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The Recipe for Healthy Summer Skin

The old saying, “garbage in, garbage out,” not only applies to how well your body performs athletically, but it also is a leading factor to how your skin looks and feels. What you put into your body is as important to the smoothness of your skin as what you put on it.

“People think that smooth, soft skin comes from putting on body lotions and oils,” said Tracey Tousley, massage therapist at Elements West Plano. “But when you use lotions on your skin, you’re just gluing down dead skin to your body. Hydration comes from within. So smooth, soft skin is the result of drinking enough water and putting the right things in and on your body.”

With 25 years of massage and bodywork experience, Tousley advises her clients to take care of the largest organ of their body throughout the year, but especially during the hot, sunny months of summer. The best recipe for healthy skin includes a mix of the following key ingredients.

Water: When your body is properly hydrated you not only feel good, but your skin looks good, too. Tousley can see within five minutes of a massage whether her clients are drinking enough water. “With dehydrated clients, their skin comes off in my hands as I start massaging them,” Tousley said. When helping her clients visualize what a healthy, hydrated body would look like, Tousley describes a hydrated body as a fresh-flowing springtime river; it’s clear, clean, active and pristine. In contrast, a dehydrated body is like swamp water; it’s toxic, sluggish and unpleasant to be around.

So, how much water is enough? It’s important to drink the right amount of water for your specific body type and it also is equally as important to drink consistently throughout the day. If you feel yourself becoming thirsty, then you are more than likely already on the path to dehydration.

“To keep your body hydrated and your skin healthy, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.” Tousley said. “For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water per day. Also, the first thing you should do when you wake up in the morning is drink a big glass of water.”

Citrus: Consistently drinking water throughout the day may seem daunting at first. But, there are some easy techniques you can use to train your mind and body to embrace a hydrated lifestyle. As you grab your keys each time you walk out the door, make sure to take a water bottle with you as well. When you’re at work, keep a full glass of water near your workstation so you have easy access to water throughout your day. And, dress up your water with any type of citrus fruit – orange, grapefruit, lemon, etc. – to not only make your water taste better, but also pack it with natural electrolytes to help increase your body’s water absorption capabilities.

Pure Oils: Most people’s go-to dry skin remedy is to lather on moisturizing lotions, oils or gels. However, most lotions and oils contain baby oils, mineral oils or even petroleum oils. These oils not only block oxygen saturation in and out of your skin, but applying them on your skin promotes absorption of these chemicals into your body. Instead of applying lotions and oils to your skin that are sold at cosmetics stores, Tousley suggests using oils on your skin that are sold in your grocery store such as almond oil, avocado oil or olive oil.

“You shouldn’t use the same thing on your body that you use in your car,” Tousley said. “Your skin is alive and it needs nourishment. If you can eat it, you can put it on your skin.”

Pure Zinc Oxide: Soaking up sunrays is a popular summer pastime. Whether you are sitting poolside or spending patio time with friends, it’s important to protect your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays. Traditional sunscreens, though, can include a laundry list of chemicals that may protect you from the sun, but damage your skin and body with contaminates in the process. As an aquatics director and lifeguard who has spent years working under the sun, Tousley prefers the use of pure zinc oxide sunblock.

“It’s waterproof, it’s safe, it doesn’t have anything in it and it’s cheap,” Tousley said.

When it comes to smooth, soft skin, less is more. Using less cosmetic products and adding more natural resources into your lifestyle like pure H2O feeds your body and your skin with healthy nutrients that result in healthy desirable results. As you’re enjoying the warm sunny weather this summer, always have the above ingredients on hand to promote healthy glowing skin and a strong hydrated body.

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