Inflammation is a normal response the body has to wounds or infections, and is a necessary step in healing. However, with age and poor habits, inflammation can increase, which can cause healthy tissue to be damaged or destroyed. What does that mean for your skin? Rashes, hives, blemishes or general redness.
Chronic inflammation that doesn’t subside after an injury is one of the leading factors in prematurely aging skin, and you know what that means: wrinkles and a dull complexion. The good news is that you can improve your body’s inflammation response with some healthier habits. Here’s how:
Apply SPF: A sunburn is a classic example of an inflammatory response to damage, and is a major factor in early aging of the skin. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Everywhere. Every day.
Stop smoking: Within about 30 minutes of being exposed to cigarette smoking, free radicals (internal stressors) are released and start to wreak havoc on your cells through the inflammation process. The longer the free radicals have free reign, the faster they make their way to your skin’s surface in the form of wrinkles.
Eat more fruits and vegetables: Not only do these act as antioxidants, they also protect against environmental damage. Choose a wide variety of brightly colored produce (fresh is best) for a hefty dose of protective phytochemicals. Throw on some spices like turmeric or ginger for even more anti-inflammatory action.
Use vitamin C: You can take it in supplement form or find it in topical treatments, where it helps to fend off free radicals while clearing up your skin, especially that caused by sun damage.
Don’t fear fat: Good fats and oils like olive oil, nuts, avocados and fatty fish like salmon, help to regulate cell metabolism and are believed to suppress inflammation.