Healthy and Radiant Skin Tips
Summer’s here! Time for the beach, swimming and picnicking. But be sure to protect yourself from the elements. Sun exposure, environmental toxins and even air conditioning all take their toll on your skin’s health.
Your skin is your body’s barrier against the elements in the outside world, but unfortunately, when those elements attack your skin it can become discoloured, appear lifeless and lose elasticity.
Skin health is also compromised by internal factors. Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day can help your skin retain its youthful glow.
The antioxidants in fruit and vegetables work from the inside out to help prevent free-radical damage, which causes skin damage. Additionally, it’s vital to keep your skin well hydrated.
Drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water each day will help your skin stay in great condition. Remember, however, that beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol are no substitute for water.
Caffeine and alcohol can actually cause your body to lose water by increasing urine secretion. Also keep in mind that when you’re thirsty, your body is probably already low in the water.
If you always wait until you feel thirsty, you may be constantly cheating your skin of ample hydration.
A good way to measure your skin’s vitality is to perform the skin elasticity test. Place your hand on a hard surface, palm down. Spread your fingers as wide as possible; then pinch the skin on the back of your hand and hold it for five seconds.
When you release the skin, the fold should immediately flatten. If the fold remains, your skin is showing signs of ageing.
What else can affect your skin’s health? Smoking cigarettes wreaks havoc on your skin. Nicotine diminishes blood flow and prevents skin tissue from receiving the oxygen it needs.
So common is the effect of nicotine on the skin of smokers that the name “smoker’s face” has been given to the condition characterized by deep wrinkles (especially around the mouth), gaunt facial features and a wasted, grey colouration.
Lack of sleep and stress can also show on your skin. Not getting the proper amount of sleep can cause dark under-eye circles and dull skin. And when you’re under stress, your body uses all available nutrients to keep your vital organs running efficiently, which then starves the skin. If your overall well-being isn’t at an optimal level, your skin will show it.
If your diet isn’t providing you with some important vitamins and minerals necessary to keep your skin healthy, taking a supplement can help ensure that your body’s nutritional needs are being met.
Supplements aren’t intended to replace healthy eating, but they can provide important ingredients for those times when adequate nutrient levels are not reached. So once you’re eating right, getting enough rest and trying to limit exposure to toxins, what else is there? All that’s left is a little maintenance.
Taking care of your skin should be part of your daily routine; one that includes cleansing and moisturizing each morning and night.
Soap can leave a residue that breeds bacteria and irritates your skin, so instead of washing your face with soap and water, look for water-based cleansers.
Exfoliating is a good way to slough off dead skin cells and prevent them from blocking pores, not just on your face but all over your body. Exfoliators made from milk or fruits are especially effective for dissolving dead skin cells on the thicker, hardened skin that develops on the hands, body and feet.
Finally, don’t forget the moisturizer. Skin becomes thinner and more permeable as you get older, and it loses its natural lubricants. You can compensate for the loss of natural moisture by keeping your skin well moisturized.
Keep in mind that your nighttime moisturizer should be more replenishing than the one you use during the day because your body goes into its most intense period of repair between midnight and 4 a.m.
Healthy, radiant skin is not just for the young. By following the fundamentals of skincare you can help keep your skin looking beautiful at any age.