Natural ways to treat sun damaged skin – by Vanessa Ascencao

The sun’s rays can wreak havoc on the skin, contributing to wrinkles, dryness, broken blood vessels and spots.

There is no magic formula to reverse the damage, but there are ways to prevent further harm. Avoiding harsh sunlight, protecting against harmful chemicals and getting enough sleep, relaxation and exercise should all help.

Diet and lifestyle play a major role. Key nutrients are essential as they help skin cells replicate and energise. Processed foods, stress, free radicals, toxins and low-nutrient diets may accelerate aging and lead to skin deterioration.

My top tips for healthy skin

Choose the right supplements:
Spirulina, the ultimate skin nutrient, is rich in antioxidants which defend the skin’s cells from ultra violet radiation as well as from free radicals and pollutants.

Use Jojoba oil:
It’s a great moisturiser and skin tonic. Jojoba is a desert shrub effective for treating eczema, psoriasis and dry skin and is more correctly described as liquid wax. Like Macadamia oil, the properties of jojoba oil are similar to that of human sebum or the skin’s natural oil. As a sunscreen ingredient, jojoba oil is not only a natural moisturizer, but also provides healing and anti-inflammatory properties. ( See: http://www.hybridrastamama.com/2012/06/natural-oils-as-sun-protection.html).

Drink water:
The instant you’re dehydrated, it shows. The skin looks dull, flaky, saggy and loose. Cells need water to function optimally.

Consume less sugar:
Sugar may contribute to ageing as it is void of nutrients. High consumption may lead to damaged collagen and elastin which causes wrinkles. (See here: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/is-your-diet-aging-you).

Eat healthy fats:
Get the youthful glow with the skin’s ultimate food – essential fatty acids such as coconut oil avocados, olive oil, flax seeds, nuts and fish. Eat foods rich in anti-oxidants: free radicals in our bodies cause damage to our cell structures. Nutrient-rich foods neutralise them. Consume a wide variety of antioxidants to fight off free radicals which also cause damage and inflammation, a leading cause of wrinkles.

Some of the best sources of antioxidants include:

 

Avoid chemicals in food and skin care products:
Eat organic to lessen your toxic load and use simple skin care products with a low chemical load.

Vitamin C:
A diet rich in vitamin C may lead to fewer wrinkles. Get more sleep: your skin rejuvenates and repairs itself mostly while you are asleep. Make sure you not only sleep for eight hours a night, but that it is quality sleep.

Exercise and sweat:
Sweating releases toxins and exercise increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrients which leads to clearer, firmer skin. Do something you enjoy!

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