Having healthy skin is important at any age and with any skin type. Your skin can tell stories of your life from teenage acne scars to sun-damaged freckles.
You may hear a lot about having healthy skin and how to protect it from the elements, but there are other ways to keep it healthy for many years to come.
Why Healthy Skin Is Important
Having healthy skin is important not only for appearance, but because it performs several important functions for your body. Your skin protects your body from bacteria and viruses as well as from the harmful sun’s rays and UV light that can damage your cells.
When your skin is healthy, it produces Vitamin D when in the sun. This nutrient is important for many reasons, including keeping a constant body temperature and helping you to react faster when feeling pressure or pain.
Unfortunately, too much of anything isn’t good for you and that includes being in the sun. Excess sun exposure not only damages your skin, but increases your risk for skin cancer.
The first step in keeping your skin healthy is by knowing what type of skin you have: normal, dry, oily or combination. The reason for the variety is because of the different natural and environmental factors, including water content, lipid content and sensitivity level.
To determine your skin type, you need to first understand the differences between the five types:
- Normal skin is neither too oily or too dry. It has minimal imperfections, barely visible pores and is not severely sensitive. Normal skin is also quite radiant.
- Dry skin has a dull and rough complexion and red patches. It has visible lines with less elasticity and almost invisible pores. Dry skin can become irritated, inflamed or itchy. It can also crack and peel and become rough and scaly. Dry skin can become worse with aging, sun or wind, UV radiation from tanning beds and some soaps or cosmetics.
- Oily skin has a dull or shiny complexion, enlarged pores and pimples and other blemishes. Your oiliness changes depending on the weather and can worsen with puberty, stress, heat, humidity and a hormonal imbalance.
- Combination skin is normal or dry in some areas and oily in others. Many people have combination skin in the T-zone (forehead, chin and nose). This type of skin produces blackheads, shiny skin and larger pores.
- Sensitive skin can be controlled when determining what irritates it. Symptoms of sensitive skin include burning, dryness, redness and itching.
Natural Skin Care Ingredients
Just as there are good and bad synthetic ingredients for your skin, there are also good and bad natural ones. Finding the right ones for your skin type can help you battle breakouts, sun spots, sensitivity and uneven pigmentation. When looking for natural skincare ingredients, consider some of these:
- Beta Carotene: Typically found in orange, red and yellow fruits and vegetables, this nutrient, when used topically, has antioxidant benefits and improves skin discoloration from melasma.
- Green Tea Extract: This healthy drink has high levels of antioxidant chemicals to reverse and help prevent UV damage to the skin. It is also an anti-inflammatory and skin-smoother.
- Oats: The FDA approved colloidal oatmeal to treat dry skin, eczema and other skin irritations. It also helps to maintain the skin barrier.
- Soy: This natural product can help your skin to look more even-toned and brighter. It can lighten discoloration from sun damage. Soy is a good alternative to prescription-strength ingredients often prescribed to help your skin.
- Willow Herb: This wildflower is an anti-irritant, antimicrobial and natural antiseptic that can soothe irritations such as eczema and rosacea. Willow herb kills acne bacteria.
Skincare Products You Can Make at Home
While you can purchase the right products needed to keep your skin healthy, you can also make some of your own:
- Lemon and Tea Tree Oil Scrub: Besides smelling amazing, the scrub’s lemon acts as an astringent, while the tea tree oil helps with redness and acne.
- Summertime Lotion: Mix ingredients such as chamomile and calendula, which will help you to look and feel great all season.
- Mud Mask: Made with coffee and bentonite clay, this mask helps to pull toxins out of the skin, leaving it soft and amazing.
- Body Butter: Made with mango butter and Shea butter, this homemade butter will keep your skin soft and radiant.
- Natural Under Eye Cream: Your eyes will feel refreshed with minimal dark circles when you apply a natural coffee eye cream.
There are also many resources online to help you find the right products and ingredients to keep your skin healthy, no matter your skin type, as well as specific treatments, such as dermal filling, light therapy and laser therapy. WebMD is a great medical resource that provides physician-backed advice and information on a full range of skincare topics.
There are also plenty of great resources from popular skincare brands, such as Amway’s skincare blog, which has articles covering multiple skincare topics, such as how to keep skin hydrated during dry months, how to prevent sun damage with SPF, and even breaking down what certain products are and what they do like BB Cream.
There are plenty of great options out there for keeping skin looking healthy and radiant; the key is simply educating yourself on what works best for your skin type. The same products won’t work for everyone, but there are plenty of great products out there that will work great for you and your specific skin type.