The appearance of your skin can give a clue about your overall health. The skin provides your body with protection against invasion from bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing organisms. It has nerves that enable you to know when you come into direct contact with any harmful object. Plus, it contributes to your overall beauty. If your skin develops changes unexpectedly, talk to your physician to find out the cause.
Since your skin is such an important organ, it is good to keep it healthy.
Ways to Keeping Your Skin Healthy
Light from the sun contains UV rays. Long-term exposure to these rays may cause skin cancer and other skin conditions. The sun also destroys your skin elastin, resulting in age spots, wrinkles, and other signs of ageing. This causes you to appear older than your real age.
Some of the ways to protect your skin from sun exposure include:
- Use of sunscreens. A sunscreen with 15 or more sun protection factor is highly recommended. For better results, apply the sunscreen generous at an interval of two hours.
- Avoiding sunlight from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. These are the peak hours of the sun.
- Wearing protective clothing. They include long-sleeved shirts, hats, and wide-brimmed hats.
- For maximum protection against sun exposure, it is advisable to apply all the three methods.
Eating foods that contain skin-friendly nutrients. Healthy foods for a healthy skin include:
1. Foods Rich in Vitamins A, C, and E
Vitamins A, C, and E form the major antioxidants. These nutrients have the ability to counter the effects of hazardous environmental factors on your skin. For instance, they prevent wrinkles resulting from sun exposure and other environmental elements capable of damaging your skin cells. To get antioxidants, eat the following foods:
- Sweet potatoes
- Tomato-vegetable juice
- Butternut squash
- Green and red peppers
- Grapefruit juice
- Vegetable oils
2. Whole Foods
Besides protecting you from cancer and heart disease, a healthy diet of whole foods keeps your skin healthy. According to a research done at Monash University, Australia, a diet rich in whole foods prevents wrinkles and signs of premature ageing. Whole foods contain skin-friendly nutrients, including antioxidants, monounsaturated fats, and phytochemicals. A diet that contains whole foods includes the following:
- Multigrain bread
3. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats include omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Omega 3 fatty acids guard your skin against harmful sunrays. According to Nicholas Perricone, MD, these acids should be eaten along with antioxidant-rich foods for better results. Examples of foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids include walnuts, fish, and flaxseed.
Monounsaturated fats regulate your skin pH, which is crucial for a healthy skin. You can get monounsaturated fats by eating almond oil, olive oil, canola oil, and hazelnut oil. Avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, and olives also contain monounsaturated fats. It is important to know that a good skin diet should include proper hydration. Drinking a lot of fluids will keep your skin moist and healthy.
Certain lifestyle habits, including smoking and alcoholism, can damage your skin to a greater extent. According to a 2007 study published in the Archives of Dermatology, smoking causes premature skin ageing. Cigarette smoke facilitates the breakdown of skin collagen, a protein that gives the skin its natural elasticity. Although collagen declines with age, smoking speeds up the process, leading to formation of wrinkles. The breakdown of collagen causes tightening of the skin blood vessels, preventing the skin cells from receiving adequate oxygen and nutrients. This also destroys your skin’s elasticity, leading to premature signs of ageing.
Heat from burning cigars denatures your facial skin proteins, which further accelerates ageing. Additionally, smokers make certain repetitive facial expressions when inhaling and exhaling cigarette smoke. These expressions may cause wrinkles.
Too much alcohol damages the skin by depriving your body of water. A dehydrated skin looks tired, old, and dry. If you are a drinker, it is advisable to take plenty of water to prevent your skin from dehydration. However, you will need to drink sensibly because excessive alcohol intake can still damage your skin even if you drink plenty of water.
Regular cleaning keeps your skin healthy by removing bacteria, dirt, and other harmful radicals. According to a 2008 survey conducted by the British Skin Foundation, half of the people who use make-ups in the UK cause damage to their skin by failing to clean the skin before bedtime. Although make-ups are good for your skin, they withhold dust and other foreign materials. Sleeping with make-ups on your skin allows these materials to enter your skin through the skin pores, resulting in skin damage.
For better results, you need to apply proper techniques when washing your skin. To properly clean the skin, do the following:
- Use warm water. Hot water may make your skin dry by destroying the natural skin oil. Limiting the amount of time you spent in your hot shower also helps to preserve the skin oil.
- Use mild soaps. Strong soaps may contain dyes or perfumes that cause skin irritation.
- Pat your skin dry after cleaning to keep it moist. Moisturizing prevents skin dryness and a dull look. It also seals your skin and prevents moisture loss.
- Apply a moisturizer after cleaning your skin.
- Avoid alcohol-based and oil-based skin care products if you have a dry skin and oily skin respectively. Water-based products can be an ideal choice for you.
Inadequate sleep may cause your skin to appear older that it should. Bags may also develop under your eyes, making you to look older. If you don’t sleep adequately, you may develop mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, which make it difficult to sleep healthy. To have quality sleep, do the following:
- Develop healthy tiredness by exercising adequately. Good exercises for quality sleep may include swimming and yoga. Aerobic exercises enhance blood circulation, ensuring adequate oxygen supply to the skin. Adequate oxygen keeps your skin healthy.
- Take a warm shower to help your body relax before going to bed.
- Avoid drinking a lot of water before bedtime. A frequent urination urge disrupts your sleep.
- Avoid taking nicotine, caffeine, or other stimulants before bedtime. A reasonable amount of camomile tea can be ideal.
- Sleep in an environment that promotes good sleep. Keeping your bedroom quiet and dark helps.
Exercises play an important role in ensuring a healthy skin. They foster proper metabolism, which supplies your skin with nutrients. If you exercise regularly, your body will be able to prevent fat formation by burning excess cholesterol. Fat deposits may give your skin a saggy look.
Additionally, exercises boost blood circulation around the body. Proper circulation enables your blood to transport enough oxygen and nutrients to the skin, keeping the organ healthy. To optimize your exercise results, you need to do the following:
- Perform your exercises on a regular basis.
- Rehydrate properly after your exercise sessions by taking plenty of water or sports drink.
- Eat healthy and a good diet.
- Avoid exercising too much as this may cause soreness and other side effects.
- Get enough rest after your exercise sessions.
Proper Stress Management
Long-term stress can damage your skin by causing various skin conditions, including acne. It may also cause you to frown in most cases. Prolonged frowning causes signs of premature ageing, including wrinkles. To effectively manage your stress and keep your skin healthy, you can try the following:
- Relax your muscles. Stress results in muscle tension, which causes skin tightening. Stretching, massage therapy, taking a warm shower, and having quality sleep can be very helpful in ensuring muscle relaxation.
- Work out. Regular workouts help to relax your mind and body, and they boost your mood.
- Have enough rest. Your job or other things you do on a daily basis can be the cause of your stress. Taking a break will help your mind to refresh, relax, and focus on less stressful things. Meditation, yoga, listening to music, and spending time with friends are some of the restful things you can do to minimize your stress.
- Share your stress. Talk to your close friends about how you feel. They can reason with you to find a suitable remedy for your stress. Seeking professional help from a counsellor can also be helpful.
- Eat a balanced diet. Healthy eating helps to avoid or reduce stress by boosting your mood. It also improves comfort by keeping your body healthy.
Use of Skin Care Products
Skin care products have a great positive impact on your skin. However, not every product may be ideal for your skin. There are various types of skins, including oily and dry skins. The secret is to select a product that suits your skin type. You may need to try several products to find the one that works best for you. Some products contain ingredients that may cause skin irritation; hence, they should be avoided. Conducting a research to find out beauty stores that sell genuine skin care products is important.
Keeping our skin healthy is something that can easily be achieved by applying simple self-care techniques. To optimize your results, you may need a combination of two or more of the tips discussed in this article.