Skin that glows
Beauty, the saying goes, is only skin-deep. But the importance of skin goes a lot deeper. Most of us think of skin as just our body’s visible outer layer, but doctors consider skin an organ, meaning that it is very much alive and charged with many important duties. Remembering Biology 101, the skin is the first layer of your immune system, serving as a shield between you and legions of germs such as viruses and bacteria. It also protects your insides from sun, cold, scrapes, cuts, and moisture. And, of course, your sense of touch is crucial for everyday function.
Skin is a very complex tissue. When we enter teenage years, we develop pimples and acne. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and drier. Plus, other, more unpleasant things happen to our skin. Things like wrinkles, age spots, dark circles, and large pores, which tend to turn up like uninvited guests at a wedding. To keep your skin and face young and healthy, and to maintain its natural, protective moisture, follow these tips:
- STRIP OFF YOUR MAKEUP BEFORE BED: Leaving makeup and dirt on skin doesn’t just clog pores; it can cause excessive dryness and even skin dandruff.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP: Sleep deprivation lowers circulation, which is why you look pale and washed out if you only get a few hours. It’s called beauty sleep for this reason.
- STAY OUT OF HOT WATER: A steamy shower may feel great, but it’s one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Not only does the heat strip essential oils, but it creates a mild burn. Blood vessels respond by dilating in an effort to cool the skin, causing flushing and ruddiness.
- HYDRATE: Water helps clear the toxins that cause inflammation and blemishes. It also assists in transporting nutrients and oxygen to skin cells, and preventing dehydration, which can cause premature aging. At least 8 glasses of water are recommended to drink each day.
- DON’T FORGET YOUR VEGGIES
- CUT DOWN ON YOU OIL INTAKE: Research shows that a diet high in fats and carbohydrates causes more wrinkles. Creamy cheeses and red meats are actually known as aging fats because of what they do to our skin. To keep your cells revved up and rejuvenated, stick to lean protein like fish, white meat poultry, tofu, beans and lentils.
- KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR FACE: Picking—even lightly—can permanently damage skin. Every time you press against a pimple, it causes inflammation and distress to the skin. At the same time, bacteria is pushed deep inside the pore, and the oil glands burst, causing even more trauma. The result? More acne, plus discoloration and scarring.
- EXFOLIATION: The result? You look ashy and gray. Speed up your skin’s cellular turnover and smooth its surface with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) like glycolic or lactic acid. But beware: Although lots of products include AHAs, the concentration is often too low to do much.
But the result to an ever glowing skin is being happy and leaving out stress from your lives.