Simple Secrets to Healthy, Radiant Skin
Beauty is only skin deep, or so the saying goes. That’s true to a certain extent, but the skin needs proper nourishment and care to stay healthy. Indeed the skin needs more than physical care if it is to look radiant and energised.
What you put into your body is just as important as what you put on your skin, and your general health, physical activity and the environment can all affect your skin health.
Lack of proper skin care causes the skin to develop wrinkles, dry patches, dark circles, age spots, and pimples. Stress, smoking, poor diet and fatigue can all have a detrimental effect on the skin. Beauty may be only skin deep, but a healthy skin starts way down in the core of your body.There are lots of simple things you can do to keep your skin healthy and elastic, so it looks good and you feel great. You have more control over your skin health than you might imagine. You just need to know all of the factors involved (we go into more of them in our advanced skin care tips article). These are the secrets to a healthy, radiant skin.
Skin Care – Keep it clean
Even if your skin looks clean on the surface, chances are there is dirt and grime lurking in the pores, which cause blackheads and breakouts, whatever your age. Water can be harsh on the skin due to chlorine and other additives, and soap can have a drying effect. Counter this by using a good quality face wash and body wash that maintain a healthy PH balance.
Never use very hot or very cold water, as this can also damage the skin. Wash and rinse with warm water, and pat yourself dry with a soft, clean towel. Keep a stock of cleansing wipes suited to your skin type and age for freshening up during the day. Clean skin is healthy skin!
Use Sun Protection
Protection against direct sunlight is essential for skin health and to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer in later life. Although your body needs a certain amount of vitamin D from sunlight, too much sun ages the skin prematurely. Apply factor 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen, using a special facial product since regular sunscreens can clog the pores. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses may also be necessary in very strong sunlight.
Many people make the mistake of not using moisturiser until their skin develops fine lines and wrinkles. You should begin to use moisturiser as soon as you start to use cosmetics. As well as hydrating the skin, moisturiser forms a protective barrier to prevent cosmetic products from being absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin.
Change your moisturiser with the seasons. In summer, the skin needs more moisture, but you should choose a lighter product. In winter, a more substantial moisturiser protects the skin from the harsh weather, high winds and rain. Alternatively, use a natural form of skin care like coconut oil.
Keep Your Hands off Your Face
Skin problems such as spots and breakouts can cause infections if you have a picking habit. Picking pimples spreads bacteria, and makes for redness and scarring. Far better to use a suitable cream or lotion to heal the blemish.Even if you don’t have pimples to pick, stroking your chin, rubbing your eyes and cupping your cheeks increase the risk of transferring bacteria to the face. This is because your hands are magnets for germs and are never as clean as your face. You may also want to use a headset when receiving or making phone calls.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep plays a big role in keeping the skin healthy and in fighting premature aging. During sleep, the skin repairs and renews the connective tissues — elastin and collagen — that are responsible for elasticity and healthy skin tone. The body also repairs and renews cells during sleep, including the skin cells, and this helps to heal blemishes.During daytime, the body is busy fighting off environmental threats and pathogens, running the metabolism, regulating temperature and keeping you moving. It cannot therefore do its repair and renewal work — it needs several hours of quality sleep to do that.
Cut out processed and refined foods such as sugars, white pasta and bread, and eat healthy fats, fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. This improves general health, boosts energy levels and helps care for your complexion. Eating plenty of healthy, low fat protein provides nutrients that help to balance the body’s hydration and provide the building blocks for new cells. Here are some of the foods you should be eating to keep your skin healthy and radiant:
Avocados are packed with fibre, vitamins A and C, and healthy fats to enhance the complexion. Avocados can be used in salads or for home-made guacamole. Pair avocado with prawns for extra zinc to help heal skin blemishes.
Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach also provide vitamins A and C, which help fight wrinkles and fine lines. Richly coloured fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of antioxidants, and they mop up the free radicals responsible for premature aging. Sweet potatoes and blueberries are specifically known to fight signs of aging and reduce wrinkles by reducing internal inflammation.
Low fat yogurt contains healthy bacteria — probiotics — which are a great aid to digestion. A healthy digestive system removes waste products which may compromise skin health, so yogurt is a good addition to your diet. Whole grain products and whole wheat bread also help the digestive system, as they are high in fibre. Unhealthy skin is often a reflection of digestion problems. Yogurt and high-fibre foods can help sort that out.
Fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for heart health and skin care. Try to eat two or three servings of oily fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel or sardines each week.
Studies show that garlic increases the lifespan of skin cells by up to seven times in comparison with cultures where garlic is not a regular part of the diet. Garlic also inhibits the growth of cancerous skin cells, so include it in your cooked meals.
Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration robs the skin of its plumpness due to a reduction in the skin molecules that bind water. Drinking plenty of water (a soda stream could help make this more interesting) helps to replenish skin the and encourages collagen production.
Exercise boosts the circulation, improving the efficient delivery of nutrients and oxygen to all your body’s cells. Sweat it out when you exercise, because vigorous exercise aids the release of cellular waste from the body through the sweat glands. It does not matter what form or exercise you choose, it could be a relaxing style of yoga or more vigorous spin biking, what is important is that you get moving.
Fresh air is essential for healthy skin as it provides much-needed oxygen. Getting outdoors makes the skin glow with health, so go for a brisk walk, taking in deep breaths of fresh air.
Be Careful with Cosmetics
While cosmetics can enhance the appearance of the skin, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Choose natural products whenever possible, especially if you have sensitive skin or skin problems. Remove all traces of makeup before going to bed, and try to have at least one or two cosmetic-free days each week to allow your skin to breathe and take in natural moisture from the air.
The same goes for lip balms and lip products. Your lips are part of your skin, and they deserve their own treatment.
Avoid Long, Hot Showers
Long, steamy showers and baths may be relaxing, but they also wash away the skin’s protective oils and rob the skin of its natural moisture. Use warm water and keep time in the shower or bath to a minimum.
Use Aloe Vera Gel
The daily application of Aloe vera gel speeds up the skin healing process by removing dead skin cells. Aloe vera gel is easy to make or you can buy a good quality gel locally or online. Ensure there is a high quantity of Aloe vera in the product, or it won’t be much use. Over 90% Aloe vera is best.
Healthy, glowing skin is a process that begins on the inside and radiates to the surface. There are no magic pills or potions to make that happen overnight, and there are no shortcuts to achieving that radiant, luminous look. However, it is a simple process. Eat well, keep your skin clean and well moisturised, drink plenty of water and protect yourself from elemental damage and you too can have healthy, glowing skin. Your skin has to last a lifetime, so treat it with respect at all times if you want it to stay healthy and look good.