Healthy skin – most of us want it, and many of us work hard to get it. When our skin is well taken care of, it works hard to protect us, keep us comfortable, and make us look young and refreshed. But when its health is compromised, skin can’t do its job properly. There are many things we can do to help maintain our skin health. Read on for useful tips on how to get healthy skin and how to keep it looking fresh and youthful.
Skin’s Role In The Body
As the largest organ in the human body, your skin plays many roles. It’s the ultimate multitasker. Here are the main functions of skin:
- Skin provides a barrier between your body and the outside world. This offers some protection from bacteria, viruses, pollution, and other substances.
- Skin helps regulate your body’s temperature.
- Skin prevents moisture loss and maintains a balance of fluid in your body.
- Skin reduces the potentially harmful effects of UV rays.
- Skin contains nerve endings that sense things like heat and pain, which can alert you to danger.
- Skin cells produce vitamin D, which supports healthy bones.
- As part of the immune system, skin can help alert you to certain ailments.1,2
Factors That Impact Your Skin Health
There are many factors – both internal and external – that can affect your skin’s appearance and ability to do its job. Here are some.
- The natural aging process
- Health conditions
- Gut health
- Chronic exposure to UV rays
- Washing too frequently with hot water
- Not using the proper skincare products
- Poor diet
- Too little sleep
- Not enough exercise
- Some medications3,4,5
Tips For Achieving And Maintaining Healthy Skin
When so many things threaten to harm your skin, what can you do to protect it? The good news is that researchers have identified many ways you can achieve and maintain healthy skin. If you’re after strong, supple skin and a radiant glow, here are some tips for you.
Keep Your Gut Health In Tip Top Shape
Your gut and skin health are more closely connected than you may realize. When your gut’s microbiome is unbalanced, it can impact your skin health and vice versa. Scientists call this connection the gut-skin axis.6 To support a happy gut, follow these best practices:
- Take a gut health supplement, like Bio Complete 3, which provides prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics.
- Eat fermented foods that contain probiotics.
- Eat prebiotic fiber.
- Avoid less sugar and unhealthy sweeteners.
- Limit unnecessary antibiotics.
- Reduce stress.
- Get enough sleep.
Add These Skin-Healthy Foods To Your Diet
What you eat can be just as important as what you slather on your skin. If you want a clear, healthy complexion, you’ll want to make sure your diet is up to snuff. Here are some Gundry-approved suggestions for skin-healthy foods to focus on for healthy skin.
Fatty fish, like wild caught Alaskan salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. These are both important nutrients for skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids support thick, supple, hydrated skin. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help protect your skin against free radicals.8,9
Avocados are one of Dr. Gundry’s favorite superfoods. They are full of healthy fats, like monounsaturated fats.10 Research suggests that a high intake of healthy fats can support supple, resilient skin.11
Some “nuts” are really seeds – like cashews, peanuts, or legumes. Those types of nuts are full of harmful lectins. But real nuts, like walnuts, can do great things for your health.10 Walnuts are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin E. All of these nutrients support skin health.12,13
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene, a nutrient that your body converts into vitamin A. Studies show that beta carotene has natural skin-protecting properties.14
Broccoli is full of vitamins and minerals that support skin health, like zinc, beta carotene, and vitamin C.15,16 It also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which may support the skin against sun damage and help it maintain healthy collagen levels.17,18
Mmm, is there anything that chocolate can’t do? In addition to being delicious, dark chocolate may lead to more hydrated skin. Cocoa powder is an antioxidant. Antioxidants may help protect your skin against the sun and support a smooth, supple texture.19,20
When indulging in dark chocolate, do so in moderation, and make sure it’s at least 72% cacao for the best health benefits.21
Seek Out These Nutrients For Optimal Skin Health
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Carotenoids (Vitamin A, Beta Carotene)
- Vitamin D
- Essential Fatty Acids22
These nutrients can come from your diet or a skin health supplement, like Gundry MD BioSkin Youth Complex. Taking a skin supplement can ensure you’re getting quality ingredients that can support your skin without having to be overly fussy about your diet.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Keeping your skin moisturized is a great way to ensure that it remains healthy. Severely dry skin can lead to skin irritations, thick patches, or discoloration.23 To keep your skin healthy and hydrated, be sure to:
- Avoid excessively long or hot showers.
- Minimize the use of harsh soaps. Instead, use gentle cleansers that contain natural humectants, like Gundry MD’s Gentle Botanical Cleanser.
- Apply a high quality moisturizer, like Polyphenol Firm + Sculpt Cream twice daily.24
- Gently pat your skin to dry it, and avoid rough washcloths or towels.
- In cold, dry environments, try out a humidifier to help replenish skin moisture.25
Protect Your Skin From UV Rays
UV rays can cause visible signs of premature aging, sunburns, and various health issues . For optimal skin health, it’s best to protect your skin from UV rays. To protect yourself:
- Wear sunscreen every time you go outside, even if you’ll be mostly in the shade.
- Take cover in the shade whenever possible.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear a wide brim hat.
- Avoid tanning beds.26
Reduce Stress In Your Life
Researchers have identified a link between stress and skin health. Stress may increase your skin’s production of sebum, which can block pores.27 If you often feel stress, it’s a good idea to find a few stress-relieving habits that work for you. Some people find stress relief in meditation, yoga, exercise, or journaling.28
Get Plenty Of Rest
Rest is often called “beauty sleep” for a reason – it can visibly help improve the appearance of skin. When you sleep, your body repairs itself. Collagen is replenished, UV damage is addressed, and blood flow increases across your body.
Even one night of poor sleep can affect the appearance of your eyelids, under eye circles, and skin tone. Poor sleep is also associated with fine lines and wrinkles. If you can, try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night.29
Keep Your Skin Healthy So It Can Keep You Healthy
When it comes to protecting your skin, the first thing that may come to mind is avoiding the signs of aging. While that’s certainly a worthy goal, taking care of your skin can do so much more than helping you look younger.
Your skin works hard to protect you and keep you safe. Protecting your skin by following the above tips can help ensure that this master multitasker can do its very best to serve you for the rest of your life.