5 Tips for Healthy Skin
Don’t have time for intensive skin care? You can still pamper yourself by acing the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay natural aging and prevent various skin problems.
But first it’s important to understand what damages the skin and why.
The five main causes of skin damage are:
- Lack of hydration: leaves the skin feeling dry and stretchy. Skin cells are made of water and need to be replenished.
- Smoking: makes skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. It narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow and makes skin paler, as well as depleting the skin of oxygen and important nutrients. Smoking damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give skin strength and elasticity, and, increases the risk of squamous cell skin cancer.
- Sun damage. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.
- Lack of exercise: limits the flow of blood which is essential for the oxygen to travel across the body to each cell including the skin cells. Sleep deprivation and stress are contributors as well.
- Bad eating habits and the resulting poor nutrition have a detrimental effect on skin tissue.
And now, the tips on how to control the effects of each listed cause of skin damage.
Lack of hydration
Drink plenty of water. Even with a small amount of dehydration, your body functions in a less optimal way. The instant you’re dehydrated, it will take a toll on your skin, causing it to look dull, flaky, saggy and loose.
If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Dr. Shereen Timani knows how hazardous smoking is for your skin and overall health and will develop solutions via tips and treatments to help you stop smoking.
- Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
- Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats.
Lack of exercise
Regular exercise is one of the keys to healthy skin. By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products from working cells. Exercise increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrients and releases toxins through sweat, which leads to clearer, firmer skin.
You skin rejuvenates and repairs itself mostly while you are asleep. Make sure that you not only sleep for eight hours a night, but that it is quality sleep.
High levels of stress compromise the skin. Exercise eases stress. Also, consider yoga or meditating. Eliminate problematic people and activities from your life. Dr. Timani can provide relaxation strategies to help you deal with the stress in your life.
Bad eating habits
A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best.
- Eat foods with antioxidants. Antioxidants are the best resources your body has to fight disease and aging by reducing damage and inflammation. Inflammation is a leading cause of wrinkle formation. Some of the best sources of antioxidants include: blueberries, pomegranates. Acai berries, Goji berries, spinach, raspberries, nuts, seeds, purple grapes, dark chocolate – 70% or higher of cocoa content, organic green tea.
- Eat organic foods. This curtails consumption of aging toxins.
- Get enough vitamin C. A diet rich in vitamin C leads to fewer wrinkles. Researchers have found that skin exposed to vitamin C for long periods of time can produce up to eight times more collagen!
- Avoid sugar. It leads to damaged collagen and elastin, which cause wrinkles.
- Eat healthy fats. Incorporating foods such as avocados, olive oil, flax seeds, nuts and fish into your diet is important. The fatty acids are crucial for your skin to look youthful.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereen Timani, at Johns Creek Dermatology, is committed to the health and vitality of your skin. Our office is conveniently located in Johns Creek and serves South Forsyth, Gwinnett and North Fulton counties and the surrounding North Atlanta area. Our patients live in nearby Alpharetta, Suwanee, Roswell, Duluth, Dawsonville, and Cumming, GA.
This article is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice. Please contact us at Johns Creek Dermatology with any questions about the health of your skin or to make an appointment.
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