Your skin is the largest organ in your body and the only one you show off to every person you meet. It makes sense that such an important part of your body should receive the care that it needs to look its best, but there are many people who do not treat their skin the way it deserves to be treated. Healthier, brighter and youthful skin can be achieved with only a few small changes in your habits and lifestyle. Here are seven changes you can make to put you on the path to the best skin you have ever had.
Take a Probiotic and Prebiotic
Though your skin is on the outside of you, what you put into your body matters just as much as what you put on it. Probiotics and prebiotics are one of the greatest favors you can do for your skin, not to mention your entire body. They combat skin cancers, eczema, acne, and sun damage.
Many people do not know the difference between prebiotic and probiotic. This difference is subtle, but when the two are used in combination with each other, it maximizes the benefit they have on your skin. A probiotic is a food or supplement that comes packed with the type of bacteria that exists naturally in your digestive tract. A few common probiotics are yogurt and kefir. Prebiotics are fiber-rich foods that aid in the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Examples are beans, nuts, and all types of produce. Use these two powerful gut-aids in tandem and do your skin a giant favor.
Improve Your Diet
The standard American diet is not exactly a best friend to your skin. Fried foods, highly-refined carbs, dairy, and chocolate can all take a harmful toll on this important part of your body. Take an inventory of your diet for a week and you may be surprised at how many foods you are putting into your body that sabotage your skin’s health. An occasional treat is all right, but if your daily intake includes these foods on a regular basis, do your skin a favor and switch to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
Get More Sleep
Do you find yourself reaching for several cups of coffee every morning just to be functional? Does your energy level crash every single afternoon? Do you drag yourself into bed each night and dread the sound of the alarm the next morning? If this sounds like you, your body, and especially your skin, are begging you for more sleep.
The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep every night. It is tempting to push through and try to get by on less when work and family life pulls you in a million different directions, but if you prioritize your sleep, you will notice that your skin responds in kind. Bodies that get enough sleep have skin that is well-hydrated and smooth. Their skin responds better in wound repair and produces collagen at a healthier level. Collagen is your ticket to more youthful-looking skin. Get more zzzzzs and your skin will show it. Prioritize your health and trade one episode of your favorite binge-worthy show at night for an extra 45 minutes of sleep.
Drink More Water
Your body is 70% water and it needs to be resupplied with this vital nutrient on a regular basis. You should be drinking water like it is your day job. Keep a reusable water bottle with you and try to consume at least 64 ounces of this good stuff every day. Staying hydrated has a powerful effect on your skin, from the inside out. Your skin will look and feel more supple, and hydration fights off the wrinkles that come with aging. Water is the cheapest anti-aging product on the market.
Just like the inside of your body needs to be given water constantly, your skin demands hydration just as much. Say goodbye to the plague of cracked, dry, and scaly skin. There is a better way and it is one of the easiest steps you can take to serve your skin. Choose a simple moisturizer, free from perfumes and dyes, and apply it once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. Earn double the points if the moisturizer contains sunscreen. Moisturizing twice daily will wake your skin up and improve its texture. Do not skip a habit that is so easy to implement.
Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Long gone are the days when ignorance about sun exposure ran rampant. It’s no longer hip to be the crispiest, most baked person in the room. Skin-smart people have traded their sunbathing chairs and coconut oil for products that protect their skin from the sun. They know that the sun’s rays are doing a number on their skin’s health and may even lead to skin cancer. If you crave a sun-kissed glow, skip the tanning beds and sunlamps and trade them for a sunless tanning lotion.
Sunscreen is the first line of defense for protecting your body’s assets. Apply it beneath your makeup every morning before you leave the house. Be sure to choose one with an SPF of at least 15, higher if you live in a very sunny place.
Another easy step to protect your skin from sun damage is to wear a hat. When you head out for a hike or to the beach, throw on a hat to shade your beautiful face from the scorching sun. If you keep one in your bag, you will never be caught unprepared.
While the other habits and tips that benefit your skin are relatively easy to implement, this change is admittedly a big one, but the payoff you receive from quitting smoking is worth the effort it takes. Smoking is harmful to your body in a myriad of ways. It causes cancer, COPD, diabetes, strokes, and heart disease. If that list is not scary enough for you, smoking also wreaks havoc on your skin. Cigarettes are full of thousands of chemicals that inhibit the production of collagen and elastin in your skin. A lack of collagen and elastin leads to sagging skin.
The good news is that quitting smoking has an effect on your skin’s health in a very short period of time. You will soon notice an improvement in tone and elasticity and your skin will recover completely after six months.
Your skin says a lot about who you are. Incorporate these daily habits and rituals into your routine and your skin will tell everyone you meet that you are young and healthy.
Tips for better sleep for better skin
Establish a routine bedtime and get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Limit alcohol and cigarettes before bed.
Keep up your sleep hygiene to promote a good night’s rest.
Get high thread count sheets and pillowcases to help avoid any pulling on the skin.
Wash your face nightly and apply skincare treatments that help promote a flawless complexion.
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If you are prescribed a CPAP machine, use it. Researchers recently found apnea sufferers who use their CPAP machines look younger and fresher than those who do not.
If you still find yourself having missing out on sleep even after practicing good sleep habits, you may want to talk to your doctor about your sleep problems and to schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist. At the Alaska Sleep Clinic we treat hundreds of patients throughout Alaska for various sleep disorders including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and more. Click the link below to receive more information regarding scheduling a sleep study.