THIS Is How You Decode Your Biggest Beauty Issues


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Brittle nails, hair loss, greasy locks, and dull, dehydrated skin… These are all super common beauty issues that we get asked about 24/7. The truth is, at one point in your life, you’ll most likely experience one of these beauty concerns. Sometimes, you’ll be able to source a quick fix, but other times the cult-classic formulas and miracle treatments just won’t cut it. In this case, you may need to go deeper and decode the beauty issue. Take brittle nails or sallow skin as an example, these could indicate something happening in your body that you need to address.

To help you understand your body and feed it with the nutrients it’s *actually* craving, we’ve listed five common concerns and the most likely underlying issue.

1. Dehydrated Skin

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Okay, so we have to talk about this one ASAP. Dry skin and dehydrated skin are two different things. Dry skin is typically a heredity skin type and appears as roughness or flakes on the skin’s surface, which can usually be soothed with topical creams. It occurs when the skin is lacking natural oils, whereas dehydrated skin occurs when it lacks water. Hydrated skin appears more plump and healthy, while dehydrated skin will look dull with accentuated fine lines and wrinkles. As we know, oil and water are two very different things, so trying to soothe dehydrated skin with oils or creams is pretty much a lost cause.

A good way to determine if your body is dehydrated is by gently pinching the skin on the back of your hand. If your skin goes back into place instantly, you’re good, but if it takes a while, it could mean you’re dehydrated – you just did it didn’t you? Of course, the best way to hydrate your skin is by upping your water intake, however, you can also boost your hydration levels with food.

According to a study by The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, squash, and cantaloupe contain between 90-99% water, so these foods are ideal if you want to up your H20 intake. However, drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol can also cause dehydration, so try not to consume either in excess.

2. Brittle Nails

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If your nails are brittle, soft, thin or are constantly splitting, you could have a condition named ‘onychoschizia.’ A study in Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology found that this condition affects 20% of the population, which is wild considering no one really talks about it. This condition is caused by a number of internal and external factors but is most commonly a result of water damage, plus, overusing harsh nail polish removers and soaps.

Another reason for brittle nails is iron deficiency. Having an iron-rich diet is super important as iron is needed in the body to produce hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide. It sounds really sciencey, but don’t worry, it’s a pretty simple fix – eat them greens! Leafy greens like kale and spinach are packed full of iron, so adding them to your meals (or smoothie) is a relatively quick fix. Other foods that are rich in iron include beans and cashews, and for any vegans, tofu is great! Of course, there are always supplements, but getting your vitamins from foods is always a healthy option.

3. Hair Loss

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The most common hair issue we get asked about is undoubtedly hair loss. We’ll be real, experiencing hair loss or simply thinning can feel frustrating and kinda scary.

The reality is, there are so many things that can contribute to hair loss, from hormone fluctuations and hairstyling faux-pas to stress-induced hair loss. The first step is to determine what is causing the hair loss and then move forward from there.

According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky (AKA TikTok’s @dermguru), while most associate hair loss with genetics, she insists, “Hormones in both men and women can commonly cause hair loss or hair growth.” Specifically, she notes, “the hormone dihydrotestosterone (also known as DHT, it’s a hormone for which testosterone is its precursor) is responsible for the most common type of hair loss: male and female patterned hair loss.” Check out our guide to hormone-induced hair loss here.

Another common cause of hair loss, which had increased in the past five years thanks to our love of snatched hairstyles, is traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is caused by tight hairstyles continuously pulling on the hair shaft, thereby damaging hair follicles, which can eventually lead to permanent hair loss.

If you’ve noticed more hair loss in the past two years, this could be due to the physical or emotional stress of navigating a global pandemic. Any trauma to the body such as surgery, childbirth, or death of a loved one, can move about 30% of your hairs to shift from the growth phase (anagen) into the resting phase (telogen) where they are more likely to fall out. Read about stress-related hair loss here. For more info on hair loss and how to treat it, read our hair loss guide.

4. Greasy Hair

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If your hair is constantly greasy, you could have another issue on your hands. Greasy hair occurs when your scalp produces an excessive amount of oil, so you need to tackle the issue from within. The ultimate solution? Amping up your zinc intake. Zinc is naturally present in our body and helps strengthen our immune system, plus, it helps lower oil levels in our scalp and skin. So, if you have oily skin or scalp, increasing your zinc intake is a total gamechanger. Need some inspo? Foods that are high in zinc include red meats, shellfish, beans, nuts and seeds, dairy and – our fave – dark chocolate. You can also take zinc picolinate supplements (50mg), daily.

5. Sallow Skin

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The term ‘sallow skin’ is used quite a lot in the beauty industry but not many of us know what it really means. Sallow skin basically refers to skin that has lost its natural tone. It can refer to a dull complexion, discoloration, pigmentation, or just anything that makes your skin look like it’s lost its glow.

Sallow skin affects a lot of people in many different ways, so it’s natural that there could be a number of different remedies. The most common issue, however, is vitamin deficiencies. Vitamins A, B-12, C, E, and K could all be impacting the way your skin looks, but it’s easy to get it back on track. Vitamin A is found in orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, squash, and capsicum. Vitamin B-12 is found in meats, while vitamin C is probably the most well-known, as is found in citrus fruits. Vitamin E is found in nuts, while vitamin K is found in berries and those leafy greens! To sum up, make sure you’re having a healthy and well-balanced diet and taking those multivitamins!

Let us know if there are any other health and body issues you’d like help with, in the comments below.

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