Created: 14 April 2011 | Written by Dr. Wilson for Citrus County Chronicle
When people look at your skin they instinctively form an impression about your age, physical attractiveness, and state of your health. Everyone wants youthful, radiant, healthy-looking skin. Your skin is your largest organ, performing several vital functions. It covers and insulates underlying muscle and tissue, regulates body temperature, prevents excessive water loss, protects you from bacterial infections and harmful viruses, and synthesizes Vitamin D. The nerve endings in your skin constantly send sensory information to your brain about the world around you. Your skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis (a very thin top layer of dead cells), the dermis (middle layer, composed of living cells containing hair follicles, glands, and blood vessels), and the hypodermis (bottom layer, where new cells form and push their way upward). The skin regenerates itself almost every 27 days.
Visible signs of aging begin to appear in the skin around age 25, as these natural processes of regeneration slow down. After age 45, partly because of hormonal changes, the skin begins to thin, losing strength and elasticity and becoming more fragile. Here are some tips for keeping your skin looking younger:
- Drink plenty of water. Your skin is approximately 70% water. Drinking plenty of clean water not only hydrates your skin, but helps your kidneys and liver to flush harmful toxins out of your body.
- Do not get sunburned. Protect yourself from UV radiation by using sunscreen when you spend time outdoors. Avoid tanning beds; use a spray tan if you must have that bronzed look.
- Stop smoking. Smoking causes skin to sag and wrinkle prematurely. Nicotine in cigarettes impairs blood flow and reducing the supply of oxygen, vitamin A, and other nutrients to the skin. Many of the chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity. Sadly, this damage occurs even when you are exposed to someone else’s cigarette smoke.
- Exercise. Regular exercise improves blood circulation to the skin and helps to flush toxins and bacteria out of the skin through sweat. It also promotes overall good health, which will show in your complexion.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Your skin needs vitamins, minerals, and protein to repair and maintain itself. Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods and fast food meals that often contain additives and preservatives. Vitamins C, D, A, E, B-3 and B-2 promote healthy skin.
- Get enough sleep. You really do need your “beauty sleep.” As you sleep, your skin repairs and regenerates itself.
- Keep your skin clean. Regular gentle cleansing helps remove dead skin cells and bacteria. Remove all cosmetics when you wash your face. Washing your face too often can dry your skin – once or twice a day is enough. Avoid using harsh cleansers.
- Watch what you put on your face. Some beauty products and moisturizers contain ingredients such as mineral oil, petroleum or petrolatum, propylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, ceresin, toluene, benzene, or paraffin that can clog pores and can contribute to acne, rashes, and other skin problems.
- Manage stress. Your skin is affected by stress and emotional upsets, just like your other organs. Stress can lead to outbreaks of acne, eczema, and other skin disorders.
Some skin disorders are symptoms of underlying health problems. Your doctor can help you determine the cause of problem skin and treat it appropriately.
Though it may be difficult to accept, aging is an inevitable process. However, there are many things you can do to slow, and in some cases, even reverse its effects. At IMP Wellness Center you will find a team of skilled professionals who can customize a plan to make you look and feel your best. A naturopathic practitioner will guide you in choosing good-quality supplements and, where appropriate, prescribe safe bio-identical hormones. After a free skin analysis, our clinical esthetician will help you customize a skin care treatment regimen.
Our nutritionist can help revise your daily menu options to make your diet more wholesome. Present your most beautiful face to the world!