Protect Your Skin
You protect your children without blinking an eye. So why not protect your skin? In a way, if you allow toxins to harm your skin, you're essentially letting yourself get beat up. That's why I call the following products "skin bullies." And we moms are better off staying away from these four bad boys:
- The sun. The number-one skin offender. Too much sun leads to premature aging, skin damage, brown spots, and cancer. To protect yourself: Limit your sun exposure and always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and up.
- Cigarettes. There are 101 reasons to stop smoking for your health (and for your children's health), but here's #102: Nicotine decreases the blood flow and oxygen in your skin, which damages the skin cells and weakens elasticity. (In other words, premature aging and wrinkles, which is actually called "smoker's skin.") To protect yourself: Stop smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke as much as possible.
- Sugar. Of course, sugar is stress reliever for some of us, but beware: A sweet-tooth can age you. When your blood sugar rises, the sugar attaches itself to collagen making your skin stiff and inflexible. And that leads to, you guessed it, premature wrinkles. To protect yourself: Limit your intake of candy and simple carbohydrates, and eat more protein.
- Alcohol. Yes, another stress reliever for some, but these simple vices are simply are not so great for our skin. Alcohol dehydrates your body and leads to dry skin and dilated blood vessels, which can cause ugly red splotches. To protect yourself: Drink in moderation and hydrate in between drinks.
Bonus tip: Review how your body reacts to foods. High sugary and oily foods will leave you feeling sluggish and looking lackluster. For example, I found I didn't fare well with gluten as each time I ate a slice of pizza, I felt awful and got bloated. Once I stopped eating gluten products and did the simple switch to rice-based breads, pastas and crackers, I maintained my weight much better. Plus, I had more energy. So, ask yourself how you feel after you eat dairy, veggies, meat, corn, and wheat and write it down.
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