Your skin protects your body, but that’s not all. It’s the face you present to the world. When healthy, it’s a source of beauty. The choices you make every day, what you eat, where you go, how you feel affect how your skin looks.
Use this visual guide to keep your skin youthful, healthy, and wrinkle-free.
Want a good skin?
Watch your diet. Higher intakes of vitamin C and a lower intake of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better appearance as your skin ages. Changing your diet will help your looks.
Foods rich in antioxidants, such as fish, fruits, and vegetables, seem to help protect skin. Some studies suggest that to avoid breakouts, go for complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and pasta) and healthy protein. Dairy may also be linked to acne flares.
Your anti-aging cream may contain vitamin C or E. Put these antioxidants to work from the inside, too. Eating foods rich in these vitamins, plus the mineral selenium, can help protect your skin against sun damage.
They may even help reverse signs of aging, like wrinkles and skin discoloration.
Exercise benefits every part of your body including your largest organ, the skin. Working out improves circulation, helping nourish the skin. Better blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients and may help your skin produce collagen, which staves off wrinkles.
Don’t fret about sweat, exercise will not clog your pores. Wash your face right after a workout and avoid tight headbands, which can trap sweat and irritate skin.
Burn the candle at both ends for a few nights, and you may see it reflected in your face: Dark circles under the eyes, pale skin, and puffy eyes.
Getting 7-8 hours sleep a night will keep your body and skin in top shape. It matters how you sleep, you will develop wrinkles when you press your face against the pillow for years.
Sleeping on your stomach will worsen bags under your eyes. Solution? Sleep on your back.
✓ Avoiding Melasma
Some women develop dark patches melasma on their faces when they’re pregnant or taking birth control pills. An increase in melanin, the substance that gives skin its color, is responsible for these dark patches. Melasma usually fades after delivery or when you stop taking the pill. Prevent pigment changes by wearing sunscreen at all times and avoiding the sun.
Melasma can also be treated with chemical peels or topical prescriptions of hydroquinone, retinoids, azelaic acid, niacinamide,kojic acid, or hydroxy acids that lighten the patches. But strict avoidance of sunlight is required.
✓ Keep Harmful Sun Rays Off the Skin.
Whether or not you were a sun worshipper, chances are your skin has sun damage. About 90% of all skin damage is due to the sun. As your time in the sun goes up, so does your risk of skin cancer. Protect skin by always wearing broad-spectrum sunblock. Look for products that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone.
Wear wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves, and avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when rays are strongest.
As you age, your skin changes. Your body doesn’t produce as much collagen, and the elastin that allows skin to spring back into place gets weaker. You also don’t create or lose skin cells as fast.
To boost aging skin, exfoliate to remove dead skin, use a nondrying soap, and moisturize often. Use over-the-counter retinoids to reduce fine wrinkles, or ask your doctor about a prescription version. Most of all, stay out of the sun.
✓ Drink Coffee or Wear.
Caffeine in coffee and tea is dehydrating, so it may cause your skin to dry out.
But a study found that when applied topically to skin, caffeine may help reverse sun damage and lower risk of some skin cancers in mice, at least. Researchers are now trying to see if topical caffeine protects human skin, too.
Too much alcohol is bad for your skin as well as your body. Alcohol is a diuretic; it causes the body to lose water. That can contribute to dry skin. Avoid unnecessary drinking of alcohol.
Take good care of yourself and live healthy.