I often tell my people that when you see someone with clear, radiant skin over age 40, it’s no accident! Most of us in our fourth decade and older have acquired problem areas on our skin such as sun spots, redness, unwanted bumps or hair and scars, to name a few. Simply aging can cause the skin to look dull and uneven, but factors such as acne, genetics, sun damage and medical problems can contribute to less-than-perfect skin.
So, while adults with beautiful skin may look like they are genetically blessed, it’s more likely that they’re participating in a healthy lifestyle and skincare plan. Wondering about the best ways to have beautiful, healthy skin? The following are 5 ways YOU can help get the skin of your dreams:
1. Protect Your Skin
We know — there’s nothing like catching some sun, soaking up the rays and enjoying outdoor activities when the warm months roll around. Healthy doses of sun on your skin can provide your body with much-needed Vitamin D. Too much ultraviolet light, however, can cause damage to your skin cells and DNA. It can be especially easy to be overexposed to harmful UV rays in the summer months. Excessive tanning, sunburns and unprotected exposure to the sun in your youth will lead to unsightly wrinkles, age spots and paper-thin skin as you age.
The most effective way to have healthier skin and prevent wrinkles is by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UV-A and UV-B rays daily. Find a sunscreen product of 30 SPF or higher for when you know you’ll be out and about in the sun. It should be judiciously applied to exposed skin and reapplied every 2-3 hours while in direct sun. Additional products with ingredients such as Vitamin C & E, alpha hydroxy acids, and peptides can further protect the skin as well as remove damaged cells.
For increased defense against environmental elements such as cold, wind and pollution, it’s recommended to wear proper coverings for the weather, sunglasses to shield the eyes and personal protection in your workplace. In intense sun, wear wide-brimmed hats and try to stick to the shade. There are also products available that can provide a “barrier” or shield to the skin with ingredients such as zinc oxide, glycerin, petroleum and natural oils (coconut, safflower, jojoba).
2. Eat Well
How many of us have heard the old adage, you are what you eat? It’s as true today as it was in our childhood. Our skin is the biggest organ in our body and if you want it to be healthy, you must feed it wisely. The best way to have beautiful skin is to maintain your body with the proper nutrients.
Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and “good” fats such as olive oils are essential for a healthy complexion. Try to keep your diet full of bright color and variety — a rainbow plate of natural grains, proteins and organic fruits and veggies is the best formula for every meal. A good rule of thumb is to eat “close to nature,” meaning you should avoid processed foods, fast food, junk food and preservatives that will fill up your body and skin with unnatural chemicals and additives. If it’s wrapped in plastic or has an expiration date of 2030, it’s probably not a healthy choice.
We all know exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, but why would it help our skin? You might not be aware, but keeping a regular regimen of moderate exercise is one of the best ways to get your skin healthy. How? Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, which distributes vital nutrition and oxygen to the cells of our epidermis. Increased blood flow allows the liver and kidneys to work more efficiently, which ultimately carries away waste, toxins and free radicals that damage our skin.
Exercise also benefits the skin by decreasing stress. High stress levels increase the hormone, cortisol, which in turn increases skin conditions such as acne, flushing and eczema. Regular exercise reduces cortisol and other stress hormones, helping both the body and skin to age slower and be healthier.
Many people find that scheduling times to exercise in their calendar — just like any other appointment — is a helpful habit on the way to making exercise a priority in life. You don’t need to be an Ironman to enjoy the benefits of exercise and healthy skin. Any movements that increase blood flow give you an advantage. Low impact, high impact, cardiovascular, weight training or even a short, brisk walk around the block will give you results.
4. Hydrate Your Skin
Have you ever encountered someone whose skin seemed to be glowing? It wasn’t an illusion. Skin glows when it’s hydrated. Moisturizing is a simple yet effective way to have healthy skin. Just like our houseplants that often get ignored, without proper fluids and care, your skin can look and feel parched, rough and irritated. This can lead to unpleasant long-term effects like dullness, wrinkles, uneven complexion and unhealthy pallor or texture.
To battle these possibilities, use a daily moisturizer to your entire body to repair and protect your epidermis. Pay extra attention to dry areas such as the knees and elbows. If you react poorly to topical products, look for brands that are fragrance-free, without preservatives or additives or formulated for sensitive/allergic skin types.
Our sensitive-skin brand, AVENE, comes from a dermatology institute in France uses thermal spring water to help heal dry, damaged skin. To help hydrate and repair skin even while you sleep, consider applying a thicker nighttime cream before you head to bed.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water daily. Making sure your fluid intake is adequate not only allows your whole body to function its best but also helps regulate, nourish and flush your outer covering…from the inside out!
5. Treat Yourself
It’s all too common to see people in the clinic who are motivated to have healthy skin but reluctant to spend money on themselves. They also feel that their desire for a more beautiful complexion may make them appear vain or superficial. For years we invest our time and money to others — such as our spouse and children — but feel terribly guilty when treating ourselves. Sometimes the most important advice I can give people is that it’s OK to take care of you.
Using our personalized treatments, some of our patients have pushed past the unreasonable guilt of treating themselves and alleviated much of the feelings of embarrassment, insecurity or inadequacy that can come with unhealthy skin conditions. It’s time to do yourself a favor. You can find your best way to get healthy skin, boost your confidence and feel amazing too.
The first step to getting your skin back in shape is to develop a customized skin care plan with your skin care specialist. Knowing the treatments that are best for your skin type and condition will give you the information to take the next steps – and know that you have excellent non- surgical options available!
Get Your Skin in Great Shape
Are you ready to have the skin of your dreams? It all starts with the right lifestyle and a dedication to making your skin healthy and beautiful. If you have skincare conditions that require additional treatment or have questions, we are here to help. If you are in the Madison, WI area, contact us at Rejuvenation Clinic of Sauk Prairie to schedule a free consultation.