Beautiful skin is synonymous with good health. Here are eight simple steps you can take in your day-to-day life to ensure you bring out the absolute best in your skin.
Get more sleep
Sleep is the body’s chance to repair and regenerate. Sallow skin, bags, and dark circles under the eyes are all telltale symptoms of a bad night’s slumber. One of the vital hormones for sleep is melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin plays a key role in setting your internal clock so your body knows when to sleep and when to age.
Protect yourself from the sun
Ask any dermatologist what the skin’s number-one enemy is and you will get one answer: sun. Excess exposure can cause wrinkles, lines, loss of elasticity, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer. Make a habit of applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more every day, even when it’s cloudy outside.
When skin is well hydrated, it looks healthy, plump and youthful. When it is dehydrated, it lacks lustre and appears tight and dry. While drinking plenty of water is good for general health, experts say when it comes to your skin it is its ability to hold the water that is more crucial than how much you drink. Hydrating with a good routine consisting of serums and moisturisers is equally important as it reinforces the skin’s protective barrier and helps to lock in the water you consume.
Regular exercise is a skincare essential. Raising your heart rate through both gentle and rigorous workouts helps increase blood flow, which transports oxygen to the skin (assisting in collagen production) and carries nutrients to your cells. Exercising also cleanses impurities from the body through sweat. Working out has been shown to be beneficial in reducing stress levels, which can help minimise the production of hormones that play a role in skin breakouts. Try to workout makeup-free to let the skin breathe, and cleanse thoroughly afterwards.
Smoking does no favours to your skin, causing wrinkles to appear prematurely around the eyes and mouth. Smoking reduces the efficiency with which the skin can regenerate itself and impairs the blood vessels that provide the skin with oxygen and nutrients, and which rid it of impurities.
Stress often shows up on the skin in the form of breakouts or general lacklustre. The first place to start is to identify the cause of your stress and then find mechanisms to deal with it. Exercise and fresh air can help clear the mind and relieve stress, so be sure to step away from your desk at lunchtime and take a walk. Yoga is especially good for stress relief in its ability to divert the mind from the business of everyday life.
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Moisturisers play an important role in preventing and treating dry skin and improving tone and texture. Moisturisers act as a temporary barrier, helping to reduce water loss from the outer layer of the skin as well as allowing damaged surface cells time to repair themselves; they also help protect against harmful environmental pollutants. Moisturisers should be applied to the face daily after a serum and before sunscreen. Repeat at night, minus the sunscreen part. If you apply it while your skin is still damp, this will help lock in the moisture.
Enjoy a well-balanced diet
Good nutrition is crucial to the health of your skin. Eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day so that your skin cells obtain the vitamins, minerals and hydration they need to grow and renew. Look for the ACE vitamins: A to help prevent ageing (carrots, spinach, broccoli), C to promote clarity (peppers, strawberries, oranges), and E to protect against the environment (leafy greens, nuts, whole grains). Eating good fats is also necessary for supple skin and soft, shiny hair. Incorporate monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and avocado with omega-3 fats found in salmon and tuna.