Do you know what the largest organ in the human body is? It’s your skin. Yes, skin is an organ. Skin is our protection against main environmental and chemical threats, and it is something most of us take for granted. While many of us work hard to make our skin look good, we tend to be less concerned about its health. Here are some tips everyone can use to improve and preserve skin health.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
One of the greatest threats to skin health is surrounding us almost every day–sunlight. Overexposure to sunlight causes more than sunburn. It also causes age spots, wrinkles, and cancers. Sunlight causes the skin to release melanin, which darkens the skin and produces a tan to protect it from absorbing more light. The tan fades as these cells die. Skin experts recommend using sunscreen at any time you will be exposed to sunlight and to wear protective clothing and avoid exposure during the peak hours of 10:00 A.M to 2:00 P.M. when the intensity of the sun is highest.
Smoking is bad for skin. Smoking constricts the veins in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This, in turn, deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages the collagen and elastin fibers that support skin strength and flexibility. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles.
Let Yourself Get Dirty
Believe it or not, over-washing can be bad for your skin. Repeated shaving, scrubbing, and drying is all abrasive and eliminate lubricants that help your skin stay healthy. Hot water also removes oils from the skin. Dermatologist recommend using shaving cream and fresh razors to minimize scraping; and to use warm water and pat dry after bathing.
Another surprising source of skin damage is stress. The most obvious impact of stress on skin can be acne. Stress can also worsen some skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema, in addition to hives and other types of skin rashes and trigger a flare-up of fever blisters.
Keeping skin well-hydrated maintains layer of lipid beneath the skin to protect its internal moisture. Eating a diet featuring so-called “smart” Drinking plenty of water can also help skin stay hydrated.
Take Your Vitamins
Antioxidant Vitamins A, C, and E can protect and defend the skin against sun damage. They do this by neutralizing the “free radical” molecules and otherwise damage skin cells. Most health care providers recommend getting your vitamins through food, rather than through supplements like pills and oils, because the body absorbs vitamins through food more efficiently, and because too much of some vitamins can cause other health problems. The body converts the carotenoids found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes into Vitamin A. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits and juices, and nuts and oils are good sources of Vitamin E.
The skin also regulates the body’s temperatures, keeps it hydrated, and keeps harmful microbes out—without it, we would get infections. The skin is full of nerve endings that help us feel things that we need to pay attention to like heat, cold, and pain. Since your skin plays such an important role in protecting your body, you should keep it as healthy as you can. This will help you keep from getting sick or having damage to your bones, muscles, and internal organs.