Sure, heredity plays a huge role in your skin, but there are many things you can be doing to further help or harm your skin.
1. Diet & Hydration
Getting adequate sleep and eating a nutritional diet of grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C are great building blocks to keep your body running well during the day and producing health skin.
The skin is comprised of 50-70% of water, therefore when you are dehydrated your skin will be the first to show signs. Carry a glass water bottle with you wherever you go.
To keep dehydration away, steer clear of:
- being out in the sun too long without hydration
- alcohol, beer, wine
- caffeinated beverages (energy drinks, teas, coffee)
2. Exercise & Stress
The skin contains 1/2 to 2/3 of all blood in the body, therefore, regular exercise, yoga, facials or massage provides beneficial circulation that keeps nutrients and blood flowing to the skin and helps manage stress which can lead to premature aging and deep "worry" lines.
Smoking induces a grayish, suffocating complexion, creases, furrows, and lines around your mouth and eyes, and nicotine-stained nails, not to mention skin cancer, are just a few of the traces smoking leaves on your skin.
Smokers have a nearly five times greater chance of being criss-crossed with a roadmap of wrinkles than those who don’t smoke. This is due in part to smoking destroying the collagen and oxygen rich blood cells in the skin.
Research also suggests that smoking may reduce the body’s natural Vitamin A, which provides protection against skin-damaging agents produced by smoking. Therefore smoking may actually be WORSE than the sun’s effects. Also, smoking may contribute to hyperpigmentation or discoloration of the skin.
4. Sun Protection
A healthy looking tan is in fact just the opposite - it is skin that has been damaged. The skin produces melanin as a natural sunscreen to try and protect the skin cells against further damage. Thus resulting in skin discoloration over time (age spots, freckles, etc)
Wearing appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses and SPF are crucial when you will be out the sun for extended periods. Our bodies do require the sun to produce Vitamin D and it's recommended to spend approximately 20 minutes per day in the sun to get the beneficial amount of UVB rays.
5. Proper Care of Skin
Cleansing skin regularly with a mild cleanser using warm - not hot water. Avoid using soap which can strip natural oils from your skin.
Moisturizing is essential for great looking skin. Even oily skin needs moisture! Choose a moisturizer that caters to your skins unique needs and is made with natural ingredients - not chemical fillers.
Exfoliation is beneficial for the skin as long as it is not overdone. Your skin naturally sheds (exfoliates itself) an entire layer every 28 days. Manual exfoliation strips away dead cells at the skins surface to reveal glowing, healthy skin. Some methods of exfoliation include salt scrub, sugar scrub, microdermabrasion, chemical peel, Retin A, dry brushing and loofah.