The keys to beautiful healthy skin are sleep, diet and exercise. Ok, truth be told, these are the cornerstones of good health. And beautiful skin exemplifies good health. I know that everyone gets tired of doctors harping on these three things, but I tell my patients all the time: if people would just eat right and exercise, that would wipe out 85% of my business. Honest!
So why is sleep so important? Our skin is bombarded throughout the day with damaging sunlight and pollution. When you get a deep, restful sleep, this is the time when your body heals itself. We’ve all seen the effects of a late night out and not enough sleep – dark circles, inflammation, and deepened wrinkles. Lack of sleep seems to exacerbate the things we don’t like about our skin. So turn off the electronic devices, turn down the air conditioning, go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, please see your doctor. There are numerous natural sleep remedies that can help you fall asleep and wake refreshed.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides the body with healthy doses of antioxidants such as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body and is the food equivalent of the popular topical prescription retinol. It helps protect against skin damage and dehydration caused by UV radiation from the sun. It also promotes cell turnover, the process of old cells dying and sloughing off to allow the growth of younger healthier cells. Our bodies deal with oxidative damage every day so give them plenty of antioxidants, like those found in blueberries, to counteract the damage.
The third key is exercise. Exercise actually increases healthy circulation, which carries oxygen and healing nutrients to the skin while removing toxins that accumulate, damaging collagen and causing wrinkles. I have had patients tell me that they hate to exercise because it makes their skin break out with acne. That is most likely due to the makeup or sunscreen that is worn during exercise. Also, I encourage patients to keep exercising for 3-4 weeks and the acne will often clear up. Acne is a sign of toxins that are being excreted through the skin during exercise. Toxin release may cause acne or exacerbate existing acne conditions. If patients will maintain their workout schedule, they will allow their skin to clarify and heal itself.
It does not matter how much money is spent on wrinkle creams, microdermabrasion or chemical peels. If you do not take care of your skin from the inside, external treatments will be less effective and not long lasting. Be kind to your body and you will be rewarded with glowing healthy skin!