skin is made up of living cells that are among the most actively
dividing cells in our body. Old cells are constantly shed from
the surface of the skin and replaced by newer cells coming from
below. The efficiency of the cell renewal process is dependent
on a good supply of oxygen and nutrients, which means that our
body must be in tip-top shape. The saying "in the pink of
health" illustrates the close relationship between the skin
and the health of the body. Doctors often look at the colour
of the skin to determine the general state of health of the body.
So if you want your skin to be healthy, you've got to keep your
body healthy! Here are some do's and don'ts of healthy living:-
Take a well-balanced diet
Drink excessive alcohol
Drink enough water
Get enough sleep and rest
Learn how to deal with stress
3 meals a day and a well-balanced diet comprising of food from
the four main food groups:
and diary products
poultry and fish
people believe that by taking enough food, the body automatically
gets all the nutrition it needs. This is not true because you
can be overfed and overweight, and still be undernourished. This
happens when you take too much animal fats, sugar, processed
foods and fast foods which are rich in calories but not particularly
nutritious. The first thing to do is reduce the intake of these
foods and take a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fibres and
low in fats and calories. Avoid sudden dieting as it could leave
folds of excess skin and cause hairloss. As a general rule, do
not loose more than 0.5 - 1 kg per week.
- Eat a
variety of foods i.e., all the four food groups for lunch and
- Eat smaller
amounts of high calorie foods (such as foods containing a lot
of sugar or fat)
- Eat more
high fibre foods like fruits, vegetables, wholemeal bread and
wholemeal cereals like brown rice
body cannot produce most of these so we have to take them in
the food or as supplements. Vitamins have had a rather mixed
fortune. Some swear by it while others dismiss them as unnecessary
and a total waste of money. However, vitamins have made a come
back recently as a result of scientists taking another look at
the health benefits that many vitamin enthusiasts had been claiming
for years. The most interesting of these vitamins are the so-called
antioxidants - vitamin A, C and E which are believed to increase
resistance to illness and possibly, even reduce the risk of cancer
and heart disease.
block or neutralise free radicals which are damaging to many
body processes and cell membranes and hence, may delay ageing.
Free radicals are caused by smoking, UV rays, pollution and our
body's own chemical processes. Carrots, broccoli and fatty fish
are some rich sources of anti-oxidants. Vitamin C is also important
for the synthesis of collagen which is why it is being used as
a treatment for wrinkles.
is important for keeping our skin hydrated and supple and for
eliminating waste products. Drink at least six, preferably eight
8-ounce glasses of water a day. Drink plain water rather than
coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages because these have a diuretic
effect (that is cause you to pass more urine).
increases blood circulation to all parts of the body, including
the skin and helps to bring a rosy glow to the skin. It also
burns off excessive fat and is a great stress reliever, as well.
The FITT rule is a good guide.
Frequency - exercise three
to five times a week
- exercise until you are perspiring freely and breathing
deeply without feeling any pain or discomfort
- each session should last 20 - 60 minutes comprising of
exercises to warm up and cool down
activities (like jogging, cycling, swimming, ball or racquet
- each session should last 20 - 60 minutes
Get enough sleep and rest
need rest to recharge your batteries. It is important for good
skin (remember "beauty sleep") and helps the skin heal,
especially after surgery. Lack of sleep may also encourage the
development of unsightly dark rings under the eyes. Sleep on
your back to avoid getting sleep lines.
all know that stress can show in our face. A stressed person
tends to frown and scrunch up his face and these may become permanently
etched on the face as wrinkles. Stress is bad for your body and
skin, as well.
Learn how to deal with stress
Do no overload yourself
- Set youself realistic goals.
your time well and space out your work.
to delegate work and don't be afraid to say "no" to
for new ways to do things if work is beginning to feel dull
Learn to de-stress
- Deep breathing - close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths.
- Progressive muscle relaxation - tense part of the body, then
gradually let it relax. Repeat with different parts of the body.
- Meditation - let your mind focus on a pleasant, soothing
image or word.
- Shoulder and neck massage - ask a friend to gently massage
away the tension in your shoulder and neck muscles.
tend to pucker the mouth. The use of the perioral muscles around
the mouth results in wrinkles, creases and lines around the mouth.
Wrinkles may also develop around the eyes due to smokers scrunching
up their eyes to avoid the smoke. Smoking causes carbon monoxide
to increase in the blood and induces the formation of free radicals
and nicotine constricts the blood vessels and also reduces blood
flow to the skin. Cigarette smoke also contains benzopyrene which
is known to inhibit the bodys absorption of vitamin C which,
you may remember, is important for the synthesis of healthy collagen.
It has been found that persons who smoke ten or more cigarettes
a day for a minimum of 10 years are statistically more likely
to have deeply wrinkled, leathery skin than a non-smoker.
Alcohol and abuse drugs
intake of alcohol and drug abuse are a form of escapism that
may soon become the sole purpose in life at the expense of everything
else - career, family, proper diet, personal grooming including
skincare and health (liver cirrhosis). Alcohol also robs the
body of B vitamins and causes a chronic alcoholic flush and encourages
the development of telangiectasias, spider angiomas and acne