November is National Healthy Skin Month
This is the perfect “awareness” for those of us with autoimmune disorders since so many of them affect our skin. I have written about those in previous blog posts:
Today I want to talk about taking care of our skin and keeping it as healthy as possible. For some of us, including myself, this can be a challenge. I just found another patch of skin that my Lichen’s Sclerosis has taken over.
You need a good, healthy diet – it’s about finding out what your body needs. Sugar is a disaster for skin, as is white flour. Thandie Newton
5 Ways to Have Healthy Glowing Skin
Hydrate your skin
So what is the best way to add water and moisture to the skin?
- Apply a hydrating moisturizer within 2 minutes of leaving the bath or shower. The skin is still porous and is vulnerable to products that are applied following the bath or shower, allowing better absorption.
- Apply a product containing hyaluronic acid prior to your moisturizer, such as Cosmetic Hydrating B5 Gel. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its own weight in water, thus attracting water to the skin and holding it there.
- Drink more water. Drinking at least 8 glasses a day will help rid the body and skin of toxins. Everyone will not agree that water consumption will improve skin… but it certainly can’t hurt. Many people often report that by increasing their water intake, their skin has a more radiant glow. Those who suffer from acne have reported the same results. Nothing will happen overnight, but even a good couple of weeks of increasing water intake should be enough for you to see how hydration affects your own skin.
Eat a healthy diet
Healthy proteins and nutritious fruits and vegetables go a long way toward making skin glow.
- Snack on mixed nuts. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, which increases skin elasticity and may decrease skin cancer, according to recent studies. Throw in walnuts—which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids—and add some macadamias. Aim for a handful of each daily to reap their pore-perfecting benefits.
- Take dairy out of your diet. “Dairy products—even those that are organic—contain cow hormones that stimulate your oil glands and your pores, leading to acne,” explains Wu. Beware of hidden dairy in foods like salad dressing, protein bars, and shakes. And if you have to go there, stick to skimmed milk. “The hormones are concentrated in the fat, so it’s your best option.”
- Eat less white flour, sugar and salt. Try to consume less than 45g of sugar on a daily basis, and cut down on salty foods. Eating too much salt can make your face look bloated.
We don’t always need to take a vitamin tablet to get their benefits for our skin. We can get them in our food and with topical creams and serums.
Necessary for the maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue, vitamin A is the key to healthy skin. If you’re deficient in vitamin A, your skin may take on a dry, flaky complexion. Get your daily recommended allowances of vitamin A through foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark, leafy vegetables. Research by the American Academy of Dermatology has shown that when used on the skin, lotions containing vitamin A can help control acne and reduce lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin B Complex
Found in foods like oatmeal, rice, eggs, and bananas, vitamin B complex contains the nutrient, biotin, which forms the basis of nails, skin, and hair cells. Too little vitamin B complex in your diet can cause dermatitis or hair loss. Topical creams and ointments made with B vitamins can instantly hydrate cells and give a healthy glow to skin. Using some creams containing vitamin B has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and to even out skin tone.
Fill up on citrus fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers, and cauliflower, all of which are full of this vital nutrient. Vitamin C has been known to fight colds and when used on the skin, vitamin C can help collagen production. Vitamin C can also help reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and reduce photo damage.
Use vitamin E on your skin to help reduce the appearance of scars and rough, dry skin. To keep skin looking supple and soft, try adding more nuts, olives, and spinach to your diet, all of which are high in the vitamin. These foods will not only help your skin stay soft, but will help your hair’s luster and strength. For stubborn scars, try rubbing vitamin E oil on the scar to reduce its appearance.
Vitamin K can be best used on the skin to help with dark circles and bruises. Look for lotions and creams that contain this vitamin to help fade discolorations on the skin, and help with wrinkle reduction. Though a diet filled with dark, leafy greens will help your vitamin K needs, the best way for your skin to get the most benefit is to use it topically.
If you have dermatological conditions such as acne, rosacea, or psoriasis, you may need to take special care to keep your skin protected while exercising. But don’t let skin problems prevent you from being active. Here’s why. By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital.
Get enough sleep
While you’re sleeping, the body’s hydration re-balances. Skin is able to recover moisture, while excess water in general in the body is processed for removal. Not getting enough sleep results in poor water balance, leading to puffy bags under your eyes and under-eye circles, as well as dryness and more visible wrinkles.