Summer is rapidly approaching, and with warmer temperatures, we’re showing more skin. Our skin is our largest organ, and like our other organs, it, too, has its care needs so that it can do its job. I’ve come up with five not-terribly-original ways to care for your skin.
(1) Sweat it out. When we sweat, our pores open up, allowing the sweat to flow out, taking with it dirt, oil, and other blemish-causing culprits. Sweat also removes toxins from the body, making it an incredible, completely natural detox method.
(2) Water in, water out. No news here – we’re approximately 70% water. In order for sweat (and urine, for that matter) to do its best job removing toxins and impurities from our bodies, it has to have something to work with. Drinking plenty of water (half your body weight in ounces is recommended, but at least shoot for 6-8 cups) each day gives your body what it needs to function, as well as providing the conduit for sweat to work. Being well hydrated is like moisturizing your skin from the inside.
(3) Kiss the caffeine good-bye. Do you live your life a cup of coffee or a can of soda at a time, just to get through your day? While moderate amounts of caffeine can’t hurt – some studies suggest they’re quite beneficial – there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, and while your body might be eliminating water, if your entire drink consumption is primarily caffeinated drinks, there isn’t a grand amount of water going back in. As a result, you’ll end up terribly dehydrated. This results in dry skin that lacks elasticity.
(4) Bid those smokes a farewell while you’re at it. It is often easy to determine the smokers in the crowd before you even smell them. They have fine lines around their mouths and they look older than their years. That cigarette smoke is chemical-laced dry heat in the face constantly.
(5) Slather on the sunscreen. Oft-repeated, seldom followed, and I’m admitting now that I’m not the best about this, though I am getting better. There is no undoing the damage from sun over-exposure or smoking without lots of medical intervention – maybe. I always wear sunscreen at the beach with frequent reapplication, and I am doing better about remembering to put it on on soccer days. I still, however, don’t put it on every time I go out, nor do I wear it when I’m taking walks or rides (usually later in the day when the UV index is low).
(6) Use soap and moisturizer. Soap keeps the skin clean (obviously). When we wash with soap, the soap bonds with the dirt and germs on our skin; then, when we rinse, all of it washes down the drain. Our skin’s acid mantle restores itself in 2-3 hours, bringing balance back to its pH. By washing, we get rid of germs that could enter even the most microscopic of cuts. When we follow with moisturizer, we keep the skin soft and supple, which makes it heal faster and more easily. I discovered when I was in graduate school that small sores such as paper cuts took much longer to heal during the dry winter months than they did in the moister summer months. Applying lotion to my hands sped up the healing time.
I talked about this this morning in my branded Facebook group. Are you a member? We’d love to have you join us! Just click that link (“branded Facebook group”) and submit your request to join. And in the meantime, get some water into you and sweat some water out. Your skin will thank you for it!