The many external factors that skin protects us from include:
Changes in temperature and humidity: skin helps to regulate body temperature, control moisture loss and maintain the balance of fluids.
Disease: skin works to neutralise aggressors such as bacteria, viruses and pollution and prevent them for entering the body.
UV rays: over-exposure to these harmful rays generates free radicals – aggressive molecules that cause cell damage.Pressure, blows and abrasion: skin recognises pain and alerts us to danger.
It acts as a barrier and shock absorber.
Chemical substances: skin is our first line of defence against the aggressive formulas that we may encounter either in the workplace or at home if we use harsh cleansing products or inappropriate skincare
Skin works hard to protect our bodies, but the external forces it is subjected to can impact on its condition and impair its natural defence.
This can affect our overall health as we become prone to injury and infection.
Skin itself can become dry, sensitive and irritable when its protective barrier is compromised.
This affects how it looks and feels and can impact on our self-esteem.
A careful skincare routine, using products that restore and maintain skin’s optimum pH will support skin’s natural defenses, making it more resilient and less sensitive to environmental triggers.
The right skincare choices can also prevent premature skin ageing
“Check your skin regularly for changing moles and other signs of possible skin cancer,” says Grossman.
Talk to your dermatologist about what kinds of changes should concern you.
Certain skin conditions merit a visit to the dermatologist,
including frequent acne, inflamed or irritated dry skin, and skin rashes and irritations that don’t go away, as these could be signs of one of the many types of dermatitis, or skin inflammation.
However, should you ever notice any other skin problems, it’s important to get medical attention to resolve them quickly and avoid putting your skin at risk.
The foods you eat can seriously reduce your risk for sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer by supporting your skin’s ability to remain healthy and defend itself against too much sun.
Here are some foods that science shows naturally boost sun protection and healing in the body:
Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits) are high in vitamin C.
Research has found that a long-term intake of vitamin C, together with vitamin E, can reduce the potential for sunburn.
Besides being high in Vitamin C, citrus fruits contain limonene, which has been associated with a whopping 34 percent lower risk of skin cancer.
Citrus fruits also contain antioxidants, which work to protect your cells from free-radical damage (which happens during sunburn) that can lead to skin cancer.
We all know carrots are touted for your eye health.
However did you know they can also help protect your skin? Carrots are one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene also helps protect the skin against the free radical damage caused from sun exposure.
Because of this, carrots can provide increased protection against sunburn, especially when combined with vitamin E.
When you eat tomatoes, you are adding lycopene to your diet.
Lycopene is a carotenoid and antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals produced from too much sun, and minimizes any inflammatory response to UV damage by your body, according to Mayo Clinic.
In a German study, participants who ate a quarter cup of tomato paste with olive oil every day for 10 weeks experienced 35 percent LESS skin reddening when exposed to UV radiation than those who did not eat the tomato paste.
In another study, people eating five tablespoons of lycopene-rich tomato paste daily for three months experienced 25 percent more natural protection against sunburn.
This staple summer fruit is also high in lycopene and contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes!
Green lettuce, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are excellent sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
These have been show to halt cell growth prompted by UV light in animal studies