Healthy skin is easy to achieve

Good skin care — including sun protection and gentle cleansing — can keep your skin healthy and glowing for years to come.

Don’t have time for intensive skin care? You can still pamper yourself by acing the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent various skin problems. Get started with these four no-nonsense tips.

1. 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 sunscreen. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing — which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Did we say “Hydrate”. Drinking lots of water is the quintessential way to keep your skin supple and glowing. Your body needs water to survive. Water helps regulate your body temperature. If you feel tired, have a headache and fell thirsty, chances are you are already dehydrated. How much water should you drink? An easy method is divide your weight by half and that should be your daily goal. How can you achieve this goal? Get a water bottle and keep it near by so that you are constantly sipping. If regular water is boring, infuse it with cucumber, mint, berries, lemon or watermelon.

3. Physical Activity

The best activity is one that you will do on a regular basis, targets large muscles and increases your heart rate. Yes, your heart is a muscle too! And a very important one. Aim to reach between 50% – 85% of your maximum heart rate. What’s your maximum heart rate? Subtract your age (in years) from 220 and voila!  What’s your target heart rate?  Multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.50 and 0.85. Grab a friend and go for a walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator if you are only going two floors up or down. Listen to your body and stretch.

4. Stop Smoking

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 strength and elasticity. 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.