Healthy skin is about a healthy lifestyle. Taking care of your skin involves consistency and nourishment, from the inside and out.
Skin is your largest organ and provides a protective covering for your body. It consists of three layers of tissue: epidermis, dermis and a subcutaneous layer. It also includes your hair and nails, which provide protection for your body against outside elements.
But to do its job – and look its best – your skin needs extra care. One of the most basic things you can do to keep your skin healthy is to wear sunscreen every day. Applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater can help protect your skin from sun damage, lower your risk for skin cancer and slow the aging process.
Here are additional steps you can take to get healthy, glowing skin:
- Protect yourself from the sun – In addition to wearing sunscreen every day, this means staying out of the sun when it’s at its brightest (between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), wearing protective clothing such as a hat and sunglasses, avoiding sunbathing (find the shade) and no tanning beds.
- Don’t smoke – Smoking can lead to skin discoloration and premature skin aging, including wrinkling around the eyes and mouth.
- Eat healthy – Antioxidant-rich foods can help your skin look and feel healthier. These include leafy green vegetables, berries, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, legumes, salmon and nuts. Limit consumption of refined carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar as research suggests these foods promote skin aging.
- Treat your skin gently and consistently, making skin care a daily habit – Start with gentle cleansing at the start and end of your day. Use a toner next to nourish your skin, followed by a moisturizer to hydrate and prevent water loss from your skin. Finally, apply sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. You can use a moisturizer with SPF, too. Eye creams and serums can help with problem areas.
- Stay hydrated – It’s recommended that adults drink eight, eight-ounce servings of water, every day.
- Manage stress – Too much stress can play a role in breakouts and the development of other skin conditions. It can also lead to bad habits that may affect your skin, such as picking at your cuticles or biting your lip.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep is when your body repairs itself, including your skin.
- See a dermatologist for an annual skin check – During the visit, your doctor will carefully check your skin and look for any suspicious bumps or lesions. It’s also a good time to get answers to any questions you may have about your skin.
Edward-Elmhurst Health’s team of dermatologists, primary care physicians and other providers can help your skin look and feel its best. Make an appointment online or call us to find a doctor at 630-527-6363.