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Supporting skin health from the inside with antioxidants

31 May, 2012

Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ? It also acts as a first line of defense against environmental pollutants, dirt and germs, so keeping skin safe and healthy is a vital part of your overall well-being. We have suggestions to improve your skin from the inside out, including preventing the appearance of wrinkles and neutralizing free radicals.

Quick tips

The skin on your body ranges from sensitive to hardy, but many tips apply to all types of skin.

Of the ways to jump start your quest for healthier skin, some are suggestions of things to cut back on and some are things to add to your daily self-care routine.

Three tips to improve your skin health through subtracting:

  • Lower your level of stress. We know this is easier said than done, but physical and psychological stressors are linked to skin breakouts.
  • Quit smoking. The pollutants in cigarettes and their smoke may restrict blood flow to the tiny blood vessels that are in the outermost layers of skin, contributing to wrinkles.
  • Cut down on bathing in hot water. The extreme heat may draw moisture out of the body.

Three tips to improve your skin health through adding:

  • Add healthy foods to your diet. Just as you would feed your organs on the inside, ‘’feed” your skin with nutritious foods and plenty of water.
  • Add moisturizer to your skin-care routine and use only gentle cleansers.
  • Add protection! Shield yourself from the sun with sunscreen and clothes and hats that cover your skin. If you are out in the middle of the day, seek as much shade as possible.

More about sun exposure: Why it pays to be cautious

Overexposure to ultraviolet light has been linked to skin cancer—and sunburns can be painful! Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing is an excellent idea for anyone who will be in direct sunlight.

But negative effects from sun exposure are not limited to the painful or life-threatening. Ultraviolet light from the sun is a notorious source of free radicals. Free radicals are “unbalanced” oxygen molecules that travel through the bloodstream seeking stability. They can injure cells as they try to bond with them. These broken cells may wind up as fine lines and wrinkles (externally) or damaged blood vessels or tissues (internally).

Antioxidants protect from the inside

Staying out of the sun entirely isn’t realistic for most of us. Outside activities like hiking, biking, swimming and sports are fun and great ways to get exercise.  But it is possible to protect your skin from the inside as well, with antioxidants. Plant-based antioxidants, including those found in pomegranates (punicalagin) and grapes (reservatrol) are a “secret weapon” to neutralize free radicals.

Keep your cells healthy and strong inside and out!

 
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