5 ways to keep your skin healthy

Skin is the body’s largest organ. When healthy, its layers work hard to protect us. But when it’s compromised, the skin’s ability to work as an effective barrier is impaired. We have therefore found the best ways to improve skin health to support it in maintaining its protective role. Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain, and even damage organs, such as your heart and liver.

But what you eat also affects another organ — your skin.
It’s increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin.

1) Keep moisture in the skin

Skin moisturizers keep the top layer of skin cells hydrated and seal in moisture. Moisturizers often contain humectants to attract moisture, occlusive agents to retain moisture in the skin, and emollients to smooth the spaces between skin cells.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following ways to keep moisture in and prevent dry, red, and itchy skin:
Moisturize your skin immediately after getting out of the shower to lock in moisture.
Take one 5- to 10-minute shower or bath per day. Excessive washing can strip away the oily layer of the skin and dry it out.
Use warm water instead of hot water.
Minimize the use of harsh soaps. Use a gentle and fragrance-free cleanser.
Stay away from abrasive scrub brushes, bath sponges, and washcloths that can damage the skin’s surface.
Pat skin gently dry with a towel.

Keep moisture in the skin

Moisturize immediately after washing. To trap in moisture, ointments, lotions, and creams need to be applied within minutes of drying off.
Use ointments or creams rather than lotions in order to minimize irritation.
Never scratch the skin. Cold compresses and moisturizers should help to control itching.
Wear non-irritating clothes. When wearing clothing made from wool or other rough materials, wear silk or cotton underneath.
Use hypoallergenic laundry detergent.
Avoid getting too close to fireplaces and other heat sources that can dry out skin.
Switch on a humidifier in the winter to replenish moisture in the skin’s top layer.
Contact your dermatologist if these simple changes do not bring relief from dry skin. They can provide targeted treatment for your specific skin complaint.

2) Quit smoking

Smoking ages facial skin and skin located in other body areas. Smoking narrows the blood vessels found in the outer layer of the skin, which reduces blood flow and exhausts the skin of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to remain healthy.

Quitting smoking can improve your skin health and prevent smoking-related wrinkles from forming.
Collagen and elastin give the skin its strength and elasticity. Smoking may reduce the natural elasticity of the skin by causing the breakdown of collagen and reduction of collagen production.

Quit smoking

Furthermore, the repetitive expressions that are made when smoking — such as pursing the lips — can contribute to wrinkles on the face.

If you currently smoke, the best thing that you can do for your skin health is quit. You can visit Smokefree.gov, an initiative from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), for information about quitting smoking.

3) Get your beauty sleep

Getting your beauty sleep will banish those dark circles around your eyes and improve your skin tone, and, best of all, it is free.

Getting the recommended hours of sleep could do wonders for your complexion.
The National Sleep Foundation recommend that adults sleep for between 7 and 9 hours every day. Sleeping for under that amount of time could be detrimental to your health — and your skin, in particular.

Chronic sleep deprivation is known to be linked with obesity, immune deficiency, diabetes, and cancer, but research has shown that sleep quality may also have a significant impact on skin function and aging.

People classed as poor sleepers had increased signs of premature skin aging and a decreased ability for their skin to repair itself at night from environmental stressors such as sun exposure.

Get your beauty sleep

During deep sleep, your body enters repair mode and regenerates skin, muscles, and blood and brain cells. Without adequate sleep, your body is unable to produce new collagen. Collagen prevents your skin from sagging.

Try to get an early night and sleep for a full 7 hours to look your best.

Keeping your skin healthy and young does not necessarily mean breaking the bank by purchasing expensive creams and lotions; by following these simple steps, you can make dull and lifeless skin glow.

4) Protect yourself from the sun
One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.

For the most complete sun protection:
Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.

Protect yourself from the sun

Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing — which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.

5) Manage stress

Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Get enough sleep, set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.

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