Do you want beautiful, healthy skin? There are many ways to care for skin including topical treatments, healthy eating, and visits to dermatologists. dermatologists can help your skin, but exercising can improve your skin from the inside out. Following a healthy lifestyle gives your skin the nutrients and movement it needs to be healthy and youthful. Eating right, especially getting the right vitamins and nutrients, can also help transform your skin. Let’s take a look at some tips on how exercise, vitamins, and foods all play a part in improving your skin.
4 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Skin
Provides a Natural Exfoliant
Many people see clearer skin when they start exercising regularly. One reason for that is that sweat acts as a natural exfoliant. In fact, getting in a good workout can have close to the same effect as having a mini facial. Sweat pushes out the dirt and oil that is trapped in the pores and can leave skin feeling smooth and fresh. However, sweat only works as an exfoliant if you wash your face after working out. Leaving sweat on your skin can cause more problems when it sucks the dirt and oil back into the pores as it dries.
Increases Blood Flow
Exercising gets the blood pumping, which is great for your skin. As you exercise, tiny arteries on your skin open up and increase the blood flow to your skin’s surface. The more blood gets moving through the body, the more oxygen and nutrients are carried to the skin. Blood flow also removes waste products like free radicals, which naturally get absorbed into the skin from the dirt and pollution in the air. Exercising is like cleaning your skin from the outside.
Learn more about how exercise affects your skin.
A common cause of skin problems is stress. Many people get breakouts or rashes when they feel stressed, and people with conditions like eczema and psoriasis can experience flareups during stressful situations. Studies have shown that the glands that produce skin oil are influenced by stress hormones, which can lead to rashes and sweating. Exercising produces endorphins in the body, which have been proven to make you happier and reduce stress. Taking time to move your body can clear your mind and lower stress levels, which helps your skin and your mental state.
Here is more info on how exercise reduces stress.
Increases Collagen and Elasticity
Collagen helps create youthful-looking skin that bounces back and is bright and supple. Our bodies naturally lose collagen as we age, which is why many older adults start to see sagging skin. Some studies have shown that exercising increases the amount of collagen in the skin. One study followed older adults as they began a cycling program and found that they had higher collagen levels after three months of regular exercise. Doctors are still researching the connection between exercise and collagen, but it seems to have positive impacts.
It’s important to note that not all skin conditions can be treated simply by exercising. Exercise alone isn’t a skincare treatment, but when combined with products and dermatologist recommendations, it can make a difference for most people. If you’re looking for how to improve your skin complexion, exercise is a place to start, but it may not be the only tool you need.
Note that certain conditions like eczema and rosacea can be made worse by some kinds of exercise. Psoriasis and rosacea can flare up after a big workout, but experts say that isn’t a reason to not exercise. People with these conditions can still experience the positive skin benefits of exercise if they exercise in a cool environment to control their body temperature and rinse the sweat off their skin immediately after their workout.
The positive impact of exercise can also be negated if you don’t take care of your skin while you exercise. You won’t see fewer wrinkles if you jog outside without sunscreen—you’ll just see a sunburn. For best results, apply moisturizer and sunscreen before exercising and wash your face and body as soon as you can after a workout to remove the sweat.
Exercise has numerous positive effects on skin. Living a healthy lifestyle and working out regularly can be a great addition to your skin care treatments. Find the right exercise for your lifestyle and skin type and take advantage of that post-workout glow.
Foods That Are Good for You and Good for Your Skin
Next, let’s take a look at foods that improve your skin. An unhealthy diet can affect your body in more ways than one. Committing to nutrition can improve your health, your weight, and even your skin. While a healthy diet will not provide the solution to all skin conditions, certain foods can make a positive impact on your skin. Here are eight nutritious foods (and a drink) that may benefit your skin:
While not technically a food, drinking water is by far one of the best things you can do for your skin. Water hydrates your skin from the inside helping to address issues with dryness, while also flushing out toxins that could affect the health and appearance of your skin.
Avocados are a good source of vitamins A, C, D, and E and are also packed with good, healthy fats that can help benefit your skin’s elasticity and hydration while also helping to protect it from sun damage. Avocados are also a natural anti-inflammatory which can help to reduce puffiness or the size of a blemish.
Some of the health benefits of broccoli include that it is full of antioxidants, vitamins A, C and K, copper, zinc, lutein, and sulforaphane. Lutein helps to prevent skin from becoming dry or wrinkled. Sulforaphane neutralizes free radicals helping to protect from sun damage. Vitamin K helps heal bruises or improve the appearance of under-eye circles, while vitamin C helps to fight signs of aging.
4. Leafy Vegetables
Other green vegetables that are known for being foods that improve your skin are kale, spinach, and arugula.
Kale is a popular ingredient for smoothies, soups, and salads because it is high in antioxidants and nutrients including vitamin A. Vitamin A is also a key ingredient in retinol, which is used for improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Spinach is another leafy vegetable rich in vitamin A, as well as iron, B vitamins, and omega-3 fats all believed to be beneficial for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Arugula contains significant amounts of sulfur, which can encourage the production of collagen.
5. Fatty Fish
Salmon, mackerel, and herring are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids that help to keep skin moisturized and are also helpful in reducing inflammation, redness, and acne. Fatty fish also provide a good source of vitamin E and zinc, which both work to fight inflammation.
6. Walnuts and Sunflower Seeds
Walnuts are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the skin and throughout the body while also encouraging collagen production and improving skin elasticity. Walnuts also contain high levels of zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium and protein that will play a key role in keeping your skin healthy.
Sunflower seeds are packed with high amounts of vitamin E, zinc, protein, and selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can benefit skin in many ways including protecting cells from damaging free radicals, fighting skin infection, irritation, and inflammation, and even improving skin sensitivity.
7. Foods Rich in Beta Carotene
Oranges, carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes are all foods containing significant amounts of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A helping to maintain healthy, glowing skin. It can also help reduce the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and improve the effectiveness of sunscreen.
8. Dark Chocolate
Vegetables are not the only foods good for your skin; research has shown that dark chocolate is another food beneficial to healthy skin. According to various studies, eating about an ounce of dark chocolate a day can result in better skin hydration, reduced sensitivity to sunburn, and increased blood flow to the skin. Make sure you limit yourself to one or two ounces of dark chocolate with higher levels of cacao (at least 70%) rather than its more sugary counterparts, milk or white chocolate.
Best Vitamins to Take for Your Skin
Improving your skin may take more than just eating the above foods, though. Vitamins also play a major role in keeping your skin healthy. You may get a good amount of these vitamins from your diet, but that’s not always the case. You may need to take supplements, especially if you’re on a restricted diet for health or personal reasons.
When taken regularly and paired with visits your dermatologist, vitamins can have an incredibly positive impact on the look and feel of your skin. Getting enough vitamins helps keep skin healthy and youthful, which can help reduce redness, dryness, and wrinkles. A regular vitamin routine can also improve your overall health. These vitamins can come from supplements, topical treatments, or by adding certain foods to your daily diet. Here are the five vitamins your skin needs to stay healthy.
Vitamin D helps create healthy skin cells, which can build an even and glowing skin tone. Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D is most commonly absorbed by careful exposure to the sun. Just 10 minutes of sun exposure a day can provide enough Vitamin D. However, it’s important that you discuss this with your dermatologist. People who have had skin cancer or have additional risks should be especially careful. People who live in climates without much sun can also take a supplement or eat food heavy in Vitamin D, like tuna and cod. Vitamin D is powerful in fighting infections and can help heal damaged and discolored skin. Vitamin D has also been linked to fighting skin conditions like acne, rosacea, and atopic dermatitis.
Vitamin C is vital for producing collagen, which is a connective tissue that keeps the skin firm and supple. Our skin naturally loses collagen as we age, and a lack of Vitamin C can lead to sagging skin and wrinkles. Vitamin C can help the skin look more vibrant and hydrated. Vitamin C also helps protect the skin from sun damage and exposure to the elements, including free radicals. It is commonly found in anti-aging products and sunscreen. In foods, high doses of Vitamin C come from citrus fruit and juices and sweet peppers.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant and is connected to retinol. It is known for calming skin inflammation and for decreasing the amount of oil your skin produces. It also protects against sun damage. Vitamin A actually stops or slows the process that breaks down collagen and can protect your skin from sunburns. Not having enough Vitamin A can cause your skin to be dry, red, or bumpy. In a topical form, Vitamin A comes in products labeled as retinoids and is often used for treating wrinkles. In foods, Vitamin A is common in sweet potatoes, spinach, and mangoes.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the skin from sun damage by absorbing harmful UV rays. Vitamin E works best when paired with sunscreen and other forms of skin protection. It protects the skin from free radicals and has been linked to creating more durable skin. Vitamin E can help prevent dark spots and wrinkles and may even be linked to increasing moisture in the skin and treating acne. In foods, Vitamin E is potent in almonds and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin K helps blood coagulate and is useful for healing wounds and bruises. On the skin, Vitamin K helps with a number of issues, including dark circles, scars, and stretch marks. Most people easily get enough Vitamin K in their diets because it is commonly found in milk, kale, and cabbage, so they often don’t need to take a supplement. However, a doctor will be able to provide personalized recommendations based on your vitamin levels.
Now that you have an idea of what exercise can do for you, what foods to eat, and what vitamins to take, you know how to improve your skin complexion. You should also talk to dermatology doctors to get personalized recommendations based on your skin type and health. Being mindful of your exercise, food, and vitamins not only helps your overall health but can also keep your skin looking fresh and glowing.