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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Keep your skin looking great!

Get a smoother, softer and fairer complexion with these essential ingredients
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - March 24, 2011
By: Sheila Lim
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Keep your skin looking great!

Think you can maintain good skin just by religiously following a “cleanse, tone and moisturise” routine? Well, it isn’t as simple as that. Besides giving your skin the loving, tender care it needs, you have to nourish and protect it as well.  

Here are four key ingredients that you must provide your skin with daily:

Water

About 55 to 75 per cent of the human body is made up of water. This component is necessary for many vital functions. These include enabling cells to absorb nutrients, aiding in the functioning of metabolic processes, flushing toxins out of the body, removing impurities from the skin that can lead to pimples, and hydrating skin to keep it plump and smooth.

Water is continually expelled from the body through various biological processes, such as breathing, sweating and urinating. Therefore, we need to consume a recommended six to eight glasses of water daily to replace the loss.

However, water doesn't do much good if your cells can't hold on to it. That’s why the next component is just as important to good skin health.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

An important constituent of a healthy diet, EFAs are essential for building the lipid-based cell membranes that retain water and nutrients within the cell, and act as a barrier protecting skin against UV damage and pollutants.

If your diet lacks EFAs, your skin-cell membranes can't function effectively. As a result, the skin is easily affected by sun exposure and dehydration, which lead to problems like dryness, inflammation and blemishes.

EFAs consist primarily of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is found in many types of food like grains, edible oils and poultry. Omega-3 isn’t as readily available, and is found in food such as cold-water fish, like salmon and sardines, flaxseed oils, kidney beans, walnuts and spinach.

Antioxidants

Every cell in our bodies requires antioxidants to stay healthy. Found in foods like fruits, vegetables, wheatgerm, nuts and oils, antioxidants help fight the free radicals that destroy healthy cells. 

Antioxidant-rich foods contain skin-beautifying ingredients like Vitamin A, C, E, selenium, thiamine, beta-carotene and zinc. Vitamin C is essential for building collagen for plump and firm skin, while Vitamin E protects cell membranes and fights against UV damage.   

If you think you aren’t getting enough antioxidants from your diet, you could consider turning to the use of high-grade cosmeceutical products that are enriched with antioxidants, such as vitamin C night creams or Retinol-A serum.

Sunscreen

Sun damage is a primary cause of visible signs of ageing, so we should try to protect our skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Skin frequently left exposed to UV radiation becomes wrinkled, discoloured and less elastic over time.

Try to protect your skin at all times, even if you aren’t going out in the sun. Use a healthy broad-spectrum sunscreen before applying make-up. Your sunscreen should contain approximately 10 per cent of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide; otherwise you won’t be getting the level of protection you need, regardless of what SPF number the product is labelled as.

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