Achieving or maintaining great skin is not a matter of finding that one simple miracle potion or lotion; it’s never that easy. Rather, it’s about coupling a good daily skin care routine with a healthy lifestyle that will inevitably impact the overall appearance of your skin.
Stress Levels: Nothing has a negative impact on the look of skin (or health in general) quite like chronic, high stress. High stress levels lower theimmune system leaving everything, including our skin, weakened and susceptible to damage. People who suffer from cold sores will often notice that they have flare ups at times of high stress. Stress is impossible to avoid completely but being mindful of when we get stressed about and how we react to it will help us to find ways of coping so that it doesn’t consume and exhaust us. Too much stress leads to burnout and nothing productive comes out of that. Simple things like a walk around your neighborhood or a bit of yoga at home can go a long way and remind us to stop and breathe. Just making the effort to relax reminds us that there is more to life that what we’re fretting about.
Daily Skin Care Routine: Our skin faces near constant assault from pollutants, harsh weather, indoor heating and cooling systems, and UV rays. Unless you live in a bubble in a cave it’s virtually impossible to avoid any of these aggressors. At the very least skin should be cleansed and moisturized twice a day, and an spf should be applied before heading outdoors. For that extra punch of protection look for a moisturizer or serum chocked full of antioxidants like vitamin c, green tea, and ferulic acid, just to name a few. Antioxidants help protect skin by neutralizing the free radicals that cause premature aging and offer a tine bit of photo protection along with you sunscreen.
Diet: A bad diet can lead to all sorts of problems. Inflammation is an enemy to skin so eating foods that are anti-inflammatory will help keep it healthy over the years. Fruits, veggies, and foods with healthy fats like salmon, nuts and avocado all fight inflammation. And water! Water helps keeps things moving, helps nutrients travel throughout the body, and energizes us. It’s indispensable. Having a good diet doesn’t mean you can never indulge only that sweets and the like are kept to a minimum and make up the least of your dietary intake.
Physical Activity: Physical activity is a huge part of leading a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to run miles or pump iron three hours a day either, as long as you’re making sure that your heart, muscles, and bones are being worked regularly. Brisk walking, power yoga, cross-training, etc are all great ways to get your blood pumping. Find something you’ll stick to and enjoy. You don’t want to punish yourself afterall, you want to get the most out of life.
Genes and The Inevitable: Despite our best efforts there will always be those two things: genetics and gravity. We will all age. Skin care should be approached as one aspect of a healthy lifestyle rather than an obsession to look young your entire life-it won’t happen. Of course maintenance and healthy life choices will help you age gracefully but as humans we are wired to age. Embrace it, grow with it, and make skin care something that makes you feel good about being you.