Good Health (Australia) - - Be Informed -

The way you treat your skin now will be re­flected in its con­di­tion in years to come. Here are five of the most ef­fec­tive and sim­ple things you can do to keep your skin in good shape:

1 Pro­tect your­self from the sun

A life­time of sun ex­po­sure can cause wrin­kles, age spots and other skin prob­lems – as well as in­creas­ing the risk of skin can­cer. (See page 43) For the most com­plete sun pro­tec­tion, Can­cer Coun­cil Aus­tralia rec­om­mends a com­bi­na­tion of mea­sures:

Wear sun-pro­tec­tive cloth­ing that cov­ers as much skin as pos­si­ble.

Ap­ply broad-spec­trum, wa­ter-re­sis­tant SPF30+ (or higher) sun­screen. Put it on 20 min­utes be­fore you go out­doors and ev­ery two hours af­ter­wards. Sun­screen should never be used to ex­tend the time you spend in the sun.

Put on a hat – broad brim or le­gion­naire style – to pro­tect your face, head, neck and ears. Seek shade. Wear sun­glasses – make sure they meet Aus­tralian Stan­dards; they should carry a la­bel that says they meet these re­quire­ments.

2 Eat well

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, veg­eta­bles, whole­grains and lean pro­teins. Re­search sug­gests that a diet rich in vi­ta­min C and low in un­healthy fats and pro­cessed or re­fined car­bo­hy­drates could be the key to glow­ing skin. (See Eat­ing for Good Skin, page 44.)

3 Don’t smoke

Smok­ing con­trib­utes to wrin­kles and ages skin. It also de­pletes oxy­gen lev­els in the skin by nar­row­ing the tiny blood ves­sels in the out­er­most lay­ers of skin, de­creas­ing blood flow. It dam­ages col­la­gen and elastin too, which give your skin strength and elas­tic­ity. Re­peat­edly purs­ing your lips when in­hal­ing and squint­ing your eyes to keep out smoke will fur­ther deepen those facial lines.

Need help to quit? Call Quit­line on 13 78 48 to get the sup­port you need.

4 Re­duce stress

Stress can make your skin more sen­si­tive and trig­ger acne break­outs and other skin prob­lems. To en­cour­age a healthy com­plex­ion – not to men­tion a healthy mind – find ways to man­age your stress. Re­search has shown that reg­u­lar med­i­ta­tion is a highly ef­fec­tive way to coun­ter­act stress. Head on­line to find cour­ses in your area, or sim­ply down­load a med­i­ta­tion app such as Headspace or Bud­dhify.

5 treat your skin gen­tly

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