5 Tips for Healthy Skin
1. Treat your skin gently
Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. You can try to keep it gentle by:
- Limiting bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm water (rather than hot).
- Avoiding strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Try choosing to use mild cleansers instead.
- Shaving carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
- Patting dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
- Moisturizing dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.
2. Protect yourself from the sun
- Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming, perspiring, tanning, or anything under the sun.
- Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest.
- Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. You can also consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing — which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.
3. Eat healthy
A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. We recommend eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn't clear — but some research suggests that a diet rich in fish oil or fish oil supplements and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates can help promote younger looking skin. Also, drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated.
4. Manage stress
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Get enough sleep, set reasonable limits, meditate, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results can be more dramatic than you expect. On the plus side, you just might be happier.
5. Don't smoke / stop smoking
Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow and makes skin paler. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health.
Smoking also damages collagen and elastin (which are the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity). Also, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking, like pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke can contribute to wrinkles.
Lastly, smoking increases your risk of squamous cell skin cancer. If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.
Remember good skin care (including sun protection and gentle cleansing) can keep your skin healthy and glowing.