There are numerous factors that determine how your skin ages. Heredity, lifestyle, stress, and the natural aging process all contribute to the appearance and health of your skin.
Fortunately, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that you look your best. From eating the right foods to getting your beauty rest, looking and feeling your best is within reach. Implementing these changes early and often will have the greatest impact, but it’s never too late to get started.
In this article, we’ll offer a few easy tips to get started on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Feed Your Skin
For most people, your skin is where you first start to notice signs of aging. Tiny wrinkles, bags under the eyes, and skin that is beginning to sag are all signs of the aging process. Natural signs of aging are nothing to be ashamed of, however there are plenty of opportunities to slow the appearance of aging. For instance, eating the best foods for your skin can help you achieve a supple, fresh, more youthful appearance. Eating a well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grass-fed beef, and fish is an excellent way to maintain glowing, radiant skin. Not only do these foods boost the overall health of your skin, they can also help clear your skin. Here are a few essential things to pick up the next time you’re at the grocery store:
- Foods with Vitamin A – Vitamin A promotes the normal turnover of skin cells and fights the thinning of your skin which helps promote firmness. Fruits and vegetables bright in color such as carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and lettuce are all rich in vitamin A. Other good sources of vitamin A are salmon, dairy products, spinach, and broccoli.
- Fruits and Vegetables with Vitamin C – Vitamin C is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and detoxifies your system. For your skin, vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetable will increase collagen production, repair damaged skin, and brighten your skin. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C include bell peppers, papayas, oranges, strawberries, red and green hot chili peppers, and dark leafy greens such as kale or collard greens. However, it’s important to note that Vitamin C is more potent if applied topically. There are many Vitamin C serums available on the market, but we always recommend our own: Swan Vitamin C 10% Serum. It’s the best Vitamin C Serum we have ever seen, which is why we offer it in our line of Swan Skin Care products.
- Foods with Vitamin E – Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage and oxidation, which is caused by things like pollution, smoking, fried foods, alcohol and the sun. Foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds, dried apricots, and wheat grass are all rich in vitamin E antioxidants that help fight skin damage.
- Water – Drinking more water is one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your skin. Your skin is made up of 64% water. If your skin is not getting an adequate amount of water, dehydration of the skin presents itself by making your skin tight, dry, and flaky. Dry skin is less resilient and more susceptible to wrinkles. There are varying opinions about how much water you should drink per day, but we always recommend eight cups of fluid per day. In addition to benefiting your skin, water also aids in digestion, circulation, absorption, and excretion.
The Truth About Carbohydrates
Contrary to popular belief, not all carbohydrates are bad for you. In fact, they are essential to a healthy diet as they provide energy, help with protection against disease, and aid in controlling weight. The bulk and fiber content in carbohydrates makes you feel full while consuming fewer calories. You do, however, need to eat healthy carbohydrates. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, beans and legumes are good sources of healthy carbohydrates.
In contrast, be sure to avoid processed, sugary, and greasy foods. These contain unhealthy fat and carbohydrates which can damage the skin, cause inflammation, and promote acne.
Put a Pep in Your Step
Along with drinking water and eating vitamin rich foods, adding exercise to your daily routine is a simple way to transition to a healthier lifestyle. Exercise boosts your energy, improves your mood, and promotes better sleep. It can also help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss – all of which lead to a happier, more youthful appearance.
For many people, the idea of squeezing in an hour at the gym every day into an already busy schedule seems impossible. However, you do not have to join a gym, or even set aside 30 minutes a day to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Start with small changes in your daily routine; instead of riding the elevator, take the stairs. When doing household chores, turn the music on full blast and dance. If you have a 30-minute meeting at work, make it a walking meeting. Ask the friend who wants to meet for coffee to meet you at the park and walk while you talk. Small changes can make a big difference. No matter what method of exercise you choose, you will feel better, healthier, and younger.
Sleep On It
Getting your beauty rest, whether you are male or female, is a key indicator of your overall health and well-being. According to the National Institutes of Health, studies suggest that the optimal amount of sleep needed to perform adequately, avoid a sleep debt, and not have sleepiness during the day is about seven to eight hours for adults. When lacking sleep, the majority of people report being irritable, if not downright unhappy. Being tired not only affects your mental wellness but also shows in your physical appearance in the form of dark under-eye bags, swollen eyes, wrinkles and droopy eyelids.
One of the first steps to a full, restful night sleep is to get on a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each night and day. Once you accomplish a schedule, your body’s circadian rhythm will get accustomed to this new sleep pattern, allowing you to wake up easier and more refreshed.
Another sleep habit that can affect your appearance is the position in which you sleep. If you sleep on your stomach or side, you are more likely to experience sleep wrinkles, which are caused by face contact with your pillow. Your skin’s elasticity decreases with age and constant compression, like that of your face on a pillow, can cause wrinkles to become permanent. You can prevent the formation of wrinkles during sleep by trying to sleep on your back. If you have a hard time doing so, we recommend investing in a supportive anti-wrinkle pillow that prevents facial contact to minimize wrinkles.
No matter what your age, engaging in a healthy and active lifestyle is one of the best ways to feel good about your appearance. It’s never too late to become a healthier you. Start with the simple tips listed above and see what a difference these small lifestyle changes can make!
Stay tuned for a future blog about foods you should avoid to reduce inflammation.