#1 Eat a skin-healthy diet. The skin is often a vehicle for the body to rid itself of toxicity. Whether it’s pesticides, chemicals, food allergens, or something else, your skin is a reflection of your body’s internal environment. Eat fresh, whole foods that aren’t processed or infused with unhealthy additives. Organic fruits and vegetables are great sources of skin-friendly polyphenols, particularly citrus fruits (unjuiced), berries, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, and herbs. Red wine, soy, and green tea also are rich in these polyphenols. Find a good multivitamin with omega-3 DHA supplement and extra lutein to fill nutritional gaps.
#2 Moisturize when needed. Many women (and even men now) believe moisturizer is a must. Some of us slather it on even on the most humid days of summer. Reality: over-moisturizing messages your skin cells not to produce their own moisture. When you do need to apply added moisture (especially during the dry winter months), search for a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. This substance is abundant in our skin when we are young, but decreases as we age or overuse moisturizers. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so it makes sense that it can keep the skin smooth and plump. Be sure to avoid products (like shampoos) that contain propylene glycol, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, and parabens.
#3 Get your vitamin C in your diet daily — It helps keep your skin firm (it stimulates collagen production in your skin).
#4 Use creams or serums with vitamin A only at night. A cream or serum with active vitamin
A (such as a form of retinol) can stimulate the production of collagen and encourage your skin
cells to behave like a kid again (that’s good for skin…just no acne this time). It’s important to find vitamin A in its retinoid form so that it can penetrate your skin. Vitamin A on your skin is a great nighttime regimen because it works as your skin rests and restores. In the daytime, vitamin A (like vitamin C) is turned by UV rays into a damaging prooxidant—so use it daytime only if you want to age faster.
#5 Give your pores breathing time. Your skin restores itself while you sleep and absorbs whatever is on it — good or bad. So, be sure to wash your face before bed with a cleanser and toner based on your skin type (making sure that is free of sodium lauryl sulfate and propylene glycol). And, get a good night sleep!
#6 Live skin-healthy. The best times to be in the sun are in the morning, before ten, and in the afternoon, after two. If you are going to be exposed to sun for a long period of time during peak hours, chose a natural sun block free of propylene glycol, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, and parabens. Most importantly, de-stress daily. The stress hormone cortisol increases free radicals and inflammation, affecting your skin and your whole body. For more detail, see information on when to exfoliate and take the skin health quiz at YOUBeauty.com.
Now, a quick tip –My Roizen’s Rule for a Younger You –cover your scars with extra sunblock (nonoparticalized zinc oxide is what we recommend) to keep them from looking more prominent.
by Dr. Michael F. Roizen, MD, Content distributed with permission by Denver Chiropractic Center