Good Habits for Healthy Skin

Dr. Purushothaman
January 12, 2014


Our skin is the largest organ of our body and is a complex and highly dynamic system that plays a crucial role in our general well-being and reflects our state of health as well. Given how important our skin is, we should do everything we can to look after it. One of the ways we can ensure the long term health of our skin is by adopting and sticking to healthy habits. Here we will consider what these should be.
Three Habits to Break.
Is your skin as soft and healthy as you would like? You may be damaging it without even knowing. So here are three of the habits that you must break as they will wreak havoc on your skin.
Bad Habit 1: Shaving Dry.
Shaving legs and underarms dry can cause irritation, ingrown hairs and razor burn. To nurture the skin, ideally you should soften it in the shower or bath for about 10 minutes. Then apply a layer of shaving cream, not soap, which will just dull the razor and invite cuts. You should then shave using long strokes and then cover the area with body lotion.
Bad Habit 2: Ignoring Incidental Sun Exposure
It is true that walking from your car or wherever you may be, to the office or the store under the sun may not be as damaging as spending hours baking on the beach. However, it is important to note that even just a few minutes of exposure here and there doesn’t mean that you won’t get wrinkles. Therefore it is recommended that you should try wearing a daily SPF lotion which has been especially formulated for facial application. Brands of SPF lotion like Clinique and Neutrogena are good as they have products that work well under makeup.
Bad Habit 3: Avoiding Exfoliation.
If you ignore exfoliation, dead skin cells will start to build up on the skin, causing itchiness and rashes. So, it is recommended that you scrub your skin daily with a loofah, or a grainy exfoliator to help sweep rough skin away. After scrubbing, apply moisturizer to lock in softness.
Nine Habits to Maintain.
Now that we have looked at the three bad habits to break, we now need to consider what habits should be formed to keep healthy skin.
Good Habit 1: Avoid too many Different Cosmetics.
With so many different makes of products to choose from blending a cleanser from one line with a scrub or daytime moisturizer from another, then a night cream from yet another can lead to over-exfoliation as well as irritation. So it is best to play it safe and stick if possible to one product line. But only use one where the products within the make are formulated to work together. The secret is not to overdo beauty products, natural is usually healthier.
Good Habit 2: Maintain a Healthy Exercise Routine.
Exercise is great for a beautiful glowing skin. Try to do twenty to thirty minutes of any aerobic exercise several times a week. Exercise increases blood flow which in turn will bring more nutrients to the skin. However, it is important to be aware that the accumulation of sebum or oil through perspiration can result in sweatband acne, so it is important to shower as soon as possible after exercising.
Good Habit 3: Intimate with the Phone? Don’t Be!
Constant rubbing on the mouthpiece may lead to rashes around the chin and mouth. So try and hold the phone away from your face. Also try to ensure that phones are kept clean using an anti-bacterial solution.
Good Habit 4: Check regularly for unusual skin changes.
If you notice any suspicious-looking moles, bumps or other growths on the skin you should see your doctor. As skin cancer rates rocket it is important to have regular checks for moles by a trained professional, as early detection is important. Especially anyone considered to be in a high risk group, meaning that they have a personal or family history of skin cancer, a lot of moles, fair skin, or light eyes or hair. Regular examination should start in the teens and probably no later than age 35. However, even if you do not belong to a high risk group, it is still recommended that between the ages of 20 and 40, you should have a skin check-up every three to four years. After 40 yearly check-ups are advisable.
Good Habit 5: Eat Healthy Foods.
Eating healthy foods is essential for maintaining great skin. You should particularly consider antioxidants such as vitamin A, C and E as they are highly effective in fighting sun damage and it is believed protecting against certain cancers, including skin cancer. A diet rich in antioxidants is essential for good health. You should also ensure that you have at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.
Good Habit 6: Avoid Wearing Your Make-up to Bed at Night.
We all know we shouldn't but do it sometimes nevertheless. Layers of foundation, powder and even blusher left on overnight can cause the skin pores to clog and lead to spots, blackheads or more severe acne. The best way to remove make-up is using a mild non-soap cleanser, there is no need to spend a fortune on expensive cleansers.
Good Habit 7: Hands off Those Zits.
We all get spots although by following the good habits outlined here we can reduce their occurance. If you do get a spot resist the temptation to prod, poke or squeeze it. These actions will only prolong a spot’s life and make the problem worse. They may even lead to scarring as well as spreading infection. So, to speed up healing, never squeeze or poke them. Simply cleanse your face, and then apply a warm compress, like a clean and damp wash cloth. Then, dab on an over the counter cream or lotion containing a drying agent like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or sulphur.
Good Habit 8: Rest and Get Enough Sleep.
Most of us don’t get enough sleep and are stressed. The effects are not generally hard to detect, one of the most common being under-eye circles. So, to avoid unfavorable skin effects make sure you make time for sufficient sleep. This may include a short afternoon nap whenever you can manage it. However, don’t sleep in the same position for years on end as this can lead to wrinkles. Try to look for a special pillow that helps prevent sleep creases on your face.
Good Habit 9: Drink Plenty of Water.
Water is vital for healthy skin as it keeps it hydrated. So try to drink at least 6 to 8 eight glasses of water a day, more if you are a heavy exerciser. Avoid too much coffee and low-calorie liquids, as caffeine and modern sugar substitutes are dehydrating, replace them instead with water.
By changing a few habits you too could have healthy glowing skin.

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