Gorgeous Healthy Skin: 3 Top Tips For the New Year

Cynthia Bailey, MD|December 31, 2012

healthy skin for the entire familyThe holiday rush is over.  Now it's time to get back to doing the things that are are good for you – and that includes taking good care of your skin. Did you know that your skin is your biggest organ?

  • The health of your skin and the quality of your life are unalterably linked.
  • Your skin also plays a big role in that first impression you make when you meet people. 

The bottom line is that the state of your skin matters.  Make it a priority in 2013.

3 simple New Year’s Resolutions for gorgeous, healthy skin

  1. Eat the foods that support healthy skin and that discourage skin problems.
  2. Sun protect your skin every day so that it stays healthy and strong throughout your lifetime.
  3. Moisturize your skin to keep it working 24/7 as a strong barrier - it keeps "the outside out and the inside in" for you.

Now, the details..... What foods should I eat to keep my skin healthy and prevent skin problems? Foods you should try to eat every day for healthy skin: Eat a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes.  They’re filled with the phytonutrients and antioxidants that your skin needs for optimal health.  Eat beta-carotene rich foods that give your skin a healthy golden glow.  These foods include carrots, yellow squash, leafy greens etc. If you eat meats, eat mostly those high in vitamin D3 like wild caught salmon and eggs (the yolks specifically). Eat foods rich in inflammation fighting omega 3 fatty acids; flax seeds are one of the best choices.  Add freshly ground flax seeds to your morning cereal, smoothie or top a salad with them. Use olive oil.  It's been shown to reduce skin wrinkles. Include naturally fermented and probiotic rich foods in your diet every day.  My favorite is kefir.  Others include yogurt, miso soup, kimchee, barrel fermented pickles and sauerkraut.  Remember, cooking, canning and sterilizing these foods destroys the probiotic organisms, so look for foods with live cultures and don’t cook them. Foods you should minimize and/or avoid in your diet: Minimize eating highly refined carbs and sugary foods (junk foods, sweets, sugary drinks etc). Minimize the fatty foods of our traditional western diet.  These include pizza, fries, burgers, big steaks, buttery treats, ice cream, cheese cakes etc.  Medical studies now show that these foods worsen the inflammation of skin conditions including acne and psoriasis.  I expect to see more skin problems joining the list in the next few years. Cow dairy milk products are now linked to acne problems.  Cow dairy products include whey protein powders as well. If you want to learn more about diet and your skin health, click on the links below. How does sun protection help keep my skin healthy and strong? When UV rays shine on your skin they cause a gradual thinning of your skin over time.  It’s why the skin on the back of a person’s arms can become so fragile later in life that it tears and bruises easily.  It’s also why the sun causes wrinkles.  This thinning is, for the most part, irreversible.  It’s not just a summer tan that’s harmful, the daily incidental exposure you get from running errands and living on a sunny planet add up too. Freckling and age spots are often an early sign of sun damage.   They too are hard to reverse.  Skin cancer is the sun exposure skin problem we all know about, but it’s not the only bad consequence of daily sun exposure. Protect your healthy skin by wearing a mineral zinc oxide sunscreen every day on exposed skin.  Use clothing to cover your skin from the sun and wear hats to reduce facial UV exposure by creating shade.  To find the best dermatologist recommended broad spectrum sunscreens, with the right amount of zinc oxide, and that fit your skin type, budget, and activities, click here.  What does moisturizing have to do with my skin barrier? Your skin gives you terrific protection from the outside world.  It keeps an infinite number of harmful or harsh chemicals out (solvents, housecleaning products, germs, etc.) and it keeps your precious vital fluids in (your body is made up mostly of water and your skin is sort of like a water balloon holding it all in!). This important skin barrier is protected by layers of dead cells and lipids (oils) that help keep your skin healthy and hydrated and its barrier strong.  When your skin is dry, that important barrier begins to weaken.  Harmful chemicals are more likely to penetrate (think dishpan hands).  The more damaged your skin becomes, the more it dries out.  When it’s really damaged it will actually blister and leak (think poison oak, a “rub burn” that feels sticky or severe eczema that weeps). You can protect your skin barrier by moisturizing the more exposed and fragile parts of your skin daily.  Apply moisturizer to your face, hands, arms and legs after washing.  Make it simple using my All Natural Lotion or All Natural Butter which you can use from head to toe.  If you wash your hands frequently, use my non-greasy Dry Hand Cream throughout the day.  Even if you have oily facial skin you still need to moisturize after washing because soaps and cleansers strip vital skin barrier oils.  Use my Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily Skin.  Remember, moisturizers need to be applied within 3 minutes after you wash and towel dry your skin.   Natural Face and Body Butter Cream All Natural Face, Hand and Body Lotion best facial moisturizer for oily skin best dry skin hand cream the best dermatologist recommended sunscreens

 

Wishing you healthy, gorgeous skin!

If you have enjoyed Dr. Bailey’s tips on how to have healthy skin, please show your support  by commenting in the Facebook comment window, “liking”, sharing, share in  Google+, tweeting, and “pinning,” this blog post with friends and family. Everybody wins. Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to AmslerPIX  

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