Find the Glow, Inside and Out

May 25th, 2011

The key to a lifetime of beautiful, healthy skin is proper nutrition, damage prevention, and fastidious maintenance. Because of its sensitivity to both internal and external factors, facial skin demands special care. A youthful, glowing complexion can be achieved relatively simply through basic health practices and keen awareness and avoidance of potentially threatening environmental factors.

Water is the most fundamental element to overall skin health, providing essential moisture to skin, a living organ. Without it, skin becomes increasingly dry and dull, depending on factors such as climate and environmental pollutants. Cold and dry climates are infamous for drying skin quickly, but warm areas can be equally harmful by sapping precious hydration. Consuming adequate amounts of water-based liquids counteracts dehydration, increases energy, and improves bodily functions.

Consuming high water content, nutrient-rich foods also provides hydration from within. Many fruits and vegetables are loaded with water, and furnish the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants essential to radiant, elastic skin. In particular, vitamins C and E reverse the harmful effects of sun exposure, fight skin-damaging pollutants and free radicals, and prevent unwanted fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is abundant in myriad foods (i.e., citrus fruits, leafy and dark green vegetables, and red bell peppers), or a supplement of 500 to 1000 milligrams taken daily will suffice. As little as 400 milligrams of vitamin E provides adequate protection. Nuts and seeds, spinach and asparagus, and certain oils consumed in moderation offer some of this essential vitamin, though supplements ensure sufficient daily intake. Both vitamins C and E have been found to be highly effective when applied topically, and can even improve skin’s texture while fighting skin cancer. For instance, L-ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, promotes the production of collagen as natural generation of this fibrous protein decreases with age. Vitamins K, A, and biotin (vitamin B complex) are also known to significantly improve skin health and tone, reduce wrinkles and control acne.

In addition to vitamins, other natural, non-invasive elements promote a noticeably healthy face. Antioxidants like alpha-lipoic acid and DMAE are particularly powerful against aging skin, neutralizing skin cell damage caused by external free radicals. Hyaluronic and essential fatty acids aid skin cells and provide healthy fats for smoother, younger looking skin. Copper, selenium, and zinc minerals contain elastin developing, anti-cancer, elastin developing, and anti-acne properties, respectively.

Vitamins and minerals essential to skin health and vitality are also present in many skin creams and lotions, particularly natural and organic products. When applied regularly, once to twice daily, they offer an added layer of protection to already healthy skin regimens. These products are most effective when applied immediately after gentle, thorough cleansing to allow optimum absorption. Weekly to bi-weekly exfoliation and washing with mineral water is proven to enhance absorption of moisture and anti-aging products.

Lifetime skin health is achieved through good dietary habits, avoiding damaging environments, and consistent skincare. With this approach, beautiful and vibrant skin is attainable for young and elderly alike.

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