The largest organ of the human body is skin, protecting muscles, bones, and organs and helping regulate internal body temperature. Facilitating good skin health means keeping the skin well hydrated from the inside out, supplying it with the vitamins it needs and keeping the circulation through its blood vessels strong. All of these criteria can be easily met with a bit of forethought and, in the case of eliminating bad lifestyle habits, a lot of determination.
Protect Yourself From UV Rays
A certain level of sunshine exposure is necessary, as the UV rays of the sun cause the skin to produce Vitamin D, a nutrient which is critical for healthy skin. Long-term exposure to direct sunlight, however, brings about a host of potential skin problems, from premature wrinkling to sunburns to melanomas.
The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to avoid sun exposure during this time of day. For those whose work requires being outside during this window of time, covering up with long-sleeve shirts and pants is highly recommended. Additional precaution should be taken by applying a sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outside. The sunscreen will need to be reapplied every two hours if you’re sweating while outside.
Eat A Healthy Diet And Drink Plenty Of Water
A healthy, well-balanced diet supplies the skin with the nutrients, minerals, and anti-oxidants it needs to remain hydrated and supple. Specifically, a well-balanced diet would be one in which the majority of calories come from fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Diets low in fats and carbohydrates, but high in Vitamins A, B and C, help keep skin from breaking out or becoming flaky and dull-looking.
Staying well-hydrated with plenty of fresh water is equally important for skin health and should be considered part of your healthy diet regimen. Drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of clean, filtered water per day will promote circulation and flush toxins out of the body via urination, creating better hydrated and more supple-looking skin.
Smoking prematurely ages and wrinkles skin by shrinking blood vessels and restricting proper circulation in the outer layers of skin. As a result of poor circulation in thºe skin’s blood vessels, oxygen, and skin-bolstering vitamins are not adequately supplied to the skin. Further damage is done to the collagen and elastin fibers of your skin, gradually destroying the elasticity and creating wrinkles and sagging. Completely and permanently stopping a smoking habit—using nicotine patches, if necessary—is the best route to promoting healthy circulation through the blood vessels of the skin.
Wash Regularly, But Gently
The visible negative effects that come with not washing one’s face enough are obvious, but over-washing and/or washing with harsh cleansers, can cause just as many problems. Strong soaps and facial cleansers, particular those which contain fragrances, can strip the skin of too much oil. This leads to over-drying and, over time, premature wrinkling. Opt for fragrance-free cleansers which are also free of sodium laurel sulfate and petroleum-based oils. Limiting facial washing to once in the morning, and once before bedtime will also prevent the removal of too much facial oil.
Lastly, shower and wash your face with warm water, rather than hot, to prevent over-stripping of naturally-occurring skin oils. Follow up all washing with a non-comedogenic moisturizer that also acts as a sunblock for best results.