With the skin care industry being worth around a whopping £100 billion globally it is hard to navigate the vast ocean of brands and products that are constantly being forced in front of you through their seemingly unlimited marketing budgets with the idea of a miracle cure. All these companies promising that their product will be the best for you, boasting the aesthetic advantages of applying their product into your daily routine.
However, if you peel back this layer of profit hungry organisations trying to grow their share of the market by promising their customers the “Perfect beautiful skin” as they struggle to achieve unrealistic beauty standards, Skin Care at its core is an incredibly important factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not just those with outstanding skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Your skin is the largest organ in the human body and should not be neglected when it comes to your health choices, because your skin performs so many essential tasks for your body. We will delve into the reason that healthy skin is so important and the different methods to go along side using your skin care creams and medications to ensure your skin can remain as healthy as possible.
Why healthy skin is important
Since your skin plays such an important role in protecting your body, you should keep it as healthy as you can. It’s an added preventative step to keep yourself from getting sick or having damage to your bones, muscles, and internal organs;
- Your skin protects your body from the many viruses and bacteria you are exposed to daily.
- It also protects you from the sun’s rays – specifically ultraviolet light – that can damage cells.
- Healthy skin produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, and vitamin D is important for many body functions.
- Having healthy skin also helps your body keep its temperature at a constant level.
- Healthy skin also helps you react better to important changes around you by feeling pain or pressure.
How to keep your skin as healthy as possible
A key aspect to maintaining healthy skin is to remain as hydrated as possible, the recommended amount of daily water intake is 3.7 litres (15 cups) for the average adult male and 2.7 litres (11 cups) for the average adult female.
If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. Drinking at least 8 glasses a day will help rid the body and skin of toxins.
As scientists learn more about diet and the body, it’s increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin. Eat the correct balance of foods and you’ll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay soft, supple and blemish-free.
- Omega 3 – fish
- Vitamin C – blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes
- Vitamin E – almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils
- Zinc – fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish.
Too much exposure to the sun can be highly damaging to your skin’s health, everyone should take precautions to protect themselves,
- Use a moisturizer with SPF protection
- Use sun cream during times of prolonged exposure to the sun
- Keep time in direct sunlight to a minimum
- Avoid recreational sunbathing (Including going to tanning beds)
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Get enough sleep, set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.
Skin moisturizers keep the top layer of skin cells hydrated and seal in moisture
- Take one 5- to 10-minute shower or bath per day. Excessive washing can strip away the oily layer of the skin and dry it out
- Minimize the use of harsh soaps. Use a gentle and fragrance-free cleanser.
- Moisturize immediately after washing. To trap in moisture, ointments, lotions, and creams need to be applied
- Use ointments or creams rather than lotions in order to minimize irritation
Smoking narrows the blood vessels found in the outer layer of the
skin, which reduces blood flow and exhausts the skin of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to remain healthy, aging people’s skins dramatically.
Collagen and elastin give the skin its strength and elasticity. Smoking may reduce the natural elasticity of the skin by causing the breakdown of collagen and reduction of collagen production
If you need help with the process of quitting, then please find helpful links below
Diet and Skin conditions
How can diet affect psoriasis?
Sunburn, alcohol, smoking, obesity and stress are also implicated and there may be trigger foods which you will have to identify using an exclusion diet, though always check with your GP before cutting out food groups. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) from fish oil or cold-pressed nut and seed oils are important to include in the diet. It should also be low in saturated fat and include anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, red pepper, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic.
How can diet affect eczema?
Eczema is a skin condition that usually begins as patchy redness, often on the hands but can appear anywhere on the skin. Although there are many triggers, one of the most common is food sensitivity. The most common offending foods are milk, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts and food additives. Omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E may help reduce symptoms.
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