4 Secrets for Healthy Skin

Let’s explore 4 ways for living younger each day.  There are more than four things that can potentially impact your skin and health but this list will focus on eating choices, rest, movement and products.

 

1. Choosing to eat well–It is no secret to you that food is fuel. In a society where endless possibilities of things to ingest exist, you have to be vigilant to make a healthy choice.  If its over-processed, over palatable (think added sugar, salt and trans fats) and a fast food (yes, an apple is fast food but we don’t call it that) then that choice is not serving you.

Next, you have the good choice.  Foods that are out to save the day and your face!  Are you already groaning to yourself, “but, I don’t like salads or broccoli”? It is true that the most antioxidant foods are brightly colored but this includes blueberries, oranges, sweet potato or winter squash as well as green leafy vegetables and that broccoli.  Are you a fan of blueberry muffins?  Why not try a half cup of blueberries and an ounce of walnuts instead?

Water may not be something you technically chew, but I can’t finish the section without mentioning it to you.  Of all the important things my clients work to improve for themselves, I am still amazed how often water consumption, or the lack of it, shows up for them.  Have you ever forgotten to water your houseplant?  That’s your body when you neglect water in your diet.  Sodas, spritzer, coffee and even tea is not water.  If you are chronically dehydrated, you may improve your skin overnight by committing to 6 to 8 glasses in a day.

2. Rest…and relax—Sleep is when the body does a big job or repairing. Notice how your highway department often blocks off major roads in the middle of the night to build and repair, and you have an idea of what happens in your body overnight. It is smoothing out the stressors of your day and filling in the cracks, lines and “potholes”.  You need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each 24 hour period, preferably uninterrupted.  This is rest.

Relaxation has more to do with NOT stressing the rest of the day.  Cortisol is the stress hormone that causes the skin to look dull and lifeless. It naturally reduces when you sleep but practicing deep breathing or simple stretching when you notice your stress rise will also calm it (cortisol).  A few other hints are to just smile, yup, just grin a big ole fake smile until you feel it, or sing along with a favorite song.  All the things that reduce stress in your day will assist with sleeping at night.  So win/win.

3. Movement—Yes, we just talked about stretching and breathing but moving your body enough to get circulation revved up is important for your skin health (well, all health but we are talking about skin now). Movement doesn’t just happen at the gym.

It doesn’t have to be boring.  You can dance or garden or speed clean your home.  You could walk to lunch or take your lunch to the park to enjoy.  Even a massage is useful and that is certainly enjoyable for most.  Get your oxygen circulating and reap the benefits of glowing skin.  Movement is like a cleanser for your skin from the inside out.

4. Products—Educate yourself on the list of ingredients you are regularly rubbing into your skin. A quick list of what to be wary of includes:

    1. Aluminum, a heavy metal that may have potential health concerns is often found in antiperspirant.
    2. Fragrance is anyone’s guess, so look for actual ingredients such as rose, lavender, sandalwood, etc. The word fragrance is not required to be listed as ingredients so the type of chemicals used are simply unknown to you.
    3. Phthalates and Parabens are for plasticizing and waxing over your skin or hair. Most commonly used in cosmetics are parabens listed as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben. Research suggests that theses chemicals may be absorbed through the skin and disrupt the endocrine and reproductive systems.
    4. Oxybenzone and Retinyl palmitate are often found in sunscreen products. Check your labels and consider a product that does not include these.

To wrap up our healthy skin tips, remember that lukewarm water is best on your skin, especially the more delicate skin on your face.  Don’t pull or tug when cleansing, moisturizing or drying your skin.  A light touch, circular or patting motion will be the least damaging.  Of course, if you notice any unusual spots or changes to your skin, check with your physician.  It is not worth the risk to ignore it.

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