It is summer time! And now is a good time to pay attention to your skincare. You may not be getting any younger, but that doesn’t mean your skin has to suffer the consequences commonly associated with aging. Simply tweaking a few habits can have a profound effect on the health of your skin. Many toxins are naturally excreted through the skin, which is why internal damage caused by poor lifestyle and nutrition can wreak havoc on skin quality (1). Fortunately, there are many things you can do on a daily basis to maintain a healthy glow.
Protect yourself from the sun: Long-term sun exposure can cause wrinkles, dark spots and can increase your risk of skin cancer. Spending a little time in the sun each day helps your body produce essential Vitamin D (2), but too much sun can cause skin damage. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 (even on cloudy days), and don’t forget to re-apply every couple of hours (3).
Drink plenty of water: Proper hydration is essential to maintain a youthful complexion. Even mild dehydration can cause the skin to become dry. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women (4).
Eat foods with antioxidants: Antioxidants are vital to healthy skin because they reduce skin damage and inflammation. Research shows that eating foods rich in antioxidants can restore healthy skin while also protecting skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Some of the best sources of antioxidants include blueberries, green leafy vegetable and melons (5).
Be tobacco free: Aside from increasing the risk of lung cancer, smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking damages collagen and elastin – the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity.
Engage in activities that relieve stress: Chronically elevated stress levels can trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems (6). Find an activity you enjoy and do it regularly. Consider yoga, walking, and meditation to reduce stress. Your skin will thank you!
Check with your skincare professional for more tips to help your specific skin type.
- Krohn, J. (1996). The Whole Way to Natural Detoxification. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks Publishers.
- Mostafa, Wedad Z., and Rehab A. Hegazy. “Vitamin D and the Skin: Focus on a Complex Relationship: A Review.” Journal of Advanced Research6 (2015): 793–804. PMC. Web. 6 June 2018.
- AAD, https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs
- Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
- American Heart Association, https://www.empoweredtoserve.org/index.php/get-healthy-summer-skin/
- Maleki, Aryan, and Noorulain Khalid. “Exploring the Relationship between Stress and Acne: A Medical Student’s Perspective.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology11 (2018): 173–174. PMC. Web. 6 June 2018.