Tips to Improve Your Skin HealthJan 22, 2024
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so when it’s unhealthy, it shows. Dullness, dryness, acne, itchiness, and blotches of color are all signs that your skin needs some TLC.
Keeping your skin healthy doesn't just make you look and feel good; your skin also has many biological functions, including maintaining homeostasis and regulating hormones.
But how do you really look after your skin inside and out? The answer is biohacking.
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is the practice of enhancing your body and health through routine self-experimentation, technology, and lifestyle modifications. This form of personal biological experimentation usually involves making small yet powerful changes to your diet, lifestyle, and overall health and well-being.
Because your skin is your largest organ, there are plenty of ways to biohack it. With these tips, you can improve and maintain your skin's health and natural radiance.
Topical Skin Care Rituals
While many biohacks exist for improving the health of your skin, you must tailor a routine that best suits your specific skin type and concerns.
Your skincare routine should include gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and using products containing ingredients like retinoids, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C.
Some popular skin biohacks include the following:
- Massages: Massaging your skin helps increase blood flow, boosting circulation and encouraging a healthy glow. Additionally, the oils used in massage therapy help to moisturize the skin and maintain its natural elasticity.
- Dry brushing: Dry brushing is a gentle way to exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation helps to remove impurities and dead skin cells, allowing fresh cells to surface. It's wise to enjoy a warm shower after dry brushing or exfoliating to wash away toxins.
Safeguard your skin from the sun's dangerous UV rays by using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
While a bit of sunlight on your skin is good for you, sun exposure without a protective UV barrier contributes to wrinkles, pigmentation marks, and an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
If you're spending a lot of time outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours and more frequently if you're swimming.
Collagen is a vital protein responsible for skin structure and maintaining its elasticity and healing ability. However, age, stress, and poor gut health decrease our skin's collagen, leading to less effective healing. Incorporating collagen supplements into your routine can enhance skin elasticity and hydration. Be sure to select products with easily absorbed collagen peptides.
You can also add this skin-fortifying protein to your diet by consuming collagen-rich foods like bone broth, fish, beets, kale, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
Blue Light Protection
Prolonged exposure to blue light from screens and electronic devices can contribute to skin damage and premature aging.
Consider using blue light-blocking screen protectors (some devices have these installed) and limiting screen time—especially before bedtime—to improve your skin health and sleep quality.
You can also invest in a pair of blue light glasses to wear after sundown to signal to your brain that it's time to wind down for the day.
Exposure to near-freezing temperatures can stimulate blood circulation and reduce inflammation, contributing to healthier skin and an improved complexion.
Common ways to expose your skin to the cold include cold showers, swimming in a cold pool, and cryotherapy. Doctors may prescribe the latter to treat cancer, treatment, and other skin abnormalities.
It's essential to start with gradual exposure to cold and not expose yourself to frigid temperatures for too long, as it can be dangerous.
Consult with a healthcare professional if you have existing medical conditions and if you have any concerns.
Sufficient quality sleep is essential for skin health, repair, and regeneration, but it's often overlooked.
Here are ways to ensure you sleep well and get the recommended amount of sleep of 7–9 hours:
- Create a conducive sleep environment
- Establish a consistent sleep schedule
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Refrain from looking at device screens before bedtime
Hydration and Nutrition
Proper hydration and a nutrient-rich diet are fundamental for vibrant and healthy skin.
Drinking an adequate amount of clean and fresh water helps maintain your skin's elasticity and flush out toxins. Studies show that women should drink an average of 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters of fluid daily, while men need to drink 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters, so keep your water bottle handy!
To ensure your skin gets the nutrition it needs, you should eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as vegetables and fruits, to combat oxidative stress and support collagen production. A skin-friendly diet that includes plenty of fresh produce, nuts, seeds, and oily fish will leave your complexion glowing with health.
A popular biohacking tip for overall well-being is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting can positively affect skin health by promoting autophagy, a cellular process that eliminates damaged cells and supports regeneration.
Fasting periods vary, but a common approach is the 16/8 method. With this time frame, you fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window.
Chronic stress can negatively impact your skin's health, leading to conditions like acne and premature aging. Therefore, it's a good idea to incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine, not only when you feel stressed.
These feel-good activities promote the production of oxytocin, the body's love and bonding hormone.
Examples of stress-reducing activities include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises, such as those in the Wim Hof Method. Hugs, kissing, caring touch, and sex produce oxytocin too!
Hormonal fluctuations—especially during menstruation and menopause—can affect skin health.
Keep track of your skin and bodily changes throughout your cycles to identify patterns. Then, consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional to explore hormone-balancing strategies.
Strategies to help balance your hormones and support skin vitality include the following:
- Practicing mindfulness
- Getting quality sleep
- Relaxing often
- A gratitude mindset
- Making dietary changes
- Taking supplements
- Taking prescription medications
BioHack Your Way to Healthy Skin
Biohacking offers a holistic approach to optimizing your skin's health. Depending on your stance, it addresses various factors, including lifestyle, nutrition, and skincare rituals.
By incorporating these tips into your daily and weekly routines, you can help your skin to become resilient and radiant. And when your skin looks healthy on the outside, it’s healthy on the inside too.