Your skin can tell a lot about you. It can reveal how well hydrated you are, whether or not you're eating a healthy diet, whether you do or don't stay out of the sun. A doctor or skin expert can scrutinize your skin and within a minute or two have a list of observations that can indicate your state of health. Let's also not forget that your face, in particular, can either show your age or defy your age, again, depending on genetics and your lifestyle choices. So here are ten things you can do this year, to optimize your skin's beauty and health.
1. I will never go to sleep with my makeup on.
When you leave your makeup on your face and fall asleep you are almost asking for skin breakouts and rashes. Residual makeup can clog pores, causing skin to get inflamed and reactive. A good rinse with a mild cleanser like Cetaphil is all you need before you go to bed. Take the time and "just do it."
2. I will eat less processed food this year.
Processed food is typically filled with sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, and processed grains. Those ingredients get absorbed by your body and do not enhance your health or the condition of your skin. It's also clear that if you are eating processed foods, then you are probably NOT eating your daily dose of fruits, vegetables and whole grains - all of which supply you with nourishing vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, nutrients that your skin and body need. Some experts still believe that a diet high in fried foods, chocolate and sugary snacks can indeed cause skin breakouts in susceptible individuals.
3. I will eat the right fats
Not all fats are created equal. Omega 3 fatty acids provide a host of health benefits and they can also improve the health of your skin. Eating fish and taking fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements can help you meet your daily quota. Olive oil is another healthy oil to cook with, and some products skincare products contain olive oil in their formulary for topical benefits.
4. I will give up soda and other sweetened beverages and make water my beverage of choice
The high calorie, sweet drinks full of high fructose corn syrup do not help your waist or your skin's luminosity. Getting adequate hydration is vital for your skin's health, but water and unsweetened teas should be your primary beverages.
5. I will stop spending lots of money on beauty products and I will simplify my skincare regimen
We all want to believe the ads that promise young, supple, glowing, flawless, age-defying skin, but truth be told, your creams, lotions and potions can only do so much. Take your money and invest in a consultation with a reputable board certified dermatologist or well-regarded aesthetician and "get the facts." Then find a simple, affordable skincare regimen that fits your age, your skincare needs and your budget. Many skincare products now products multi-task, so you can follow a budget, and still find quality skincare treatments.
7. I will no longer tan and I will use sun block year round
One of the most important habits you can commit to, that will prevent premature aging and prevent skin cancer is to reduce sun exposure and commit to using sun block or skincare products that contain (UVA/UVB full spectrum sun block). The commitment is to use sun block 365 days a year, not just in the summer months. I will also do a thorough head-to-toe skin check once a year for suspicious moles,discolorations.
8. I will refrain from trying to evacuate my blemishes (pick my pimples)
We've all done it at some point, and chances are you were left with a mark or you made the blemish worse. Dermatologists and certain trained professionals know how to remove debris and other clogging elements from your pimples and blemishes. In some cases a steroid injection may be needed to calm a really infected or inflamed pimple. Trying to extract pimples yourself is a bad idea.
9. I will take shorter showers and moisturize well
Here's a tip that will conserve water, save you cumulatively on your water bill and preserve your skin. Long showers can actually dehydrate the skin so it's best to keep them short and then gently towel skin dry, allowing a film of moisture to remain. When you apply your moisturizer onto moist skin, you actually seal in that residual hydration. There are now even moisturizing cleansing lotions like Dove with Nutrium that can begin the moisturizing process during your quick shower.
10. I will watch my weight especially during pregnancy and as I age.
Skin does have elasticity but excessive weight gain can cause skin to stretch and in many cases the skin's elasticity will not prevent stretch marks. If you decide to lose weight, you can also be left with significant skin folds. These stretch marks or folds can occur on the breasts, thighs, stomach and buttocks. Facial skin can also suffer from repeated weight gain and weight loss and lose its elasticity, making you look older. Since excess weight can also challenge your health, try to maintain a reasonable weight in general and follow the new recommendations for pregnancy weight gain. Getting older is not an excuse for weight gain so keep exercising and watching your diet as you move through the decades.