Happy Holidays and cheers to a wonderful 2023! As the year ends, and a new one begins, we begin to take stock and get inspired for a new beginning. Often, we think of our overall health, specifically our bodies in this regard. However, we often forget about our skin health!
Skin is our daily companion, our body’s multitasker, a large part of the quality of our daily lives. It is the barrier to the outside world protecting us from harmful invaders like bacteria, viruses, UV rays, chemicals and more. It retains moisture, regulates our body temperature, and even plays a role in our immunity. Our skin is a visual indicator of our age, health, and even lifestyle choices.
There are many things we can do to keep our skin healthy. Here are some tips to improve your skin health:
1. Eat The Rainbow
The expression “eat the rainbow” not only helps your overall health, but increasing your daily intake of colorful vegetables and fruits provides your skin with the nutrients needed to stay healthy, youthful and looking its best.
TIP: Swap out sugary, starchy foods for fruits and vegetables whenever possible. While sugar damages collagen and is harmful to skin health. Vegetables and fruits high in vitamins A,C and E are essential for collagen production. Healthy oils like fish oil, avocado and olive oil help moisturize your skin from within and help your skin’s ability to retain moisture especially important in the Winter months.
Cold air and the use of artificial heat this time of year can be especially hard on skin health as it can become dry, scaly, itchy and irritated impacting its function.
TIP: Limit the time you take in showers or baths and avoid the use of hot water. Immediately after your shower, a good moisturizer with ceramides can help restore your skin moisture and barrier.
3. Wear Sunblock
A responsible amount of sun exposure is healthy especially for vitamin D production. However, sunburns are never ok. We don’t think of it as much in the winter, but excessive sun exposure accelerates skin aging and can cause skin cancer. Blue light from our screens also ages skin. Daily use of UV and blue light protection is one of the best ways to keep your skin healthy and youthful.
TIP: Use an antioxidant with vitamin C to fight free radical damage and a mineral sunblock suited for your skin type. Hats and protective clothing for long exposures are helpful to prevent skin burns too.
Of course sufficient sleep and stress management play a large role as well and we can assess and make changes there. Making a commitment to healthy skin will benefit not only how you look, but also how you feel. At HLW, we are here to help. Our professionals can assess, listen to your concerns and guide you to your best options to restore and maintain your skin health and vitality.
Charles Harpe, MD
Have questions? We’d love to schedule a consultation.