How to maintain healthy skin

Be good to your skin, it is a garment you will wear for the rest of your life”, Renée Rouleau, a French celebrity, aesthetician and trusted skincare expert once said.

Dermatologists share that the body’s largest organ is the skin and it is always working; growing new cells and shutting the old ones in a non-stop effort to protect the body against the outside environment. 


They also add that the skin protects the body against the invasion of foreign substances and it serves as the transfer point for the release of toxins from our bodies.


It is for this reason, therefore, that experts emphasise to observe the following care tips for a healthy skin:  


Manage stress

According to Frida Bazirisa, a dermatologist at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), stress can make the skin more sensitive, reactive and inflamed.

“Not only does it ruin the body’s complexion, but it ruins the skin’s ability to fight off irritants, allergens or microorganisms leading to sensitive skin or infections. This is because when one is stressed, she or he produces more cortisol hormone which increases the amount of oil (that the glands are producing) and this can result to inflammation,” she says.

She, however, says since one can’t eliminate stress completely, it is important to find a way of managing it on a day-to-day basis.

Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will help rid the body and skin of toxins, experst say.  Net photos

“Change the way you react to it. When you feel stressed, it is better to take a deep cleansing and a massage. Some experts urge that the biggest game changer is meditation. So, meditation can improve the quality of your skin.”

Protect your skin from sun damage

Caution has to be taken here because this does not only apply on hot days or to people who spend most of their days outside, says Amani Alice Uwajeni, the head of dermatological department at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali.

“Sun damage can happen on a sunny day or during winter. It can happen even if you have a dark skin, or when you’re sitting indoors next to a window. So, no one is immune from sun damage and it has a really big impact but it takes years for you to see it,” she adds.

Experts say that the ultraviolet index is normally at its worst between 11am and 3pm, so it is better to be cautious at that time.

Block out the sun’s rays using sunscreens. This means covering yourself with a hat, because critical cases of sun damage can cause skin cancer.

Quit smoking

Experts assert that smoking can prematurely age your skin. This is because it damages the collagen fibres in your skin that make it firm and strong.

A healthy diet

Nutritionists stipulate that eating fruits and vegetables, foods with multivitamins every day and drinking a lot of water is healthier for the skin because dehydration leads to poor skin elasticity.  

“Nutrition too plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy skin. Specific foods such as acidic foods and dairy products are said to be potent in causing an allergic reaction in some people, therefore people are recommended to consume more fruits and multivitamin foods”, says Eric Matsiko, a nutritionist and university lecturer.  

Exercise more often

Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol. This reduces the chances of breakouts and reduces any skin issues related to stress.

“When you are exercising, you are boosting your blood circulation which facilitates your skin cells to get more oxygen and more nutrients. Therefore, exercise does make a big difference to have a healthy skin”, says Dr Prince Rwagasore of Nyamata District Hospital.

Wash off makeup before bed 

Before going to bed at night, dermatologists urge to always remember to remove all make up. 

Dr Rwagasore reveals that at night, the skin goes through a process of elimination and cannot breathe properly if it is clogged with makeup.

“Sleeping with make up on will cause one’s skin to break out with spots on it.”

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