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10 Tips For Keeping Healthy Skin Healthy

By Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields

  1. Protect Your Skin From The Sun

    There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Your skin is a terrific historian carrying souvenirs from vacations at the beach, tanning beds, pregnancies, pimples and more. However, the main cause for skin damage is the sun. To see this for yourself, compare the clear, firm, unmarked skin on the inside of your arm where the sun doesn't shine to the more flaccid, leathered, outside arm skin with its freckles, brown spots and dots. Seeing this difference should inspire you to slather your skin with a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen. It's the ultimate wrinkle cream that you should use liberally and apply often. And for maximum protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat, UV-rated sunglasses and additional clothing to cover extremities.

  2. Don't Smoke — Ever

    Research on identical twins where one was a lifelong smoker and the other had never smoked reveals irrefutable evidence that smoking prematurely ages your skin. For example, the skin on the inside of the smoker's arms was 40% thinner and overall had more wrinkles when compared to the arms of the non-smoking twin. Smoking literally affects the structure of the skin by delivering thousands of toxins and free radicals into the bloodstream. And because these free radicals are highly inflammatory, they cause blood vessel constriction impairing circulation, resistance and healing. Alarming research also shows a link between cigarette smoking and lip cancer plus an increased death rate from melanoma, a very aggressive skin cancer. Smoking, like chronic sun exposure, is non-negotiable when it comes to good health. If you are having trouble quitting, read “Strategies To Stop Smoking” for tips to help you quit.

  3. Get Your Beauty Sleep By Sleeping On Your Back.
  4. Get Your Beauty Sleep By Sleeping On Your Back

    When you are tired, your skin appears paler due to blood vessel and bodily changes. This is why your skin needs rest too — for better cellular repair and turnover. The position in which you sleep is also important. When you sleep on your side or facedown, your body's weight causes “sleep crush” or deep creases. Unlike wrinkles caused by facial expressions, they manifest as diagonal lines across the forehead, upper lip, and lower eyelid. They are totally reversible by simply sleeping on your back, so change your sleeping position before they become permanent.

  5. Don't Stress Out

    Most people know the signs of stress: an ashen or sallow appearance, flushed cheeks, dark circles under the eyes, dull limp hair and more pronounced lines and wrinkles. A short burst of the hormone cortisol is necessary to respond to a brief stressful period. However, chronic stress, which causes a prolonged release of cortisol, can be harmful to your health and skin triggering acne, hives, eczema, warts and herpes. It can even accelerate the aging process, increasing the risk of infection and delaying wound healing. Not only is stress a fact of life, but its effects are cumulative. Our advice: take control of your life and relax.

    Tips To Manage Stress
    • Be true to yourself, recognize what stresses you and avoid it
    • Sleep and eat well
    • Exercise daily
    • Meditate or practice self-hypnosis
    • Soak in a “not too hot” tub
    • Get a massage
    • Relax and get adequate rest
    • Seek help if you feel overwhelmed
  6. Eat Well

    Because your skin is a reflection of what is going on inside your body, you should eat a healthy, balanced diet and keep well hydrated. Contrary to popular belief, eating chocolate and french-fries won't give you acne; however, having good eating habits, avoiding sugary, starchy or high fat foods, will help you look your best. Remember, a healthy body, mouth and skin are all part and parcel of the same thing — a healthy you!

    It is also important to understand the relationship between eating well and your skin. Constantly gaining and losing weight (“yo-yo” dieting) puts undue stress on your skin's ability to expand and contract that will eventually result in the loss of its elasticity. Maintaining a constant, healthy weight is just as important for your skin as the food you consume.

  7. Exercise regularly.
  8. Exercise Regularly

    As part of an anti-aging skincare regimen, increasing circulation through exercise ensures that vital nutrients reach your skin. Incorporate cross-training activities into your workout like yoga, stretching and Pilates. And avoid long-term, high-impact and jarring activities that cause damage to joints, muscles and may tear skin attachments eventually producing sagging.

  9. Drink Alcohol Only In Moderation

    Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate especially those near the skin's surface, causing flushing and permanent facial redness. It also dehydrates the skin as well as the many other well-known and documented unfavorable systemic (bodily) effects. Remember, alcohol is not a food group and has no nutritional value; thus, minimize consumption to no more than one glass of alcohol, preferably wine, per day.

  10. Find The Right Skincare And Stick With It

    Everyone has different skincare concerns and needs, depending on lifestyle, climate, race, gender and age. Begin by studying your clean face in a triple magnification mirror and writing down — in order of priority — everything you want to improve. Next, develop a skincare regimen that contains active ingredients that address your specific issues. These products should be aesthetically pleasing so that you will enjoy your routine, because consistent use is critical to helping you achieve visible results.

  11. Popping pimples.
  12. Don't Be Picky

    Popping pimples can force bacteria deeper into the skin causing greater inflammation and can lead to scarring. For acne or blemish sufferers, it's best to use some TLC (Tender Loving Care) and the right products such as topical benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur to both heal and prevent breakouts. When necessary, see your dermatologist for an emergency injection to rapidly heal a pimple or cyst to save a special day.

  13. Adapt Your Skincare Routine To Your Climate

    Because skin is hydrated primarily from the outside rather than the inside, climate plays an important role. In low humidity, skin can become dehydrated, dull and flaky. Likewise, dry, windy climates suck moisture from the skin magnifying lines and wrinkles. Combat these effects by moisturizing your skin — especially at night when skin is more receptive. High altitudes impact climate, filtering less UV radiation and generating more free radicals that prematurely age skin. Use extra sun block in these regions. Cold weather chaps the skin while hot weather increases oil production. The key is to evaluate your climate and adapt your skincare needs accordingly.

Following these tips will help you to have the beautiful skin you've always wanted. Just remember, you have control over 80% of what happens to your skin. So it really is up to you to maintain your skin's natural health and beauty.