5 Healthy Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Look Better
While various grooming products are helpful in giving you better looking skin and other features, there are a few different life choices and changes that men can make to help them have great skin and look better overall.
As originally written for AskMen:
Water and Diet
One of the keys to healthy skin is water. “It’s not new, but anybody that looks at skin care knows that staying hydrated is probably the most important thing,” says Alan J. Kite, Director of Operations at the Venetian’s Canyon Ranch Spa Club in Las Vegas.
Sarah Adler, a Seattle-based nutrition coach, cookbook author and owner of Simply Real Health, also suggests to drink more water. “At least half of your body weight, in ounces per day,” she says.
Your skin can also benefit from a healthy diet. Adler has provided three simple points to keep in mind:
- “Cut back on the dairy (and gluten). These are the two biggest triggers for skin-related problems. For best results, try one at a time, and give yourself at least a week to notice any differences in your skin (and mood, energy and digestion too). This includes cheese, yogurt, and milk (butter is usually ok), and all wheat products (bread, some whole grains like barley, soy sauce, etc).”
- “Pick natural sugars like maple syrup or honey instead of refined white sugar.”
- “Read your ingredient labels. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient (or if a 7 year old couldn’t say it out loud), your body can’t ‘pronounce’ it either.”
Exercise And Wellness
Keeping in motion and sweating are other keys to helping the skin. “The skin is our primary detox organ, and sweat helps move toxins along, and out of our systems,” says Adler, adding that if they build up, they can get stuck in your pores, causing acne and other skin related problems. “Try a hot yoga class or some high intensity interval training a few times a week to keep things moving,” she adds.
Going to the spa and even keeping your skin extra cleansed also helps.
“Always getting an exfoliation service in a spa, body and face, is really good to stimulate the collagen and elasticity,” says Deirdre Strunk, Executive Spa Director at the Venetian’s Canyon Ranch Spa Club in Las Vegas. “What’s really popular right now is oxygen treatments. That really plumps the skin with oxygen, which helps push the products deeper into the skin,” she says, adding that exfoliation is always good any time, no matter what. In addition, always make sure to use a loofa, since it helps increase circulation for the skin, too, she says.
When at a spa, or anywhere that has a steam room, make sure to steam, as it helps detox and opens up the pores. Strunk says that then, when you do apply product to the face, it is much more likely to penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin. “You can steam every day, but no more than 10 minutes during a facial,” she says, and also adds that warm and cold plunges can help too. “Hot and cold contrast is always good for tightening up the skin.”
Exfoliating at least twice a week is also good because it removes that dead layer of skin and it lets the product be more active instead of just sitting on top of dead skin cells, says Kite.
Those that enjoy being out in the sun should be more cautious. If you aren’t regularly putting on sun block, there can be long terms consequences. “They say 90% of your wrinkles come from sun damage,” says Kite. So if you’re really good at taking care of your skin with good SPF, you can minimize all of those wrinkles and look younger much longer, he adds.
Kite acknowledges that SPF levels can be confusing. “An SPF of 30 will block out 97 percent of the UVA and UVB, and a 45 will block out 98 percent. Anything above is just paying extra for no additional protection as you can’t get 100 percent protection,” he says.
You need to protect even when you are doing day to day things such as driving. Strunk says that it is estimated that about 90 percent of skin cancer is on the left hand side from driving with the sun just coming through the window. “The window in the car is UVB-protected, but not UVA — which is what causes the cancer and age spots. UVB causes the burn,” she says.
See the rest of the article for some grooming selection tips.