Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ? Our skin is extremely important for our overall health as it protects us from the elements and acts as a barrier against infection.
Healthy-looking skin is the new face lift! Protecting and boosting our body’s ability to keep our skin healthy with a youthful appearance has never been more of a priority for many people.
Many people prioritize the skin health of their faces above all else. This makes a lot of sense, since your face is one of the first things that other people see. The two main concerns for facial skin include signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots) and acne.
You can’t stop time, but you can slow down premature skin aging and damage caused by environmental factors.
Here are 6 ways to promote healthy-looking skin, so you can continue to glow throughout all four seasons.
Protect Your Body’s Collagen Supply with Sunscreen
Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced in your body and also one of the main building blocks for your skin. Collagen production starts to slow down as we age.
Collagen is the secret behind keeping your skin healthy. Many people use collagen as part of their anti-aging beauty regimen. We spend hours out in the sun and expose our skin to the chemicals of our modern-day lives—just by living!
One of the most important things you can do to protect the collagen in your body is to prevent UV exposure from the sun. Staying out of the sun is the best option. We know this isn’t always an option, so with typical daily exposure wearing a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is a great idea.
Even if you live in a cloudy climate, the sun’s UV rays still sneak through. Adding sunscreen to your daily skincare routine is a must, regardless of the weather.
Wash Your Face Twice a Day
Improving personal hygiene is an easy way to up your skincare routine. Many times it’s easy to put off washing your face until the morning, but the accumulation of dead skin cells and pollution can lead to acne and premature aging.
Wash your face at night and first thing in the morning. If you wear makeup, washing your face at night is especially important. Leaving your makeup on can cause your collagen to break down quicker. It also allows your makeup and facial dirt/oil to accumulate on your pillowcase. Yuck!
In the morning, it’s important to wash away all the toxins and sebum oil your skin produced over the night.
How to Wash Your Face
Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and massage gently in a circular motion so you don’t damage your skin and cause premature aging. Make sure to choose a cleanser that matches your skin type: dry, normal, combination, or oily. You want to leave your skin clean without drying it out.
Washcloths and loofahs are too rough for your face! They also can carry extra bacteria. Your hands are the perfect tool.
When washing your face, it’s smart to use room temperature water instead of extremely hot or cold water. Using a gentle cleanser is important as well, as you don’t want to irritate the delicate skin of your face!
Use a Moisturizer
A moisturizer goes hand-in-hand with washing your face. This is especially important if you live in a dry climate or have harsh winters.
Starting good habits early will help aid in aging prevention. You can prevent premature aging by making sure your skin retains moisture. Adding a daily moisturizer into your skin care routine traps water in your skin and helps you keep a youthful appearance.
The closer you can apply a moisturizer after you shower or bathe, the better. Within two minutes is best for absorption.
Eat Healthy Foods
Foods high in antioxidants help protect our skin cells and preserve collagen. Foods high in refined sugars or unhealthy fats have the opposite effect and can promote skin aging and contribute to acne.
Foods known to be high in antioxidants include yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, fatty fish, and nuts.
The general tip to remember when it comes to food and your skin is that you should consider your overall diet instead of specific foods. If you generally make healthy choices in your diet, you don’t need to focus on specific foods:
- Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and veggies
- Choose whole grains over starchy carbs
- Limit refined sugars and unhealthy fats (think sweets and fast food)
Since your skin is an organ and made up of cells, the same considerations that apply to all cells in your body also apply to your skin cells!
Drinking water will help your skin cells function at their best. Everyone is different but a good place to start is 8 glasses of water every day, or half of your body weight in ounces.
Moisture in your skin provides skin elasticity. Drinking water also helps flush your body of toxins and can improve acne. Replacing the water your body loses naturally will help keep your skin from turning dry and flaky, preventing wrinkles before they appear.
Although other liquids can help with hydration, sticking to water or herbal teas is a great way to prevent adding sugar to your diet!
Rest and Relaxation
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that about 30% of adults in the US regularly get insufficient sleep. Combined with our stressful pace of life, many people are tired and stressed all the time!
Research has directly linked poor sleep quality to fine lines and wrinkles making an earlier appearance in life! Minimizing stress and getting enough sleep are key elements to healthier skin. These may seem like the basics, but they have a huge impact on the appearance of your skin.
A few tactics you can use for your overall health, that will also translate to a more youthful appearance, include:
- Meditation and mindfulness practice
- Spending more time with loved ones
- Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol
Keep in mind that following these tips can take months to see improvement in your skin, but it’s worth it! Promoting healthy skin naturally with the tips above will help you enjoy your new-found glow!