Skin health is an important part of keeping your body healthy. Exfoliate two-three times a week to remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth.
Use a gentle scrub brush or washcloth. Avoid abrasive brushes or rough materials. Moisturize immediately after washing with ointments or creams, rather than lotions.
1. Drink a lot of water
Drinking enough water is essential for healthy skin. It helps to flush out toxins and improves circulation, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, it can also help improve skin thickness and elasticity.
You should aim to drink around 8 glasses of water a day. This can be in the form of water, low-fat milk or sugar-free drinks like tea and coffee. It’s also important to eat foods that contain water, such as cucumber, berries, tomatoes and watermelon.
However, if you drink too much water, it can actually have the opposite effect on your skin. Excessive hydration can cause your skin to become dry and tight.
2. Get plenty of sleep
A healthy diet and plenty of sleep are essential for keeping skin looking its best. Sleep is when our body repairs itself, and it is also when our complexion has time to recover from daily environmental factors like UV damage, smog, rapid temperature changes and stress.
During a full night of sleep, fresh blood nourishes the skin, toxins are flushed, and pH is reset. The body also releases human growth hormone and the antioxidant melatonin, which protect against free-radical damage.
When we are deprived of sleep, the skin is robbed of this natural healing process and it can become dull, dry and irritated. When our skin is irritated, it can be vulnerable to infections and acne breakouts.
3. Eat a healthy diet
The skin is the largest organ in the body, so it needs to be taken care of. Certain elements like an unhealthful diet, stress, not enough sleep, smoking and particular medications can affect the skin’s ability to act as a protective barrier.
A healthy diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and plenty of water. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, while omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like salmon and trout, can promote glowing skin.
Adding foods that are high in vitamin C, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin can also be beneficial. These nutrients can be found in blackcurrants, blueberries, guava, strawberries, kale and spinach.
4. Exercise regularly
From burpees to squats, running to yoga, exercise has many positive effects on your body and skin. It boosts collagen, nourishes skin cells and reduces the stress hormone cortisol that can make acne worse.
Exercise also stimulates healthy microbes in the skin and helps eliminate unhealthy ones that can clog pores. Scientists are currently studying the role of these healthy microbes in the skin and hope to understand how they can be used for prevention and treatment of certain skin diseases.
Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle plays just as much of a role in your skin health as products do. Eat a nutritious diet full of protein, healthy fats and produce, avoid sugar, get plenty of sleep, moisturize regularly, and protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
5. Wear sunscreen
While slathering on sunscreen at the beach is a no-brainer, it’s also important to wear it daily. It protects against sunburn, wrinkles and other signs of aging. Sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and can even help reduce the risk of melanoma.
Kong says the most important thing is to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Other protective measures include wearing hats and other clothing with a UPF rating, and staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Choose a sunscreen that has a moisturizer built in and apply it generously. Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals or alcohol, and be sure to wash your hands with lukewarm water rather than hot water, which can dry out the skin.
6. Avoid tanning beds
Tanning beds are not only incredibly damaging to the skin, but they also cause a myriad of health issues. Exposure to UVA rays from tanning beds can lead to dark spots, leathery skin and wrinkles that make you look older than you are.
It doesn’t matter if the rays come from tanning beds or the sun, they both have the same harmful effect. Even one tanning session increases your risk of squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, as well as melanoma. This is why it’s important to avoid tanning beds. This includes avoiding spray tanning, too. It’s not worth the risks.
7. Avoid smoking
The toxins in smoking decrease blood flow to the skin, causing it to look pale and depriving it of oxygen. Smokers also tend to have a greyish complexion and may suffer from psoriasis (a condition where patches of the skin turn red, flakey and itchy).
In addition, thousands of chemicals in cigarettes destroy collagen and elastin, which are the fibers that give skin its strength and elasticity. This results in wrinkles and sagging skin. Smoking also increases the risk of squamous cell skin cancer. Fortunately, these effects can be reversed by quitting smoking. By doing so, you can restore your healthy glow.
8. Wear gloves
If you work with chemicals or wash your hands a lot, wear gloves to protect your skin. Wearing gloves helps to prevent dermatitis, which is a common occupational skin problem. It also helps to protect your hands from harsh cleansers and cold weather conditions, which both dry out the skin.
When you wash your hands, use lotion that moisturizes. Moisturizer seals the skin to keep water in, so it helps to keep it healthy. Ointments generally moisturize better than creams.
If you need to wash your hands a lot, consider using wipes that are impregnated with soap substitutes or oils to remove substances from the hand quickly. These may be less drying than soap and are available at most drugstores.