Our skin covers the entire length of our bodies. It is responsible for protecting tissues, keeping out infection and controlling body temperature. Needless to say, skin is a very important part of the body. Because of this, you should work to keep it as healthy as possible. It’s also the layer that everybody sees – so maintaining healthy skin will keep you looking good. We recognize the importance of having healthy skin, so we’ve created a list of ways to keep your skin extra healthy.
1. Have a balanced diet
One of the most effective ways to ensure healthy skin is to have a healthy and balanced diet. The food you eat not only affects the inside of your body, but the outer layers as well. Your skin will be healthiest when you’re consuming a diet that includes a balanced amount of nutrients. If you’re not receiving all the nutrients that you need from your diet, try taking vitamins. Vitamins that include antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are best.
Some foods that have been found to be especially good to eat in order to boost the health of your complexion include low-fat dairy products for vitamin A, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums for their antioxidants, salmon, walnuts, canola oil and flaxseed for their essential fatty acids, whole-wheat bread, muffins and cereals and turkey, tuna and brazil nuts for their selenium, and green tea for its plethora of skin-health properties. It’s also important to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep your skin hydrated.
2. Exercise daily
People usually exercise in order to lose or maintain weight and build muscle. Yet, exercise is also key to having healthy and vibrant skin. Working out increases blood flow, allowing for well-nourished skin that is attaining essential nutrients and oxygen. Increased blow flow also allows for waste products to be carried away faster. Exercise has also been proven to decrease stress. Stress is known to be awful for the skin, worsening acne and eczema, and dehydrating it.
3. Consider using retinoids
Once you start using retinoids, they will become your skin’s new best friend. Retenoids are vitamin A derivatives that help your skin in a variety of ways. Retenoids help to unplug pores, clear up acne, increase collagen production, reduce fine lines, even out discoloration and smoothen skin. When you first start using retinoids, you may experience dryness, flaking and redness. Afterwards, though, you should see an immense improvement in your skin. A few common retinoid prescriptions brands include Atralin, Retin-A, and Renova. Prescriptions come in different strengths, so make sure to check with your dermatologist to see which will work best for you. You can also use the over-the-counter version, retinol.
4. Keep your skin care regime simple
If you’ve got shelves and drawers full of skin care products, it’s likely that you use too many products. Using too many skin care products can cause the skin to become irritated and the products can cancel each other out. The main function of your products should be to cleanse, protect and hydrate. You can simply achieve this with a cleanser, sunscreen, moisturizer and a retinoid. That’s really all that you need.
5. Avoid smoking, sunbathing and tanning salons
All three of these activities are horrible for the skin and result in premature aging. Experts have found that that smokers look 1.4 years older than nonsmokers on average, according to MSN Healthy living. Smoking hinders the blood supply that allows skin to be healthily nourished and vibrant, leading to wrinkles. Smoking also causes skin to become dry and discolored, as the carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke displaces the oxygen in your skin and nicotine reduces your blood flow. Finally, smoking depletes nutrients, including vitamin C, which is used by the skin for repairing and protection.
Sunbathing and tanning salons are also extremely bad for the skin. The UV rays from the sun and tanning beds break down the collagen and elastin in your skin, which keep your skin looking smooth and youthful. UV rays also break down the production of more collagen, which repairs the skin and makes it strong. Although many think that tans give people a healthy glow, any tan is a sign of skin damage, according to Sharon Miller, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientist and international expert on UV radiation and tanning. Getting a tan is not worth the damage it does to your skin. Try limiting or stopping your tanning habits altogether, and make sure to wear sunscreen when you are out in the sun. We recommend using a bronzer and/or tinted SPF to achieve that sun-kissed look.
6. Shorten your showers
It seems to make sense that long, hot showers would be good for the skin. But, surprisingly, the opposite is true. Why? We’ll explain. Skin protects you from the environment and helps you to retain moisture. It does this with the help of cells in the outermost layer of your skin and the oil that it produces. The heat from the shower softens your skin’s oil. Once you start scrubbing yourself with soap, the skin’s oil and some of the cells are stripped off. This leads to moisture escaping from your skin, which is why it becomes dry and itchy.
To keep your skin as healthy as possible, we recommend shortening your shower time to no longer than 10 minutes and keeping the water temperature lukewarm. Make sure to apply moisturizer after you’re done, as it will temporarily replace your skin’s oil and make sure that more moisture doesn’t escape.
If you have a skin care question for Joanie, please feel free to reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and include the subject line “Skin Care Question”
Last Updated on September 22, 2016 by Dr Dayan