There is no magical pill for healthy skin, no one product that will give you that youthful glow. We wish there was! The truth is that the appearance of your skin depends on what you eat, the amount of exercise you’re getting, the stress you’re under and the environment in which you live and work. Combined, these factors play a huge role in how quickly your skin ages… far more so than the actual passage of years.
Are you treating your skin as well as you could be?
Women have been using food on their face and in their hair (things like olive oil and egg whites) for centuries. However, the food you put into your body has a far greater impact on your skin. While certain foods are especially helpful, your overall diet, including your weight, matters the most. If you’re overweight and your diet consists largely of processed foods, you have a higher risk of developing insulin resistance. This condition damages the skin by causing it to lose elasticity and become more vulnerable to wrinkling, sagging and damage.
A varied and nutritious diet, on the other hand, will do wonders for your skin, causing you to have far less wrinkling.
Exercise has many benefits that directly improve the appearance of your skin, the first being perspiration. When you put in a hard workout, or even just take a brisk walk outside, you begin to perspire. Your body uses perspiration to flush harmful toxins out of the body.
Exercise also helps to promote the production of oil, your skin’s natural moisturizer, and enhances blood flow to the skin. On top of that, it helps you maintain a healthy weight and better manage everyday stress. Just don’t forget to apply your SPF if you’re exercising outdoors!
The sun is the biggest culprit when it comes to premature aging. While many love having a tan, the reality is that there is no such thing as a healthy tan…unless it comes from a bottle or a sunless tanning booth.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US and one in six Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. So it’s EXTREMELY important to lather up every morning (and throughout the day if you’re going to be exposed to the sun. This includes during your commute or sitting near windows in your office!)
So which sunscreen is best?
There are a lot of choices on the shelf, but the higher the SPF the better, not only because of the increased protection, but also because most people don’t use enough to begin with. Make sure you also look for a broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection. Finally, make sure that you apply at least a shot glass’s worth of sunscreen every two to four hours you’re in the sun. A bottle of sunscreen should only last for a couple visits to the beach…not the entire summer.
Is stress an everyday part of your life? If so, it may be having an effect on your skin! Studies find that stress triggers 62% of psoriasis episodes with flares occurring within days of the emotional upset. Short bursts of stress, like the kind of experience when you put in a good workout, can improve your skin. But when you’re exposed to chronic stress without relief, your immune system becomes overloaded and it shows up in the negative effects on your skin.
Practice relaxation techniques and breathing training to better cope with stress and reduce the effects that they may have on your skin!