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How Your Skin Affects Your Health
By Leslie Vandever
Have Fun in the Sun … but be sure to protect your skin. Here’s why: first, sun damage can make you look older and wrinkle earlier, and it can make it harder for the skin to ward off infections. But more importantly, the sun’s ultraviolet rays increase your risk of getting skin cancer, particularly if you have pale skin, blue eyes, and blonde or red hair. To lower the risk, use sunscreen with SPF 30-45 on any exposed skin whenever you’re outside. Apply it evenly and reapply every two hours. Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses. Avoid being out in the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Eat Healthy Food. It can be tough when you’re at work or out with friends and family, but do your best to eat as healthy as you can. There are many diets out there, but the best ones are simple, stick to small portions, include all the food groups, and focus on fresh rather than processed foods. Choose a diet that includes plentiful, fresh vegetables and fruit; small servings of lean chicken and fish, eggs, nuts, and legumes; whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, and brown rice; low-fat dairy; and plant-based fats like olive and canola oils. Limit sweet foods and beverages to special occasions or rare treats. Following this diet will help keep your skin supple, soft, and strong, and help you look your best every day.
Don’t Smoke. It makes your skin look older and wrinkle sooner by damaging the collagen and elastin in it that keep it supple and flexible. It also decreases the amount of oxygen and other nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy. If you smoke, please quit.
Take Time to Relax. Stress is hard on your skin, just as it is on every other part of you. Allow yourself frequent downtime, get plenty of sleep, and laugh as often as you can. Frowning causes wrinkles!
References:Healthy Skin Matters. (n.d.) National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on January 15, 2015 from http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Kids/healthy_skin.asp
Skin Care: 5 Tips for Healthy Skin. (2014, Dec. 16) Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on January 15, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care/art-20048237?pg=2
Healthy Skin. (n.d.) American Skin Association. Retrieved on January 15, 2015 from http://www.americanskin.org/resource/
Skin and Hair Health (PDF). (n.d.) WomensHealth.gov. Retrieved on January 15, 2015 from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/the-healthy-woman/skin_hair.pdf