We all want to feel and look our best every day of our lives. While our health and vitality is largely from the inside out, we also must take care of ourselves from the outside in. Radiant healthy skin is a statement not only to the world around us, but to ourselves. Own the beautiful skin you are in and maximize its ageless vibrance with these 5 tips and tricks.
#1 Sun Protection
You’ve heard it a million times I’m sure. Because it’s absolutely key. From a medical standpoint it’s not just about your ageless glowing skin, but the prevention of skin cancer, which you have to admit is pretty crucial too.
How should you accomplish sun protection?
Ideally with actual physical shade as your primary form of protection: This can be an umbrella, a hat, an awning etc.
Chemical sunscreens have been scientifically proven to be absorbed into the bloodstream (a fact that should make us all the more aware of EVERYTHING we put on our skin). We don’t actually know what, if any, medical consequences there are to oxybenzone and other chemical sunscreen compounds floating through our bloodstream, but we do know they aren’t naturally occurring there.
That being said, shade isn’t always reliable, and there are many activities where being shaded isn’t practical. In those situations, consider physical sunblocks with zinc oxide as their active ingredient. Looking for sunblocks that are reef safe [formulated without oxybenzone and octinoxate] is always a good way to find recipes that have the least harmful ingredients. You can also opt for baby formulations for your ageless skin.
#2 Feed Your Skin Right
There are as many ways diet can impact your skin as there are different diets floating around. But in honing in on your ageless skin today, let’s focus on three predominant aspects of your diet you can enhance to improve its vitality and health.
What pitfalls should you avoid that could sabotage your journey to your best skin? First and foremost, sugar rears its ugly head, once again. High glycemic index foods promote hormonal impacts on skin and enhance inflammatory factors. It’s not just a calorie count out there, our bodies are so much more complex than that. Avoiding sugar spiking food can help reduce redness, inflammation, hormonal discoloration, and acne.
So what should we eat?
Diets rich in beta-carotene, sulforaphane and lycopene actually help protect us from the sun’s damage. These are found in many colorful vegetables, particularly tomatoes and broccoli, which are an easy start. Multiple studies have demonstrated that diets rich in these nutrients reduce UV-induced erythema in just 10-12 weeks.
And lastly? Coincidentally, it’s the good old omega-3s. These have so many benefits for our health, and enhanced skin is certainly one of them. Omega-3 fatty acids are a key component of cell membranes throughout our body. They impact cellular signaling, membrane proteins, and even gene expression. Deficiencies have broad impacts on the body, including dry skin. Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3s, vitamin E, and zinc, which are intertwined together in their activity within the body and all highly valuable to your skin health.
Drink water, drink lots of water and don’t drink much else. Caffeine and sugar can both dehydrate you and therefore your skin. If you tend to have dry skin, consider adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your regimen in the morning as well.
You need to hydrate your skin topically too. In addition to a great daily moisturizer, use a weekly mask. When you don’t have a mask around, consider aloe. Aloe has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Egyptians referred to it as the plant of immortality, said to be used in the beauty regimens of Nefertiti and Cleopatra. In modern medicine, its use in the US started in the 1930s to successfully reduce radiation dermatitis.
Its action becomes understandable when you find out that the plant contains 75 compounds that may be contributing to its “mystic” properties, including bradykinase, glaucomanans and auxins for anti-inflammatory properties and collagen stimulation. In addition it’s laden with minerals, vitamins, and even amino acids. You can apply it straight from the leaf of the plant. Just peel the leaf, rub the aloe onto your skin, and summon your inner Nefertiti.
#4 Increase Skin Circulation
If you’ve ever been a patient of mine or watched any of my video appearances, you know I have to promote exercise, and when it comes to skin, it’s no different. Exercise increases our micro vessel dilation and improves circulation everywhere, including our peripheral cells. Our skin can’t get the full benefit of our improved diet and hydration if we aren’t moving the best circulation to it.
Utilizing microneedling can also fall into this category. There are a wide array of cosmetic procedures on the market, and it can be difficult to determine which are actually proven beneficial. Microneedling is one that has multiple studies with favorable data. The very small needles puncture the epidermis and stimulate a wound healing cascade in the dermis. This micro trauma induces growth factors, which trigger the production of collagen and elastin in the papillary layer of the dermis as well as new capillary growth. Of course, if doing this at home, please sterilize instruments and be cautious not to drag needles which causes trauma to the epidermis. Always consult your physician, especially if you have sensitive skin.
#5 Sleep for Your Skin
Not only do you need to get enough sleep, but you may need to change the way you sleep.
Sleep supine (on your back), it’s skin changing!
Why, you ask?
First, we know repeated wrinkling of the skin advances the appearance of aging. Hence, the existence of Botox to combat it! If we sleep all night on our side, with our face smashed up in a pillow and our décolleté folded and creased, we encourage wrinkles for hours upon hours, night after night, that didn’t need to be there.
Second, we retain fluid in our face by simple gravity on our veins, leaving us puffy and inflamed.
There are many health benefits to sleeping on your back, but the glow of your vibrant, ageless skin is one you will notice immediately.
Dr Teresa Dean earned her MD in 2007 at Duke School of Medicine, publishing in her first scientific journal at age 22 and completing a public health fellowship at the CDC. Her interest in wellness and vitality cultivated much earlier growing up in rural Alaska and playing NCAA Division I sports. She continues to share this passion for supporting wellness and vitality in her medical practices in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, CA, as a media expert in her field and as a mother of two.