Good skin care is a part of overall health, and pays dividends for a lifetime.
The skin is the largest organ in the body, and our primary defense against dirt and damage from the elements. And it is the skin, more than anything else, that makes a person look healthy and thriving.
While many people only start to pay attention to their skin as the signs of aging set in, a person is never too young to start good skin care habits and maintenance, in order to maintain their glow as they age.
The basics of healthy skin care are timeless, and apply to people of all ages, and men as well as women. Skin care is particularly important once you reach 55 and over.
Here are the essentials for a lifetime of healthy skin:
Drink plenty of water
The general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day, so a person who weighs 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces of water daily. Good hydration is essential to overall health, as water is crucial for transporting nutrients through the body, helping cells heal and repair damage, and removing waste and toxins.
In skin care, adequate water consumption allows the body to:
- Heal damaged skin tissue
- Increase skin elasticity
- Keeps skin hydrated and moist
- Fights skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema
In addition, good hydration helps hair to be strong and shiny, so there’s no reason not to make a habit of drinking all the water you need, every single day.
Eat a healthy diet
Of course, we all know that the diet should contain an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
But did you know that a rainbow of fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals that improve the appearance of skin and help to maintain a youthful glow?
Some of the best foods for skin care are:
- Avocados: Avocados are a natural source of monounsaturated fats, which add moisture and reduce skin redness and irritation. Avocados are also rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals and signs of aging. And avocados also contain vitamin E, which is shown to reduce signs of sun damage.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are another food packed with antioxidants to combat free radicals. Tomatoes also have compounds that reduce inflammation and boost collagen production. And tomatoes are packed with vitamin A, the source of anti-aging retinoids we find in so many skin care products.
- Pomegranate: Pomegranates are loaded with the antioxidants we love. Pomegranates also prevent collagen breakdown, and boost the cells that keep skin smooth and supple. They also help increase production of skin cells, helping to repair and prevent skin damage.
A healthy diet is good for your skin, good for your body, and may even help trim your waistline.
The sun is a primary cause of skin damage, causing the skin to appear prematurely worn and aged.
Dermatologists recommend SPF of 30 for daily wear, but higher protection or re-application may be necessary if the day involves lengthy sun exposure.
Many people save a step by combining sun protection in their makeup or moisturizer, and that’s a great way to ensure sun protection every day.
However, those routines often only apply sun protection to the face, and there are other parts of the body that need protection as well. The neck, upper chest, and hands are all exposed to UVA and UVB rays as frequently as the face is, and that skin can become delicate, dry, and sun-damaged without ongoing protection.
Whether used alone or combined with a moisturizer, it’s a good idea to keep sun protection products nearby and remember to reapply a few times a day.
Daily moisturizer benefits everyone, at any age.
While water hydrates from the inside, moisturizer smooths and protects skin from the outside.
Moisturizers hold water in the outer layers of the skin, filling in tiny crevices between cells to help skin appear smoother, and adding a youthful glow.
Here’s how to get the best benefit from a daily moisturizer:
- Make it a habit. Moisturizers are best applied right after a shower, when skin is soft and receptive. Making a habit of applying moisturizer at the same time every day helps make sure you don’t miss it.
- Choose the right product for your skin type. If you have oily or combination skin, choose a lightweight moisturizer. If your skin is dry, flaky, or prone to dryness due to an acne system, choose something richer and longer-lasting.
- Two-for-one. A daily moisturizer may include a sunscreen (as above) or other beneficial ingredients for your skin type or problems. Moisturizers with alpha hydroxy help fight acne and aging, while glycerin provides long lasting moisture, and green tea adds antioxidants. Shop for a daily moisturizer that does double-duty for your skin.
Remember, taking care of your skin isn’t just about superficial beauty; it’s also about good health and protection from disease, infection, and even skin cancer. Healthy skin habits don’t have to start later in life, and don’t apply only to women.
Author: Sophia Alves:
Visit Sophia at Health and Beauty Bay, where she writes about her passion for living a full, healthy life and being as beautiful as you can be!
Sophia’s favorite subjects are:
- Facial Steamers – she believes every woman should one! (Maybe some guys too 😉 )
- Skin Creams – there are so many products out there, it’s hard to know for sure if you’re making a good choice.
- Her favorite beauty accessories and tools like Eyelash Curlers, etc.
We kids on the far side of 55 “Thank You, Sophia” for sharing with us!
Until next time,