We all want glowing, healthy skin. But how do you obtain that? It seems there are a million products that promise to make your skin healthier, cleaner, and younger. While those products may or may not live up to their claims, there are things you can do to keep your skin clean and healthy before you decide which products will best compliment your skin care regimen.
Since your skin is the largest organ in your body and it covers every other organ, maintaining its health can positively or negatively affect the rest of your body.
For instance, skin that cracks and bleeds can lead to infections and bacteria being introduced into the body. Skin that is too thin can tear easily and cause pain. Improperly caring for your skin and extensive use of harsh chemicals can lead to intermittent and sometimes long lasting issues such as rashes, scarring, discoloration and premature wrinkling.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your skin healthy so that it looks and feels great!
- First, stay hydrated! When your body doesn’t have enough moisture, your skin dries out and cracks. This is especially true of your face. If you want to look in the mirror at soft, supple skin, make sure you are drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day. This helps your body function properly, both internally and externally. Hydration keeps your digestive system functioning, your organs working, and moisturizes your skin. If you are already thirsty, you are likely dehydrated. So grab a glass of water often throughout your day.
- Wear sunscreen. While it feels good to enjoy the sunshine on our skin - especially in the warmer months - studies have shown over and over that prolonged sun exposure actually damages the skin. Undesirable conditions that come about from excessive sun include dry, leathery skin, sun spots, sunburns and in some cases skin cancers. Put on sunscreen and keep your skin safe from the harmful rays of the sun.
- Eat a balanced diet. Healthy fats have a positive effect on your skin when consumed on a daily basis. Eating fish and other foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your body inside and out. Gut health also manifests in the skin. If you suffer from chronic skin conditions, you may suffer from leaky gut or digestive issues. Keeping your digestive system healthy will show in the health of your skin. There are also some things you should avoid. Sugar and fatty foods (the unhealthy kind), should be avoided or consumed in limited amounts.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking puts harmful chemicals into your body and those chemicals will absorb into your body and skin and cause a variety of issues. Smoking reduces the skin’s elasticity and strength. It also narrows the blood vessels in your body, decreasing blood flow and making your skin appear pale. The facial motions you make when smoking can also contribute to wrinkles in various areas of your face. Lastly, it puts you at an increased risk of certain types of skin cancer, which again, is not conducive to healthy skin.
- Be gentle with your skin. Use gentle cleansers and be cautious of the chemicals you use on your skin. Many highly fragranced skin care products have chemicals that can dry out and even damage your skin, especially in sensitive areas like on the face or other areas. Washing off makeup each night and getting rid of dead skin cells will bring out the natural beauty of your skin.
- Moisturize your skin. Even if you do all of the above, just being part of the world and its climate will still dry out the healthiest skin. Find a good moisturizer you can use all over and one that is specifically for your face. This will help you keep your skin soft and supple from the outside, in.
- Eliminate stress. Okay, so eliminating stress completely may not be possible, but reduce stress as much as possible. Stress causes many things in your body to breakdown. It lowers your immune system and contributes to illness. Stress can also cause breakouts, hives, and other rashes to develop. Part of managing your stress is to ensure you get enough sleep. While you sleep, your body is repairing and regenerating itself. Getting sufficient rest is good for keeping your body healthy all-around.
Your skin is an outward reflection of what is going on inside. Many of the tips above apply to keeping both in optimal condition. However, there are a variety of ways you can improve the health of your skin by directly protecting it. Avoiding chemicals and sun exposure, and ensuring your skin is well-hydrated are vital in having healthy, glowing skin.
In addition to following these tips, you can find a great skin care line to use daily. A gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and other products can seal in the moisture and block out the toxins that we encounter in our everyday lives. Once you find a line you love, stick with it. Changing or mixing products can cause unintentional reactions. With these suggestions and a few skincare products, your skin will be glowing and healthy for years to come.