Skin is the largest organ in the human body, and also the one that takes on the most damage and is exposed to a multitude of different stimuli, such as light, heat, dust, water among many others. Maintaining healthy, glowing skin is one of the best ways you can pamper yourself, and does not always require you to undergo an intensive skincare routine, which can be both grueling, boring and restrictive. This is why, in this article, we’re providing you with 5 easy steps and tips that you can take that can keep your skin clear, healthy and glowing.
Protect yourself from the sun
We often hear about the benefits that plenty of sunshine can give us, including vitamin D and boosting your mood. But as with most things, too much of it can cause more harm than good. Years of prolonged sunshine exposure can cause wrinkles, spots and other issues, including an increased risk of skin cancer. This is why you should try to avoid being in the sun for too long, especially during the early afternoon (from 11 am to around 4 or 5pm) as this is when the sun is at its strongest and cause the most damage to your skin.
What is more, sunscreen is your friend. Try to buy sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and re-apply it every 2 hours when exposed to sunshine. Couple this with protective clothing, provided of course you’re going hiking and not at a beach, for example, for the best sun protection.
2. Healthy Diet
It’s actually insane how much the food you eat can have an influence on the way you look, but that’s the way it is. This is why you want to make sure to include as much natural, healthy food in your diet as possible, and simultaneously avoid eating lots of processed food, which is filled with artificial compounds.
One particular type of food you’ll want to make sure you eat is foods with antioxidants. Antioxidants are the arsenal, which your body uses to fight diseases and inflammation, which are the main cause of wrinkles and other skin problems. The more antioxidants you consume, the lower the likelihood of developing wrinkles, as well as the added bonus of a healthier immune system. Examples of foods rich with antioxidants include: blueberries, nuts, spinach, pomegranates and even cocoa, which is why dark chocolate with high cocoa content is actually good for you. Green tea is also rich with antioxidants, and has zero calories as a bonus.
Speaking of drinks, the role that water plays in skin health cannot be understated. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to maintain healthy skin.
3. Be gentle when it comes to skincare
As we mentioned, the skin is already exposed to so many potentially harmful stimuli. And with the added chemicals that are often found in soaps and shampoos, you could be doing more harm than good in your cleansing routine. Make sure you don’t use overly hot water and strong soaps, as both of these can strip away your skin’s natural oils. Shave with the grain of your hair to avoid ingrown hairs, which is an unnecessary and sometimes painful complication. Moisturize your body with natural creams to avoid dry skin. Lastly, do your research before committing to any home remedies, especially those which include acidic ingredients. A great resource for home remedies for various skin problems is itchylittleworld.com, so make sure you check it out.
It may be a bit of a drab, but exercise can have a positive effect on your skin and help maintain its clarity and health. Exercise helps increase circulation of blood throughout the body, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching your skin cells, keeping them alive and functioning. Furthermore, exercise leads to sweat, which releases all the built up toxins in the body, keeping it clear and firm. The beauty of exercise is it doesn’t have to be a strict routine – make sure you find an exercise that gets you moving, but is also something you enjoy doing and feel fulfilled having finished it.
5. No Smoking
The final bit of advice is to not smoke or stop smoking if you’re already a smoker. Alongside the more serious health problems it causes in the blood, lungs, and heart, smoking is also really bad for your skin. It breaks down collagen and elastin, which are fibers that keep your skin stretchy and youthful. This contributes to wrinkles and discoloration. On the whole, smoking is one of the worst activities you can engage in, in terms of overall health but especially skin health. Difficult as it may be, quitting smoking is very much worth the hassle.