Tips For Healthy Skin
The skin is considered to be the most important organ in the body, providing internal protection and acting as a barrier to keep external aggressors like pathogens, pollutants and potential hazards out. When your skin is healthy, it can carry most effectively carry out its three most important functions, protection, regulation, and sensation.
Here are my top suggestions for maintaining healthy-looking and feeling skin:
Consume a Nutritious and Varied Diet
A healthy diet can improve the condition of your skin and improve your general well-being. According to research, poor eating habits and an imbalance in nutrition are important causes of skin aging, . As you age, the elastin fibres that support the structure of the skin become weaker because your body is producing less collagen from the age of 30 onwards, . This can result in wrinkles appearing and can make the skin less elastic. To support the levels of these proteins within the skin, eat plenty of antioxidants that fight the free radicals that can cause cell degeneration through a process called oxidation. Incorporate antioxidants into your daily diet like vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, lycopene and plant polyphenols as these can help prevent the effects of oxidative stress, one of the major mechanisms of skin aging, .
Maintain Moisture in Your Skin
All skin types benefit from the application of the well-formulated moisturizer, as they function to prevent water from evaporating out of the skin. To ensure that the moisturizing ingredients are properly absorbed by the skin, moisturizers work best when applied while the skin is still damp. The best moisturizers contain skin barrier-repairing ingredients such as ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol which help replace any lipids that may be deficient in the skin, .
Protect Your Skin
The most crucial aspect of maintaining the long-term health of the skin is shielding it from ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. It is well known that UV exposure can harm your skin, causing cumulative damage to the structural components of the skin over time. UV exposure has even been shown to account for up to 80% of the visible signs of aging including wrinkling, dryness and changes in pigmentation, . It's recommended to frequently reapply a sunscreen that is a broad spectrum for UVA and UVB if you will be outside in the sun, even if your moisturizer or makeup contains sunscreen.
Get Enough Sleep
It's not called "beauty sleep" for no reason, as this is the time the body needs to repair and regenerate skin cells. According to one study, people who didn't get enough sleep had increased visible signs of ageing and decreased skin barrier function, . Sufficient sleep has been shown to result in skin that is more moisturized and can both protect and heal itself more efficiently. This is because skin goes through most of its restorative processes while you sleep, with increased blood flow and skin cells regenerating more prolifically at night,. By reducing the time you spend sleeping, you are reducing the amount of time the skin has to carry these processes out.
Wash Your Face Before Bed
In addition to the makeup and sunscreen you may be wearing, the skin is accumulating oil, dirt, and pollutants throughout the day. To allow the skin to properly regenerate, it is a must thoroughly wash your face before bed. Even though washing your face is good for you, stick to 60 seconds, twice a day as over washing can dry out the skin’s protective moisture barrier.
Apply Skincare in the Correct Order
Just as significant as the products themselves is the order in which you apply your skincare. Essences and serums should be applied first because they contain the most potent ingredients. Start with the skincare product with the thinnest consistency, as this will usually be water-based. The product that is thicker, creamier or contains oils should go last. This is because applying oil-based products first will prevent water-based ingredients from penetrating the skin and negating their effects. Moisturizer and sunscreen should always be the last steps of your routine.
- Cao C, Xiao Z, Wu Y, Ge C. Diet and Skin Aging-From the Perspective of Food Nutrition. Nutrients. 2020 Mar 24;12(3):870. doi: 10.3390/nu12030870. PMID: 32213934; PMCID: PMC7146365.
- Reilly DM, Lozano Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty. Plastic and Aesthetic Research. 2021; 8:2. http://dx.doi.org/10.20517/2347-9264.2020.153
- Michalak M. Plant-Derived Antioxidants: Significance in Skin Health and the Ageing Process. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 6;23(2):585. doi: 10.3390/ijms23020585. PMID: 35054770; PMCID: PMC8776015.
- Spada F, Barnes TM, Greive KA. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin’s own natural moisturizing systems. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018;11:491-497. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S177697
- Amaro-Ortiz A, Yan B, D'Orazio JA. Ultraviolet Radiation, Aging and the Skin: Prevention of Damage by Topical cAMP Manipulation. Molecules. 2014; 19(5):6202-6219. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19056202
- Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, Matsui MS, Yarosh D, Cooper KD, Baron ED. Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015 Jan;40(1):17-22. doi: 10.1111/ced.12455. Epub 2014 Sep 30. PMID: 25266053.
- Lyons AB, Moy L, Moy R, Tung R. Circadian Rhythm and the Skin: A Review of the Literature. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2019 Sep;12(9):42-45. Epub 2019 Sep 1. PMID: 31641418; PMCID: PMC6777699.