It doesn’t really seem like it, but your skin is your largest organ. An organ is a collection of tissues grouped together to perform a function. At its most basic function, the skin provides a protective layer that keeps everything, your muscles and other organs, in your body. The skin is made up of three layers, the epidermis, the part you see, the dermis, and the subcutaneous layer. These layers together function to help protect your body from disease and outside elements. To keep your skin healthy, one needs to not only consider what goes on the skin externally, but what the body takes in internally. A healthy lifestyle is the key to healthy skin. Here are the things you should do to keep your skin glowing.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
To keep all of your organs healthy, you need to eat the right kinds and amounts of nutrients. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will give your body and skin a lot of what is needed. There are specific vitamins, minerals and herbs that help increase your overall health and the appearance of your skin. The skin appears to glow when the body is healthy.
When choosing supplements for the skin, consider those formulated with vitamins, minerals and herbs specifically formulated for the skin. Herbs such as saw palmetto are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents which can reduce inflammation all over the body. Inflammation can present in a variety of skin disorders.
Keep your skin hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Remember, what’s recommended for the whole body, helps the skin. Drink 8 glasses of water a day to stay properly hydrated. Avoid beverages known to dehydrate the body such as caffeinated beverages and alcohol. If you spend too much time in the sun and warm weather, you may find the skin becomes dry. Drink more water and consider a humidifier for your home to increase the moisture in the air.
Get plenty of sleep. Your skin, just like the rest of your body, needs 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to refresh and repair. A body lacking in proper sleep shows in face with sallow skin and puffy eyes. Over time, chronic lack of sleep exhibits as lackluster skin, dark circles show up under eyes, and fine lines appear. Lack of sleep also increases the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Stress has a damaging effect on both the skin and entire body.
Avoid Hot Water
Use warm, not hot water in the bath or shower. Hot water is drying and can be damaging. The same holds true for washing hands, use warm water and not hot. Too much hand washing can also lead to dry skin. Avoid irritants and use gentle lotions and moisturizers with antioxidants and soothing ingredients. Be mindful of ingredients as your skin will absorb them into the body.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Wear long sleeves and hats, ideally those with UV protection. Use a sunscreen with at least a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 on your face and hands. Increase the SPF when in intense sun. The skin absorbs chemicals and some sunscreen lotions are laden with harmful ingredients. Look for products without oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, octisalate, homosalate, and avobenzone as they are some of the most worrisome. Avoid being outside during the middle part of the day when the sun is most damaging. Don’t use tanning booths since they give off the same harmful UV rays as the sun.
Seek Medical Care
Dermatologists are medical practitioners trained to treat and diagnose disorders of the skin. Contact your doctor or dermatologist if you notice changes in your skin such as a rash or a change in color or size of a mole. A dermatologist can perform a full body skin examination to assess any risk factors.
Your skin is your largest organ. It is affected by everything you put in and on your body. Keep this in mind when you look for lotions and skin repair solutions. A healthy lifestyle is your best defense and will be reflected in the condition of your skin.