Did you know your body’s largest organ is…your skin? Skin also serves many important functions, from providing protection and preventing infection, to helping us hold in fluids and stay hydrated, to allowing us to feel and sense everything in the world around us! Here are five quick tips to keep your skin healthy and at its best.

Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Our environment can wreak havoc on our skin — especially the sun. We need sunshine, because our skin produces vitamin D when exposed to it, but too much sun can be harmful.

Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above if you are outside in the sun — an important step that can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. It’s also good to see a dermatologist and get your skin checked out. Speaking of dermatologists, here are some more detailed skin safety tips from a dermatologist at Allegheny Health Network.

Stay Active

Exercise is like cleansing your skin — from the inside! Increased blood flow from exercise means more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your working cells, including your skin cells, while toxins can be removed. Exercise also decreases stress, which is good for your skin…and all the rest of you, too!

In this month’s Move for Health fitness handout and schedule, we focus on five exercises you can do just about anywhere. You could even do them outside while you are on vacation (safely) soaking up some sun-inspired vitamin D!

  • Speed Skaters
  • Jump Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Side Plank

Stay Hydrated

Keeping moisture in your skin is important in order to keep skin cells functioning properly, remove toxins, improve circulation, and prevent wrinkles. Drinking adequate amounts of water each day is important, and adding a moisturizer to your skin after showering can also help. In dryer months or environments, consider using a humidifier in your home as well.

Get Your Nutrients

A balanced diet is part of keeping your skin healthy, too. Vitamin A, zinc, antioxidants, and vitamin C are just a few of the vitamins and minerals that contribute to good skin health. This month’s Eat for Health recipes and grocery list will help you get a natural boost of these skin-strengthening nutrients!

 

Sweet Potato Hash (adapted from Eatthismuch.com)

Antioxidant Berry Smoothie (adapted from Vitamix recipe)

Beet Hummus (adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow cookbook)

Comforting Turmeric Soup (adapted from Cooking Light)

The Vitamin C Salad (adapted from Eating Well)

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!

During sleep, your body is repairing itself and rejuvenating. Without enough sleep, your body not only misses out on its repair time, it will also tend to produce more stress hormones, which can contribute to skin problems or worsen existing skin conditions. In other words, “I need to get my beauty sleep” isn’t just vanity talking — it’s part of keeping your skin healthy!