5 Steps for Skin Health

| by Larissa Tater, under Skincare and Beauty

Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and like all of our other organs, it needs special care to keep our bodies safe and healthy. Even if you don’t have the money or resources for a full-blown skin care routine (think Hollywood-style), do your skin a favor with these five basic steps.

Protect yourself from the sun. The sun not only causes wrinkles, sun spots and other problems, but it can also cause cancer. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses, staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing, limiting outdoor activities when the sun’s rays are the strongest (between 10am and 4pm), and wearing sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF (be sure to reapply every two hours). 

Do not smoke. Smoking deprives the skin of the oxygen and nutrients that it needs by narrowing the blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin. It also makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles by damaging the collagen and elastin that your skin needs to keep its strength and elasticity. If you smoke, your best defense is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

Be gentle on your skin. While cleansing is essential to keeping your skin healthy, overdoing it can create problems. Exfoliating every 2-3 days removes dead skin cells, allowing new skin cells to grow, but over-exfoliation can cause irritation and worsen existing skin problems, like acne. Additionally, over-cleansing can remove essential oils from skin and make skin dry. Cleansing no more than twice a day helps skin retain moisture. Hot showers also deprives skin of moisture, as does over-drying when stepping out of the shower. Keep hot showers to a minimum, and pat dry or blot skin with a towel to keep the moisture lingering. And last, but not least, use a moisturizer that includes SPF that fits your skin type. 

Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet is good for overall health, and its role in skin health is no exception. While the association between a healthy diet and acne is not yet clear, research suggests that a diet rich in Vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin. Fill your grocery cart with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins for better health and better skin.

Manage stress. Stress is inevitable in our lives, but we can take steps to control it. Controlling our stress is important for heart health, but also for our skin, since uncontrolled stress can make skin sensitive and trigger acne breakouts, as well as other skin problems. Keep a healthy state of mind through meditation and massage.

Think you have those five steps down already? Kick it up a notch with skin care and body treatments from The Woodhouse Day Spa!

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care...

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