Health Topic of the Month July 2017 – Want Beautiful Skin?

Want Beautiful Skin? Here’s How [Infographic]

want beautiful skinNaturally, we’re all baring a little more skin during the summer. For some of us, the less clothing brings out more insecurity. We want beautiful skin. When it comes to that, there are several things you can do to have a healthy glow all summer long – that don’t have lasting negative effects.

How Tanning Became Trendy

The Skin Cancer Foundation says tanning is a recent trend. They say Coco Chanel popularized the idea of tanning back in the 1920’s. It’s also not necessarily a world-wide fashion. For instance, in many Asian countries, women want lighter and sometimes pinker complexions.

Now, it is healthy to get some sun without wearing sunblock. This is good for your body’s Vitamin D absorption. Time allotted in the sun for this depends on number of factors, such as age and race. Generally, 10 to 20 minutes is sufficient. However, if you’re going to spend a lengthy bit of time in the sun, you’re going to eventually want to wear sunscreen so you can keep your skin  healthy.

Excessive sun exposure may temporarily give your skin a golden bronze look, but after it fades, you’re left with more wrinkles, dark spots and leathery skin. If you want beautiful skin, wear sunblock. Consumer Reports recently tested over 60 sunscreens. They found that for over half of the products tested, you aren’t actually getting the degree of protection you think you are. Here’s a few of the more affordable brands they recommend:

  • Equate Sport Lotion SPF 50
  • Pure Sun Defense Lotion SPF 50
  • Equate Ultra Protection Lotion SPF 50
  • Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+
  • Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30

When looking for sunscreen, look for one with zinc oxide. Livestrong says those with zinc oxide have a slight edge over others because it’s “derived from the mineral zinc to create a material that is effective at blocking the sun’s rays.”

There’s a Relationship Between Sleep and Your Skin

The dark circles you get under your eyes probably make the vital relationship between the two obvious. Our skin just looks better when we’re getting our recommended allotment of sleep.

Did you know there is such as a thing as good sleep hygiene? If you want great looking skin, you need to practice good sleep hygiene. Here’s how:

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
  • Avoid naps
  • Don’t lie awake in bed for more than 10 minutes
  • Don’t read or watch TV in bed
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol altogether
  • Keep your bedroom comfy
  • Sleep on your back

Exercise

Exercise can make you look younger, and feel younger too, according to Health Magazine. Have you ever noticed that many older people who continue to be physically active oftentimes look 20 years younger than they actually are? There really is something to that saying ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it.’

Plus, exercising in the morning can help give you more energy throughout the day and help boost your blood circulation. That in turn, keeps your skin looking soft and glowing. If you’ve had a bad day, exercise to relieve stress.

Another benefit for the short girls out there, exercise can improve your posture, making you look taller. It will also improve your flexibility and your blood flow.

If you worry about Alzheimer’s or Dementia, exercise can greatly help enhance your memory. If you worry about cardiovascular disease, exercise can help make your heart more efficient. It will also provide a good boost to your metabolism and slow cells that make you age.

Which Leads Us to Nutrition

Simply put, your body reflects what you put into it. If you want great skin, you need to eat healthy most the time and drink plenty of water.

Fitness Magazine has a great list of 10 Foods for Healthier Skin. For instance, did you know that yogurt is good for preventing wrinkles? The protein in it helps to firm your skin.

Pomegranates are loaded with polyphenol antioxidants. What are polyphenol antioxidants? “Polyphenols fight free radicals and regulate skins’ blood flow, giving it rosiness,” says Fitness.

Walnuts will make your skin softer because they contain those oh-so-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 can improve your skin’s elasticity.

Peppers will fight crows-feet and contain carotenoids which can decrease your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Sunflower seeds can also help protect your skin thanks to its levels of vitamin E. Kidney beans can prevent breakouts. They’re high in zinc and some studies indicate a correlation between breakouts and low zinc levels.

Soy is known to even out your skin tone thanks to its minerals and proteins that reduce hyperpigmentation. Then there’s green tea, which is high in antioxidants and can calm redness.

Let’s get back to the importance of water for a minute. According to an article in Women’s Health Magazine, if you’re not drinking enough water, your skin will look more dull, making your wrinkles and pores more obvious.

Mental Health and Skin

This area is a little less obvious than the others, but it’s just as important. Harvard wrote a great article on this saying, “If you’ve ever blushed from embarrassment, you know that your skin can reflect what you’re feeling inside.” There’s now a new field of study all about the mind-skin connection called psychodermatology.

Emotional factors such as stress can exacerbate many skin issues, including acne, eczema, profuse sweating, psoriasis and hives.

So, if you want great skin, you’ve got to make sure you’re keeping your stress levels manageable. If you need a break, take one. Make time each day for you. When you do start to feel your stress levels rising, take a moment to focus on your breathing. Oftentimes, that alone can help you feel better.

Bottom line: If you want great skin, you have to take care of all the pillars of your health.