November is National Healthy Skin Month.
Whenever you hear that someone’s skin looks healthy, do you ever wonder what that really means? Skin health occurs at every level of the skin: stratum corneum, epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat. From ridding the skin of dead skin cells to boosting collagen production, each layer plays its own part when it comes to appearance. Healthy skin looks radiant, smooth, blemish-free, even-textured, and even-toned. Here are five easy, at-home ways to help you get there.
Our bodies produce collagen, a natural protein in the dermis, that creates a rejuvenated, healthy look to the skin. Collagen is the stabilizing ingredient in skin that helps give it the appearance of fullness and plumpness—more collagen means that the skin will have a fuller and more youthful appearance. As we age collagen breaks down thanks to a variety of factors such as solar UV light, blue light, environmental agents, and normal metabolic processes.
Focusing on increased production of collagen is key for all ages and genders. It’s especially important for those looking for prevention in their mid-20s and early 30s. Starting in your 30s or 40s, you’ll start to see an accumulation of aging that manifests in different ways—large pore size, sunspots, and lower amounts of collagen & loss of skin elasticity which results in the appearance of skin looseness. Generally, no matter what age you are, you can counteract the signs of aging by maintaining great wellness routines: a healthy diet, sleep, hydration, exercise, and low stress.
First and foremost, skin health is a sign that the person’s whole body is healthy and balanced. So it goes without saying, something everyone can do to support the skin’s health and collagen starts with what we put into our bodies. Adding green leafy vegetables and antioxidants such as berries, tomatoes, carrots, or really any colorful natural foods can promote skin health. I also suggest exploring if the Mediterranean diet is the correct diet for you and your lifestyle as it’s been known to benefit skin health.
There's no question that everyone can benefit from a skincare routine composed of nourishing and protective staples like antioxidant serums & sunscreen. Antioxidant serums are fantastic because they counter free radicals that are associated with human aging and disease. Free radicals range from the effects of the sun, the environment, and daily activities that promote aging. I’ve spent time during graduate school and during my medical career actively researching the benefits of antioxidants for the skin. Some of my favorite antioxidants include vitamin C, E, catechins (found in green tea), and resveratrol.
When looking for antioxidants to integrate into your routine don’t settle on one solely based on ingredients but rather the clinical data that support proven safety and efficacy. Whichever antioxidant you choose should deliver consistent trusted results that yield excellent outcomes.
Lastly, no regimen is complete without sunscreen. While antioxidants promote dermal layer health, sunscreen sits on top to prevent damage. Sunscreen is non-negotiable if you’re looking to protect your skin from ultraviolet and visible light.
These are some great starting points. And of course, you can always build. My work at Ever/Body involves lasers—like Clear + Brilliant (mini-fraxel laser facial), IPL (intense pulsed light photofacial), and Morpheus8 (a radiofrequency microneedling treatment)—that can penetrate deep into the dermis for even more powerful results.
Be it at home or in a clinic, the beauty of skin is that the better you treat it, the brighter and healthier it will become.
Dr. Jared Jagdeo, MD, MS, is a board-certified dermatologist dedicated to providing world-class, compassionate care patients at Ever/Body, a high-tech skin treatment center where he serves as Chief Medical Officer.