Everyday Tips To Healthier Skin

on Wednesday, 09 March 2011.

EVERYDAY TIPS TO HEALTHIER SKIN

How to Keep Your Skin Beautiful

Your skin protects your body, but that's not all. It’s the face you present to the world. When healthy, it's a source of beauty. The choices you make every day -- what you eat, where you go, how you feel -- affect how your skin looks. Use this visual guide to keep your skin youthful, healthy, and wrinkle-free.

You are what you eat

Want good skin? Watch your diet. Higher intakes of vitamin C and a lower intake of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better appearance as your skin ages. Changing your diet will help your looks. Eat more fish, fruits, and vegetables to help protect against wrinkles and dryness in aging skin. To avoid breakouts, go for complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and pasta) and healthy protein.

Take Your Vitamins

Your antiaging cream may contain vitamin C or E. Put these antioxidants to work from the inside, too. Eating foods rich in these vitamins, plus the mineral selenium, can help protect your skin against sun damage. They may even help reverse signs of aging, like wrinkles and skin discoloration.

Exercise for your Skin

Exercise benefits every part of your body -- including your largest organ, the skin. Working out improves circulation, flushing toxins from your skin. Better blood flow also brings more oxygen and nutrients and may help your skin produce collagen, which staves off wrinkles. Don’t fret about sweat -- exercise may actually help unclog pores. Wash your face right after a workout and avoid tight headbands, which can trap sweat and irritate skin.

Get Your Beauty Rest

Burn the candle at both ends for a few nights, and you may see it reflected in your face: Dark circles under the eyes, pale skin, and puffy eyes. Getting 7-8 hours a night will keep your body and skin in top shape. It matters how you sleep, too -- rest your face on the pillow in the same position for years, and you’ll get wrinkles where the skin is pressed against the pillow. Solution? Sleep on your back.

Keep Harmful Rays Off Skin

Whether you were a sun worshipper in your teens or now catch some rays inadvertently while gardening, walking, or even driving, chances are your skin has sun damage. Some 90% of all skin damage is due to the sun. As your time in the sun goes up, so does your risk of skin cancer. Protect skin by always wearing sunscreen -- even in winter. Hats and long sleeves help, too. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when rays are strongest.

How to Care for Aging Skin

As you age, your skin changes. Your body doesn’t produce as much collagen, and the elastin that allows skin to spring back into place gets weaker. You don’t get rid of dead skin cells or produce new ones as fast. To boost aging skin, exfoliate to remove dead skin, use a nondrying soap, and moisturize often. Use an over-the-counter retinoid to reduce fine wrinkles or ask your doctor about a prescription version. Most of all, stay out of the sun.

Cut Yourself Off from Too much alcohol

Too much alcohol is bad for your skin as well as your body. Alcohol is a diuretic; it causes the body to lose water. That can contribute to dry skin. It also dilates blood vessels. That’s why drinkers often have red, flushed faces -- which makes rosacea worse. Over time, these blood vessels can become permanently damaged, so that skin stays red.

Quit, Already! Stop Smoking

Simply put, smoking is bad for your skin: It’s second only to the sun in causing wrinkles and dry skin. In fact, under a microscope you can see wrinkles in smokers as young as 20. Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin and contributes to the breakdown of collagen. Less collagen means more wrinkling. And yes, pursing your lips repeatedly encourages wrinkles, too. You can’t reverse the damage, but you can stop it by quitting smoking.

Wash your face

Every day, your skin comes in contact with pollution -- cigarette smoke, car exhaust, or smoggy air. Keep skin healthy by keeping it clean. Each night, exfoliate with gentle scrubs and toners to remove dead skin cells, cleanse with a gentle soap or wash, then apply a retinoid cream and moisturizer. (Oily skin still needs moisturizer; look for oil-free products.) After applying soap, let it sit on your skin and give it time to work. Let it sit for 30 seconds to work better.

Inside & Out in Winter

Cold weather and wind bring on dry, flaky skin and can make eczema and rosacea worse. It’s not just the weather outside -- dry heat indoors is harsh on skin, too. Fight back by using a humidifier at home, drinking lots of water, and applying moisturizer throughout the day. Remember the sunscreen when you go out.

Skin Care in Summer

Want a tan? Get a safe one: use a bronzer or self-tanner. (But most don’t contain sunscreen, so they don’t offer any protection from the sun.) Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours. And unless you have persistently dry skin, switch to an oil-free moisturizer to avoid breakouts in humid weather. It’s a good idea to rinse off after being in the pool to get rid of any chlorine on your skin.

Tips for Skin Care when you travel

It doesn’t take long on a plane for skin to start feeling dry and tight, thanks to low humidity in the recirculated air. Have a travel plan for your skin that includes drinking water -- not coffee or alcohol -- and moisturizing before, during, and after your flight. Don’t wear makeup on the flight if you can help it. Keep a 3-ounce travel-size lotion to put in the clear plastic zip-top bag with your other carry-on items.

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