Six Habits for Healthier Skin

There are so many factors that go into having good skin.  Yes, using your sunscreen and moisturizing daily definitely helps, but there other behavioral elements that affect your skin too.  Board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, Dr. Wechsler treats the effects that state of mind and physical behaviors have on the skin.  Here are her top six tips as give to DailyMakeover. Practice deep breathing Breathing goes far beyond just delivering life-sustaining oxygen to the body. When you're focusing on your breathing, you're not thinking about anything else. That shift in your mind helps remove stressors, bringing you to a deeper level of consciousness. It can help you halt a stress reaction, or at least control it.

Get active If there is one magic bullet for enhancing the quality of your looks, and your life in general, it's exercise. The science is well documented: exercise fights the onset of age-related disease, lifts your spirits, boosts circulation, lowers inflammation and is the ultimate stress reducer. That healthy glow you get after a great workout (rosy cheeks are indicative of the increased circulation that is nourishing all of those facial cells and tissues) isn't just for show.

Control those cravings When stress hits, cortisol tells our brains that we are hungry, so we seek out sugary, fatty foods, which don't do much for us but contribute to extra pounds and worse moods. Break the cycle using two of my key strategies. One, eat lots of lean protein--this will give you more energy and fight hunger pangs, which can play games with your mood. Two, write down the top five guilty treats you tend to reach for when you're stressed. Then, when you do succumb, eat only half of what you normally would.

Focus on the good things Find a notebook or journal you particularly like. Every night, write down three things that went well that day and why. It also may help to keep a gratitude list--things for which you are truly grateful. The point is to focus on the events, people and experiences that you appreciate and that bring you joy. The exercise may even inspire you to turn a negative into a positive just by reshaping your attitude.

Stretch out your sleep Sleep is free cosmetic medicine. Nothing exacerbates stress and a haggard appearance like exhaustion. As you may be able to attest from experience, sleep deprivation can make you cranky, depressed and negative. It can make you overeat, over caffeinate and ditch workouts because you're too tired.

Take a time out For most of us, life is so hyperscheduled that we never do absolutely nothing. It's rare to set aside time just to be--no agenda, no demands, no plans. Find a comfortable, quiet spot to sit for ten to fifteen minutes every day and simply, by yourself, be still. Slowing down in this way, if you do it every day, helps give your brain, your psyche and your whole being a break.

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