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Having a consistent skin care routine –with quality products at the heart of it – is important for skin health. But so are the lifestyle choices you make. Make sure to follow the basic healthy habits listed below. They can help delay the natural aging process and even prevent various skin problems.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. When you are outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours.
Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.
Treat Your Skin Gently
Your skin can be sensitive, so treat it gently. Avoid long showers or baths. They remove oils from your skin. Use warm water instead of hot. Avoid strong soaps and detergents; they can also strip oil from your skin. Choose mild cleansers. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Research suggests that a diet rich in Vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates can help promote younger looking skin.
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy.