Clear, healthy skin allows you to radiate natural beauty, and skin care should be a top priority in your beauty regimen. However, healthy skin doesn’t always come naturally; here are seven ways to support beautiful, radiant skin through everyday lifestyle choices:
1. Diet and Nutrition
Favoring foods with high concentrations of essential vitamins and nutrients assists in all areas of health, and how you eat is also reflected in your skin. Eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables as well as foods rich in omega 3s like oily fish and nuts.
The Mediterranean Diet is an excellent diet for health and, more specifically, the health of your skin.
Fish, leafy greens, olive oil, and fruit are the staples of this heart-healthy diet. Eating Mediterranean may protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, a recent Italian study suggests. On the cosmetic front, omega-3 fatty acids in fish help keep skin-cell membranes strong and elastic.
"Olive oil, tomatoes and red wine also have antioxidants that help block chemical reactions that lead to sun damage," explains Leslie Baumann, MD, chief executive officer of the Baumann Cosmetic and Research Institute in Miami Beach, Florida.
Cut back on alcohol, as it can have a premature aging effect on your skin. “Alcohol is actually one of the worst, most aggressive compounds to destroy your skin,” says New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez, who counts designers and Vogue editors among his clients. “I always joke with my patients, ‘If you want to get older, go ahead and drink!’ ”
This is another lifestyle tip that’s beneficial to numerous areas of health and can really enhance your skin's appearance and give it a perpetual dewy glow. Make it a habit to drink at least eight glasses of filtered water each day.
Water is essential to maintain the optimum skin moisture and deliver essential nutrients to the skin cells. It replenishes the skin tissue and increases elasticity, which helps delay the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Drinking enough water fights skin disorders like psoriasis, wrinkles and eczema. It also increases the metabolic rate and improves digestive system to flush out toxins, which in turn gives you healthy and glowing skin.
Choose water instead of sugary sodas or fruit juices, as they can elevate blood sugar and cause breakouts.
Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is essential to overall health, but the effects of sleep (or lack thereof) really show up in your skin. Lack of sleep can result in dark circles under the eyes and cause the skin on your face to look dull.
Consistently not getting enough sleep affects the moisture levels in your skin, decreasing them and also lowering your complexion's pH levels, which can make skin look prematurely aged and have less of a natural glow.
When your skin's pH level drops, it creates an imbalance that causes your skin not to produce the moisture it needs making it look dry and/or flaky. A pH level that is too low also creates unnecessary redness, leaving your skin uneven and even trigger breakouts.
Generally, seven or eight hours of sleep per night is an ideal amount. Your skin (and the rest of your body) will thank you!
4. Protection From Harsh Sunlight
While spending time in the sun is beneficial and essential to vitamin D production, too much of it can dry out your skin. This can lead to discoloration, blemishes and thinning skin as well as lines and wrinkles. Too much sun can also make you vulnerable to skin cancer. Make use of skin care products with an SPF as well as sunglasses to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes.
5. Manage Stress Levels
Just as lack of sleep stresses your biology, environmental stressors can also have an aging effect and take their toll on your skin tone. Stress releases cortisol into the body, which taxes the cells and can break down elastin and collagen. Stress can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne, rosacea and psoriasis.
Life inevitably has its ups and downs, but having outlets for stress management can make all the difference. Whether it’s taking a hot bath, getting a massage, going to lunch with friends or exercising regularly, find ways to minimize the effects of stress in your life – and on your skin.
6. Don’t Smoke
Smoking cigarettes has a devastating effect on your cells and is a known cause of premature aging.
A 1985 study came up with the term "smoker's face" to describe facial characteristics like wrinkles, gauntness and a gray coloring to the skin caused by smoking.
Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide and nicotine which displace the oxygen in your skin and reduce blood flow, leaving skin dry and discolored. Cigarette smoking also depletes nutrients, including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage.
Avoid starting, and if you are a smoker, strive to quit this unhealthy and expensive habit.
7. Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize
An effective skin care regimen is also foundational to beautiful, radiant skin. Remember that when it comes to skin care ingredients, “less is more.” Whenever possible, stick with organic, hypoallergenic, locally sourced beauty products made from fair trade ingredients. Packaging matters too. Keep our earth healthy... look for packaging that is sustainable, recyclable and eco-friendly.
Healthy, radiant skin doesn’t happen overnight. It is achieved through consistent, supportive lifestyle choices that you make every day. Follow these seven tips to help nourish your skin from both inside and out.