Our busy lives expose us to skin stressors and accelerate the aging process. Fine lines and wrinkles are a major cosmetic concern for many women, and some men. Though there are a number of products on the market claiming to combat aging, the best offense is always a good defense. There are several factors affecting the health of our skin, and many are beyond our control. However, there are a few things we can do to maintain our youthful countenance.
In elementary science, we learn that the human body is composed of 50% to 70% water. Water is the base fluid in blood, urine, sweat, and a number of other bodily excretions. Every day, we lose water through urination and perspiration, among other processes. It is important to replace this lost fluid in order to keep our skin hydrated and healthy. Experts recommend consuming at least eight glasses of water (48 ounces) daily.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Many of our wrinkles and other unwanted facial anomalies can be attributed to poor sleep habits. Again, from our early education, we know the adult human requires 6 to 8 hours of sleep to function properly. Too many late nights coupled with use of stimulant products to boost alertness can wreak havoc on our skin. Inadequate rest leads to puffiness and under-eye sagging and discoloration. Over-consumption of caffeineâ€”a mild diureticâ€”in coffee or sodas can potentiate dehydration, which further affects skin's appearance.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Perhaps the most important skin care practice is the use of adequate sunscreen during hours of sunlight exposure. Sunlight contains harmful ultra-violet rays that can have devastating effects, leading to premature aging and wrinkling, or "leathering," of skin. Unchecked sun exposure is also a known cause of skin cancer. Even persons with darker complexions should employ a sunscreen as part of their daily skin routine.
Curb the Bad Habits
When your mother said, "You are what you eat," she was right. Our diets are reflected in our complexions. Diets high in fat and preservatives can cause irritated, lackluster skin. But a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and water helps skin flourish.
Other harmful substances include alcohol and tobacco. Among many unwanted effects, alcohol consumption promotes dehydration. Tobacco delivers a double-punch in that nicotine promotes water loss and directly damages skin by contact. Smoking is a primary cause of the dehydration, yellowing, and premature aging of skin.
A regular exercise routine can also promote young, healthy skin. Regular physical activity increases blood flow to the skin's surface and helps firm and tone areas of loose skin.
Have a Skin Care Regimen
Routine use of a mild cleanser and greaseless moisturizer can greatly improve skin health. Regular cleansing promotes exfoliation of dead skin cells, and moisturizing replaces fluids stripped from skin by sun, wind, heat, and cold. Daily use of an antioxidant product may also slow the aging process and brighten skin's appearance.
Beautiful skin is something we all aspire toward, and it develops from the inside out. The keys to maintaining healthy, youthful skin are overall health and wellbeing. Hydration is critical, sunscreen use is mandatory, and a healthy diet is essential to the maintenance of younger looking skin.
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Article Added on Monday, July 27, 2009
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