Written by Jennifer Saul - "AMA's Beauty Expert"
Achieving great skin goes beyond facials and treatments, and it is important to recognize that how our skin is cared for must work synergistically with how we maintain and treat our bodies from the inside out.
1. Use sunscreen
- Every time you step outside your skin is exposed to UVA & UVB radiation whether it’s a cloudy or sunny day. It is advised that you apply sunscreen prior to sun exposure and again 20-30 minutes after being outdoors if you are in full sun. Always reapply after swimming and excessive perspiration. The best kinds of sunscreens are those that are formulated without harsh chemicals and instead use microfine titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which reflect and block the harmful rays from penetrating your skin.
2. Avoid Using Temperature Extremes Of Water On Your Face
- Water that’s too hot or too cold can cause broken capillaries, dryness, inflammation, and upsets the natural balance of the skin. Always use a luke warm temperature when washing your face.
3. Select The Right Skin Care
- Make sure you assess your skin properly before selecting the skincare you use. Different skin types require different skin solutions. Avoid harsh, drying formulations for oily skin and don’t go overboard with ultra rich creams for dry or dehydrated skin – these may over burden and irritate the skin in attempt to overcorrect it.
Not All Skin Care Is Created equal
- Choose wisely. There are varying degrees in the quality of ingredients used in beauty products. Do your homework, read labels and get the background on the companies you’re buying your products from.
Buy Skin Care With Antioxidants
- Sun exposure, smoking and pollution are all part of the damaging effects of free-radicals within our environments, and are all primary causes for premature aging. Antioxidants are the some of the best options when fighting the ongoing battle between our skin and the siege of free-radicals. Using skincare that contains high amounts of antioxidant ingredients will help neutralize free-radicals and protect the skin from aging.
4. Follow A Skin Care Regimen
- Skin Care regimens keep your skin balanced and glowing. Our faces are the first thing that everyone sees, so why not keep the skin upon it looking its best.
Keep Skin Clean
- Throughout the day your skin accumulates all kinds of unwanted debris as well as going through its’ own cycle of renewal. It’s especially important to clean at the end of the day to remove all of that so skin is refreshed and can breathe. In the morning it’s a great way to freshen and prep skin for moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup.
- Avoid harsh exfoliators that can cause irritation or overactive skin, and be sure to choose a facial scrub that works well on delicate skin. This will polish, refine, and help your skin glow as well as stimulate blood flow and cell turnover. Exfoliating one to two times a week will keep your skin in great shape, just be sure to asses what is best for your skin in terms of how often you are exfoliating.
Treat And Moisturize
- Use a serum and a moisturizer that’s specifically formulated for your skin type. Serums and moisturizers perform various functions such as preventing moisture loss (your skin loses a lot of moisture during the day without you realizing); creating a protective barrier while allowing skin to function normally; providing essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals vital to maintaining the structure, elasticity and youthful appearance of skin. It is important to use both. Serums are intensely concentrated formulas that work to treat a specific condition and infuse the skin with powerful ingredients to create more dramatic results. Moisturizers are used to help protect and hydrate the skin and often have added ingredient benefits to further support the skin.
5. Take Care Of Your Body
- Your entire body needs the same care and attention as your face. Wash daily, exfoliate and moisturize to keep your skin looking great and functioning properly. Remember that certain parts of your body like your hands, feet, elbows and knees may be prone to extra dryness so use a richer moisturizing cream for these areas.
6. No Picking and No Touching
- Do not pick, touch or squeeze no matter how tempting it is or how crazy it drives you! Squeezing can cause scarring of delicate facial tissue, broken capillaries, and unsightly healing. Also, the area underneath your nails is full of bacteria so you can create more infection than you started with. Keep hands away from your face. Hands are subject to a myriad of germs and bacteria throughout the course of the day. Wash them regularly or use a hand sanitizer and try not to touch your face so you’re not transferring those germs to your facial area. Particularly important for those who suffer from breakouts or have oil-prone skin.
7. Get Some ZZZ's
- If you’re not sleeping properly or lacking sleep it’ll show in your skin. Dark circles, discoloration and puffiness are some of the symptoms you might experience. The skin rejuvenates and restores itself during this important rest time so make sure you get enough.
- It doesn’t matter if your exercise kick is jogging, yoga, running around with the kids or ballroom dancing – whatever you’re into, make sure you get 30 minutes of some kind of exercise every day to promote healthy blood flow, oxygenate your system and generate a sense of vitality.
9. Stress Less
- find healthy ways to relieve yourself of any build up. Stress is the cause of so many health issues – the more you can avoid it, the healthier and happier you’ll be.
No Smoking Please
- Smoking is one of the worst things you can do and the effects are widely documented. If you do smoke, your skin will not only suffer from lack of oxygen, it is bombarded with somewhere in the vicinity of 3,000 toxic chemicals every time you have one cigarette.
Massage Isn’t A Luxury
- It’s a necessity. Regular massage is very important not just because it feels good, but any kind of physical or mental stress can cause muscle tension over time that if left unchecked, can cause all kinds of greater issues. Massage moves your lymph and circulatory systems and can help to keep your skeletal and muscular systems in alignment.
10. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
- Eliminating refined and processed foods, trans fats, excess saturated fat, too much meat, and sugar will have a huge impact on how vibrant and healthy you feel – and how your skin looks.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
- Critical for maintaining overall health. With the exception of meat, if you must cook your food, steaming or grilling are two of the best methods to do this. Only cook your food as much as is necessary. Overcooking results in destroying the vital minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
Get Your Dose Of Essential Fatty Acids
- Omega 3, 6 & 9 are considered critical at a cellular level for healthy skin. Nut oils, butters, olive oil, borage oil, pomegranate seed oil, flax seed oil and fruit kernel oils are all good sources of EFA’s. Beware, not all oils are considered equal. Cold-pressed, virgin and organic are the best to buy and make sure you store flax seed, borage and other temperature sensitive oils in a cool place to prevent the oils from becoming rancid. Drink Water
- It’s generally considered that 8-10 glasses of water per day is a good amount to consume. The human body is approximately 70% water and needs a consistent supply to replenish what we lose throughout the day. Lack of hydration affects how the body is able to properly function and will lead to dry, dehydrated, dull looking skin.
- There’s no question we lead busier lives than ever in this day and age and we don’t always have the option of eating the way we know we should. Supplementing your food intake with good quality vitamins & minerals will ensure you’re getting everything you need on a daily basis.
Drink Red Wine
- While the bioflavanoids contained in one or two glasses of red wine can be beneficial for health, an over-indulgence in any kind of alcohol can become a problem for you, and your skin. Everything in moderation!
The more that you do for your internal and external health, the better your skin will be. It takes work, but maintaining a healthy regimented life is a huge part of maintaining youthful and vibrant skin.