Why do some people have healthy glowing skin and others don’t? We often notice it, someone who religiously uses expensive creams yet despite their efforts, do not appear to be achieving a good result. While a good skin care routine is essential, the desired result will not show unless you adopt the following five tips for healthy skin.
WORDS: Donna Anna
Nutritionist, Model and Beauty Expert
1. Sun Protection
One of the most effective ways to achieve healthy looking skin is to protect it from the sun. The fastest way to premature wrinkles and age spots is to go outdoors without skin protection. Not only does the sun contribute to early signs of aging, it can also increase the risk of skin cancer. We still need the sun for our daily dose of vitamin D and we can receive adequate amounts of it by going into the sun for just a few minutes a day. The rest of the time the application of sunscreen is one of the most important things we can do if our goal is to achieve that flawless complexion.
Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that is at least SPF 15+. Don’t worry if you are away from home and forget to pack your sunscreen as many foundations, especially the mineral powders, offer a sun protection rating of 15+. Check the labelling on the brand of foundation that you currently use to ensure that your face is protected. Most makeup brands that offer an SPF rating of 15 and above will mention it on the label. Even on cloudy days the sun can cause skin damage, therefore always remember to cover up as part of your daily routine and reapply sunscreen after swimming.
2. Don’t Smoke
Another certainty to make your skin look older than your years is smoking. Smoking causes wrinkles to appear faster than in a non smoker. The reason for this is because the blood vessels narrow in the outer layers of the skin resulting in decreased blood flow. The skin becomes starved of oxygen and the nutrients that it needs to achieve a healthy look. Even worse smoking damages collagen and elastin, which are the fibres that give our skin suppleness and elasticity.
In addition the pursing of the lips being the action that a smoker makes when inhaling, can result in fine lines and wrinkles appearing around the mouth.
3. Good Nutrition
A healthy diet most certainly helps you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts and legumes. Avoid processed and fatty foods, they do not do your skin any favors.
Vitamin’s A & C, omega 3 and zinc are nutrients that support good skin health. Vitamin A is present in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens, it is important for skin health because without them the skin becomes dry and dull.
Omega 3 fats help keep skin supple, anyone who has dry or blotchy skin can benefit from an increased intake. Omega 3 is commonly found in oily fish and is also available as a supplement. It is important to adhere to the recommended daily allowance when taking fish oil. If you are unable to take fish oil don’t despair as omega 3 is also abundant in flaxseed, nuts and seeds, in particular chia seeds. The omega 3 found in the chia seed is converted by the body into the same type of omega fatty acids that are found in fish oil.
A diet rich in vitamin C is also important for healthy skin as it enhances collagen production, so keep vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, kiwi fruit and even spinach on your food shopping list.
We have all heard that you must drink six to eight glasses of water a day for good health, but how exactly does it benefit your skin? Water is without a doubt essential for anyone who wishes to achieve that healthy glow. This is because when the body does not have enough hydration, the blood thickens. Vital organs extract water from the blood which results in taking moisture from the skin cells. This is one of the main causes of skin dryness, therefore to maintain water consumption throughout the day is paramount. Drinking enough water will ensure that your skin cells are receiving enough hydration.
Use the colour of your urine as a guide, it can help determine how much water you actually need. If it is very yellow, then more water is needed. If it is clear you could be drinking too much. A pale yellow colour is desirable.
There is truth behind the statement “you need your beauty sleep” this is because when we sleep our skin goes into repair mode. Lack of sleep can lead to a number of skin issues like dark circles under the eyes, puffy eyes, even sore eyes and a washed out complexion. Some of these issues show up immediately and others are the result of weeks or even longer from lack of sleep.
Remain positive, the best thing is that even if you skin is looking tired and feeling dry, you can change it quickly by following our 5 tips for healthy skin and adding a good skin care routine using a good quality product. Adopt these basic principles and your skin will thank you for it.