Cleanse ~ Nourish ~ Protect
Other than cleansing and moisturizing your skin daily, there are other things you can do to improve and maintain your healthy skin. Below you will find 5 daily essential additions to your skin care regimen. These items will also help to improve your overall health so they are worth serious consideration by all healthy adults.
According to AmericanSkin.org, we are 55-75% water. Water not only flushes toxins out of our bodies but also allows our cells to absorb nutrients to keep our distribute these nutrients to all parts of our bodies. To keep clear skin, water helps remove impurities in the skin to prevent clogged pores and breakouts. We need to keep our bodies and skin hydrated. It is recommended that you drink at least half a gallon (2 liters) of water each day [Edgar].
EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids)
In order for our bodies to stay hydrated with water in the step above, you need essential fatty acids. They should be a part of everyone’s healthy diet. They help build up the lipid-based cell membranes that hold in water and nutrients. If these cells can’t hold the water and nutrients, your skin will show it. Your skin will not have the overprotective barrier it was meant to have. Your skin will be overly exposed, dehydrated, inflamed, and more likely to breakout [Bouchez].
The EFAs to focus on are primarily omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is easily found in your daily diet (hopefully). This includes poultry, grains and cooking oils, like olive oil. Omega-3s typically have to be intentionally included in your diet; cold-water fish, (think salmon or sardines), along with flaxseed and safflower oils, walnuts, spinach, and kidney beans. Some experts have suggested gamma linolenic acid (GLA), for its anti-inflammatory effects. You will find GLA mostly in plant oils. Take a quality supplement if you have difficulty including these items in your diet daily. They can be found in most grocery stores or natural food stores. Bon appetit!
If you don’t use sunscreen daily but live on planet earth, then you can look forward to “aged skin”. If you haven’t read my post, “Moroccan Argan Oil Anti-Aging Products,” then do yourself a favor and at least watch the brief 2 minute video at the bottom of the post on this topic.
Sunscreen should be part of your daily regimen no matter what your skin type. Sunscreen can help protect you from skin cancer and help prevent the signs of skin aging that come from too much sun exposure. If you don’t use any protection, your skin will likely be more discolored, wrinkled, and more easily damaged than skin shielded from UV radiation. There are many choices today. You can choose a chemical sunscreen ~ like avobenzone or oxybenzone [potentially toxic: EWG]. Or, you may like a physical one ~ like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (best choice). Whichever product you choose, make sure it is a sunscreen effective against both ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B (UVA and UVB) light, typically identified as a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen with an SPF of 15-30 for average sun protection. Apply it at least 20 to 30 minutes before you know you will be in the sun [Mayo Clinic]. This will give the product time to take effect before the UV exposure begins. Make sure to follow the directions explicitly to get good results.
Antioxidants are very beneficial for our bodies to provide cardiovascular health and to help prevent cancer. Many are beneficial to the skin in particular. Two are at the top of the list:
* Vitamin C – It is found in whole grains, apples, and citrus fruits. Builds collagen for plump, tight skin. Your goal should be 75 milligrams a day [Edgar].
* Vitamin E – You can find it in wheat germ oil, peanut butter, and almonds. It protects cell membranes and can help boost skin-based nutrients that fight off UV damage. Your goal is for 15 milligrams a day [source: Edgar].
* Add selenium, thiamine, beta-carotene and zinc for other skin-beautifying results.
Daily Physical Activity
You already know that to be and stay healthy, you have to use your body, get your circulation going! Many people don’t realize that beyond keeping your heart healthy and building strong bones, exercise has a very positive effect on your skin’s appearance. Here are just 5 benefits to doing so:
1) When you are actively exercising, it makes you sweat. Sweat is a good thing. It purges your body of toxins that can clog pores and plague your skin with blemishes. “The body only has so many mechanisms to rid itself of toxins — the kidneys, the liver, and the skin,” says Sandra M. Johnson, MD, a dermatologist with Johnson Dermatology in Fort Smith, Ark. “Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, increases neuronal stimulation, and allows the sweat glands to increase their functions and rid the toxins.” Don’t forget that ones you have sweated out the toxins, they are sitting on your skin. It’s important to shower to prevent bacterial or fungal infections that could potentially clog your pores.
2) When you use your muscles, they get toned. With a toned muscles lying beneath your skin, the healthier your skin will look and feel. Sandra M. Johnson, MD, a dermatologist says, “The stronger and firmer your muscles are, the more support your skin will have, and the more firm and elastic it will appear.” Toning your muscles can also help to minimize the appearance of cellulite. You can’t exercise it away, but you can help your appearance improve.
3) When you exercise, you increase circulation in your skin. By being active, you are boosting oxygen and blood flow to your skin. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts blood flow enough in type 2 diabetics to help reduce the risk of skin problems that lead to amputation! Both my aunt and my grandmother were sedentary women (little to no daily activity) who had to go through amputation from complications with diabetes. We are responsible for taking good care of our bodies. When you increase the blood flow, the cells carry vital nutrients that improve skin health. This supports all of your efforts of cleansing and moisturizing and using sunscreen.
4) Are you stressed? In today’s world, it’s a very common issue. Exercise relieves stress. When you make your mind and body more at ease, there are benefits to your complexion as well. Some studies suggest that stress can possibly trigger acne outbreaks and psoriasis flare-ups. When feeling stressed, we also tend to frown a lot or scrunch up our face. Why do you think they are called “worry lines”? Relieve the stress and improve your appearance.
5) Want a healthy natural glow? Then get moving! When you exercise, your skin produces more natural oils that help your skin look soft, supple, and healthy. Just remember to pay close attention to your facial skin after that shower! You don’t want to leave the bacteria to clog your pores.
Make exercise your secret skin care ingredient for a young, healthier, and smoother complexion.
To your success and empowerment,