When it comes to healthy skin, distinguishing between a friend or foe can be a great arsenal in the quest for healthy and glowing skin. Regardless of skin type, here are some friends and foes that we all share in common.

Friends to Our Skin

Antioxidants – are molecules that protect your skin cells from the effects of free radicals. They are your best friends for beautiful and healthy skin.

Healthy and balanced diet – Consume foods rich in antioxidants, which will fight off the effects of free radical damage. (Free radicals damage and destroy cells). Great sources include, prunes, all berries, apples, raisins, plums, onions, eggplant, beans, salmon, Vit E, Vit A, Vit C, Alfalfa sprouts, beta carotene and other carotenoids. Eat regular, balanced meals, daily. And, of course, drink lots of water.

Consistent and appropriate skin care regimen – Know your skin type (oily, normal, sensitive, combination, dry). Adopt routines and rituals for morning and evening that includes, cleansing, toning, moisturizing and protecting, and occasionally, masking and exfoliating.

Healthy physical life style – this includes, exercise, getting enough sleep and reducing stress. Also, avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and the use of recreational drugs.

Foes to Our Skin

Free radicals – are molecules, which are responsible for cell damage, premature wrinkling and aging.

Inflammation – Chronic inflammation occurs as a result to free radical destruction. It can build up and cause problems like acne and heart disease.

Ultraviolet Radiation – are the harmful combination of UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can cause visible damage such as freckles, tanning and burning, all of which are indications of internal cell damage sometimes to the DNA. UVB rays are not immediately noticeable, but penetrates further into the skin and causes greater damage than UVA rays. Continued damage can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer.

Today is the perfect time to start thinking about preventing future damage to your skin.

~Dixie Lincoln-Nichols

Follow @DixieLincolnNic on Twitter

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