Your skin is your first line of defense against the outside world. As the ultimate protector of everything that makes you, your skin health says a lot about you. Anything you do, what you eat, what you drink, the type of lifestyle you lead, or the environment has notable effects on your skin.
Your skin shields your body in multiple ways. “The skin provides a barrier to protect the body from invasion by bacteria and other possible environmental hazards that can be dangerous for human health,” shares NIH dermatologist Dr. Heidi Kong.
Your skin is so much more than an exterior shell. It shields you from all types of pollutants such as dirt, bacteria, and cell-damaging sun rays. Moreover, it also helps regulate your body’s temperature and helps you react adequately to significant changes around you by feeling pressure or pain.
Keep reading to explore the importance of healthy skin and how taking good care of your skin can help you feel and look healthier.
Healthy Skin Healthy You
Skin becomes overly dry when you don’t drink enough fluids or spend too much time in arid conditions. While washing your hands is essential for good hygiene, excessive hand-washing can also lead to dehydrated skin, especially if you do it with harsh soaps and hot water.
To manage dry skin, include quality moisturizing creams or lotions into your routine, and opt for lukewarm water instead of hot when you shower and wash your hands. If you wish to take it one step further, try using a humidifier at home to make the air a little less dry in your bedroom or living room.
Oh, the Summer sun! We love it but does our skin love it as well? The answer is – it’s complicated. Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays; these rays cause sunburn, making your skin age faster. The result? More wrinkles as you get older.
To protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, wear protective clothing when outside such as hats or neck gaiters. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and limit your time in the sun during early afternoon hours, when sunlight is at its peak.
Your lifestyle has a direct impact on your skin health. Yes, that goes for what you put inside your body. A healthy diet can go a long way in helping you look and feel your best. Collagen is a type of protein – the most abundant in the human body. Found in connective tissue, skin, bones, and cartilage, it provides structural support to tissues and plays many essential up-keeping roles.
Your body produces collagen naturally. However, natural collagen production declines with age. As a result, cell structures weaken, skin becomes thinner, joints get stiffer, ligaments lose their elasticity, and much more. Moreover, sustained stress and environmental toxins can lower your body’s ability to produce collagen.
Fortunately, you can replenish that collagen through the foods you consume, like chicken skin, fish skin, or collagen supplements. Such supplements combine many skin-nurturing components to promote strength and structure to your skin. Add high-quality collagen supplements into your diet if you feel you’re not getting enough nutrients from your current regimen.
Constant stress makes the skin more sensitive and triggers acne breakouts and other skin issues. To promote healthy skin — take a step back and evaluate your state of mind – actively work on managing your stress in a healthy way. Get enough sleep, scale back your overburdened days and make time for things that relax you. The results might be more surprising than you thought.
A lot happens during deep sleep; your body switches to repair mode and restores skin, muscles, blood, and brain cells. Without sufficient sleep, your body is incapable of producing new collagen. And collagen prevents your skin from sagging.
With that in mind, work to improve your sleep schedule and make it a priority. Preserving your skin does not necessarily mean purchasing pricey creams and lotions; implementing small actions such as adjusting your sleep schedule can make all the difference.