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Skin is our largest organ. Our skin protects the network of tissues, muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and everything else inside our bodies. Hair and nails are actually modified types of skin. Skin is extremely important for good health, because it protects the rest of our body from germs and infectious agents. While many people want healthy skin because of the radiant appearance it provides, it can also be an indicator of overall health, and having healthy skin starts with having a healthy body.

  • Wash regularly, but not too often. Our skin is covered in a layer of dead skin, oil, and good bacteria that help prevent harmful things from entering your body. Showering washes this layer away.Clean skin is important for good hygiene, but washing too frequently is unnecessary, and can make it more difficult for your skin to protect your body from contaminants and infections. Bathing in hot water and for too long strips helpful and necessary oils from your skin, and it can aggravate certain skin conditions like rosacea and eczema.
  • Use mild cleansers. Strong soaps will remove oil from the skin and leave skin feeling tight and dry.
  • Gently pat the skin with a towel and let the remaining moisture air dry.  This will ensure we leave a layer of oil on the skin that will help keep in moisture and prevent dryness.
  • Exfoliate once or twice a week. This will remove the top layer of dead skin, and reveal the fresh, new, radiant skin below, giving the skin a healthy, glowing appearance.
  • Moisturize regularly. Daily moisturizing is one of the keys to healthy skin at any age, but it becomes even more important as you age. Your skin will naturally dry out over time, but you can keep it healthy by using a well-formulated moisturizer each day to keep your skin young and supple.
  • Eat a skin-healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The more vitamins and minerals you can get from your diet, the better. This only becomes more important as you age. However, you should consider taking a supplement as well if you are worried that you aren't getting enough skin-healthy nutrients.
  • Eat skin-friendly foods. Foods rich in antioxidants, selenium, coenzyme Q10, and flavonoids all promote healthy bodies and radiant skin. Antioxidants and selenium prevent damage done by free radicals, which are thought to contribute to wrinkles, tissue damage, and dry skin.
  • Consume foods high in vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin C can boost the collagen and elastin in your skin, and these proteins prevent wrinkles, lines, and sagging.Vitamin A helps keep your skin fresh and glowing by preventing dryness, reducing dark spots, and smoothing wrinkles.Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights the damage done by free radicals.
  • Get your omegas. Fats are necessary for healthy skin, especially omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids keep skin bright and moisturized, and prevent dryness and blemishes.
  • Drink water. The skin, like every part of the body, needs proper hydration to function optimally and to prevent dryness and flakiness, which will prevent wrinklingand make lines less noticeable.
  • Avoid added sugars. Sugar can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. Sugar molecules attach themselves to protein molecules, and when this happens it can damage collagen and elastin.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. This is essential for healthy lungs, your cardiovascular system, and your body as a whole, including your skin. Exercise improves circulation, increases the flow of nutrients to the skin, and removes dirt from the skin’s surface through perspiration. It may also slow the skin’s aging process.
  • Relax and unwind. Stress can wreak havoc on your skin and body as well as your mind, and the hormones your body releases in response to stress can exacerbate things like acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.Furthermore, stress can increase healing time in your body, so breakouts will take longer to go away.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking, like stress, has a negative impact on your health, skin, and appearance. Smoking decreases blood flow, which is necessary for healthy skin. It also damages collagen and elastin, while the physical motions associated with smoking lead to wrinkles around the mouth and eyes.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is important for many reasons, and healthy skin is just one of them. For one, when we sleep, our bodies secrete certain growth hormones, and this leads to collagen production.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells caused by DNA mutations, and the primary cause of these mutations is UV exposure. If you notice irregular changes in your skin or notice moles that weren't there before, talk to you doctor immediately. The most common signs to look for that indicate cancer or precancerous cells are:
  1. Moles that have irregular borders or asymmetrical features, have more than one color, or change over time.
  2. Sores and lumps that are not caused by bites, scrapes, scratches, or bumps.
  3. Blemishes, markings, or changes in the appearance or texture of your skin.
  • Seek professional help for irregular skin issues. It's important to be aware of things that irritate your skin, allergens, and other sensitivities so that you can distinguish between a regular reaction to something versus a skin change or condition that requires the attention of a doctor or dermatologist. There are many issues that can plague the skin, and you should seek medical attention if you notice symptoms including:
  1. Unexplained hives, blisters, rashes, or scaling
  2. Weeping or oozing sores or pustules
  3. Chronic inflammation, redness, itching, or discoloration
  4. Moles, bumps, or scaly tumors (warts) that won't go away

Hair loss. For both men and women, hair loss is primarily a result of genetics and changes in hormone levels. Other causes can be health issues, such as thyroid problems, reactions to medical treatments such as chemotherapy, the side effects of medications (including steroids), serious illness, auto-immune disorders, pregnancy, unusually high levels of stress, and malnutrition.

Another cause is over-processing, from coloring, thermal straightening, or perming, which can cause so much damage that the hair literally starts to fall out. Wearing hair in a tight ponytail on a repeated basis or wearing heavy braids, weaves, or extensions also can cause profuse hair loss, especially along the hairline. The roots of the hair simply cannot take the added weight of these enhancements, and eventually it will fall out by the handful.

Blood tests can show if you are low in vitamin D, zinc, or iron, all of which are related to hair growth as well as to other important fundamental bodily functions related to your overall health. Getting these nutrients back within the normal range definitely can make a difference in your well-being, and can help increase the density of your hair. Other vitamins and supplements that claim "hair-growing" products include vitamin C, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin E.

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