Article taken from Perfect Skin Protection, a new magazine available through the Ipad/Iphone newstand and written by Pat Scherven.

I’ve always has a passion for the skin, for keeping it healthy through a holistic and preventive approach.

 The skin is the largest organ of the body.  It is a reflection of our lifestyle, a road map of what’s happening on the inside and a mirror of what’s happened on the outside. There is a saying that when you are young, you have the skin you were born with, but when you get older, you have the skin you deserve.

 This is a little harsh as the body of knowledge about skin care has grown and developed over the decades and we know much more about the skin than we did twenty to thirty years ago.  But it does suggest the absolute necessity of taking a proactive approach to caring for your skin.

 Throughout my career of over 25 years, information about skin has grown and changed as it does with any scientific or medical field.  Today we know our lifestyle affects our skin.  Lifestyle includes factors such as diets, exercise, rest, environment and skin protection both through our clothing and skin care products.

Watch your Diet!
We are what we eat!  The power of food and phytonutrients influence our overall health, keeping our immune systems at optimum levels. Phytonutrients are plant compounds that promote better health.  Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and teas are rich sources of phytonutrients.  I recommend eating vegetables dark in color, since the color indicates the abundance of antioxidants.  Kale spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are vegetables rich in antioxidants.  Bright orange fruits and vegetables are also terrific for antioxidants. These include carrots, sweet potatoes and apricots.  Consume as many of these delicious vegetables and fruits as possible.  If possible always choose for organic and locally grown.

Rest and Exercise
Both rest and exercise are important components of healthy skin.  Make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep, because if you’re not the first place it will show up is on your skin.  Exercise is needed for numerous reasons, many of which are probably familiar to you.  But exercise is also very important for skin care. I encourage some sort of movement each day, whether strength training for toning the muscles or aerobics for strengthening the heart and promoting circulation.  Sweating releases toxins from the body, as well as managing or even reducing stress levels. It inevitably helps to control and balance our weight.

Daily Skin Care Regimen
Of course, my favorite topic is your skin care regiment. Always start with cleansing.  It is extremely important first step, especially in the evening, to remove the build up and debris from the day’s activities. The next step is exfoliating, which is done just two to three times a week to promote cell turnover and initiate circulation.  This is the key step to produce a radiant glow.  The next step is the application of serums of treatments gels.  Personally, I add vitamin C serum in the morning since it’s an antioxidant for protection.  Then, add a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type. Finally, top it off with sunscreen before applying any makeup. Now, take on your day. But keep in mind that you must reapply sun protection as needed

Protect – Don’t Repair
I’ve had the opportunity to observe the skin of all age groups.  Most notably, I’ve worked with baby boomers who took great pride in their suntans as many of that generation thought a tan was a necessary part of a healthy, attractive appearance. Typically, this sunbathing included baby oil, Mecuricome for added color and the use of aluminum foil reflectors to increase tanning.  These “helpers” have brought about a number of skin conditions especially sun damaged and easily-irritated unhealthy, weak skin.  To maintain healthy skin or manage the aging process, first, always protect! It is much easier to protect and maintain than it is to repair later in life. 

I encourage all clients of any age to use with the appropriate sun protection daily.  This means a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 20, where the active ingredients include zinc or titanium oxide.  If you’re going to spend the day outside, it is important to regularly apply sun protection.  Hats are a must, ideally with a wide brim to cover the face, neck and ears. Extra large sunglasses for eye protection is also a necessity for healthy skin!  Sun protection clothing should also be worn, especially items that cover the shoulders and arms.

Finally, don’t forget the little ones!! All of these steps are particularly important for children.  Hats, sunglasses and correct sun protection maintain the smooth, healthy skin that adults envy.