When it comes to skin health, beauty is only part of the picture. Your skin does much more than help you look good. It protects you from invading bacteria, provides warmth, keeps you cool and houses the nerve endings that give you your sense of touch. Skin performs these functions best when it’s healthy, so treat it right with these natural care tips.
Start with Clean Hands
Your hands come in contact with a lot of bacteria every day. Washing your face without first washing your hands can transfer that bacteria to your facial skin and cause breakouts. Make sure that your hands are thoroughly clean before beginning your beauty routine.
Use Sun Protection
Excessive sun exposure causes skin damage that can lead to premature aging or the development of skin cancer. Before heading out of the house, apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas. If you’re planning to work in the yard or hang out at the beach, wear a broad-brimmed hat and light-colored, full-length clothing for added protection.
Cleansers with harsh chemicals can strip your skin of its natural oils, and commonly used fragrances may cause allergic reactions. Seek out products with natural oils such as coconut, olive and avocado. These surfactants cleanse without harming the balance of water or lipids on your skin’s surface. Use soft cloths for cleaning and pat water off your skin to dry it instead of scrubbing.
Applying moisturizer while your skin is still damp helps to lock in some of the water and prevent dryness. As with cleansers, your moisturizer should rely on natural ingredients rather than manmade chemicals to do its job.
Fats from plant sources closely resemble those found in your skin and are preferable when looking to maintain skin health. In addition to moisturizing the skin’s surface, keep yourself hydrated by drinking water regularly throughout the day.
Occasional exfoliation removes dead skin cells and makes your skin appear brighter. Skip the commercial scouring scrubs and give your skin a gentler treatment with a homemade exfoliator. Create a paste of baking soda and water or mix two parts white sugar with one part coconut or olive oil. Apply the scrub to your skin using a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly before drying and enjoy the clean, light feeling.
Stay Healthy on the Inside
The food you eat influences the health of your skin. Since your skin is always in contact with the environment, it’s highly susceptible to damage from chemicals and other irritants. Dark leafy greens as well as brightly colored vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants that fight against environmental damage and help prevent premature aging.
These foods are also good sources of nutrients such as vitamin C, which is essential for healthy collagen. Seeds such as hemp, flax and chia contain omega-3 fatty acids to maintain moisture.
With these guidelines, you can build a healthy daily regimen that keeps your skin beautiful and strong throughout your life.
This post was written by Vanna Belt, creator of Gel-V and the V-Belt which helps women improve the skin on their hips, thights, stomach, buttocks and other problem areas!