park, but your skin will thank you for the efforts you put in. The small things count, too. See our tips below to relieve dull and dry skin:
- Apply moisturizers to your skin after taking a shower or bath and also at several other times during a day. You can also use cosmetics that contain moisturizers.
- You can use an ointment or cream instead of using lotion. Use ones containing oils such as olive oil or jojoba oil or Shea butter. Certain other ingredients that help in relieving dryness of skin are Hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, urea, Dimethicone, glycerine, lanolin, petrolatum, and mineral oil.
- Don’t use cosmetic and skincare products that contain fragrance and alcohol.
- Restrict your bath or shower time to five to ten minutes and use lukewarm water to take bath.
- Avoid bathing with drying and harsh soaps. Use a gentle shower or bath gels that contain moisturizers.
- Apply a moisturizer or oil immediately after taking a shower or bath.
- Install a humidifier in your room as dry and hot air can worsen the dryness of skin.
- Choose natural fabrics like cotton and silk, which are gentle on the skin and allow it to breathe. Use hypoallergenic detergents to wash your clothes.
- Avoid sitting in front of an open flame or heat source as it may worsen the dryness of your skin.
- You can add certain supplements in your diet to relieve dryness of your skin. These include vitamin E, fish oil, Lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin D and evening primrose oil.
Premature aging of the skin
You may run a risk of developing prematurely aging skin due to slimming pills, fad diets or smoking. Premature aging of skin due to these reasons may present in the following ways:
Fine lines and wrinkles: As your skin loses its moisture, elastin, and collagen, it can develop wrinkles and fine lines.
Sagging skin: Due to the loss of elastin and collagen, you can also develop sagging skin as one of the symptoms of premature aging of the skin.
Treatment of premature aging of the skin
Various medicines and nonprescription creams are available that you can use to treat fine lines and wrinkles. There are also cosmetic procedures available to treat premature signs of aging, and these include:
- Glycolic acid peel
- Deep chemical peels
- Laser resurfacing
- Non-ablative laser resurfacing
- Fractional resurfacing
- Radiofrequency and heat
- Elevators and fillers
- Natural/organic ingredients to treat premature aging of the skin
Avocado oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and other antioxidants. It helps in increasing the production of collagen; thereby, reversing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
How to use avocado oil?
You can take a good quantity of avocado oil in the palms of your hands and massage it on your face after taking a shower or bath.
Mix the following ingredients in a glass jar to make your own anti-aging cream:
- ¼ cup of avocado oil
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp beeswax
- 1 tbsp Shea butter
- ½ tsp vitamin E oil
Then place the jar without the lid in a pot/bowl filled with four to six inches of water. Keep the pot on low flame and let the water simmer, stirring the ingredients in the jar as they melt. After the ingredients have melted, pour them in a smaller jar and leave it to harden.
To store the cream, keep it in a dry and cool place after putting the lid on. Apply the anti-aging cream on your face every night before going to bed, and see significant results!
Rose flower oil
Rose flower oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is especially helpful for renewing skin cells. It also promotes the synthesis of collagen in your skin; thereby, keeping your skin looking young for longer.
How to use Rose flower oil?
You can massage a few drops of Rose flower oil to the skin of your face two times a day.
In a two-ounce amber-colored glass dropper bottle, put three tablespoons of Argan oil using a small funnel. Then, add nine drops each of lavender essential oil and rose essential oil, and tightly cap the bottle. Gently mix the oils by rolling the bottle between your palms, as your palms emanate a warm heat. Apply three drops of this mixture on your facial skin after cleaning it for youthful, glowing skin!
It is a type of essential oil that has potent anti-aging properties. This means it helps in reducing fine lines, preventing wrinkles and tightening pores. It is also mild in nature, and you can use it safely around the area near your eyes.
How to use clary oil?
Dilute two drops of clary oil in one tablespoon of carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Take a few drops of this oil in the palms of your hands and massage it gently on the skin of your face. Make sure to always dilute the oil before using it.
Ylang-ylang oil helps in improving the appearance of premature aging of the skin by regenerating the skin cells faster. It smoothes the wrinkles and fines by having a toning effect on the skin.
How to use ylang-ylang oil?
Take a few drops of the oil in the palms of your hands and massage it directly to your face for a couple of minutes.
You can also blend it with other oils such as lavender, sandalwood or grapefruit oils and use them to massage on your face to reduce premature signs of aging.
Geranium oil is an excellent oil that you can use for all types of skin. It minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as it slows the effects of premature aging by tightening the skin.
How to use geranium oil?
Mix a couple of drops of geranium oil with your moisturizer and apply it to your facial skin two times a day.
It is an essential oil that contains a high quantity of sesquiterpene, a hormone which boosts repair and regeneration of skin cells. It helps in soothing irritated and damaged skin, and fades wrinkles and fine lines.
How to use sandalwood oil?
Mix the following ingredients into a paste:
- 3 tsp milk powder
- 3 tsp sandalwood oil
- 1 tsp rose water
Mix thoroughly to form a smooth paste, and apply this to your face. Leave it for about 16 to 20 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. Watch as your skin transforms from a dull, damaged texture to instant radiance.
It has potent antioxidant properties that help in preventing premature aging. At the same time, it improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also promotes the growth and rejuvenation of skin cells.
How to use frankincense oil?
Take a couple of drops of frankincense oil in the palms of your hands and massage it on your facial skin before going to bed at night.
Sesame oil is a rich source of vitamin E and omega-6 and 9 fatty acids. It has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It rejuvenates your skin and prevents the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How to use sesame oil?
Take a couple of drops of sesame oil in the palms of your hands and massage it gently on your facial skin. Leave it overnight and wash it with lukewarm water in the morning. Repeat it daily.