Essential fatty acids are key to maintaining the health of your skin. They can help reduce inflammation, eliminate dryness, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and support skin's structure. Though most of us get more than enough omega-6 (found in red meat, eggs and processed foods), many are lacking omega-3. Omega-3 is found in anchovies, herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna. Other food sources such as flaxseed, walnuts and some leafy greens contain omega-3 as well.
Damaging UV rays can cause premature aging, including age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. And of course, the sun's rays can also cause skin cancer. Therefore, it's vital that you take sun protection seriously. Use sunscreen every single day. Wear protective clothing, including sunglasses and hats, to protect your skin and eyes from the sun.
Protect against free radical damage caused by the sun, smoke, pollution and other environmental factors. Free radicals damage your skin at the cellular level. Protect your collagen -- the connective tissue that keeps skin firm and smooth -- with antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins can be found in brightly colored fruits such as berries, as well as some vegetables and legumes. Look for skin care products containing antioxidants as well.
Exfoliation is one of the main keys to healthy skin. Exfoliating regularly sloughs away dead skin cells to reveal new, soft, smooth skin. It can also help increase circulation and improve the appearance of your skin. Use gentle scrubs to exfoliate the skin on your face and other sensitive areas, and a coarser scrub on parts like elbows and knees.
Keep your skin and your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water and use a moisturizer from head to toe every day. Hydration is essential to keeping your skin healthy, soft and beautiful. When outdoors in hot, dry climates (and whenever you are exercising), you should always have drinking water with you. Additionally, you should limit your alcohol and caffeine intake to avoid getting dehydrated. Daily exercise is also an important factor when it comes to healthy skin. Cardio exercises keep the blood pumping and delivering nutrients and oxygen to your skin.
To avoid breakouts, puffy eyes, inflammation and other skin issues, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Additionally, always use skin care products that are suited to your skin type. Try to avoid harsh chemicals and detergents in cleansers, moisturizers, makeup and other skin care products.
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