With skin comprising the largest body organ, it is not surprising that what goes on inside the body can show up in the skin. Take stress for example – When a person is stressed out this can express itself in the skin through breakouts, cold sores and herpes flare-ups.
What you eat, how you live and your emotional state can all contribute to skin health.
Follow these guidelines to achieve healthy glowing skin and reduce skin problems:
Protecting the skin from sun damage is essential. Suncreen with an SPF of at least 15 should be applied before sun exposure, and it is best to limit exposure between 10am-4 pm when the sun is at its most intense. Sun exposure can trigger cold sores.
Do not smoke! Smoking affects the skin by disrupting the natural process of the break-down of old skin cells being replaced with new cells, causing premature aging.
Alcohol is very dehydrating, so when you imbibe try to limit the amount, and make sure to drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
Cleansing is very important! Do not leave make-up on your skin at night. Gently cleanse with mild soap and water taking care to be delicate with your skin.
Moisturize! Moisturizing helps the skin maintain its natural moisture, and keeps it from looking dry and dull. Inexpensive moisturizers are as good as expensive ones for this purpose.
Get enough sleep. Sleep optimizes cell turnover and collagen production, which keeps skin youthful. A lack of sleep shows on your facial skin, which can make you look tired and older.
Exercise helps promote healthy blood-flow throughout the body, and increases circulation and the stream of nutrients throughout the body.
Shave after a warm bath or shower, taking care to shave in the direction of hair growth. Moisturize after you shave, gently applying moisturizer and taking care not to rub the skin.
Reduce stress, stress can suppress the immune system, triggering skin conditions such as fever blisters, cold sores (herpes simplex 1), herpes simplex 2, shingles (herpes zoster), rosacea and psoriasis. There are herbal supplements that can help reduce stress, and exercise can also assist with stress management.
Many dermatologists advise a diet rich in antioxidants to optimize skin health and speed cell turnover. Here are just a few of the high antioxidant foods you can add to your diet to get that glow!
Sweet Potatoes – Rich in beta-carotene, this vegetable is loaded with antioxidants that help increase cell turnover.
Avocado – Full of vitamin E, avocado is a natural moisturizer that can ease dry skin from the inside out!
Blueberries – High in free-radical fighting antioxidants, these berries fight skin aging.
Red Bell Peppers – Rich in vitamin C, bell peppers reduce wrinkles and dry skin.
Pomegranate – Also rich in vitamin C, pomegranate contains more antioxidants than green tea or red wine.
Onions – High in quercetin, an antioxidant that provides protection from wrinkles.
With a little pampering, and an increase of antioxidants in your diet, your skin will be healthy and glowing, reflecting your inner health!
 J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Sep;11(9):e1-4. Systemic antioxidants and skin health, Nguyen G1, Torres A.