Ever noticed how whatever is going on in our lives seems to show on our faces? If we're stressed, we can expect acne and dark circles under our eyes. If we're dehydrated, our skin looks dry and flaky. If we're sick, our faces appear pale. Eat or drink too much and we wake up with puffy skin. But get a stretch of feeling great, exercising, eating right and we positively glow with health.
Our skin is our body's largest organ, so whatever goes on inside shows up on the outside. Therefore, achieving healthy, glowing skin can go a lot deeper than washing your face. These five tips can help:
- Maintain a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and fish. You know these foods are good for you for any number of reasons. But did you know they may prevent wrinkling? When researchers from Monash University in Australia studied the diets of 453 people aged 70 and older from Australia, Greece and Sweden to see if there was any correlation between what they ate and the amount of wrinkles on their skin, they found those who ate the most fruits, vegetables and fish had the least amount of wrinkles. Conversely, the researchers found, foods high in saturated fat, including meat, butter and full-fat dairy, as well as soft drinks, cakes, pastries and potatoes, increased the likelihood of skin wrinkling. And don’t forget to drink lots of water!
- Exercise. Regular exercise maintains healthy circulation and blood flow throughout your body, including your skin. If you're exercising outdoors, though, remember to wear a sunscreen on your face that protects against UVA and UVB rays or use a moisturizer with sunscreen protection.
- Quit smoking. Studies find that smoking prematurely ages skin by disrupting your body's natural process of breaking down old skin and replacing it with fresh skin. Smoking also triples your risk of squamous cell skin cancer (not to mention numerous other cancers).
- Manage stress. Stress can negatively affect your face (and the rest of the body). Incorporate stress-relief techniques into your daily schedule; perhaps try meditation or yoga or even just a relaxing bath at the end of the day.
- Create a good skin care regimen. This one may seem more obvious, but don’t overlook the importance of daily cleaning and moisturizing. Use a gentle cleanser and find a moisturizer that suits your skin needs. Bonus tip: Adding lotion on damp skin helps lock in moisture to the upper layers of the skin.
For more on maintaining healthy skin as you age, visit our Skin Health Center.