5 Steps to Healthier Skin (and Better Health in General)

All Posts January 21, 2016
Better health tips

 

Maintain our health is a huge part of our lives – and our skin is a part of that. We all want healthy, beautiful skin. And I’m sure that you’re well aware of the fact that in order to get it, you’ve got to create better health and skin care habits. In a perfect world, we’d have hours each day to moisturize, cleanse and research the very best products out there. But let’s be real: for busy people with less than perfect genes like myself, it can be really hard to maintain good skin care habits. Here are 5 little things that you can do everyday to make a big difference in your skin’s health.

Boosting Your Skin’s Health

1. Actively de-stress

fight stress, stress relief, walking, running, exercise

Balancing the commitments of work, family, relationships, self care, etc. is really super stressful. Life is stressful. All that stress, when unmanaged, wreaks havoc on your skin. When we’re stressed out, our bodies release not-so-great hormones like cortisol (which increases sebum production and causes acne), so it turns out that our emotions and skin have a much stronger connection than once thought. There’s actually a whole field out there called psychodermatology that’s devoted to researching this connection.

Give your skin a break by actively de-stressing your body and mind. Simple breathing exercises and a bit of physical exercise each day – including walking – can work wonders. Even 5-minute meditations like these during your lunch break can help to re-center your emotions and positively impact your stress management.

2. Good Skin Health Says: Take shorter, cooler showers

Long, hot showers deplete your skin’s natural oils and can worsen already problematic skin. Instead of setting the water temperature to ‘as hot as you can take it’, settle for lukewarm. Keep the shower time between 5 and 10 minutes. You can even set the alarm on your smartphone if you need a reminder.

3. Eat more vitamin C – Your Whole Body Will Thank You

oranges, citrus, vitamin c, food for skin

You probably know that your diet heavily affects your skin’s health. Low fat proteins, fruits, veggies the complex carbs in whole grains are all par for the course of a healthy diet. Working on improving your eating habits? Start with vitamin C. It’s a super powerful antioxidant that stimulates collagen production and protects you from the free radicals that cause premature aging.

Not a fan of eating citrus? Don’t worry. From topical pastes and ointments to delicious chewable tablets, you can get vitamin C in ways that are best for your busy routine.

4. Don’t smoke tobacco

Ok, so everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for your lungs and heart. But they’re also bad for your skin. Smoking tobacco constricts your blood vessels and consequently your blood flow. This, in turn, depletes your skin’s oxygen levels, which causes wrinkling. Fun stuff. Not to mention that smoking diminishes your skin’s elastin and collagen, the very things that make you look young.

Don’t smoke? Congrats, you’ve already mastered this one. If you do smoke and are ready to quit, consult your doctor and get a smoking cessation plan that works for you.

5. Apply sunscreen

Beach, walking, stress relief

Sunscreen isn’t just something you should remember to bring to the beach. It should be a part of your daily care routine because, over a period of many years, even brief sun exposure will age your skin. And it can even contribute to skin cancer. Even if you have an office job or aren’t the outdoorsy type, imagine decades of walking even short distances while unprotected. It adds up.

I get it: you don’t want to lug around a bottle of SPF 15. Try keeping a mini-sized sunscreen in your purse or on your keychain instead. Just seeing it throughout the day will be a good reminder. Still on the fence? There are tons of body and facial moisturizers that contain a broad spectrum SPF to help you get in that total UV protection while soothing your skin.

It’s pretty amazing how the health of your skin and your health overall are so closely connected. Improving one will positively affect the other. And this list isn’t everything, of course. But it’s a good place to start.

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