Our skin is our largest organ and it performs many vital functions. It provides a protective barrier to keep out germs, chemicals and ultraviolet rays, it helps to regulate our body temperature, produces important hormones and gives us the ability to detect hot and cold, pain and pressure.
Keeping our skin in good condition is essential and that means a lot more than simply washing regularly.
A good skincare routine benefits us in so many ways, so here are a few things to consider.
Wash Daily but Don’t Go Crazy
Clearly, a daily wash is fundamental, but this can be harmful to the skin if you’re too enthusiastic. Overly hot water and strong soaps strip your skin of essential oils, so it’s best to avoid long, hot baths and showers.
Comfortable, warm temperatures and mild cleansers made from natural ingredients remove dirt, dead skin cells and excessive oil without causing damage. This also keeps pores clear and helps to protect against skin conditions.
Don’t Forget to Moisturise
Always use moisturiser, ideally after you wash, as it adds an extra layer of protection. The natural shedding process can leave the skin feeling dry and sore. Moisturiser gently rehydrates your skin and leaves it soft and supple.
Skin in good condition is less likely to wrinkle dramatically with age (although we’re all likely to get a wee bit wrinkly, however hard we try!), but a good skincare routine will certainly help us to age gracefully.
Perk Things Up a Bit
Regularly exfoliating with a gentle toner or cleanser stimulates the production of new cells and help to keep your skin smooth and healthy. It also helps to tighten up any wrinkles that may be sneaking in – and it’ll perk up your complexion to give it a healthy glow.
Choose Your Products Wisely
Supermarket products are full of harmful chemicals and toxins – bad for you and the environment. You won’t help your skin by covering yourself in gunk, so try to choose gentle natural products.
Our skin needs a good diet to thrive. Even the best products won’t protect your skin if you’re not eating well. All the usual things apply here: fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains, pulses and lean protein.
Healthy fats are also essential, and you’ll find these in nuts, seeds, olive oil and salmon. Lack of these can exacerbate skin conditions and poor health in general. Antioxidant foods are also excellent – look for dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale, and fruits such as blueberries and raspberries.
Move About A Bit
Our skin really enjoys a good workout or simply a good walk. Anything that gets the circulation going is great as a healthy blood flow carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells. This keeps them healthy and stimulates the growth of new cells.
A bit of sweat is a good result as well. It cleans out the pores and can prevent infection, as sweat has antimicrobial properties, which means it can combat certain bacteria and fungi.
And whether you’re exercising or resting don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Your skin needs to be well hydrated just as much as the rest of you.
Sleep More, Stress Less
Stress can trigger a number of skin conditions. A good diet and regular exercise help to maintain your overall wellbeing, promote restful sleep and go a long way to managing stress.
Good skincare perks up all your bits, inside and out, and may even help you to look younger (ok, we can’t guarantee that, but it’ll certainly help!).