6 Surefire Secrets to Beautiful Skin
Adults have about eight pounds and 22 square feet of skin covering their body. The largest organ you have, your skin protects you from extreme temperatures, harmful chemicals, and sunlight, and it helps prevent infection by secreting antibacterial substances. Taking care of your skin helps you maintain optimum health and healthy skin keeps you looking young and beautiful. Here are 6 secrets to beautiful skin.
- Stay hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water is essential for good overall health. Water promotes good digestion, circulation, and nutrient absorption, and staying hydrated is crucial for healthy skin.
Without adequate hydration, all of your organs — including your skin — operate less efficiently. Drinking plenty of water every day — 64 ounces is the general benchmark — will keep your skin hydrated and looking youthful. It'll reduce the appearance of wrinkles and can even prevent new wrinkles from forming.
In addition to drinking lots of fluids for optimum hydration, use a high-quality skin moisturizer every day. Apply it within a couple minutes of showering — while your pores are still open — so that it's absorbed more easily.
- Eat healthy food.
The food you put in your body has an enormous impact on the appearance of your skin. An overall healthy diet that's mostly plant-based and includes lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables will help you maintain healthy, youthful skin.
In particular, vitamin A is crucial for healthy skin. Experts stress that skin cells are dependent on vitamin A and dietary vitamin A — rather than supplements — is the best way to get this vitamin. Foods high in vitamin A include low-fat dairy products, eggs, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, and dark green, leafy vegetables.
- Cleanse gently.
How you clean your face has a dramatic impact on the appearance of your skin. Harsh cleansers, hard scrubbing, and inadequate moisturizing are major culprits when it comes to unhealthy-looking skin.
Choose a mild cleanser that's free of dyes and fragrances. Wash your face just once a day, especially if your skin is oily. Frequent cleansing can irritate your skin and make it oilier. Use lukewarm water instead of hot, and rinse your face well. Don't exfoliate more than two or three times a week and do it gently with your fingers rather than a washcloth. Use a high-quality moisturizer that's free of fragrances, dyes, parabens, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which damage the skin and cause irritation.
- Wear sunscreen.
Protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun is absolutely essential for healthy skin. Exposure to the sun without protection causes premature aging including wrinkles and spots and it can cause skin cancer. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when you're outdoors, even in the winter. Use a moisturizer that includes sunscreen and don't forget your lips, a sunscreen lip balm will keep your lips soft and supple.
- Quit smoking.
One of the best ways to ensure dull-looking skin and premature wrinkling is to smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoke damages the collagen, elastin, and tissues of your skin and contributes to faster aging. Quitting smoking now can improve the tone of your skin and keep it looking youthful as you age.
- Reduce your stress.
Stress is terrible for your skin. It can worsen conditions like rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis, and it can trigger rashes, acne, and fever blisters. Keeping your stress under control can help you maintain healthy, glowing skin. Daily meditation, deep breathing, and regular exercise have been proven through a large body of research to be the best ways to reduce your stress and improve the way your body reacts to it. All three practices reduce the level of stress hormones in your body that can interfere with the appearance of your skin.