5 Tips for healthy skin

As someone with highly sensitive, combination skin, I’m always in awe of those who seemingly have a very basic skincare routine. They’re the ones with a flawless complexion: no blemishes, no large pores, no wrinkles. Huh? Are they for real?

Yes, they do exist, but for most of us, there are skincare issues to work through. So, how can you keep your skin, regardless of type, healthy and glowing? Here are a few tips from the pros:

1. Hydrate.

Whatever aspect of health you want to talk about; be it weight loss, organ function, including skin (the body’s largest organ), the answer is to drink more water. The value is immeasurable. Not only does a larger intake of water aid in retaining that moisture and plumpness that comes with youthful skin, it helps flush out toxins that are detrimental to it. Studies have shown that water can improve the look of dull skin, enlarged pores and wrinkles. And, the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found a link between increased water consumption and skin density. You’ve probably heard the old adage that your body needs (8) 8 oz glasses of water each day. But as one of the last organs for water to pass through it, that’s likely a conservative estimate. The water in your body is lost due to perspiration and metabolic function, so for a variety of benefits, by all means, drink your water. Additional hydration can also be gained with moisturizing.

2. Diet.

It’s also integral to overall health, including your skin. Mom was right.  A diet rich in nutrients that come from protein, fruits and veggies is both heart-healthy, and provides the vitamins needed by your body for proper functioning, and when it comes to skin, that translates into looking good, head-to-toe. Skin is always changing. Skin cells are sloughing off, new cells are being generated and oil is being produced. It’s not uncommon to discover that breakouts may be tied to certain foods that interfere with the turnover of skin cells. When this happens, the oil glands can become blocked, leading to blemishes. But acne isn’t the only problem associated with a healthy diet. The vitamins in your food can have a real effect on skin health. Vitamin A, for example, helps maintain the skin turnover cycle. Vitamin C and E have an antioxidant effect on skin, calming any inflammation, evening and brightening the skin. Omega 3 Fatty Acids can also aid in calming inflammation. For a list of skin-healthy food, see https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/healthy-skin/faq-20058184

3. Cleanse. Do you remember those times you were so tired, you went to bed without removing your makeup? Terrible mistake. Lesson learned. With all of the harsh conditions and impurities we’re faced with (no pun intended), proper removal of your makeup is important for healthy skin. And finding the right cleanser for your skin type is as important. Is it free from irritants? Will it work on oily, combination or dry skin? It might involve a little trial and error, but when you find the right cleanser, you’ll know it. Your skin will feel fresh, clean and ready to take on the world. There are a myriad of cleansers out there. How to find the right one for you? Generally speaking, a gentle cleanser should work for dry, dull or oily skin. Soapy cleansers can leave residue on your skin which could block pores or leave you more oily. Likewise, acne-prone skin benefits from gentle cleansers, leaving the skin smooth, soft and supple, without the irritation that comes from harsher formulations.

4. Balance. We all need a little balance in our lives—skin included.  Usually a light moisturizer, it helps fill lines, add moisture where needed and provide a general ‘balance’ to skin that you might say, sets it on the right track. It should brighten, tame and restore elasticity. For dry skin, a hydrating lotion can be complimented by a moisturizer to seal in moisture, making the skin look more plump; less wrinkled. Ideally, it should contain ingredients like green tea, Hyaluronic Acid and Omega 3 Fatty Acids,—all natural ingredients that offer maximum results.

5. Moisturize. As I learned too late in life, even oily/combination skin needs moisture. A good, gentle moisturizer finishes off the face, keeping it from premature wrinkles, fine lines and preserving elasticity. Some will even brighten the complexion. They can protect skin from harsh elements and make the skin feel soft and supple. According to a Harvard Medical School study, ‘The fact is that despite the long lists of obscure ingredients and the pseudoscientific hokum, all moisturizers help with dry skin for a pretty simple reason: they supply a little bit of water to the skin and contain a greasy substance that holds it in.’ So although scientists and marketing claims often don’t go hand-in-hand, they agree that moisturizers are a necessary part of keeping skin youthful and protected. Find one that is free of irritants, one that brightens and heals and improves the feel of your skin—- and leaves it feeling silky smooth.

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