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How to get healthy and glowing skin

A thoughtful skin care routine can work wonders for your complexion, but it’s not the only factor to consider when you’re looking in the mirror (or at the front-facing camera). Your habits surrounding diet, exercise and sleep affect your whole-body health, including your skin. So, what tips should you follow for a clear and age-defying complexion?

1. Protect Your Skin from the Sun

It’s a given that you should be wearing broad-spectrum SPF every day, because UV rays from the sun cause premature aging. Beyond that, it helps to seek shade, wear sunglasses and avoid going outside during the sunniest hours of the day, which tends to be late morning to mid-afternoon. Hats and UV protective clothing can be good in addition to sunscreen.

2. Know Your Skin Type

Dermatologists use a skin-type scale of one to six, where people with skin type one sunburn easily and never tan while people with skin type six never sunburn and tan easily. If you have a relationship with a dermatologist, you should ask where you fall on the scale and make a sun-safety plan accordingly.

Sensitive, rosacea, acne-prone or eczema-prone are other commonly used terms to describe your skin type. These classifications can be based on your own observations, but they’re still valuable when you’re forming a skin care routine. If you’re acne-prone, choose noncomedogenic or oil-free products. If you’re rosacea-prone, avoid chemical sunscreens and instead opt for mineral-based sunscreens.

3. Don’t Go to Sleep with Makeup On

Going to bed with makeup on leads to clogged pores and clogged pores lead to breakouts. When you forget to do a nighttime wash, you’re basically just keeping all the pollutants of the day on your skin. Cleansing the skin at night clears the pores and lets you start fresh in the morning.

4. Get Adequate Sleep

According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s recommended that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every day. Getting a good night’s sleep helps your whole system—skin included. When people are sleep-deprived, they get the black circles under their eyes and [their skin] doesn’t look as lush and plump and fresh. When you get better sleep, [your skin looks healthier], because your body’s rejuvenating overnight.

5. Exercise Regularly

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, plus strength training exercises at least twice a week. Exercise is great for the skin. It increases blood flow, which directs nutrients into the skin and pollutants out of the skin.

6. Stay Hydrated

It is recommended that you drink about 80 ounces of water—that’s eight to ten glasses—per day and more if they work out. The major benefit [to drinking enough water] is a more youthful and hydrated complexion. Also, water helps to control hunger levels. Sometimes people think they’re hungry but they’re really thirsty.

7. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

All those great benefits of drinking water? Alcohol reverses them by dehydrating the body. It’s also a toxin, meaning that it could temporarily slow down your liver function. When you take in toxins, the liver is not filtering our blood as effectively and that can add more free radicals into our body. Free radicals can cause premature aging of the skin. Alcohol can also dilate the blood vessels which causes redness and affects our complexion/

8. Change Your Bedding Often

For most people who wash their face daily, it is recommended to change sheets weekly. Though, some people could benefit from changing their sheets more often. If you notice that you have a lot of oil or makeup residue on your pillow, it probably wouldn’t hurt to change your sheets every couple of days. The friction and dirt can often be a trigger for acne-prone skin.

9. Reassess Your Eating Habits

Exercise portion control when it comes to sugar and dairy. For people with sensitivities to certain food groups, she recommends proceeding with caution as those ingredients can lead to inflammation and breakouts.

To promote skin health through food, we recommends powerhouse nutrients like:

  • Vitamin E: found in avocados, sunflower seeds, almonds and red peppers—offers anti-aging benefits

  • Vitamin C: naturally found in in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, oranges and papaya—supports cell growth

  • Beta-carotene: present in pumpkin, kale, carrots, spinach and cantaloupe—turns into vitamin A in the body, which helps maintain skin health and a youthful appearance

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: found in salmon, walnuts, chia seeds and ground flax seeds—help to maintain moisture and elasticity

10. Take a Probiotic

Probiotics improve gut health and they also affect the skin indirectly, because a healthy gut absorbs nutrients better than an inflamed one. Probiotics are really good for gut health. As they say, ‘you are what you eat.’ When we feel good on the inside, we end up looking good on the outside. By having good gut health, we can better absorb the foods that have vitamin A, vitamin C and omega-3s and enjoy a healthier-looking complexion.

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