In spring, we rejuvenate our houses, our storage spaces, and our clothes. Warmer weather is on its way and it is time to clear out the cold, darkness of winter. What about our skin? Skin rejuvenation and maintaining beautiful skin is more than just using the best skin care products. Beautiful skin is equally achieved by using eating the best food, drinking water, sleeping well, attuning with your emotions and avoiding environmental hazards. The skin is your interface between the inside and outside world. It is only natural that feeling good on the inside will make us look great on the outside!
Eat well: food as skin care
You have heard it before: you are what you eat. If you eat all the right stuff, it is going to show up on your skin! Have two servings of fruit per day and five servings of vegetables. Eat foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Think; dark purples like beetroot, lettuces, red wine (in moderation) and red cabbage; dark greens like broccoli, green tea, spinach and kale; and the bright sunset colours of capsicum, grapefruit, oranges and strawberries.
Drink well: water as skin care
Drinking plenty of water is important for maintaining adequate skin hydration. At least 2L per day, plus more in warmer weather or if you are exercising a lot. Try to drink small amounts of water gradually throughout the day, instead of loading up on it. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine. They stop the release of anti diuretic hormone (stops you from producing urine), causing you to pass fluid more frequently and in turn dehydrate you- especially if you use a diuretic drug for health reasons!
Sleep well: sleep as skin care
At least seven hours of sleep and be in bed by 11pm. In Eastern medicine, the body systems have their own times of the day for rest. It is believed that to get the best out of your health, we should aim to be asleep by eleven. For most of us who work a usual 8 hour day, being in bed before 11 means if we get up at 7am, we have had at least seven hours sleep. Change your pillow cases regularly, especially if you are one to sleep on your stomach or side. A good rule of thumb is one side a night and then put a new pillow case on. This keeps unwanted bacteria from growing and transferring to your face.
Think well: relaxation as skin care
Did you know that messy spaces seem less messy after spending some time meditating? Your skin problems may be less stressful for you if you meditate! Take some time out to be in the present moment, chill out and relax. Meditating can be as simple as focusing on your breathing or you can check out some guided meditation podcasts. Stress can be a cause of premature aging and inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, for many people. The field of psychodermatology deals entirely with these concepts. Try and reduce stress in your life by making more time for yourself and by taking time to enjoy green spaces, friends and family. No wonder people look positively radiant after a holiday!
Play well: environmental protection as skin care
The environment can throw a lot of things at our face that cause it to inflame, get infected or prematurely age. Protecting against the environment with products that contain vitamins A, C and E help protect the skin against environmental damage and premature aging. Keep out of the sun during the danger zone times (10-4 for daylight savings, 9-3 for non daylight savings states). Cover up with a hat, sunglasses and clothing when in the sun, as well as a broad spectrum sun screen. Sun smart practices are the best anti aging skin products you can use! Keep away from environmental irritants like smoke which can cause inflammation and sensitize skin. Sweat can be a home for bacteria and dry your skin out. Always cleanse your face, neck and back after a workout, then tone and moisturise to lock in moisture. Also, don’t forget to keep your (sweaty) hair out of your face, and wash it after heavy exercise.
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