13 Important Skin Health Tips You Need To Know
November is Healthy Skin Awareness Month, and is just the right time to rev up your winter skin care ritual in order to protect the largest organ in your body with important skin health tips.
Here’s why: skin is a waterproof shield that prevents loss of moisture. It insulates the body from temperature fluctuations, foreign substances, and physical injury. It reduces the negative effects of UV radiation, while it manufactures vitamin D that we get from sun exposure. Skin even secretes antibacterial substances that help ward off infection.
Your skin regenerates itself approximately every 27 days. But it requires proper care to do its best job in providing the protection we need, and in promoting a radiant, healthy-looking exterior.
Please take a few minutes to learn about dermatologist-recommended hygiene habits and the foods and supplements that help nourish your skin (and support your good looks).
Protect Your Skin From the Inside Out
Your skin is part of the integumentary system, along with your hair, skin, nails, and oil and sweat glands. Skin is made of water, protein, fats and minerals. It has nerves that make you feel sensations like hot and cold, as well as a soothing, loving touch.
As we age, we lose collagen and elastin. This causes the dermis—the middle layer of the skin—to thin. The unfortunate end result is wrinkles and crepiness. We can’t stop skin from aging. But we can help slow down it down by protecting our skin from free radical damage that’s caused by internal and external factors.
How to Protect Your Skin During Winter
- During winter it’s typical to turn up the heat, which means that indoor air gets dry. A humidifier can help add moisture, which is good for your skin and mucous membranes. And adding green plants to your environment can help eliminate air pollutants (in addition to helping boost your mood).
- It’s important to continue applying sunscreen anytime you’re going outside. If you live at a high altitude, or partake in winter sports like skiing, it’s even more important to protect your skin from UV rays. (And don’t forget to wear sun glasses.)
- Smoking adds years to your skin. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and electronic cigarettes age skin faster.1 If you need help stopping, please consult with a professional.
- Keep an eye out for changes in moles and see a dermatologist once a year for a whole body skin check.1
- Avoid tanning beds. They are extremely harmful to your skin and overall health. If you want to maintain a summer tan, apply a self-tanning lotion.
- Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face twice a day, and be sure to remove make-up before going to bed.
- Showering and bathing too often in winter can result in skin dryness and trigger other negative effects. It’s okay to skip a daily shower once in a while if you don’t get sweaty or dirty. But a daily three to five minute shower focusing on behind the ears, the bottom of the feet, groin, arm pits, and the legs is what most dermatologists recommend.1
- Close the door to the bathroom in order to capture the steam and retain humidity.
- Apply a moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower to trap moisture in the skin.1
- Eat warm, nourishing foods like soup when it’s cold outside. Think tomato, which is chockfull of lycopene. Lycopene is a strong antioxidant that provides skin moisturization and helps support skin texture and elasticity. It can also be found in topically applied cosmetics. 2, 3
- Feed your face with healthy fats. Studies have shown that supplementation with Essential fatty acids (Omega-3s) moisturize you from the inside out and support skin health. Eating fatty fish such as salmon, Blue fish, halibut and tuna once or twice a week helps collagen synthesis, which in turn supports skin elasticity. 4
- Hydrate your skin by eating avocado, which contains a blend of healthy fats, proteins and vitamins; foods that contain vitamin C, like sweet potatoes, oranges and spinach, which boost collagen and immunity; foods that contain vitamin A, like red peppers, which boost sky hydration and collagen production; and nuts and seeds that contain vitamin E, which helps your skin trap moisture inside.
- Drink plenty of water and herbal teas! It’s the easiest way to hydrate your skin from the inside out.
Tomato Soup Recipe: Packed With Lycopene
Nourish your skin from the inside out by integrating lycopene packed foods into your diet, like tomatoes! Try this tomato soup recipe to warm you up during Autumn & help boost your skin health:
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
- 3 cups of finely chopped yellow onions
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- Two 28-oz cans of crushed tomatoes with their juice
- 2 cups of chicken or vegetarian stock
- 1/4vcup chopped fresh basil, or 1 Tbsp of dried basil
- 1 Tbsp of sugar (optional)
- Black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup half and half to neutralize acidity
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Heat the oil or butter in a pot over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion until golden. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, stock and basil, sugar and black pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Partially cover with lid, reduce to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 3. If you like it creamy, use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot, or blend in a blender by very carefully pulsing it to make sure it doesn’t splatter.