Achieving (and maintaining) healthy, glowing skin is no small feat. One day, you feel confident wearing no makeup and the next, you might experience extra redness, hyperpigmentation, or an acne breakout that makes you want to hide behind a full face of cosmetics.
So many factors affect your skin’s health and appearance. From genetics, hormones, diet, the climate, pollution, sun exposure, and other lifestyle factors—it’s nearly impossible to point to one specific cause of any skin condition.
The good news? You can take control of your skin’s health (it’s never too late!) by educating yourself on why skin health matters, changing (or sticking to) healthy skin habits, and accepting that you need some professional help.
At Medical Aesthetics & Laser in The Woodlands, we are proud to be the go-to skin specialists for men and women across North Houston. Our clients trust us to carefully evaluate their skin and make product and treatment recommendations to get them where they want to go.
Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to get (and keep) your skin in tip-top shape!
If you thought taking care of your skin was just about vanity, think again! It’s actually super important to take care of your skin. Skincare is healthcare.
People always say, “Your skin is your biggest organ.” It’s true! But what does that mean, exactly? Well, if you didn’t have your skin, you’d be all over the place—literally. Besides holding you together, your skin:
Besides that, your skin serves as a visual indicator of your overall health and wellness. For example, if you consume too much alcohol, your skin will show it! Chronic drinkers tend to experience flushed or reddened patches of skin, large pores, and a yellowish hue caused by inflammation, excess oil production, and liver damage from too much alcohol.
You might notice that many of the tips our skin experts offer for improving your skin’s quality on your own are just healthy habits you’ve probably already heard about.
Like we explained with our example about excessive drinking: your skin’s outward appearance is largely a reflection of how healthy you are on the inside. So, it naturally follows that the better your body and systems function—the more your skin glows!
DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Drinking water is at the top of every “How To Be Healthy” list for a reason. Because it’s that important! Drinking water isn’t just a way to improve your skin’s health, it makes you healthier. Each and every cell in your body requires water to properly carry out its functions. When your cells function optimally, a great side effect is bright, plump, and clear skin!
We recommend investing in a large water bottle and swapping sugary or dark-colored beverages with water instead. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men drink about 125 ounces of water daily, while women should aim for 91 ounces to maintain proper hydration and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
Several factors that might influence your individual recommended daily water intake include your activity level, climate, metabolism, and your size.
WATCH YOUR DIET
We’ve already demonstrated how your lifestyle choices can directly affect your skin, so this one shouldn’t be a surprise! Your skin is a living organ that requires proper nutrients to sustain it. The foods that are best for your health across the board are also great for your skin!
For example, many of those who suffer with acne, especially teens, notice that their intake of certain foods directly affects their condition. Research has shown that poor dietary habits, specifically consuming dairy products and high sugar sweets, are the leading factor for influencing acne breakouts.
Unsurprisingly, foods related to chronic inflammation in the body, like processed foods, high-sugar sweets, and dairy, that affect your overall health also negatively affect your skin. Take a look at your diet (keep a log of all your foods for a few days) and see where you can work in nutrient-dense foods like raw fruits and vegetables, lean protein, non-dairy alternatives, and antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, kale, spinach, and dark chocolate.
Simply switching to cooking your own meals and getting away from DoorDash can make a world of difference—and not only for your health, but your bank account, too!
GET YOUR BLOOD PUMPING
Besides the obvious health benefits of exercise, physical activity is also really good for your skin! When you raise your heartbeat, your blood pumps through your body faster. It’s recommended to get 30 to 60 minutes of cardio activity daily—and we bet you can get creative to keep things interesting! Try a new virtual workout program, go for a hike, give the dog an extra long walk, or anything else that gets your blood pumping!
This increase in blood flow ensures faster, better delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to your skin. Besides providing oxygen and nutrients, increased blood flow also carries away toxins, like free radicals and other waste, from working cells and out of the system.
Regular exercise also promotes the release of endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones that influence your reaction to stress. Those under a lot of stress can usually see it in their skin. It appears in the form of acne, premature wrinkles, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.
SPF = BFF
We don’t want to come off as enemies of the sun. In fact, your body relies on your skin to produce vitamin D from sun exposure. Vitamin D improves your immune system and ensures you can absorb calcium from foods you eat, keeping your bones and teeth healthy.
It’s important to understand that even while you’re wearing sunscreen, your skin is still exposed to UV rays. You don’t need to go without sunscreen protection or visit a tanning salon in the name of “producing more vitamin D.” Most of us get enough through the sunshine and ambient UV light we’re naturally exposed to, even while wearing SPF 35+ every day.
Speaking of tanning beds, which we could go on all day about the dangers of, we’ll just inform you that they are absolutely not a safe alternative to natural sunlight. Even a “bronzing bed” directly exposes you to UVA rays, AKA the “aging” rays that lead to premature skin aging and even melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.
It doesn’t matter who, how old, or what skin type you are: all skin needs moisture to be healthy. Some of the moisture comes from your food and water intake, and some must be supplemented.
We recommend investing in a good body lotion that’s rich in ceramides to support your skin’s natural barrier. It’s best to apply your body moisturizer immediately after getting out of the shower. Lightly dab your skin with a towel to get rid of dripping water and rub that lotion all over! This seals in moisture while your skin is plump and hydrated from the shower rather than playing catch up when your skin is already dry, inflamed, or uncomfortable.
Your face, neck, décolleté, and hands are covered with delicate skin that’s also extra susceptible to sun damage. This means that replenishing moisture to your skin’s layers is extra important in these zones. Using moisturizing creams, serums, and other products from SkinMedia®, ZO® Skin Health, or any of the other lines available at our office, ensures your skin that’s put on display the most stays hydrated and gorgeous!
GO TO A SKIN PRO
At some point, everyone needs to have a “coming to Jesus