By Mylinh Nguyen R.TCMP, R.Ac
Having healthy skin is a goal that most people strive to attain. Our appearance plays an important role in how we see ourselves and how we feel others see us. The quality of our skin affects our lives in many ways, some of which we may not have even be aware of. Outside of its impact on our self-esteem, skin is a demonstration of the internal health of our body. In this way, skin acts as an indicator of good health and vibrancy or ill health which, over time, may lead to long-term health conditions.
In this article, we will explore three basic measures that can be taken to care for your skin. Being proactive with your skin health is definitely an ideal way to approach any skin care regimen.
Adequate hydration is the first step to ensuring a healthy complexion. Our bodies are composed of up to 65% water. Water helps deliver essential nutrients throughout the body and aids in removing toxins from your system. Water also helps the body regulate temperature and circulation. Water is lost through breathing, sweating and digestion. If you become dehydrated, cellular functions can be compromised. When this happens, skin loses moisture and becomes more vulnerable to wrinkles, discolourations and other skin disorders. One simple way to find out how much water you should be drinking on a daily basis is to take your weight in pounds, divide that by two and the number you are left with is the amount in ounces that your body requires to function optimally. Of course, if you are physically active, you will need to replenish to a greater degree and possibly add electrolytes to your water. Keeping your body well hydrated is the first step in achieving healthy vibrant skin.
Protect from UV radiation
Skin is affected by the amount of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). Melanin, the pigment in the skin, helps to protect the skin from this type of exposure. However, with too much exposure, the natural elasticity of the skin becomes reduced and we start to see premature aging of the skin. To diminish sun damage, it is suggested to avoid exposure during the peak hours of 10am to 2pm, when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. If you need to be outside during this time frame, you should consider using a hat, sun-protective clothing and natural mineral-based sunscreens.
Our skin naturally produces oil to help keep moisture in and irritants out. Poor quality soaps and shampoos can strip these oils away leading to a dry, irritated and unhealthy surface. When choosing products for your body, it is important to look for simple natural formulas with few ingredients. Chemical-laden products will wear down the skin’s quality over time and can have a negative impact on your hormonal system. After cleansing the skin it is important to apply a natural oil to replenish the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Some of the top natural oils include coconut oil, shea butter, argan oil, jojoba oil, rose hip seed oil, olive oil and avocado oil. These oils, when used on a regular basis, are traditionally known to keep our skin smooth, soft and supple.
Adopting the above three principles into your standard skin care regimen will enhance the quality of your skin and help your body function better overall. This will set the foundation for maintaining a youthful look, giving you a healthier vibrant appearance.