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It’s easy to neglect your skin, but taking the time to look after it can provide you with a number of important benefits. Adopting a simple skin care routine will help your skin look younger and more radiant, while protecting it from sun damage can help ward off skin cancer too.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month so now is a great time to reflect on whether you do enough to care for your skin. It is the body’s largest organ, after all! Perhaps there are some changes you can make to your skincare routine so that your health can radiate from the inside out?

Simple skin care tips

1. Drink water to hydrate from the inside

Staying hydrated is essential for healthy skin. More than half of our bodies are made up of water, so it’s important to drink your recommended daily amount to stay hydrated. General guidelines state that you should drink around eight glasses of water a day, and if you exercise or if it’s warm then you should aim for more.

Some tips for upping your water intake include:

  • Keep a bottle of water to hand and sip regularly throughout the day
  • Add flavour to your water with low-calorie squash
  • Track your water intake using an app or set yourself a regular reminder
  • Drink water with every meal.
2. Use sun protection

Sun protection is important for maintaining healthy skin, even if the sun isn’t blazing. The British Association of Dermatologists recommend protecting your skin by covering up and avoiding the sun between the peak hours of 11am – 3pm. They recommend using SPF30 products to provide a ‘high level’ of sun protection. You should reapply sunscreen regularly throughout the day, especially if you’ve been in the water.

Many skincare and cosmetics brands include SPF in their products, so it’s worth investing in them to keep your skin protected all year round to prevent the signs of premature ageing.

3. Eat your way to good skin

A good skin care routine doesn’t just depend on what you use on the outside – what you do on the inside is just as important. A healthy, balanced diet can help you eat your way to good skin, avoiding some of the problems caused by eating too much sugar and fat.

Natural fats, proteins and a balanced portion of carbohydrates can help you to maintain your skin. Some of the best foods to eat for your skin include:

  • Oily fish containing Omega 3s such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Oily fish is high in vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties for your skin.
  • Avocados are a good source of unsaturated fats and are high in vitamin E and vitamin C. Vitamin C can help prevent environmental damage to the skin, including sun damage and help slow down the ageing process.
  • Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, the pigment that gives them their orange colour. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, which offers various benefits such as improved vision and teeth. One form of vitamin A is retinol, which is a common treatment used for anti-ageing that can keep skin looking young and vibrant.
  • Broccoli has many health benefits, including some great benefits for your skin. It contains lutein, which can help keep skin looking plump, while its antioxidant properties can help protect skin from sun damage.

Eating a diet rich in unprocessed, healthy foods can help you to look after your skin from within to give it effective protection from external factors.

4. Avoid smoking and drinking

Smoking has long been associated with causing damage to the skin. It can cause it to pucker and wrinkle as well as making the skin around the eyes discoloured and dull. By avoiding smoking you’ll be able to prevent these causes of damaged skin and keep skin looking youthful for longer.

Alcohol can also affect your appearance, causing your skin to look puffy, red and make you more prone to spots. You’ve probably noticed after a heavy night or a period of consistent drinking how it begins to take its toll on your skin. Reducing your alcohol intake can help you to maintain a healthy complexion and avoid unnecessary skin problems caused by drinking too much.

5. Exercise for better skin

Exercise can have some surprising benefits for your skin. Sweating it out can help you clear the oil and dirt from your pores, leaving your skin looking radiant. As exercise also helps to pump blood around the body, your skin will get a burst of what it needs to look healthy and glowing.

Exercising will also help you to sleep easier at night, helping to make those bags and dark circles from restless nights a thing of the past.

6. Follow a simple skin care routine

When it comes to keeping your face clean and refreshed, a simple skin care routine is all you need. The basics of a simple skin care routine include cleansing, toning and moisturising to help leave your skin looking great.

Choosing the right skin care products depends on your specific skin type. There are simple ways to determine your skin type, that will tell you whether you have normal, dry, oily or combination skin. Once you’ve worked out what your skin type is, you can choose the appropriate products to help you maintain it. By getting into the habit of caring for your skin morning and night, you can help to hydrate your skin and keep it fresh.

7. Get the right amount of sleep

Sleep is important for your health, and too little can leave you feeling stressed, anxious or irritable. Sleep is important for your skin, and when you’ve had a poor night’s sleep – it will show on your face. Getting around eight hours of sleep a night can help you to restore your skin back to health and leave your mind and body feeling refreshed.

With summer just around the corner, it’s more important than ever that you protect your skin. Learn more about Skin Cancer Awareness month and what you can do to get involved on the Skin Cancer Foundation website. Form better habits to take care of your skin from the inside out for younger-looking, healthier skin.