Most of us strive to keep our skin looking great. However, with so much information out
there it can sometimes be difficult to know what skin care routine will give you the best
results. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to learning how to get perfect, glowing
skin—it’s all about working with your individual skin type to repair, protect, and
rejuvenate. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging
process and prevent various skin problems. The following are several professional nononsense
tips for healthy skin.
1. Protect yourself from the sun
One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A
lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems—as well as
increase the risk of skin cancer. For the most complete sun protection use a broadspectrum
sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply
every two hours. Seek shade when possible. Avoid the sun between 10 am and 2 pm, when
the sun’s rays are strongest. In addition, wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with
tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider
laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of UV protection for a certain
number of washings.
2. Don’t smoke
Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the
tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This
depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health.
3. Treat your skin gently
Daily cleaning and shaving is socially important, however, it can take a toll on your skin.
To treat your skin gently, I suggest:
• Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove essential
oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm—rather
that hot water.
• Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your
skin which may cause unnaturally dry skin. Instead, I recommend mild,
fragrant free cleansers.
• Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream,
lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor.
Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
• Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a
towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
• Moisturize dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a paraban free moisturizer
that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains
4. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet will help you look and feel your best. Eat foods with antioxidants.
Antioxidants are the best resources your body has to fight disease and aging by reducing
damage and inflammation. Inflammation is a leading cause of wrinkle formation. Some of
the best sources of antioxidants include: blueberries, pomegranates, goji berries, spinach,
raspberries, nuts, seeds, purple grapes and organic tea. An easy method to assure a
healthy diet is to have a rainbow-colored plate of food. Free radicals form in our bodies
and cause major damage to our cell structures. The different nutrient-rich foods we eat
neutralize them. You need to consume the widest variety of antioxidants you can to fight
off the different kinds of free radicals. Think about what colors you’ve missed throughout
the day, and try to incorporate them into your next meal. Moreover, this simple diet will
assure you receive enough vitamin C. A diet rich in vitamin C leads to fewer wrinkles. Our
newest research shows that skin exposed to vitamin C can produce up to eight times more
collagen! Collagen is the primary building block required for healthy skin. Avoid
processed sugars. It leads to damaged collagen and elastin, which cause wrinkles. In
short, it’s vital to eat a variety of non-processed foods including foods with fatty acids.
Incorporating foods such as avocados, olive oil, flax seeds, nuts and fish into your diet is
important. The fatty acids are crucial for your skin to look youthful.
5. Drink plenty of water
Even with a small amount of dehydration, your body functions in a less optimal way. The
instant you’re dehydrated, it will take a toll on your skin, causing it to look dull, flaky,
saggy and loose. I recommend a minimum of 10-13 cups of water daily to maintain neutral
6. Manage stress
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive to environmental triggers. To
encourage healthy skin—and a healthy state of mind— take steps to manage your stress.
Set reasonable limits, scale back your to do list and make time to do things you enjoy. The
results will be more dramatic than you expect.
Your skin rejuvenates and repairs itself mostly while you are asleep. Make sure that you
sleep for eight continuous hours a night.
Exercise increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrients and releases toxins through
sweat, which leads to clearer, firmer skin. Remember to smile. It’s the best exercise for
There may not be a fountain of youth, but the food we eat and how we treat ourselves can
prevent or even reverse aging. Your body needs the right nutrients to fight off damage,
and your skin is no different. Nutrients help the cells replicate and have more energy.
Processed foods, stress, toxins and low nutrient diets will accelerate aging. Protecting
yourself from harmful chemicals while getting enough sleep, relaxation and exercise will
all help you maintain a healthy glow. For a copy of this article or a private
consultation with Dr. Diamantis call 216. 227.3333 .
N. C. Diamantis, MD, DMD, FAACS
Director & Founder, Cleveland Cosmetic Surgery