Skin. We all have it.
Most of us take it for granted.
Did you know your skin is actually an organ? It’s amazing and has many functions including keeping you warm, keeping your insides well, inside, making vitamin D out of sunshine, and let’s not forget feeling touch! It’s even the first line of defense in your immune system. (See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_skin)
Since skin is an organ what you do to improve your overall health will also improve the appearance and health of your skin. Unlike other organs, skin comes in contact with your external environment and needs cleansing to keep it healthy. Here are some tips to support your skin’s health and appearance:
1. Cleanse. You touch lots of objects (all covered in bacteria) throughout the day. Between those things and the invisible particles floating around the office, the car and outdoors, our skin works hard at keeping bad stuff out. Dead skin cells can also accumulated on the surface instead of sloughing off. To help your skin stay healthy use a pH correct cleanser (skin is slightly acidic) formulated for your skin type morning and evening. Follow up with a pH correct toner that will restore your acid mantle and help skin better absorb moisture.
2. Moisturize and protect. Even oily skin needs moisture. Choose a light moisturizer that does not contain petroleum (mineral oil) to support and provide moisture to your skin cells. It may seem counter-intuitive, but skipping moisturizer on oily skin can lead to even more break-outs by causing your oil glands to overproduce and protect your skin. Most day cremes contain sunscreen in them. If your skin is sensitive to sunscreen you may want to choose a moisturizer without it and use the sunscreen in your foundation instead.
3. Exfoliate. About 2-3 times per week use a gentle exfoliant to help slough off dead skin cells and increase the turn over of new cells. Break-out prone and more mature skin will benefit from a gentle masque rather than a scrub. Scrubs can irritate sensitive skin and may lead to more break outs. They can also pull and tug on mature skin further loosening it (eeeek).
4. Keep it breathing. If you use makeup select makeup that is right for your skin, that doesn’t contain mineral oil and will not clog your pours. Always make sure to remove your makeup and cleanse your skin before going to bed.
5. Stay hydrated. If you are not getting enough hydration to your internal organs your external organ (your skin) will show it by looking dull and losing elasticity. Hello saggy, baggy eyes and droopy lines. Hydrating will keep your skin at its best.
Remember that whatever you place on your skin can be absorbed into your blood stream though your skin very quickly (think nicotine patch). Be sure to choose skin care and cosmetics that contain only pure, safe and beneficial ingredients. If the company isn’t willing to let you see what goes into the product there’s a good chance you wouldn’t like it if you knew. Keep looking. It is possible to use pure, safe and beneficial products and experience great results.
So, here’s to healthy skin for a lifetime. What’s your favorite skin-healthy tip?