How to Keep Your Skin Healthy
What You Need To Know
- Your diet can have a big influence on your skin, with foods rich in antioxidants bringing the most benefits.
- Yo-yo diets can damage the skin by causing stretch marks and wrinkles.
- Smoking reduces blood flow to your skin, accelerating the appearance of ageing.
- Make sure, that whether it comes from natural or artificial sources, you don’t allow your skin to be over-exposed to UV light.
- Getting a good nights sleep and doing plenty of exercise are two of the surest ways to keep your skin looking healthy
Watch your Diet
What you eat can have a massive influence on how healthy your skin looks, meaning sticking to a sensible diet is imperative.
In particular, foods rich in antioxidants have been identified as being best for the skin.
So, top skin-friendly health foods include spinach and other green, leafy vegetables, tomatoes, nuts, blueberries, beans, peas and lentils and, of course, fish, especially salmon.
Conversely, certain foods have been linked with skin damage, with greasy junk food in particular having been identified as being among the worst culprits when it comes to bringing on premature ageing.
However, rather than worrying about which specific foods are the best for healthy skin, the Mayo Clinic advises that you "concentrate on a healthy diet in general", as many of the foods that promote good overall health are also beneficial to the skin.
Also, note that extreme yo-yo diets can be damaging to the skin, causing unsightly stretch marks and wrinkles.
You should also make an effort to drink plenty of water as dehydration can lead to your skin drying up and looking older than your years.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Aside from watching your diet, you should also aim to maintain a healthy all-round lifestyle if you want your skin to look as good as it can.
Above all, if you’re a smoker you should either cut down or quit the habit altogether.
Smoking serves to narrow the blood flow to the skin, accelerating the onset of wrinkles and making you look older than you actually are.
In comparison, enjoying regular exercise increase blood and oxygen flow around the body, sending more to the skin and keeping it fresh and young-looking.
Being stressed or worried can play havoc on the skin, leading to wrinkles and premature ageing, as well as even ‘adult acne’.
This is due to the fact that, when a person is under stress, the adrenal gland is stimulated into producing too much of the chemical that keeps the skin moisturised, causing this to block pores and even leading to eventual infection.
As such, it’s a good idea to try and avoid getting wound up and maintain a positive mental attitude whenever possible.
Keeping a positive mental attitude can also ensure that you don’t turn to alcohol or unhealthy foods and thereby cause even more damage.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Though you may think you look good with a glowing tan, the truth is that too much exposure to the sun can cause significant long-term damage to the skin.
That’s not to say you should avoid the sun at all times. Far from it, in fact, as sunlight has been proven to boost overall physical and mental wellbeing.
However, you should always use sunscreen, reapplying it every two hours or after being in water and, if possible, try and avoid the midday sun, when the rays are at their strongest and most-damaging.
Look out for higher ‘SPF’ sun creams containing the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both of which reflect sunlight and can help combat the anti-aging process.
Don’t think that getting a tan using a sunbed is any better for your skin. Cancer Research UK advises that sunbeds also give out harmful UV rays, damaging the skin’s DNA, causing premature ageing and increasing the risk of cancer.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
As well as all of the above, you should also aim to get a good night’s sleep as often as possible in order to maintain a fresh look.
So, work out how much sleep you need each night in order to feel refreshed the morning after and try to get this amount as often as you can.
Investing in a vitamin-packed night cream can also help ensure you wake up feeling fresh-faced.
Invest in Lotions and Potions
For sure, a large number of the so-called anti-aging creams, lotions, oils and gels available over the counter are largely ineffectual and, as such, likely to be a waste of money. But don’t tar all of them with the same brush.
However, it’s not enough to just invest in skincare products. You also need to keep a diligent cleansing routine, taking care to remove any make-up you may be wearing at the end of each day, and it’s recommended that you exfoliate around once a week.
Moreover, regular facial massages can also work wonders; by stimulating circulation and toning up the facial muscles, facials can be a great way of holding back the years.
- Read our guide to natural skin care products to see how they can be better for your skin.
- Find out which natural health supplements kind help keep your skin young, here.
- Read Cancer Research UK’s advice on keeping your skin healthy and reducing your risk fo skin cancer, here.
- Learn more specific ways to keep skin looking health during the winter months.
- Find out more about the threat to your skin posed by sunbeds with our guide to sunbeds.