One of the most interesting things to hear from a skin expert is about the things our skin must overcome. The design of our circulatory system means that the skin is the last organ to get the nutrition we take in. Every other organ and system in the body gets the blood supply first, and, although abundant, the capillaries that carry it to our skin are tiny.
So taking care in our nutrition and, in some cases, supplementing it with things that are especially good for the skin, makes sense. After all, we have a lot to thank our skin for.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Right before our eyes, here is the largest organ in the body, and yet we usually don’t even recognize it as an organ. Yet that it is. And it is doing so many jobs that it makes other organs look specialized by comparison.
Covering practically every inch of what we consider our physical self, the skin protects us from extremes of environment, adapts to changes, helps regulate our body temperature, and even plays a role directly in the metabolism. Oh, and it was about the first thing the love of our life saw when we met.
Yes, a thank you or two would seem to be in order.
Both Sides Now – Today’s Perspectives on Skin Care
Our skin is one organ we can take care of inside and out. Let’s start with nutrition. We hear about the importance of antioxidants for combating unstable, skin-damaging molecules called free radicals. Fortunately, most of us can leave biochemistry to the professionals.
All that’s necessary is to look for as much color and variety as we can get in our diet. Vitamins A, C and E – and the famous anti-oxidant beta-carotene – are all scattered through blueberries, grapefruit, and strawberries, as well as red, yellow, and green peppers; spinach; and the kale we hear so much about these days.
Salmon is not only the default fish of North America on restaurant menus, but also a tasty source of fatty acids like Omega-3 that keep the skin surface strong and keep pollutants and toxins out. Sardines, eggs, and walnuts are other good sources.
The Most Important Step You Can Take Outdoors
Because exposure to the sun contributes to everything from crow’s feet to cancer, sun protection is the first thing we think of for external skin care. Dermatologists, themselves, make a custom of applying sunscreen every day. A broad-spectrum, SPF 30 or more cream applied to the face and neck is a health habit worth cultivating.
Excellent makeup formulations today contain sunscreen, and hats have some side-benefits, too. There’s no reason to risk the damage that sun exposure can bring, small-scale and life-threatening, short-term and long-term. It’s just time to make sun protection part of our way of life.
The Best Moisturizers Work Backward
The array of skin moisturizers is so plentiful that you are sure to find one that suits you. The point now is to find one that suits you, and apply it regularly. It comes as news to many of us that the most effective moisturizers keep your body’s own moisture from leaving you. Yes, the creamy stuff seems to go in, but it is really doing its job when your own hydration is staying in.
So, lots of water is basic to healthy skin. Drinking eight 8-oz. glasses a day is not too much. Top models and athletes swear by 60-oz. or 70-oz. days.
For the sake of your beautiful skin – and your other, more specialized organs – schedule an appointment with us at Global Family Medicine. Call us at 843-815-6468. And if you ever need urgent medical attention, Global Urgent Care accepts walk-ins every day of the week.