Google searches for guidance on how to “fix your skin health” began to spike this summer while recent skin-care launches point to a similar shift in consumer interests. Skin barrier–repair, deep hydration and sensitive-skin maintenance are now the skin-care solutions at the forefront, meaning that now more than ever, our sights are set on having happier, healthier skin.
While “healthy skin” could mean a multitude of things to different people, Miami dermatologist Dr. Deborah Longwill defines skin health as a mirror of our internal health. “Healthy skin is smooth, not dry or scaly, not wrinkled and non-blemished from acne or sun damage,” Dr. Longwill explains. “I characterize ‘healthy skin’ as hydrated, smooth, plump, and pink, meaning great circulation,” she adds.
Having skin that can be characterized by even one of those terms may seem like a pipedream, but skin experts stress that caring for your complexion’s specific needs should be on everyone’s to-do list.
Less-than-ideal skin conditions may arise in many different ways, but Dr. Longwill says there are some key indicators our skin isn’t as healthy as it should be.
“Unhealthy skin may have blemishes, broken capillaries, irregular patches or pigmentation, or grey and/or yellow coloring,” she says. “Some causes of unhealthy skin may be due to dehydration, smoking, poor nutrition, sun exposure, chronic cold-wind exposure, lack of sleep, and exposure to free radicals.”
Depending on what your skin is experiencing, Dr. Longwill instructs getting to the root of the problem first. “If you are battling acne, it may be hormonal or due to your gut health,” she says. “Or, [other skin-health issues] may be due to a product you are applying topically, based on your nutrition and/or hormones. You need to make sure that your microbiome is balanced as this can trigger skin issues.”
As always, a conversation with your dermatologist is the best place to start. “They can assist you in detecting what is triggering these breakouts, dry patches and/or pigmentation,” says Dr. Longwill.
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