Can you guess what is the largest organ of the human body? It is our skin, which makes it the biggest defender from germs and toxins. It also helps regulate our body temperature, protects us from the sun and gives us the feeling to say, “Ouch, that hurts!” So how do we take care of our biggest bodyguard?
Here are 5 great ways you can assure that your skin is being cared for properly and some helpful tips you don’t want to miss!
1. Limit the Amount of Sun Exposure
You’ve heard it all before, the sun can cause cancer and wrinkles from ultraviolet rays. So what do you do when you want to avoid layering on chemicals that could also cause damage to your entire body? It’s easy to say avoid the sun, but what if you are spending the day at the beach! As a runner, staying out of the sun is a challenge unless you are on a treadmill or running when the sun is not out! I’m a big believer in outdoor activity. Keep in mind you can spend about 20 minutes without sunscreen in the sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D, but anything after that requires you to lube up. I’ve discovered a great sunscreen and helpful tips to keep your skin looking and feeling great.
- California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ Sunscreen offers great UVA and UVB protection. It is not just for kids! We’ve been using it for years for everyone in our home and we take it everywhere with us. Just remember to reapply every 2 hours or more if you are swimming or doing something physical like running.
- DO NOT use aerosol sunscreens. Although it may be easier to apply, remember you are inhaling all sorts of chemicals.
- Wearing sun shirts and wide brim hats are very helpful in warding off these damaging rays.
- When you do have the option, try to avoid going out in the sun during peak hours, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
2. Eat Healthy
I can’t stress to you enough the importance of your diet. I always say, “What we consume makes us.” Antioxidants help in preventing free radical damage. They can be found in colorful fruits, vegetables and beans. Below are some food options that can aid in helping your skin look great!
- Vitamin C may aid in protecting us from the sun’s harmful rays. It firms up the skin by helping us undo the damage to the collagen. Citrus fruits, broccoli, greens and red bell peppers are a few great sources of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E is another vitamin that may help protect your skin from sun damage and also inflammation. You can find it in nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, asparagus and olives.
- Vitamin A is great for skin repair. It can be found in leafy green vegetables, eggs, carrots, cantaloupe and oranges.
- Omega-3s and omega-6s are a good source of essential fatty acids which help leave your skin smoother and younger-looking. You can get them from fish, but you can also find them in olive, hemp and flaxseed oils to name a few.
Keeping yourself hydrated is beneficial to your overall well being. It is important that you drink water throughout the day. Preferable with lemon because it helps detox the body and skin.
- Drink about 8 glasses of filtered water with lemon a day. More if you are active! Do not drink out of plastic water bottles; most plastic leach chemicals into the water.
- Use a humidifier when the air is dry. It will help keep you skin moist especially in the winter.
- Try to avoid hot or chlorinated water which strip the skin from its natural oils. I have a filter in each of my showers or you can buy a filtration system for your entire home.
- Apply lotion or coconut oil as soon as you get out of the shower to lock in the moisture.
4. Skin Maintenance
I am going to supply you with a great resource in helping you find the right product with the least amount of toxic chemicals. The site is called EWG and it rates most products out there. You can use it for anything from dish soup to shampoo. When searching for the right fit when it comes to skin care keep a few things in mind.
- My rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce the ingredient you should not be using it. For my face, I use What a Face by Gilly’s Organics. This face moisturizer does an amazing job keeping my skin hydrated and smooth. It can be used under your eyes as well. For my body, I like to use Earth Mama Body Butter lotion not only because it is natural, it is also gentle on the skin and smells great.
- I usually minimize the number of ingredients in a product as well. It is always best to use organic products.
- Just because a product smells good doesn’t mean it’s natural, especially when it comes to detergent. Since we are wearing the clothes most of the day our skin is exposed to whatever you use to wash your clothes. Try buying detergent that is free and clear which means they did not add fragrances and other chemicals. I like to use GreenShield Organic Free and Clear detergent.
- An important part of keeping your skin smooth and vibrant is to exfoliate on a daily basis. Exfoliating removes dead cells leaving you skin looking new and radiant. It also helps prevent acne breakouts. Make this a part of your hygiene ritual but keep in mind not to over scrub.
5. Stress Management
Stress is a factor in many health issues. When it comes to skin, stress can cause it to be more sensitive which can then develop into acne breakouts and other skin problems. It is important to find time to decompress and relieve any tension. Here are a few ways that work for me.
- Running or any other exercise is a great stress reliever. Running works best for me because I am covering a few basis all in one activity. I’m getting fresh air, staying in shape and I can clear my mind.
- Meditation allows you to relax and calm you down.
- Smile… I do this whenever I feel the tension coming on and it helps me think of a happy thought verses all the negative thoughts that are about to start brewing in my head.
- Get a massage… if you have the time😉
I would love to hear about your skin regimen and what has worked for you!!!