Skin Deep: Tips for Healthier Skin

Greetings Healthy Boilers,

Today’s blog is all about tips for healthier, glowing skin.  Since we live in a society always looking for the fountain of youth, the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus wants to provide some every day, inexpensive ways to look your best! Skin is our body’s largest organ, and it is so connected to our health and vitality. Because of this, we will not only take some ‘outside in’ approaches to healthy skin, but some ‘inside out’ approaches as well.

  1. Wear Sunscreen – Hopefully you were able to attend the live or virtual presentation by Whitney Soto, our registered nurse health coach, titled “Skin Cancer Awareness.” Whitney explained how too much sun exposure can lead to premature aging and skin cancer, which is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. One of the most impactful parts of the presentation was a video by videographer Thomas Leveritt, who had people off the street stop and look at themselves under an ultraviolet light. This UV light exposes sun damage, which cannot be seen to the naked eye. The ultraviolet light also shows how sunscreen blocks UV rays and appears black, which proves how protective it is when applied to your skin.
  2. Stay Hydrated – Your body loves and craves water since the average human body is made up of ¾ water! From your bones, muscles and blood to your brain, water is an essential component of your being. When chronically dehydrated, your organs begin to wrinkle and wither prematurely – this includes your body’s largest organ, the skin. Dehydration can also cause people to eat more to fuel the body when, in reality the body is thirsty because enzyme activity in the body slows during dehydration resulting in tiredness and fatigue. Before reaching for another cup of coffee or spending more money on anti-aging products, first make sure you are drinking enough water.
  3. Eat High-Antioxidant Foods – A really great way to build healthy skin from the inside out is to start with the foods you are eating. Focus on raw, watery, enzyme-rich foods high in antioxidants, which really help regenerate our skin cells. This includes sprouts, red bell peppers, dark leafy greens and dark colored fruits. Limiting your intake of foods associated with oxidative stress, can also be helpful for vibrant skin. This includes foods high in fat and sugar.
  4. Regular Skin Cancer Screening – To ensure healthy skin, it is important to have regular skin cancer screenings performed. This is most important for those who have light skin and freckles, light hair and eye color, have more than 50 moles, live in sunny areas or use the tanning bed. You can perform self-checks by assessing the ‘A, B, C, D & E’ of your moles. This stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving. Benign moles are usually symmetrical, have a smooth border, are one color, smaller in diameter and look the same over time. Take pictures of questionable moles and have a professional take a look if anything looks suspicious.
  5. Sleep – A lack of sleep contributes to inflammation in the body which in turn affects your skin (and overall) health. These increased inflammatory cells breakdown collagen and hyaluronic acid, which are responsible for giving skin its healthy bounce and glow. The term ‘beauty sleep’ can be applied quite literally here since the body repairs itself and recovers during sleep. While you snooze, the body is able to regulate water balance, boost blood flow and produce hormones attributed to healthy skin.

Having healthy, glowing skin is not about what we are using on our skin, but is a reflection of our overall health.  When we show up in our best skin, we are more present in our relationships, we perform better at work and we are able to enjoy life to the fullest. Providers, health coaches, dietitians, EAP counselors and pharmacists at the CHL would love to partner with you on your journey to better health! To schedule an appointment, visit the Center for Healthy Living portal or call 765-494-0111.

Be Kind. Be Well. Boiler Up.

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