7 Healthy Habits for Great Skin
Human skin is the most extensive organ that covers or protects our delicate tissues from external toxins and pathogens. Healthcare providers strongly believe that optimal care of skin is mandatory to maintain overall health and wellness. But it is noteworthy that chronic or extensive exposure to hazardous agents may weaken or damage the natural skin barrier and may aggravate the risk of underlying tissue injury.
For example, several research and clinical studies have indicated that direct contact with sun-rays and cigarette smoke can damage the superficial layers of skin by aggravating free radical induced oxidation of tissues thus contributing to premature aging of skin. Besides external factors, there are a number of internal factors that may also affect the integrity of skin in the similar fashion; this includes diet, emotional stress, hormonal aberrations etc.
For healthy and fresh skin, experts advice these 7 simple habits to ward-off the hazardous effects of both external as well as internal stressors that may compromise the health of your skin. It is imperative to mention that these seven habits doesn’t cost a fortune. The effects are slow but progressive due to positive changes in your hormonal and physical well-being.
7 healthy habits for great skin are:
- Deep Breathing:
Any form of stress (emotional, physical or hormonal) can greatly influence the biochemical and hormonal harmony of the body. The effects are largely mediated by neurotransmitters like epinephrine that has a direct effect on the heart rate and breathing. Abrupt increases in the respiratory rate can greatly impair the rate and depth of breathing and may impair the gaseous exchange; thereby culminating in the accumulation of toxins.
Therefore, re-train yourself to breathe slowly and deeply in order to ensure optimal gaseous exchange from lung membranes. You can adopt some simple breathing exercises to consciously control the rate and depth of breathing. The long term effects include:
- Release of stress and tension from your muscles and tissues
- Optimal rate of tissue oxygenation
- Improvement in the stamina and overall energy levels
- Positive changes in the rhythm and depth of sleep
All these factors can improve the skin health and revitalization processes.
- Exercise or Dynamic Lifestyle:
Moderate physical activity has been known to improve the tissue circulation by improving the basal performance rate of heart and respiratory system. A dynamic lifestyle is also known to improve the basal activity of several other systems such as immune regulation, release of beta-endorphins (which is known to improve mood) and overall digestion. Moderate exercise prolongs life by minimizing the risk of developing age –related chronic health issues and inflammatory disorders. The extra circulation to skin as a method of heat dissipation also helps in cleansing the skin and clearing the clogged pores to reduce the chances of developing acne and blemishes. Hence, more active and radiant skin.
- Avoid fatty and sugary food:
High intake of fatty and sugary foods (or beverages) are a leading cause of several skin and inflammatory health conditions. Poor dietary regulation and high consumption of processed carbohydrates can lead to insulin imbalance, irregular spikes in blood sugar levels, negative changes in the body weight and metabolism as well as mood disorders (due to hormonal dysregulation). You can reduce sugar craving by these simple tips:
- Include lean proteins in your diet to retain high levels of energy. In addition, adequate intake of proteins can also help in stabilizing mood by supplying essential amino acids.
- Adopt simple tips for diet modification and calorie regulation to fight against hunger/ cravings so you can stay full for longer periods of time.
- Avoid impulsive eating
- Modify your shopping/ grocery list and avoid purchasing unhealthy snacks.
- Keep good things in mind:
Keep yourself happy and entertained. Find gadgets that you like, write journal, explore new place, meet new people and enjoy good food. Avoid negative people and negative energy by expanding your social circle. Whenever you feel overly stressed up, think about that about positive things in life or happy moments. Noting down inspirational quotes and reading about inspirational personalities can also aid in putting a brake on negative, stressful thoughts in your mind. Research indicates that living a stress-free lifestyle aid in prolonging overall life span
- Work on improving your sleep:
Ever heard of beauty sleep? Yes, improving the quality of your sleep can help you regain your youthfully radiant skin. Likewise, impaired or inadequate sleep can abruptly affect the health of your skin by aggravating the release of stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol. The resultant effect of these hormones is:
- Poor glucose/ carbohydrate metabolism
- High risk of acne, blemishes and other inflammatory lesions
- Poor regeneration or remodeling of skin due to chronic inflammation
It is imperative to maintain at least 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep for healthy looking, radiant skin.
- Take some time out:
Most of us don’t realize the importance of simple relaxing activities in life. For example, taking a break after strenuous day of work to enjoy light music or ending your day with a good read. Experts suggest that 10-15 minutes of break after every few hours to do simple relaxing activities can help in decreasing stress levels. In addition, you can also improve your efficiency, problem solving skills and cognition.
- Cuddling and sex:
Sex makes people happy, especially in loving relationship. Therapists suggests that quality sex (or even cuddling) can release stress and increase the secretion of endorphins (that improves skin health).
While making love, secretion of age-defying hormones and mediators increases. These include, Beta-Endrophine, Prolactin and Oxytocin. Most importantly, these mediators promotes healthy sleep and enhance circulation to deep tissues of your body for optimal oxygenation.
Last but not the least, if you are suffering from a chronic medical, mental or skin condition, make sure to see a healthcare professional for health and wellness.
1. Leme, A. C. B., & Philippi, S. T. (2015). The “Healthy Habits, Healthy Girls” randomized controlled trial for girls: study design, protocol, and baseline results. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 31(7), 1381-1394.
2. Jia-li, T., Hui-qin, Z., & Yan-mei, X. (2012). Progressive Relaxation Training Assisted Cognitive Therapy of Insomnia. In Information Computing and Applications (pp. 596-603). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.