Friday, January 13, 2012

5 Ways to Get Healthy Skin

Covering, on average, 2 square yards and weighing approximately 9 pounds, your skin ranks as your body's biggest organ. That also means that it's often exposed to environmental hazards that may compromise its health, such as sun exposure. However, a handful of skincare practices and lifestyle overhauls can help girls defend their skin from damage and improve its overall health and appearance.
Avoid the Sun
The sun ranks as the leading cause of wrinkles, discolorations and other health problems for your skin, warns the American Academy of Dermatology. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when its rays are the strongest and most damaging. The rest of the time, wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. For girls worried about using synthetic sunscreen chemicals, opt for a sunscreen made from natural minerals, such as zinc oxide. Additionally, sun-smart wardrobe choices, such as wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved blouses, can shield your skin and defend it from the sun.
Moisturizing is critical for healthy skin, according to Princeton University. Moisturizers help re-establish your skin's natural protective moisture barrier and firm your skin's surface for less visible fine lines. Moisturizers even protect against future damage, such as preventing tearing and bruising. Common moisturizing ingredients include emollients such as shea butter, aloe vera and glycerin. Besides adding moisture, also avoid removing moisture by reducing the length of your hot showers.
Re-evaluate Cosmetics
If you use makeup and other forms of cosmetics, focus on products labeled as being "noncomedogenic" or "water-based." That means the products won't clog your pores with oils and other substances. Healthy, clear pores ensure proper functioning of your skin's various functions, and keeping your pores from clogging also reduces your risk of skin health problems such as acne.
Fine lines, discolorations, dullness and other signs of poor skin health are often signs of surface skin damage. By removing those damaged cells, you naturally start erasing those symptoms to reveal smoother, healthier skin cells underneath. Natural exfoliants commonly found in skin scrubs and cleansers include citric acid, made from lemons, and malic acid, made from apples. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that these natural substances also encourage your skin to produce more collagen, which improves skin appearance, firmness and tone from the inside out.
Apply Vitamins
Some vitamins, specifically niacinamide, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin A, work as potent antioxidants that reduce and protect against skin damage. When applied topically in the form of skin creams, serums and other skincare products, these vitamins can improve the appearance of your skin.

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