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What Exactly Is ‘Healthy’ Skin?

What Exactly Is ‘Healthy’ Skin?

How can you tell if your skin is living its best, healthiest life? Well first up you need to know what healthy skin truly means. Let’s get on that…

While it doesn’t pump blood around your body or enable you to breathe, your skin is just as important as your heart and lungs. It regulates your body’s internal fluids and temperature, protects you from everything the world throws at you and enables you to sense important things like heat and pain. It’s also the biggest organ you have and the only one you can actually see, so it figures that looking after your skin and helping it be as healthy as possible should be a top priority.

We spend our lives talking about healthy skin but it occurred to us recently that perhaps not everyone understands what the term ‘healthy skin’ really means. What words come to your mind when you think about healthy skin? Radiant? Fresh? Soft? Zit-Free? Well, you wouldn’t be wrong because these are all strong indications that your skin is in good shape. In fact, there are three important questions to ask yourself when thinking about the health of your skin. 

Does your skin feel fairly smooth to the touch? Does it have an all-over, even skin tone? And does it feel comfortable and well-moisturized?
These are the fundamental basics for healthy skin: smoothness, evenness and a comfy, moisturized surface. Of course, your skin doesn’t have to be perfect to be healthy (whose is?) but if it’s way off on any one of these factors, something is clearly not quite right and it might be time to take a look at some of your skincare and lifestyle habits.

4 Simple Ways To Improve The Health Of Your Skin

1. Cleanse & Moisturize Twice Daily

Keeping your skin clean and moisturized are the absolute basics of great skincare. Cleansing ensures things like sweat, makeup, oil, dirt and bacteria don’t get left around for too long at the surface of your skin where they can block up your pores, causing irritation and acne breakouts. But as awesome as cleansing is, it can compromise the skin’s protective barrier function which plays an important role in keeping irritants out and moisture in. This means that what you do following your cleansing routine is just as important as the cleansing itself. And whatever that may entail, moisturizing should be your number one priority – no matter your skin type.

To nail an effective cleansing and moisturizing routine that balances your skin and avoids harsh ingredients that can upset your barrier function, try our new Soothing Cleansing Milk morning, night and always after exercising. Skin a little on the oily side? Then Tea Tree Super Cleanser + might be better for you because this gets to work on excess oils without stripping the skin.

Cleanse with lukewarm, never hot water, rinse thoroughly and don’t over dry your skin afterwards. Simply pat it with a soft, clean towel then moisturize straight away while your skin is still damp to help lock in extra water. We love Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer in the daytime and Deep Hydration Night Cream before bed.

2. Don’t Smoke

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, smoking speeds up the aging process like nobody’s business. You see tobacco contains thousands of toxins, chemicals and harmful substances that are not only terrible for your entire body, but truly do affect the health of your skin. Smoking decreases blood flow to the surface which starves it of essential oxygen and nutrients. Furthermore, it increases inflammation, upsets your healing process and completely compromises your skin’s collagen and elastin supplies which inevitably results in premature lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.

Smoking has also been shown to worsen skin conditions like psoriasis. Plus it smells real bad, ruins your fingernails, stains your teeth and, well, there’s just no point.

3. Eat Well, Sleep More, Stress Less

Practising sensible lifestyle habits might not seem important when it comes to the health of your complexion, but far from it. Stress, for starters, can be terrible for your skin because it overloads your body with cortisol which can trigger inflammation, acne, oiliness, dehydration, irritation and all sorts of other skin woes. Poor sleep is another skin no-no because this precious time is when your skin heals and rejuvenates itself ready to face another day. And your diet? Well, sugar, salt, refined carbs, alcohol and processed meats are fine in moderation, but overload your body with too much bad stuff and not enough of the good and you’re asking for skin trouble.

Thankfully the solutions are pretty simple. Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fresh fruit and veggies, try to get into a rhythm of seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, and practice some daily de-stressing tricks to help clear and calm your mind. This can be anything from 10-minutes of yoga each morning to reading a book before bed. Just set out some time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy and you’ll be amazed at the difference in your mental wellness. And hopefully, your skin!

4. Shun The Sun (And Yes, That Includes Tanning Beds!)

It’s no secret that UV radiation is the single most damaging thing you can subject your skin to. So don’t. UV rays trigger erratic melanin and cause an overload of free radicals in your skin which completely screw up your collagen and elastin supplies. And all this is a one-way ticket to fine lines, wrinkles, poor texture and an uneven skin tone.

A lifetime of exposing your skin to UV radiation – whether at the beach, in the park or on a tanning bed – also increases your risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation having just five sunburns throughout your life doubles your risk of developing melanoma.

In bright sunshine always wear a wide-brimmed hat and a good pair of sunnies to protect your face, neck and eyes, and cover up with protective clothing – especially if you’re planning to be out in the midday sun. Most importantly, get into the habit of using a broad-spectrum sunscreen like our fabulous SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen with Vitamin C every morning without fail.

And if you really can’t live without tanned skin? Then fake it with some self-tanning lotion. It’ll save your skin a lot of unhealthy heartache in the long run.

PS: Healthy skin is a real blessing, and good skincare and lifestyle practices aren’t always enough. Ask anyone who suffers with chronic skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema and they will firmly attest to this. So, if you’re in a real pickle with your skin right now and are experiencing excessive redness that won’t go away; inflammation; itchy skin; painful pimples and/or dry, flaky patches, these are all signs that something’s not right. Our advice? Visit a skin specialist pronto to find out what’s going on.

More About This Article

Georgia Gould

Georgia Gould

Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.