Your Skin Reflects Your Health Choices

Hey Lovelies!

For our first Gen X skincare post we will discuss how our lifestyles affect our skin. I think intrinsically we already know this. I don't think we realize how much that what we eat, drink, and our level of physical activity affects the skin on our face and body. This post will touch on different ways to give you a starting point to do your own research later, especially if you are dealing with specific skin problems that have been hard to manage.

Diet and Nutrition Matters to Your Skin

We've heard since we were teens that sugar is the root of all evil when it comes to acne. This is true to some extent. Acne is caused by many factors besides consuming a diet high in refined sugar. Notice I said refined sugar. Sugar is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and even grains without anyone adding more in. These sugars are okay. Using natural sweeteners like raw honey or agave nectar are fine, in moderation.

Also, consuming too many processed, fatty, and basically nutrient deficient foods can wreck your skin as well. While I was in the nursing home I was served mainly processed, fatty meats and nutrient deficient fruits and vegetables. You can check the blog's Instagram account to see the pictures of some of the meals I received. Cooking the nutrients out of vegetables makes them almost useless to eat. Try to eat fruits and vegetables as close to raw as you can. If you must cook them lightly cook them via sauteƩing, light grilling, oven roasting, or making a vegetable stock from them.

I am using the foods I served at the nursing home as an example. I developed an allergic reaction to the antibiotic Keflex. Typically, after you stop taking an allergen your symptoms clear up. Mine kept getting worse for almost a month and left scars on my body. I applied prescription cream on my skin that started the healing process. However, my skin was still rough and scaly, even with applying Aquaphor, the prescription cream, and a lotion. My skin began to feel almost normal after I was home for a week eating fresh produce, lean cuts of meats, and thoroughly cooked poultry.

When my diet changed, my skin began to look better. I also had less swelling and less fluid buildup in my legs and feet.

Stay Hydrated

Every time someone mentions you should drink eight glasses of water a day my mother looks like it is a hardship. Then I just remind her that those eight glasses are eight-ounce glasses and it is the equivalent of drinking four bottles of water a day. When I break it down like that she sees it as manageable. Think of it in terms of bottled water. It sounds less daunting.

Even with my lymphedema, I needed to stay hydrated as my body still tends to dehydrate even though I have fluid buildup in my legs. Drinking water keeps our skin soft, supple, and helps it retain elasticity. Dry skin cracks, is weak, and is prone to, cracks (these are really cuts) sores, and scarring. So, help it out by drinking plenty of water each day.

Get Those Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs

Ideally, we would get all the necessary vitamins and minerals our body needs from the food we eat. Even if you eat a healthy diet, your body still might not get what it needs from the foods you eat. If you are like me, my body doesn't process everything I need from food, so I need to take a multivitamin and iron tablets each day. You won't easily know what your body is deficient of without having your doctor order bloodwork so he or she can see.

I am anemic, so I need to take iron pills daily otherwise I will become weak, sick, and need a blood transfusion. My body processes most other nutrients properly. However, I do need extra boosts with Vitamins A, C, D, and some of the B-vitamins. So, I take an over-the-counter gummy vitamin just to help my skin, hair, and nails remain healthy and strong.

Stay Active

Exercise is not just for losing or maintaining weight. It helps with various bodily functions such as keeping joints lubricated via regular movement and increasing oxygen flow and blood circulation. Also, working up that sweat further helps push out toxins your body needs to get rid of. When you work out, you work up a thirst, so you need to drink water. So, exercise helps your body flush out the harmful stuff in two ways plus encourages you get in those eight glasses of water.

Another thing exercise helps is to improve skin elasticity. I learned this in physical therapy. The stretching part of exercise helps improve skin elasticity, so your skin does not wrinkle easily and bounces back firmer from weight loss.

All of the things I mentioned help your skin look healthy, flush out harmful stuff that cause skin blemishes, and help improve skin elasticity. No one is saying you have to count calories, become a vegetarian, or vegan, or only drink water for the rest of your life. Simply making smarter choices for your overall health helps your skin look better and you look sexier and younger.

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