By Ruby Latif
Your skin affects more than your appearance. It is vital in regulating your external and internal balances. As the largest organ of the body, it maintains your body’s temperature and is the first line of defence against external enemies.
While growing up, our family business was a spa, so I learned the importance of taking care of your skin from a very young age. This also gave me the opportunity to try out a plethora of products, ranging from salon brands to consumer cosmetic products like Oil of Olay, Vichy, Noxzema and Proactiv, to just to name a few. The type of product I was using was determined by my budget and the current demands of my skin. Recently, I have found myself drawn to a spa line called Eminence Organic Skin Care, which prides itself on delivering the highest quality natural skin care to leading salons and spas. Celebrities like Madonna and Jenny Garth have sworn by the products. The skin care line has also been featured in Flare, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar Australia.
No matter what product you use, what is important is that you follow some simple steps to keep your skin healthy and youthful. Below are 10 basic principles that both men and women can follow for healthy skin.
- 1. Cleanse: cleansing is one of the most important aspects of your basic skincare routine as it gets rid of dirt, grime, make-up and bacteria. It allows the skin to breathe freely, unclogs pores and aids in circulation. For best results you should cleanse your face twice a day.
- 2. Moisturize: moisturizing your skin helps create a barrier that locks in the moisture and keeps your skin hydrated and looking younger and healthier. When choosing a moisturizer, find one that works with your skin type, and look for lotions that contain sunscreen (an SPF of 15 or higher is better). If you are unsure about your skin type, head to a salon or spa where an aesthetician can diagnose your skin. I recommend that you ask for samples before you buy products. It is important to apply moisturizers shortly after bathing, make sure to dry your skin lightly with a towel before doing so.
- 3. Exfoliate: exfoliation is a step that many people forget from their normal skin care routine. This is unfortunate, as its affects can be seen immediately. Use a loofah in the shower with a scrub for best results, or try a dry brush exfoliation in the morning before you shower to help blood circulation and remove dead skin.
- 4. Drink water: water assists in flushing out harmful toxins from your body. Consuming eight to ten glasses of water a day will also help improve many bodily functions like digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- 5. Eat well and avoid excess sugar and fried food: excess sugar consumption can cause premature aging. The more sugar we eat, the more sugar we have entering our bloodstream, which can damage protein molecules. Instead, focus your diet on essential fatty acids like flaxseed or walnut oil that aid in keeping your heart healthy and possibly prevent cancer. Adding more fibre and whole grains to your diet will help in digestion, which will also lead to healthier skin.
- 6. Stop smoking: in addition to the obvious and more serious health risks, smoking restricts the oxygen and causes premature lines around the eyes and lips.
- 7. Cut back on your alcohol consumption: some studies have indicated that red wine in moderation have health benefits; however, unfortunately, alcohol is sugar so it not only dehydrates your skin but dilates blood capillaries.
- 8. Cut down on your caffeine intake: caffeine inhibits the absorption of vitamins and minerals that are important for healthy skin maintenance.
- 9. Limit your sun exposure: ultraviolet radiation is responsible for 80% of environmental skin damage and is the single biggest contributor to premature aging. It is important to protect your skin daily with moisturizer and sunscreen with SPF to help it repair and regenerate.
- 10. Exercise: one of the best things you can do for your skin is get moving! Exercise helps improve blood flow and circulation. It will also increase oxygen flow which is vital to healthy and glowing skin.