Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to ageing, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs. DR. GEORGIANA DONADIO

Your skin is a vital and the most looked at organ on your body and should be treated with care. Every twenty years your skin reveals your treatment of it, the environment’s treatment of it and it’s chronological age. It prominently shows any signs of ageing; wrinkles, loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone, etcetera, for every one to see. The good news is that a healthy diet, the right skin care regime and lifestyle choices can improve the appearance of your skin. The greater news is that you can actually repair some of the damage that has already been done with a good skin care regime. Please see below my best strategies for caring, protecting and rejuvenating your skin, especially your face – that most exposed part of your skin.

My best skincare strategies include the following:

1. Eat a nutritionally rich diet that will nourish and rejuvenate your skin:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate your skin – about eight to twelve glasses. Water carries nutrients to your cells and flushes out toxins from your vital organs. Hydration supports your energy levels, gives your skin a fresh, radiant glow and is essential for the overall health of your skin.
  • Reduce your intake of sugar and avoid food that can cause chronic inflammation in your body. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated sugary or sweetened drinks and snacks.
  • Increase your daily intake of foods such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, salmon, avocados, etcetera, that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid which help to slow down the ageing process because they maintain the smoothness, softness and suppleness of the skin.
  • Eating plenty of fruits, whole grains, vegetables keep blood moving through your skin. There is a clear connection between healthy skin and good circulation.
  • Eat lean proteins and avoid processed or refined carbohydrates and food that are low in unhealthy fats.  This will maintain the building blocks for tissue regeneration in your body. Ineffective regeneration of tissue in your body will show up as tears, wrinkles and cracks on your skin.

2. Increase the amount of antioxidants in your body by eating two to three servings per day of foods that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants provide your body    with a strong defence against free-radicals damage to the health of your skin and your overall health. Antioxidants rich foods include:

  • Vitamin C – found in most citrus fruits as well as bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and leafy greens.
  • Vitamin E – found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, fish oils, olives, spinach, asparagus, whole grains and fortified cereals.
  • Beta-carotene – found in spinach, yams, liver, butter, cantaloupe, egg yolks, milk, carrots, tomatoes, grains, and peaches.
  • Dark chocolate – dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that help protect your skin from free radicals and sends happy feelings to your brain.

Increasing the amount of these antioxidants in your body will keep your skin looking healthy, young and radiant.

3. Rest: Get more sleep. Eight to nine hours uninterrupted sleep a night makes your skin look radiant and better than any skin cream can.

4. Exercise regularly: A good workout helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your skin.

5. Avoid dehydrating elements such as alcohol and cigarette smoking including passive smoking: Keeping your alcohol consumption within the recommended daily allowance of three units will help you to maintain a healthy, youthful complexion.

  • Drinking more than the recommended allowance of alcohol will dehydrate your skin, causing it to appear dull and dry.
  • Smoking causes the skin to age prematurely. Smoking cigarettes stimulates high levels of the enzymes, metalloproteinases, which break down our skin’s collagen and elastin stores.
  • Cigarette smoke significantly decreases the blood flow in the tiny blood vessels and the moisture in your skin, dehydrating the skin and depleting it of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health, leaving the skin with deep and excessive wrinkles.
  • The repeated muscle movement of taking a drag, such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke causes smoker’s wrinkles to form around the mouth and eyes of smokers. Smoking also causes vertical lines to appear on both the upper and lower lip.

6. Commit to an effective skincare regime: The best thing you can do for your skin is to cleanse, tone and moisturise it twice daily with a good set of skincare products that has been chosen to match your skin type by a beauty therapist or skin consultant. A good skin care regime perfectly matched to your skin type will give you a healthy, blemish-free, younger-looking skin all year round.

7. Practice safe sun: Nothing ages your skin more than unprotected exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun will cause sunburn, leathery and blotchy skin, deep and excessive wrinkles, discolourations, age spots and a weakened immune system, which will increase the risk of skin cancer that could kill you.

8. Reduce and manage stress: Encourage a healthy state of mind and skin by reducing and managing your stress. Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems.

9. Maintain a positive attitude and state: A positive attitude helps your skin to stay younger looking. Negativity, pessimism and worry encourages anxiety, stress, worry lines and the production of free radicals which leads to more wrinkles.

10. Fall in love: I have it on good authority that falling in love releases endorphins in your body, which gives the skin a special glow that cannot be replicated by even the most advanced skin cream.


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