Skincare from the inside out
You can help your skin by using good quality skincare products, but you have to support this from the inside as well. Your skin's a living, breathing organ of your body. As such, just like every other organ in our body, it needs to be fed from the outside as well as the inside, and it requires nutrients.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, as it maintains and repairs skin tissue. The richest sources of this vitamin are found in cod-liver oil, liver, milk and egg-yolk as well as dark orange vegetables (carrots & sweet potatoes) & dark green vegetables (broccoli & spinach). If the diet is lacking in this vitamin, the skin becomes dry and flaky.
Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidant vitamins. It helps reduce the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits & green vegetables.
Vitamin E can also help reduce wrinkles. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, avocados, green vegetables, wholemeal and wholegrain products.
B Vitamins are vital in helping us to maintain a healthy skin tone. They can be found in many foods including bananas, eggs, meat and rice.
Apart from vitamins, your diet should also include minerals. Iron makes the blood healthy - consequently it imparts a healthy pink glow to your skin. Iron is found in several green vegetables, in fruits and in meats. Essential fatty acids help to keep skin moisturised. Zinc is especially important if you suffer with acne.
As well as eating a well balanced diet it's essential to drink plenty of water daily in order to flush out impurities and keep your skin hydrated and healthy. The recommended amount is 8 glasses a day. Alcohol and caffeine also affect your skin as they dehydrate the body, leaving your skin looking gray and lifeless; therefore, be sure you limit your alcohol and caffeine intake.
Your lifestyle certainly does affect your skin. Smoking accentuates the drying of the skin and therefore accelerates its ageing. Try to limit stress as this affects your overall health as well as your complexion. Ensure you take time out to relax and consider ways to diminish stressful situations or triggers. Become more active - exercise not only improves your physical health but also helps to reduce stress. Exercise boosts circulation which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Also, body sweat triggers production of sebum, which is the skin's own natural moisturiser. Exercise releases endorphins into the body making us feel better and also helps us to sleep well. Ensure you're getting good quality sleep. This will not only help reduce tired circles and puffiness around the eyes, but sleep also gives skin the chance to recuperate by ensuring faster cell growth and renewal. It's important to keep our skin looking great - if we look good we feel better.
Exposing your skin to direct sunlight without using adequate sun protection can age your skin dramatically. Damage can occur even on cloudy days, so you should always wear sun protection when you are outdoors.
For our overall health, we need a healthy diet and supplements, but for the health of our skin, internal nourishment is not enough: topical antioxidants are also essential. Environmental factors stress and age facial skin; air pollution, cigarette smoke, UV light etc. all create free radicals which are known to cause damage to our skin, accelerating skin ageing.
Using professional skincare products (containing natural antioxidants like Vitamins A, C & E) regularly helps to neutralise harmful free radicals, protecting the skin from UV damage and reducing inflammation. Other professional products containing ingredients like AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids), CoQ10 & Idebenone will protect your skin and optimise skin health.
To help keep your skin looking and feeling radiant, youthful and healthy you need to have a good daily skin care routine. Firstly you need to identify your skin type:
- • Normal – Your skin feels velvety to touch, has small pores and no acne.
- • Oily – Your skin has enlarged pores with shiny patches. Breakouts may occur frequently.
- • Dry – Your skin has dry and itchy patches and has very small or invisible pores.
- • Sensitive – Your skin has irritated and itchy patches and can be either oily or dry. It can also be reddened or blotchy and have frequent breakouts.
Once you have discovered your skin type, choose products that have been formulated for your skin.
Skin Care Routine
The first and most important step in any skin care regime is cleansing. Cleansers are a must in order to clean your face at the end of each day, as your face is exposed to dust, pollution, smoke and other factors that we encounter during the day. A cleanser will remove all impurities leaving your face clean and fresh again, gently exfoliating the skin to remove the dead skin cells, which can block your pores and lead to blackheads. Products which contain AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids), such as glycolic acid and BHAs (beta hydroxyl acid) such as salicylic acid, will help to increase skin exfoliation, making the skin appear smoother and feel softer.
One of the best skin care treatments you can add to your anti ageing skin care routine is the use of a professional moisturiser. A moisturiser provides a protective film to prevent the effect of drying, chapping and roughening caused by the weather, central heating and pollution. At the same time some of the ingredients will be absorbed into the outer layers of the skin providing nourishment, hydration and therapeutic effects. All skin types need a moisturiser. Dry, normal and oily skin are all affected by wind and weather. Dry skin in particular quickly becomes tight and flaky, chapping and reddening easily in winter and looking prematurely old.
There are a wide range of skin care products available. It has been said that you need to start young with a good skin care regime, but in reality you can start at any time. You do need to recognise that the regime must be carried through - it's not a quick fix. Ageing can be delayed or even reversed with a natural approach that includes optimal diet, lifestyle and product choices. To look good, you have to work at it.