Our skin is a reflection of what goes on inside our bodies, as much as external elements such as sun exposure. We often spend so much time and effort putting on creams and cleanser to keep our skin looking smooth and clear. We often forget about the impact of what we put in our bodies and the effects that can have on the appearance and health of our skin.
Our bodies are made up of water, yet most Americans don't drink enough. Water keeps the skin hydrated. During the course of every day we lose a percentage of the water our bodies hold, so it's important that we replenish. Drinking water will help prevent dry flaky skin, including chapped lips, and brittle and fragile hair and nails.
Water also helps to flush out the impurities in our system. Drink plenty of water and see your skin improve. Spring water is a better choice that water right out of your kitchen sink because it has fewer chemicals in it. Try carrying a bottle of water with you at all times, to keep from getting dehydrated during the day.
You really are what you eat. High sugar, high fat diets can add to the internal inflammation that can lead to acne and blackheads, and even eczema. Add more healthy choices such as healthy proteins such as fatty fish, including salmon and mackerel, which offers the benefits of anti-aging and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Skinless chicken and turkey breast are also good choices. Don't forget the importance of extra virgin olive oil as a replacement for high fat, high calorie butter and other cooking oils.
Carbohydrate heavy foods loaded with starches and sugar, such as potatoes and pastas can raise your blood sugar, and affect your body and break down the collagen that keeps your skin taut and firm. They can of course, pack on the pounds too. But don't give up on all carbs. Just load up on healthy fruits and vegetables. Set a goal of eating at least five servings every day. Getting your vitamins is important too. Vitamin A rich foods, such as spinach and kale, and vitamin E loaded treats such as almonds and hazelnuts help to contribute to healthy glowing skin.
Drinking too much alcohol and coffee can also cause major damage to the skin. They can widen the small veins and capillaries under the skin, especially across the nose and cheeks, and give the appearance of broken veins.
Not getting enough rest? It is probably showing on your face. While we are sleeping our bodies are repairing themselves and generating new cells. A lack of sleep means you are depriving yourself of the time you need to rejuvenate your skin too. Plus, our sleep time is our opportunity to reduce our levels of stress, which can really impact the appearance of our skin, including premature aging. Shoot for eight hours per night.
Smoking is probably the worst thing you can do to your body and your skin from the inside out. It not only is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, and contributes to heart disease and stroke, but it also dehydrates the skin and causes premature aging. There is even a term, smoker's face, which describes the fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of elasticity in the skin that can make you look years older than you are. Smokers' skin color is almost never as bright as that of a non-smoker. So if you are a smoker, the best beauty treatment you can give yourself is to stop today. And aside from the beauty effects, you could literally be adding years to your life by quitting.
At Home Tip
Make your home a no-smoking zone. Smoking wreaks havoc on the skin, even if you are not the one smoking. Secondhand smoke can be just as harmful to the skin of those around the smoker. Just say no to a smoky, harmful living environment.
Drink tart cherry juice such as Montmorency, pomegranate juice and other juices that are high in antioxidants. They really do help fight the internal inflammations that cause damage to the skin. Add a little cherry juice to a low-fat smoothie or drink a small glass every day for overall health and great skin.