Apart from being the largest organ of the body, skin is our first line of defense, protecting us from foreign invaders like germs and bacteria. Read on to learn what foods and lifestyle practices benefit your complexion the most–plus, some other healthy skin habits that’ll keep you glowing for years to come.
Eat nutritious foods for healthy skin
What you eat has a big impact on every part of your body. So adopting a diet rich in nutritious foods is one of the best ways to improve and maintain skin health.
Stay away from processed foods like refined grains, packaged chips and snacks, and sugary sodas and sweets as much as possible. These foods cause cross-linking of collagen–a key protein that makes skin soft and supple–which results in loss of elasticity and other signs of aging.
Opt instead for food that’s rich in Vitamin E, which is an essential component in skin care, as well as overall nutrition. Vitamin E is anti-inflammatory and helps to neutralize free radicals, which can damage cells throughout the body.
To get your vitamin E fix, look no further than seafood. Herring, tuna, and salmon are known not only for having heart-health benefits, but also for containing high amounts of vitamin E. They’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are instrumental in controlling acne and skin inflammation.
Stay hydrated to reduce signs of aging
Drinking lots of water hydrates your body and improves skin elasticity–and may boost hydration in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin). Studies show that people who drink large amounts of water are less likely to have scars, wrinkles, lines, and other signs of aging compared to those who drink less.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep skin smooth, supple, and healthy. You can also get extra hydration from foods such as celery, watermelon, strawberries, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables.
Go to a great derma clinic
Along with natural, at-home ways to keep your skin healthy, you can also consult with experts who can help prescribe services, such as microdermabrasion or laser treatments, for different skin conditions.
When choosing a dermatological clinic, it’s best to find one that has state of the art equipment and professionals who are trained to help with your specific skin conditions.
Most modern clinics treat medical skin conditions like rosacea and red spots in addition to beauty services like laser hair removal and Coolsculpting for weight loss.
Quit smoking and drinking for healthier skin
Vices like smoking and drinking alcohol can be extremely damaging to every part of your body. Smoking cigarettes not only wreaks havoc on your lungs, but the chemicals in cigarettes can also damage your skin. Studies show tobacco smoke accelerates the signs of aging and dries out the skin, leaving cracks on the surface. If you’ve been smoking for quite a while, there’s no better time to quit than now.
Also, drinking alcoholic beverages like beer and wine in excess can negatively impact skin health. This is because alcohol absorbs water in your body, leaving your skin cells dehydrated. This is not to say that drinking a pint with your friends every now and then can’t be part of a healthy lifestyle. But having too much to drink, too often can lead to moisture and elasticity loss, causing sagginess, dryness, and wrinkles.
Limit yourself to one serving of alcohol daily or less for optimal skin health–not to mention, better heart health, liver health, digestion and stress levels.
Protect skin with SPF
Who doesn’t enjoy a little sunshine? The truth is, we need vitamin D from the sun…it’s essential to skin health and overall well-being. But too much exposure can cause premature aging, sunburns, and even skin cancer. So wear a full-spectrum sunscreen daily, and avoid getting more than 10 to 30 minutes of midday direct sunlight, a couple of times a week.
And before going on a beach trip, remember to lather up your skin with sunscreen that has at least SPF 30. One thing’s for sure: you’ll want to get sunscreen that has all the features for keeping your skin healthy, such as anti-aging and anti-pollution components.
Manage stress to protect skin health
Stress can be detrimental to skin health, not to mention every other system in the body. Studies show that both acute and chronic stress can cause moisture loss and wrinkle formation, while also exacerbating skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
So one of the most important healthy skin habits you can adopt is practicing stress management. There’s some evidence that meditation lowers the production of inflammatory hormones, called catecholamines, that can cause or exacerbate skin conditions. Try meditating, using mindfulness, and/or deep breathing to signal your body-mind to relax–and watch how your skin transforms.
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