Whether we are in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, one thing is a given: we want our skin to look it’s absolute best no matter the conditions outside. Sounds easy, but we know it’s not that simple. Summer brings heat which brings sweat, winter brings cold that causes dry skin. So how do we take control of our skin and make it beautiful every day of the year, no matter the season? Skin is very complex, so caring for it is going to be complex, but worth the effort. Skin itself is more than just a “covering” for our muscles, nerves, tissue, organs and bones. It is an actual organ of the body, the largest one in fact, covering an area of 20+ square feet. It’s importance to the survival of the human body is evident, but sometimes overlooked. As we will see, your skin is essential to your overall health and you have more impact on its condition than you may think.
Make Better Everyday Choices
YOU can influence the health and vitality of your skin. Simple choices you make each day can help give you healthy, glowing skin. Several things you can do to make your skin the healthiest it can be:
- You want beautiful skin? Don’t smoke! Smoking is an avalanche for all sorts of health problems, but it also causes skin issues. Smoking increases the appearance of wrinkles. Smoking also causes the blood vessels in the outer layers of skin to become more narrow, which cuts down on the amount of nutrients and oxygen to the skin, which it needs in order to remain healthy.
- Exercise is vital to our skin health. When we exercise it increases our blood flow, which brings nutrients to our skin cells helping them to flourish. Exercising can help keep your complexion clear, along with all its other benefits to your body.
- Excessively long and temperature hot showers are not kind to your skin. They rob your body of moisture and wash away the natural oils in your skin that keep it hydrated. Try cool, warm showers and baths.
- One great (and cheap) way to help your skin is as simple as a piece of ice! Yes, I said ice. After you take a shower get out a piece of ice and wrap it in a piece of cloth or paper towel. As it begins to melt, rub the ice on your face. This has a number of benefits for your skin: it helps to lessen puffiness or areas of your face that may be swollen, it helps to tighten up your pores, helps keep acne under control, and (for ladies) it can help prime your skin for putting on makeup.
- Wash your face like you are supposed to brush your teeth: when you get up in the morning and before you to bed at night.
- Use a humidifier at home to keep moisture in the air, preventing you from dry and itchy skin.
- It’s SO IMPORTANT, for many reasons, to sanitize your phone EVERY DAY!! We are constantly touching our phones, laying them down, the amount of bacteria on them is staggering. You hold it up to your face to answer a call and there is no way of knowing what kind of bacteria you could be putting right on your face.
Food And Drink: Yes It Matters!!
What we eat and drink, all that we put into our bodies affects our overall health. Our skin is included in this equation. Healthy foods and lots of water will help to produce healthy skin. Unhealthy foods and sugary drinks will manifest itself in our skin. Some helpful things to remember when we want to have the most beautiful skin possible:
- Keep your body hydrated at ALL TIMES!! Drink plenty of water.
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a must for healthy skin. The food that we eat and the drinks that we drink do directly affect our skin. The healthier your diet, full of fruits and vegetables, the healthier your skin.
- Diets low in unhealthy fats and high in fish oil help to create healthier, younger looking skin.
- Watermelon is a great food to eat and help your skin. The nutrients in watermelon can help reduce redness you may have on your face and it can also help to heal sun damage to your skin.
- Mixed nuts are not only a good snack but are also good for your skin. Brazil nuts are high in selenium which can decrease the threat of skin cancer and help improve the skin’s elasticity. Walnuts are good for skin with their offerings of omega3 to help stop acne, and macadamia nuts are great for helping skin replenish itself.
Sunscreen: It Really Is Your Friend!
The importance to your skin health is directly affected by the amount of sun damage to your skin. Sunscreen isn’t just recommended, or a “good idea,” it’s IMPERATIVE! Sun protection: using sunscreen and wearing clothing that offers uv ray protection, is something that should become a part of your daily routine. It’s recommended by dermatologists to use a minimum 15 sunblock, one that has UVB and UVA protection from the sun's rays. Skin exposed to the sun can develop age spots, wrinkles, and of course skin cancer. Dermatologists do advise you to find a sunscreen that is non acnegenic or non comedogenic, as these kinds will not block your pores.
Sleep And Stress
Just as what we eat and drink affects our skin, so does the length of sleep we get a night and the amount of stress we are under.
- Getting plenty of rest, a full night's sleep, is imperative for your skin health. We all know about the ugly, dark circles that can appear under our eyes when we haven't been getting enough rest. Beauty sleep is a real thing!
- Some MAJOR acne breakouts are a direct result of stress. Learn how to take deep breaths and find ways to calm yourself when you are feeling stressed.
Choosing The Right Skin Products
You can’t have your television on for 15 minutes without hearing at least one commercial for a skin care product. Have you ever tried shopping for the right lotion, cream, corrector or infusion solution? Talk about OVERWHELMING!!! How are you going to be sure what you are buying is the best solution for your skin?
- First, assess what type of skin you have: normal, oily, dry, or a combination.
- Select a facial cleanser that is gentle and geared for your certain skin type.
- Select a moisturizer that is specific for your skin type and for your skin’s needs. A moisturizer is also necessary for helping our skin stay hydrated (water content) by increasing the strength of that moisture barrier, keeping that water level where it needs to be.
- It’s important to apply moisturizer after showers or baths to help lock in as much moisture as possible and doing this will help your skin retain the moisture for a longer period of time.
- The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you refrain from using products that contain retinoids, alcohol, alpha-hydroxy acids in the winter when the skin is more easily drier than other seasons.
- If you find that your skin care products are leaving your skin itchy or dry, switch to fragrance free or hypoallergenic products instead. Some soaps are too strong and can end up stripping your skin of moisture. In this case look for more gentler, milder soaps to add to your skin care routine.
Skin Health - Your Choice!
Just like any aspect of our health and wellness, the choices we make are crucial to how healthy we want to be. Our skin is a huge part of this equation. Healthy skin is a bi-product of a healthy lifestyle, what we eat & drink, exercise, rest, low stress, and using sunscreen. It sounds easy, but in reality a healthy lifestyle is a lot of hard work, but well worth the effort to live a full life. Your skin is the first thing people see so make it’s well-being a top priority. If you will put in the time and effort to be diligent and take care of your skin, your skin will thank you by continuing to take good care of you!
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