By Alisa Miller
It’s important to remember that your skin is a giant organ, and just like the heart or lungs, you need to take care of your skin to ensure it performs at it’s peak. When your skin is healthy, you feel better and look younger. You also work to prevent more serious illnesses such as skin cancer. The fifty tips below will help you improve your skin and keep it healthy no matter if you are fifteen or sixty-five.
Protection from the Sun
Surely everyone has heard of the damaging effects the sun has on skin. The next time you walk outside, keep in mind that whether it’s cloudy or sunny, the sun is reaching your skin. Follow these steps to make sure you keep your skin safe and healthy.
- Sunscreen. Protect your skin from the sun. Apply sunscreen every time you go out in the sun, even in the winter. Find a good quality sunscreen that will not add unnecessary oils to your skin.
- Lips. Don’t forget your lips, too. Lipstick or balm with SPF will keep your lips in good shape, especially if it is of the glossy variety.
- Cover up. Cover your arms and legs with lightweight clothes in the summer, and remember to apply sunscreen underneath. Also, find some fun hats to wear. Not only will you be protecting your skin, but you can make a fashion statement as well.
- Stay in. Stay out of direct sunlight from 10 am to 3 pm. This is when the sunlight is at it’s peak and can do the most damage to your skin.
- Sunglasses. The skin around our eyes is very sensitive. That’s where crow’s feet begin to show, too. Wear sunglasses when you go outside for added protection to that sensitive area.
- Head. Your scalp gets a direct hit from the sun all the time. If putting sunscreen on it isn’t an option, then wear some type of covering like a wide-brimmed hat or scarf to protect it from the sun.
- After-sun care. Just in case you forgot to protect your skin and got a little too much sun, be sure to apply an after-sun product to your skin. Something as simple as aloe vera straight from the plant will do, or get creative and make one of these soothing lavender after-sun ointments.
- Tanning beds. Keep in mind that tanning beds emit the same UV light that the sun does, so they are not a safer alternative to being in the sun. If you feel you must use a tanning bed, then apply sun screen just as you would if you planned to be in the sun.
Taking care of your skin with a simple routine each day will take you far in achieving healthy skin. In addition to the daily care, being aware of how to treat your skin with TLC and knowing what to avoid will ensure your skin is in top shape. Take these suggestions for radiant skin.
- Wash. Wash your face in the morning and in the evening. Washing removes dead skin cells plus all the dirt and debris from the day.
- Moisturize. Depending on your skin type, use an appropriate moisturizer. Moisturizing hydrates your skin, adding elasticity and preventing wrinkles. Be careful not to over-moisturize, though, or you may end up with clogged pores.
- Not just the face. Don’t forget to take care of other body parts. Elbows, knees, and feet need special attention too. A quick slather of moisturizer will keep these areas in shape.
- Don’t touch. Keeping your hands off your face will help keep blemishes at bay. Resting your hands on your chin transfers oils to your face that can create clogged pores. Also, don’t pick at those pimples. Add a treatment product and leave it alone.
- Hair. Your hair has oils on it, so when your hair is constantly touching your face, it is transferring those oils. Keep your hair back or find a new cut that features your face front and center.
- Simple makeup. Don’t layer makeup on your face. Keep it down to one simple product, if any at all. If you feel you must wear makeup, choose one that is oil-free.
- Fresh makeup. Throw away any makeup that is older than a year. Use fresh sponges and applicators so that you aren’t using old ones full of bacteria and dirt.
- Bath oil. Soak in a tub with homemade bath oil. Bath oils with natural oils work best as they naturally hydrate and nourish your skin.
- Pedicure. Pedicures aren’t just nail care, but entire foot care. Soaking, sloughing, and moisturizing the feet results in healthier feet and a relaxing experience overall.
- Hot showers. While a really hot shower can certainly feel great, it is not so good for your skin. The hot water mixed with chlorine creates a chemical reaction that damages your skin. Keep your showers and baths warm, not hot, and you’ll be doing your skin a favor.
The way you live your life has an impact on your skin. Taking the time to change a few steps in your life can keep not only your skin, but your entire body feeling its best. Here are some ways to make that happen.
- Stress. While you might not think of stress as being particularly hard on your skin, reducing stress will keep your whole body healthy, help you sleep better, and eat better. Taking steps to a less stressful life will keep your skin healthy too.
- Sleep. While getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t directly affect your skin, a chronic lack of sleep will create more stress and slow down circulation, which will result in less healthy looking skin. A poor night’s sleep can also contribute to puffy eyes in the morning.
- Exercise. Exercise promotes blood flow, which keeps your skin looking healthy. It also promotes skin tone and elasticity.
- Weight. Keeping a constant weight is better for your skin. Continually losing and gaining large amounts of weight causing sagging and promotes wrinkles.
- Meditation. Taking just a few minutes each day to sit quietly and clear your mind helps reduce stress and gain focus and clarity. Read how meditation works. Take up this practice and watch your stress dissolve into healthier skin.
- Cooking. When you cook your food, be sure not to overcook it. Overcooking takes the beneficial vitamins and minerals out of the food, thereby reducing what you put in your body. This prevents you from getting the best nutrition to your skin and your body as a whole.
- Yoga breathing. The deep, relaxing form of breathing used during yoga practice can bring benefits to your skin as well. Not only will this deep breathing serve as a form of relaxation, it also oxygenates the body, which improves circulation, which in turn improves skin tone.
- Spa treatment. Getting a professional massage with beneficial oils is good for your skin, but add to that the benefits of a body wrap or a facial, and you are really treating your skin right. While not everyone can afford a trip to the spa every month, you can save up for these special occasions and give yourself and your skin a wonderful gift.
What Goes In Your Body
What you put in your body has a direct effect on how your skin looks on the outside. Thinking twice before making those decisions about what you eat and drink can take you a long way to improving your skin’s health.
- Water. Hydration is important to keep your skin supple and healthy. Remember the importance of water to your skin and keep yourself hydrated.
- Smoking. This should be what doesn’t go in you. Smoking depletes your skin of oxygen and leaves it looking dull and wrinkled.
- Diet. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and a healthy, balanced diet. Putting good food into your body will leave your skin looking healthy on the outside of your body. Several foods will promote good skin health.
- Vitamins. A regiment of daily vitamins is important for overall health. Some vitamins are especially good for promoting healthy skin (see the Supplements section below for more on those.)
- Antioxidants. Eating food high in antioxidants is good for your skin. Antioxidants encourage skin cell repair and promote the continued production of collagen and elastin. This article on holistic skin care includes an excellent section explaining how antioxidants work and what foods have the most.
- Alcohol. Drinking in moderation is always good advice, but it is also helpful for your skin. Alcohol dehydrates your body, thereby leaving your skin drier and more likely to wrinkle.
- Digestion. Poor digestion is related to acne and other skin issues. Ensuring your digestion is working at its peak will ensure healthy skin. The best way to do this is by drinking lots of water and eating a diet high in fiber.
What Goes On Your Body
While some people just jump out of the shower and go in the morning, or grab the cheapest body lotion off the shelf, there are lots of natural and easy-to-use products that will keep your skin healthy and youthful. Try some of these fun ideas below.
- Shea butter. Those who use shea butter on a regular basis swear by it’s amazing versatility and curative properties. It can be found in many beauty products or you can buy it pure from health stores.
- Cucumber. Cut a few thin rounds of cucumber and place or gently rub them under your eyes to help remove unsightly dark circles.
- Tea bags. Placing tea bags on your eyes can help eliminate dark circles and puffy eyes. Green tea, especially, can help with the puffiness as it contains an anti-inflammatory.
- Exfoliate. Sloughing off dead skin cells brings a fresh glow to the skin all over your body. You can purchase an exfoliant or make one of your own like this strawberry sugar scrub. Remember to exfoliate in moderation to give your skin the most benefits.
- Epsom salts. Have you ever soaked a sprained ankle in Epsom salts? That’s Reducing swelling is not the only thing they do. Use Epsom salts to detoxify, relax, and heal your skin. This is one of nature’s best curatives.
- Coconut oil. Using this oil in its natural form moisturizes dry skin and helps healing. It also benefits dry hair. Even adding coconut oil to your diet can help your skin. Read more about this amazing oil in this article.
- Healthy Ingredients. Make sure the products you are putting on your body are not harmful to your skin or your health in general. Read this list of potentially toxic ingredients. Keep it natural and your skin will be healthier.
- Vitamin K. To aid in healing bruises, apply vitamin K to your skin. It also helps eliminate dark circles under your eyes and prevent wrinkles.
- Mineral water. Splash some mineral water on your face. The mineral content in the water can reduce skin irritations and may help your skin absorb the moisture.
- Avocado. These beauties work on the outside of your body as well as they do on the inside. Avocados work as an excellent moisturizer, help heal the skin, and can even reduce age spots. Here are some great ways to use avocados for your skin.
Eating a healthy diet is definitely important to good skin care, but sometimes you can use a little extra boost in the nutrition department. The following supplements all promote healthy skin through either protecting or helping to repair it.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 EFAs promote skin repair and elasticity. They also balance the overabundance of omega-6 EFAs that is common in American diets. Read about omega-3 EFAs and other nutrients that help the skins. To boost your intake, salmon and flax seed oil will help.
- Fish oil. Taking a fish oil supplement can help smooth wrinkles and clear up dry patches. It is also incredibly beneficial to the rest of your body. Choosing a high-quality fish oil will ensure the best results and eliminate any “fishy” taste from the supplement.
- Vitamin A. Eating foods high in vitamin A helps your skin repair itself. Carrots, apricots, spinach, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes are all good sources of vitamin A.
- Vitamin E. Perhaps one of the most well-known skin supplements is vitamin E. Put topically on the skin and taken internally, the benefits of vitamin E are substantial. If you are looking for a quick snack, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and olives are all excellent sources of vitamin E.
- Vitamin C. Eating fruits and vegetables with lots of vitamin C will help keep wrinkles at bay. Those oranges and grapefruits are sure looking delicious right now.
- Vitamin B complex. The B vitamin, biotin, builds healthy skin, hair and nails. Missing out on this can create skin irritations such as dermatitis. B vitamins work together to enhance the benefits of each, so find a good B complex to supplement your diet. Eating foods high in biotin such as oatmeal, bananas, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce will also help.
- Selenium. This beneficial mineral has been found to reduce the chance of sunburn on the skin, slow down the aging process, and aid in the treatment of skin cancer. You can get selenium in a good multivitamin or by eating meats, seafood, brown rice, and Brazil nuts.