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World Health Day | How your health impacts the quality of your skin

Our skin is a remarkable organ, serving as a protective barrier between our internal systems and the outside world. But its condition isn't solely determined by external factors like skincare routines or environmental pollutants. Our overall health is crucial in how our skin looks and feels. Understanding this connection can empower us to prioritize holistic wellness for glowing, healthy skin.


world health day


Eat well


The phrase "you are what you eat" couldn't be more accurate regarding skin health. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is essential for maintaining skin health. Nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids contribute to collagen production, skin repair, and protection against oxidative stress. Conversely, diets high in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats can lead to inflammation and exacerbate skin conditions like acne and eczema.


Hydrate from within


Proper hydration is key for maintaining skin elasticity, preventing dryness, and promoting a clear complexion. When we're dehydrated, our skin becomes dry, dull, and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Drinking an adequate amount of water each day helps to flush out toxins, keeping our skin hydrated and radiant.


Sleep well


When we sleep, our bodies undergo essential repair and regeneration processes, including skin cell renewal. Lack of sleep disrupts these processes, leading to dull, tired-looking skin and an increased likelihood of breakouts. Chronic sleep deprivation can also contribute to developing dark circles, fine lines, and uneven skin tone over time. Prioritizing quality sleep is therefore crucial for skin rejuvenation and overall health.


One study concluded that:


chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic ageing, diminished skin barrier function and lower satisfaction with appearance.

Good sleepers had significantly lower intrinsic skin ageing scores by SCINEXATM. At baseline, poor sleepers had significantly higher levels of TEWL. At 72 h after tape stripping, good sleepers had 30% greater barrier recovery compared with poor sleepers.

Good sleepers also reported a significantly better perception of their appearance and physical attractiveness compared with poor sleepers.


Stress Less


The mind-body connection is evident in skin health, with stress serving as a significant contributor to various skin concerns. When we're stressed, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone that can trigger inflammation and exacerbate conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Chronic stress impairs the skin's ability to repair itself, leading to premature aging. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can help manage stress levels and promote skin health.


Exercise

Regular physical activity not only benefits our cardiovascular health but also has positive effects on our skin. Exercise increases blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells while carrying away waste products. This enhanced circulation gives the skin a healthy glow and can help alleviate conditions like acne by reducing inflammation. Additionally, sweating during exercise helps unclog pores and expel toxins, promoting clearer skin.


Your skin reflects your overall health, influenced by factors ranging from nutrition and hydration to sleep quality and stress levels. By prioritizing holistic wellness practices, including a balanced diet, adequate hydration, quality sleep, stress management, and regular exercise, you can support your skin's natural vitality and achieve a radiant complexion from the inside out.


References:

  1. Edith Orion, Ronni Wolf, Psychological factors in skin diseases: Stress and skin: Facts and controversies, Clinics in Dermatology, Volume 31, Issue 6, 2013, Pages 707-711, ISSN 0738-081X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2013.05.006. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738081X13000734) Abstract: Psychological stress (PS) has long been related to many common skin diseases and conditions, thought to be the cause of their onset or aggravation. Although clinical experience is often in concordance with this notion, apparently scientific proof can sometimes be challenging rather than straight forward. Although many data have been published, it appears that not enough good statistical evidence exists to support them. The difficulty in validating beyond a doubt the stress–skin interactions has rendered some skepticism among physicians. The gap between clinical expertise and problematic clinical research data has led scientists to bypass the need to tackle the question directly by searching the evidence in basic science.

  2. P. Oyetakin‐White, A. Suggs, B. Koo, M. S. Matsui, D. Yarosh, K. D. Cooper, E. D. Baron, Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Volume 40, Issue 1, 1 January 2015, Pages 17–22, https://doi.org/10.1111/ced.12455


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