Learn about the lifestyle adaptations to take care of your skin beyond skincare products. These involve managing stress, quitting smoking, exercising, and taking a healthier diet.
**Skincare has gained a lot of popularity over the past decade**. Social media is a huge advocate of a 10 or more-step skincare routine. You might have also tried taking care of your skin following a skincare regimen. And for that, probably choosing a few skincare products was the first thing you did.
But, in the urge to purchase the best and the most expensive product, **people forget the vital part, which is their habits**. This might come as a surprise, but **skincare starts with you and your lifestyle**. Skincare products come second.
Your lifestyle is the primary driver of how healthy your skin is. If you want flawless skin or to avoid breakouts, you really have to start by adopting a skin-friendly lifestyle. **A few of the healthier adaptations you could make include getting a better night’s sleep, eating a healthier diet, avoiding smoking, cleaning your skin more, and managing stress better**.
Include fruits and vegetables in your diet
**Fruits and vegetables are packed with water and vitamins that are super helpful for your skin**. While water keeps your skin hydrated, vitamins act as antioxidants. **An antioxidant knocks down the free radicals and prevents skin concerns from occurring**.
**Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules**. A small amount of free radicals is okay, but a high level can damage the skin DNA, collagen, and elastin.
For instance, substances released from processed food and smoking can lead to high levels of free radicals, which can result in premature aging. **These free radicals slow down the skin’s regeneration process**; the old cells are not removed, and new cells take longer to form .
Fortunately, abundant fruits and vegetables offer antioxidants in the form of vitamin C and E, zinc, and catechins. You can, therefore, eat oranges, broccoli, carrots, spinach, avocados, blueberries, and bell peppers as just a few examples.
Protect your skin from sun
Remember how UV rays can damage your skin leading to wrinkles, aging, and dryness? Although sunscreens are a great asset against UV rays, sunscreens alone are sometimes not enough.
You should also avoid going outdoors during the peak hours, between 12-3 pm. During these hours, the sun is right above you and emits stronger rays than at other times of the day.
Besides that, **tomatoes and sweet potatoes can protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays**. The two vegetables offer protection from the sun through carotenoids, which are the colored pigments in these plants that have immense nutritional benefits.
**Carotenoids also guard your skin against sunlight**. Exposure to the sun produces free radicals that leave the skin less elastic and with the appearance of wrinkles. Carotenoids initiate a natural process to scavenge the free radicals developed due to sun exposure and stop them from sagging the skin.
Have you ever observed **dark circles** after an all-nighter or two? That’s actually your skin acting up **due to a lack of sleep**. A good night’s sleep is equally essential for your skin as it is for your heart or mental health. Scientifically speaking, your brain is more active when you are asleep.
It requires more blood circulation to work properly. **This increases blood flow to all body parts, including the skin**.
The boost in blood circulation helps your skin make new collagen that gives your skin resilience. Such skin is less likely to sag or wrinkle.
On the other hand, skimping on sleep slows blood circulation. Your skin fails to form enough collagen and elastin, and it loses its flexibility.
This turns skin dull and prone to fine lines. A study conducted in 2017 concluded that only 2 days of sleeplessness adversely affected the skin health.
**Trying to improve your skin health and not managing your stress levels is just futile**. You might have observed your skin breaking out before an exam or an important meeting. This is just one sign of how stress can wreak havoc on your skin.
**Stress sets your body to release stress hormones called cortisol, which influences your brain to release another hormone, the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)**.
CRH prompts the oil glands in the skin to produce more oil than required, causing the skin pores to become blocked, causing acne and breakouts. **Stress can also aggravate existing skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis**.
So, **make conscious efforts to curb stress** to avoid acne and breakouts. Set some time for yourself amidst your daily routine. Do things that make you happy. This can be writing, painting, visiting friends, gardening, meditating, or even cooking.
Do regular exercise
**One way to curb the stress and bring good to your skin is doing regular exercise**. Exercise increases blood circulation throughout your body, including the skin.
An increased blood circulation means your skin receives a consistent supply of nutrients and oxygen, which helps form new skin cells, bringing plumpness and softness to the skin.
**The blood’s job is not only to deliver the nutrients but also to carry away the waste**. With improved blood circulation due to exercise, the excision of dead skin cells also becomes quicker. So, if there is any waste or dead cells in the skin, these are removed with increased blood circulation.
The good news is **you don’t really have to do strenuous workouts to improve skin texture**. You can choose simple exercises that only mildly make you out of breath. Brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and boxing are a few exercises that can make your skin look younger.
Exercise can delay the skin aging
**The benefits of exercise for the skin go beyond blood circulation**. Exercise can delay the aging of the skin that makes your skin resemble that of a baby.
Understanding this process requires looking through your skin at the cellular level. Each skin cell has tiny organelles called **mitochondria**.
Mitochondria fuel your cells by making packets of energy called ATP. **ATP repairs the damaged skin barrier and promotes collagen formation, so skin remains young and resilient**. As you grow older, mitochondria also grow with you.
This decreases their number in the body, which is one reason your skin starts sagging with age. **Studies suggest that, with exercise, it is possible to reverse mitochondria aging and keep your skin young**. The sweat released during the exercise also removes the dead cells and waste from the skin, allowing it to radiate.
**Shunning smoking is one of the essential things for glowing, young skin**. Tobacco consists of more than 4,000 chemicals. Most of them, including nicotine and tar, are potentially harmful to the skin.
They break down the skin proteins – collagen, and elastin, making the skin hard over time. **The skin can also experience wrinkles between the eyebrows and around the lips.**
Exposure to cigarette smoke also makes your skin produce more melanin than usual. **A high degree of melanin results in dark spots all around the skin, especially on the face**.
The tar in the smoke constricts your blood vessels, reducing the amount of blood that reaches the skin. A lack of sufficient blood makes the skin look dull and saggy.
This is not all. A decreased blood flow delays wound healing; if your skin encounters a bruise or scar, it will take more time for them to heal.
Wash your skin with warm water
**Starting your day by taking a bath is great for your skin, as it removes the dirt off your skin**. But make sure that you wash your skin with **warm water**, not hot water.
Hot water strips the oil from your skin, leaving it dry. It also damages the protective skin barrier, initiating a chain of reactions leading to many skin concerns. **You can encounter infections, acne, and sagginess**.
On top of that, if you have sensitive skin, you are more likely to be affected by the hot water than a person with normal dry, oily, or combined skin. **An extremely hot temperature can break skin capillaries up**.
The broken capillaries are not broken, but this is just a term defining permanent redness on the skin when skin blood vessels become damaged. The skin then fails to receive sufficient blood, making it stiff, less elastic, and muffled.
Wash your makeup brushes
Although it’s more of a hygiene tip, **cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges is extremely important**. Most people make over their faces regularly, but hardly anyone makes sure to clean makeup products.
Your sponges and makeup brushes might hold onto foundation and concealer very well, but they also attract dust and germs.
If not cleaned, the dust and germs can get transferred to your skin. Once on the skin, they can block the skin pores, leading to breakouts and acne. Clogged pores are a favorite place for germs to reside and reproduce. This results in your skin experiencing infections.