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A radiant complexion requires looking at what a person is eating and drinking, evaluating skin type and skin products, exfoliating and protecting the skin. Professional assessment by a physician can help determine any underlying issues that might keep skin from looking its best, as well. The skin sheds gradually and medical issues can take time to clear up, so the benefits of skin care efforts might not be visible immediately.
The first step to getting a radiant complexion is to evaluate diet and hydration. Too often, individuals consume foods that are high in fats but lacking in nutrients. This is a major problem because the skin — in fact, every cell of the human body — requires vitamins and minerals in order to form and function properly. Foods such as fish, yogurt, nuts, whole wheat products, fruits and vegetables are ideal, having skin-friendly components such as omega fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins C, A and E, and antioxidants, substances that fight free-radical damage that hurts cells. Experts also recommend taking in at least nine to 13 cups (2.2 to 3 liters) of fluids daily to accommodate the fact cells are primarily water, although factors such as activity level, age and size, gender and medical conditions may cause a person to need more or less.
After getting diet and hydration in order, a person should evaluate her skin type and the skin care products she is using. Skin may be oily, dry, sensitive, or combination. Additionally, individuals within each of these types might have a particular skin need they want to address, such as uneven skin tone or acne. By looking for products labeled for her skin type and being critical of ingredient lists, an individual can find cosmetics, moisturizers and other skin care products that provide a more radiant complexion. A licensed dermatologist can help someone determine what type of skin is present.
Third, anyone who wants a radiant complexion should exfoliate regularly. Exfoliation refers to the process of removing dead cells, oil, dirt and other residues from the outermost layer of the skin via chemical or manual means. People can do chemical exfoliation through washes and masks containing enzymes or acids, while individuals may perform manual exfoliation through basic scrubs or procedures such as microdermabrasion. This process allows newer cells to surface, keeping the skin from looking dull. Exfoliating too much can irritate the skin, so most experts recommend at-home exfoliating gently just once or twice a week, with more extensive treatments such as dermabrasion recommended once every one to two months.
Protecting the skin is the final requirement for a radiant complexion. Protection is largely about hydrating and moisturizing. Hydrating refers to replenishing the water in the skin, such as through drinking, while moisturizing refers to locking it in, typically with some kind of oil. With proper moisture, the rate of skin cell turnover or death often slows, and the skin stays supple, plump and elastic, reducing the odds of wrinkle and fine line development. This is especially important in dry seasons or regions.
Another part of protecting the skin is using a good sunscreen, which is just as important as it is in the winter as it is in the summer. All-natural versions are available that are less likely to cause irritation and allergic reaction — these do not contain chemicals that have posed health concerns. A simple way to protect skin from the sun and maintain hydration at the same time is to wear light clothing, hats and similar accessories to block drying air and harmful ultraviolet rays.
In some instances, if a person has followed all the general recommendations for healthy skin but still has issues, it is best to see a physician. Medical conditions are connected to the immune system, and the immune system helps regulate skin cell turnover. Hormonal issues and genetic diseases also can affect skin health. With proper evaluation, a person can get medications or topical treatments that might help.
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