No matter your gender, culture, religion, or background, biological changes in our bodies inevitably cause aging of our skin due to inflammation. None of us can counter the natural effects of our largest external organ, our skin: we can, however, follow healthy lifestyles that will radiate beauty from inside-out. A common expression is, “You are what you eat”, but rather, let’s focus on: “Your outside reflects how you treat your inside.”
Today, surrounded by the overflow of marketing campaigns for beauty and anti-aging products, it is important to understand that maintaining youthful and beautiful skin is a direct relationship with how healthy your body is from the inside. Taking care of our bodies and mind internally through a healthy lifestyle, which includes a good diet, exercise habits, and product choices, will radiate in our completion beyond the effects of any expensive or sophisticated products we use. In the dermatology practice, staying actively healthy is the core foundation to the skin care approach, which has been proven to delay and even revert the aging process. More importantly, beyond the beauty of the skin, a proper nutrition and holistic care is key for the treatment and prevention of certain skin diseases, such as acne and eczema.
How we treat our bodies from the inside will eventually show up on the outside. This is the reason why a proper nutrition full of elements, known as antioxidants, is such an important resource for healthy skin. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals which are produced during inflammatory processes when we age. This is why it is also very important to keep a well-balanced immune and hormonal system, through appropriate detoxification and supplements when necessary.
The most important antioxidants are: Vitamins E and C, alpha lipoic acid, DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), carotenoids and flavonoids. Many of these antioxidants are found in fruits and plants, especially red, green, orange, and yellow colored. The remaining are present in green tea, soy isoflavones, dark chocolate, red wine, nuts, certain oils and fish.
Another important factor in skin health is the adequate management of emotions and stress. Stress has an important factor in altering the body’s immune response, which has a key role in the development of skin diseases and accelerated aging.
Lastly, beware of beauty products. From cosmetics to creams, many of these products are not properly labeled and can contain chemicals that have been shown to produce cancer and other health issues in certain populations. For this reason, there has been an important increase in chemical free and organic skin products, many of which are now available in stores.
Based on all of these insights, a summary of a holistic skin care approach for a healthy glowing skin and for a delayed aging process, would be:
1) Follow a dietary plan full of vegetables and fruits, and low in sugar content
2) Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day
3) Take magnesium and calcium supplements
4) Avoid foods with chemical additives, trans fats, and artificial sweeteners
5) Exercise regularly
6) Seek your emotional balance, especially if you are overwhelmed by negative thoughts. If it is happening, try to practice meditation and mindfulness exercises
7) Use neutral soaps to cleanse your skin, and wash your face gently
8) Moisturize with daily natural sunscreen and moisturizers: look for creams with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and avoid creams with any known toxic ingredient or fragrance
9) Use natural cosmetics
10) Exfoliate your skin gently at least twice a week and have regulars hidroxiacids peels to improve the overall appearance of your skin
11) Get a laser treatment periodically, at least every 3 to 4 months to increase collagen production. Or use alternative techniques that accomplish the same effect guided by a dermatologist or properly trained aesthetician offices
12) Invest in your skin with intelligence, since it is going to represent you for a lifetime!