The skin is the body’s largest organ, occupying more than 10 percent of the total body mass and approximately 18 square feet of the human body. Biologically, the skin is our body’s first line of defense and a protective outer layer to ward off infection and illness.
Healthy Skin Tips
Skin, like every other part of the human body (including the brain), can be improved with deliberate care and attention. And like most other organs, improving the health of your skin requires a multi-pronged approach for best results. Diet, exercise, clean foods, high-quality supplements, and adequate sleep are all ways to increase your skin’s natural radiance.
12 Natural Ways to Take Better Care of Your Skin
1. Keep Stress at Bay
Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed out, your body tends to reflect that? Just as stress affects your brain, it can affect your body – even your skin.
When you experience stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol, the stress hormone, into the bloodstream. High cortisol levels have been directly linked to breakouts and a slew of other skin issues.
2. Practice Safe Sun
An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun, so be sure to monitor how much sun you’re getting and always use sunscreen when spending significant time outside. For sufficient protection against damaging UV rays, it’s recommended to use broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher.
3. Opt-Out of Sugar
There’s no denying that eating overly processed, chemical-ridden, sugar-filled foods can wreak havoc on your skin. High-glycemic foods, such as white bread, soda, and nutrient-void baked goods, contain processed sugars and starches. These foods can make your skin more prone to blemishes and signs of skin aging.
4. Get Your Beauty Sleep
For optimal health and blemish-free skin, it’s recommended to get 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night. Anything less can have a negative impact on wound healing, collagen production, skin hydration, skin barrier function, and skin texture.
5. Watch Your Water Intake
Water replenishes skin tissues, moisturizes your skin, and increases the elasticity of your skin. It also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, which can help your skin glow. Eight 8-ounce glasses per day is the general guideline, but active individuals or people that live in warm climates may need more.
6. Avoid Smoking
It’s no surprise that smoking has detrimental effects on your health. When tobacco is heated via cigarettes or vaping, it releases damaging free radicals. This results in the breakdown of collagen and elastin and over time can lead to dehydration, hyperpigmentation, dark undereye circles, broken blood vessels, and a lackluster complexion.
7. Support Your Skin Microbiome
Did you know that just like your gut, your skin is home to trillions of bacteria? These microscopic organisms make up the skin microbiome and work to stave off infection, fight free radicals, protect you from harmful UV rays, and keep your skin hydrated and supple. To support your skin microbiome, avoid harsh soaps, scrubs, and over-exfoliating products which, in addition to washing away grit and grime, strip the skin of beneficial bacteria.
8. Take a Quality Probiotic
Underlying gut health issues can appear on the skin in many ways, including acne. If you’re struggling with skin problems, we highly suggest supplementing with a quality probiotic to increase healthy microflora within the gut, support your skin microbiome, and keep your inner-ecosystem functioning optimally. When choosing a probiotic supplement, look for a high-quality product with an effective combination of probiotic strains.
9. Clean Up Your Diet
The effects of diet on the skin can be subjective. Some people are naturally more sensitive to certain foods than others, so if you’re dealing with skin issues, try omitting sugar, dairy, and processed foods to see if that makes a difference. Aim to fill your plate with nutrient-dense, clear skin supporting, antioxidant-rich options like blueberries, kale, spinach, and dark chocolate.
10. Move Your Body
Growing evidence suggests that exercise may be responsible for flushing out toxins and brightening your complexion. How so? Physical activity increases blood flow throughout the body, bringing vital oxygen, nutrients, and minerals to the skin. Any movement counts, but low-impact exercises like yoga, tend to yield the best results.
11. Detox Your Skin Care Routine
Much of what you put on our skin is absorbed by the body and transported to your organs. That means while you’re trying to look good on the outside, you may be poisoning yourself on the inside.
It’s important to always read ingredient lists. Also, aim to use natural products without “fragrance” and free from aluminum, formaldehyde, oxybenzone, parabens, polyethylene glycols, and phthalates hidden in the walls of plastic containers.
12. Get Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D supports skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. Optimize your levels by spending 10 to 30 minutes a day exposing your face, arms, and legs to the sun, without sunscreen. If you burn easily, start with just 5 minutes and incrementally increase your time in the sun.
Are your skincare habits helping or hurting you? What else do you want to know about skin health?
If you’ve struggled, or are currently struggling, with skin issues, let us know what worked and what didn’t. Please share your experiences and insights in the space below.
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