Your skin (on your face) is usually the first thing a person will notice when they see you. That in itself is incentive to take care of it. An even greater incentive is knowing that your skin taken as a whole comprises the largest organ of your body. You know how important it is to take special care of your other major organs, such as your heart and your liver; now it's time to get really serious about your skin. Taking good care of your skin and making healthy lifestyle choices can possibly help you in delaying your natural aging, in the process aiding in the prevention of various skin problems. Along those lines, it's important to know your skin type (dry, oily, normal, or a combination); that's because using the wrong products for your particular skin type can worsen acne, increase dryness, and lead to other skin problems. A discussion with your physician is a good place to start, and a next step is typically a trip to the dermatologist for further consultation.
What's Involved in a Daily Skin Care Regimen?Taking good care of your skin should be a daily routine, one that can help you with your overall skin health and handle specific problems such as acne, scarring, and dark spots, per healthline.com. Using products not suitable for your skin type can make problems worse. Your four basic steps of a daily skin routine, done once in the morning and once before going to bed at night, should include cleansing; applying serums; using moisturizers, especially for oily skin; and applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 if you are going to be outdoors at all, to include on overcast days.
How to ‘Feed' Your SkinYour skin also needs a proper balance of nutrients in order to perform its primary mission, which is to serve as a barrier guarding the rest of your body from things outside it, as webmd.com puts it. Following are some nutrients and vitamins you want to be sure to consume on a regular basis to properly nurture your skin:
- Healthy fats. These give you skin their ‘glow,' per webmd.com. Look for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados and fish, all of which can help keep your skin stay moist, firm, and flexible -- and yet be healthier for your heart than consuming a lot of saturated fats.
- Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that can protect your skin from sunburn, although it's not a substitute for sunscreen. It appears to block sun damage to the skin by inhibiting the process that breaks down collagen.
- Protein. Once you consume protein, your body converts it into amino acids that play a role in manufacturing other proteins, such as collagen and keratin, that form the skin's structure.
- Vitamin C: As a potent antioxidant, it can fend off free radicals and possibly reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- Vitamin E. Not only does vitamin E collaborate with vitamin C to bolster cell walls, it can also absorb UV light energy, which is known to harm skin, leading to wrinkles, sagging, and skin cancer, per webmd.com.
- Zinc. Zinc performs several skin-saving functions, to include aiding your akin in healing post-injury, guarding against UV light damage, and acting like an antioxidant.
Other Skin Health Tips
- Dealing with sebaceous filaments. Per healthline.com, these are cylinder-like tubes whitish-yellow in color contained in your pores. Your best bet might be topical applications containing retinol or retinoids that work to keep your pores clear and clean.
- One way to hasten the healing and fading process of blemishes, scars, and dark spots is to apply makeup and sunscreen to avoid added sun damage and hyperpigmentation, per healthline.com. Other ingredients that have been shown to accomplish similar positive results include silicone, honey, vitamin C, niacinamide, and retinoic acid.
- Don't smoke. If you do, quit now. Per mayoclinic.org, smoking can constrict the blood vessels in the skin's outer layers, diminishing blood flow, which can deplete the skin of oxygen and other needed nutrients. It can also harm collagen and elastin, prematurely aging your skin.
- Eat well. A diet abundant in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins can promote younger-looking skin.
- Protect your skin from the sun. Start withy sunscreen. Add clothing that limits your skin's exposure to the sun, and look for a place in the shade when outdoors, per mayoclinic.org.
- Use the right soaps. Not all bath soaps are created the same. You don't want to use soaps that wipe your skin of all the natural oils it needs for its best health. Try using a mild soap, don't spend too much time soaking in the tub, and don't use water that is too hot, per lifehack.org.