The lights are shimmering, the weather is slowly dipping, and your holiday parties are about to begin. If you're preparing for a season of holiday activities and want to look your best, you need take care of your skin. Healthy skin goes far beyond the surface of your body. To truly enjoy the benefits of healthy skin for the holidays, you should consider the many factors that go into improving the appearance of your body's largest organ, the skin.
The stress of jobs, bills, and a busy schedule may be wreaking havoc on your beauty routine. When you are stressed, your body has a chemical response, causing different spikes in the hormones that affect your skin. In addition to causing your skin to break out or lose its glowing qualities, stress can also worsen existing conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. Practice the following stress reducing techniques to slow down and enjoy this busy season of life.
Get a massage
No longer reserved for special occasions, massages are one of the most popular methods used to reduce stress. We reached out to Riley of Edmond, Oklahoma's Elements Massage to find out the health benefits of massages. "Massage can work to lower stress by the release of endorphins into the body. Endorphins react with receptors in the brain that reduce our sense of pain, ultimately calming the peripheral nervous system in a way that can have stress relieving properties." If you can feel the stress of this busy season sneaking affecting your skin, a massage may be the perfect treat to reduce the stress your body is producing, and ultimately, improve your skin.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do to improve your general health, including the condition of your skin. Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep every night, while adults 65 and older should get 7-8 hours. In addition to feeling well rested, your body produces new collagen and more growth hormones in the deepest stages of sleep leading to renewed skin and slows down aging skin.
Activity & Yoga
If you've noticed a lack-luster quality in your skin during recent months, different lifestyle habits and activities can make a major impact to your skincare. Living an active lifestyle has numerous benefits for your health and wellness. This includes reducing stress and improving the quality of your sleep. Your mind and body are intricately connected, so when your stressed mentally, your body often is stressed as well. By exercising daily, you can reduce fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, and enhance overall cognitive function. Scientists have found that regular amounts of aerobic exercise can decrease tension levels, elevate and stabilize moods, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. These benefits directly correlate with the condition of your skin. As the owner and an instructor at You Power Yoga in Edmond, OK, Denise Springer is familiar with yoga’s ability to reduce both mental and physical stress. “Many view stress as a necessary part of daily living, but we don’t have to simply endure it and the problems it creates. Simply changing our breathing pattern for a few minutes can shift the body’s fight or flight response into relaxation mode. All we have to do to make that shift is to focus on slowing and deepening the breath for a few minutes. When you close your eyes and repeatedly exhale completely and then allow the lungs to fill completely, the body begins to relax quickly. Our autonomic system shifts out of the ‘fight or flight’ response – the body has no other option but to relax. In a yoga practice, we connect this breathing pattern with yoga postures. The result is relaxation and increased strength, balance, and flexibility. Adding even a short meditation time to one’s daily routine further increases the mind/body connection. With consistent practice and awareness, stress doesn’t have to be a constant companion.”
To understand how a healthy diet affects your skin, we asked Jessica Rachal, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian & Diabetes Educator in Oklahoma to share some of her knowledge and recommendations for keeping your skin healthy throughout the holidays. The basic foundation to good skin health involves omitting greasy, pore-clogging foods, drinking plenty of water, and not forgetting to get ample amounts of beauty sleep. However, as new research continues to emerge, it is becoming increasing evident that our food choices directly affect our skin health, especially aging and wrinkling. With a sound, nutritious diet, we can improve our health both inside and out. Here are some of the basic layers of a healthy, balanced diet. Whole Foods: Our bodies (and skin) thrive when we eat foods straight from the earth in their natural form. Try to eliminate highly processed foods, which contain high amounts of both saturated and trans fats, sodium, and high fructose corn syrup. These foods can cause fatigue and a lower metabolism rate, as well as increase the effects of aging. Try to incorporate these anti-inflammatory foods into your daily diet for optimal skin health:
- Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables
- Antioxidants can delay or correct damage to our skin caused by molecules known as “free radicals.” The more colorful your diet is, the more vitamins and minerals you will receive.
- Eat a lot of fruits, especially berries, because they are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, both of which fight signs of aging.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- They help keep your skin’s exterior strong and smooth; the anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent acne and other signs of skin irritation.
- Try wild salmon, sardines, halibut, canola oil, and walnuts.
- Collagen supplements can help reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin C can assist in reducing the appearance of brown spots and other types of sun damage and can also help increase your body’s own natural collagen production.
- Biotin is one of the B complex vitamins that helps convert food into energy and is believed to play a major role in nourishing your hair, nails, and skin.
- Vitamin D
- In its active form called “calcitriol,” Vitamin D can help your skin’s natural cell growth and repair cycle.
One of the most commonly asked questions is, "But do I need a supplement?” Sometimes, despite a healthy diet, we may still be lacking adequate intake of micronutrients for skin health. However, you should always be cautious of false health claims and always ask your physician or healthcare provider before taking any supplements. If you consistently eat a healthy diet and live an active lifestyle, but are still not satisfied with the condition of your skin, you still have many options.. Facial fillers, also known as "volumizers", can plump and lift the cheeks, jawline, and temples. In addition to this, fillers can also be used to plump thin lips. At Sawan Surgical Aesthetics, Dr. Sawan uses special analysis techniques when evaluating each client's face to provide the most beneficial treatment tailored to a client's needs. Another option for clients wishing to improve the luster of their skin is to address the skin's surface with special skin care products from ZO health. Dr. Sawan is passionate about improving the lives of his clients, and believes that there is "Never a better time to pamper your skin with a facial utilizing the Hydrafacial machine with the gentle expert touch of our aesthetician Natasha." If you're interested in giving your skin a beautiful holiday glow this season, contact us today to set up an expert consultation with Dr. Sawan. We would love to show you our new offices in Edmond, Oklahoma, and help you feel relaxed and ready to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.