When you visit me for a skin consultation you may be surprised that I ask lots of questions so that I can get to know more about you, not just the issue that you are in front of me for. There are a few top tips on keeping your skin healthy that I want to share with you.
It’s in both our interests that I have a full picture of your general health, any medications that you may be taking etc so that I can treat you to the best of my ability – it helps me decide the best course of action for you and, indeed, whether you’re suitable for the treatments on offer.
But one of the most important things that you can do is to look after yourself on the inside. No matter how hard we work together using world class products and treatments, we will never achieve your best results if you’re not putting in a bit of effort to take care of the things that I can’t help with such as diet and exercise.
So here are some top tips to keep yourself feeling, and looking, healthy from the inside out.
- Don’t smoke.
As an ex-smoker I feel qualified to legitimately remind you how bad smoking is for your health. Respiratory systems aside, this can also badly affect your looks. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels which are present in the outer part of your skin which will decreases the blood flow so you lose any healthy ‘glow’ and actually look paler. More seriously the skins elastin and collagen will be damaged which are crucial components to keeping your skin strong and supple. If you want to age faster then smoking is one of the biggest culprits – check out the thin lines around a smokers mouth and eyes. I also don’t need to remind you that smoking increases your risk of squamous cell skin cancer, as well as all other types of skin cancer. Please, I implore you if possible to try and ditch the sticks!
2. Eat a healthy diet.
The easiest way to achieve this is to avoid processed foods, alcohol and sugar as much as possible. Limit your diet to fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, good quality meat and fish if you are not vegetarian or vegan – and don’t be concerned about eating good fats. Fat does not make you fat! Ditch the low calorie spreads and chemical-filled ‘alternatives’ and fill your body with foods that nature produced, great fats are olive oil, coconut oil, oily fish, olives, avocados, and any animal based fats (did you know that Lard has lower saturated fat than coconut oil? Not that I’m even remotely concerned about saturated fat – just nasty processed fats and refined seed oils, feel free to ask me if you want to know more!). If you are vegetarian, it is essential to make sure you are getting a full range of nutrients, as some elements are crucially lacking in vegetarian, and particularly vegan diets with Vitamin B12 being a key vitamin that is not present in a plant based diet in any bio-available forms. Skin hyper-pigmentation can be a symptom of a lack of B12. it is not possible to get vegan B12 supplements as it is only available in animal sources – making B12 deficiency a real problem for strict vegans.
Also drink plenty of water. Hunger pangs are often associated with lack of water so drink plenty during the day from a glass (not plastic) cup to reduce your toxic load. Add pure essential oils such as lemon or wild orange to cleanse your system and boost immunity.
This may be difficult for many of us at the moment but sleep is crucial for healthy cell repair and collagen growth. Indeed lack of sleep can dry out your skin, changing its texture and inflammation can increase in people who don’t sleep enough which can also cause skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. If you want to increase the pH level of your skin which assists with youthful, glowing looks, make sure you get enough sleep!
This is a contentious subject here given that I spend most of my life banging on about wearing sunscreen! However, getting sun on our skins is ESSENTIAL – just keep it off your face and neck, so you don’t look old and wrinkly before your time! Go out and do some gardening (with the caveat that if it is hot DO NOT risk burning – this is a huge risk factor in skin cancers), walk the dog, take your cup of tea in the garden while you are having a break – all these things will make you feel better and brighter, and one of the main reasons is Vitamin D. (again this is a risk area for vegetarians and vegans, as the primary source of dietary vitamin D are animal sources – or fortified foods, which generally speaking are highly processed (flours, cereals, etc). Sometimes Vit D supplements are necessary – darker skin tones have more difficulty absorbing vitamin D, particularly the further north in the globe that you go! But make sure you get high dose, good quality ones.
I look forward to welcoming you to a consultation soon and if you need help with any of these areas I’m here to chat these through.