Skin is the body's armor. In addition to its important biological role in protecting the body from the external environment, retaining moisture for the body and regulating body temperature, skin appearance factors into our overall well-being and physical attractiveness.
How we look has always been a concern for most women. Today, men want to look younger and are concerned about their skin's appearance. The 2004 International SPA Association (ISPA) study noted that there has been a surge of interest in men's skin care. With more men today concerned about taking care of their skin and hair, there has been a proliferation of men's care products and treatments available, as well as spas offering special services for men.
Skin appearance is linked to overall health and well-being. When we are poorly nourished, stressed or fatigued, our skin shows it. Incorporating some key foods and nutritional supplements into their diets can help give men's skin and hair a healthy boost!
Skin-Healthy Foods: You are What you Eat!
A diet rich in certain food types is not only good for you, but can also positively impact skin and hair appearance-for men and women alike. Antioxidants are the skin's best defense against free radicals (byproducts of UV radiation from the sun and air pollution), which can cause premature cell aging. Some research has shown that higher levels of antioxidants can help protect the skin from free radicals, especially from the sun's damaging UV rays. Antioxidant-rich foods can help fight off these culprits that may cause damage to skin. Good choices include vibrant-colored fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), dark green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli) and bright yellow, red and orange vegetables such as carrots, cantaloupe, red peppers and winter squash. Strive for at least 5-9 servings of these antioxidant powerhouses each day. Moreover, topical application and oral intake of green tea extract packs an antioxidant punch and may help protect the skin from photoaging - damage done to the skin after prolonged exposure, over a person's lifetime, to UV radiation.
Other skin-healthy foods are those containing healthy omega-3 fats, such as in salmon, mackerel, tuna, walnuts and flaxseed oil. These omega-3-rich foods may help to promote an even skin tone and condition, as well as help to increase skin radiance and support firmness and elasticity of the skin. Omega-3 fats also help maintain a healthy inflammatory response in the skin.
Men may find it difficult to incorporate all of these foods into their daily diet. Nutritional supplements can help provide these vital nutrients to promote better skin health and appearance. A daily multivitamin for men is a great foundation for a vitamin regimen for healthy skin. Additional antioxidants such as vitamins E and C provide protective benefits. Fish oil provides nutritionally essential omega-3 fats that help to nourish the skin from the inside-out. Don't forget about water! Staying hydrated is important for providing moisture to the skin.
Skin Tip: Use a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply 20 minutes before going outdoors to ensure best protection.