Your integumentary system (made up of your hair, skin, and nails) is not only your body’s first line of defense; it’s the first thing others notice about you. Healthy skin and hair can give you a boost of confidence. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to damage them both without proper, proactive care. These tips can help you protect, enhance, and nourish this important body system so you can look and feel your best.
1. Evaluate Your Home’s Water Quality
Your skin and hair are affected by everything that comes into contact with them, especially if it’s long enough for these substances to be absorbed. The water in your home may affect them the most, but if it’s too harsh, it can lead to real damage in a hurry. Hard water can cause topical dehydration, making your skin itchy and your hair brittle. Have your supply tested by a professional and find out if having a water softener installed can help improve it, not just for bathing and washing, but for eating and drinking as well.
2. Use Sunscreen Every Single Day
Sunshine is essential because it helps your body produce the vitamin D it needs to survive. However, those UVA and UVB rays are harmful in large or regular doses and can break down hair and skin cells while increasing your risks for skin cancer. Most dermatologists recommend that everyone apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 on a daily basis, even if they spend most of their time indoors. Those rays can reach your skin just as easily through the windows in your car or near your office desk.
Too much sun exposure can harm your hair as well. To protect it, wear hats when you’re outdoors for extended periods of time. You can also invest in protective sprays that help shield your hair from harmful ultraviolet light.
3. Set the Right Shower Schedule
You need to keep your hair and your skin clean to avoid oil buildup and unwanted odors. However, over-cleansing can lead to dryness and damage. How often should you shower and wash your hair? That answer varies from person to person and is based on your unique hair type and skin type. Take the time to learn about both so you can create a schedule that keeps you feeling fresh without draining you of hydration and comfort.
4. Eat Nutrients to Support Your Skin and Hair
One of the best ways to sustain and protect your integumentary system is to nourish it from the inside out. Topicals can go a long way but getting the nutrients you need directly from natural sources is usually the healthiest and most effective approach. Make sure your daily diet includes:
- Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors
- Sources of lean protein, mostly from fish and plant sources
- Healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids
- Lots of fresh water throughout the day
- Fiber-rich whole grains
Limit processed foods and those that are high in added sugar and saturated fat; these can do more harm than good to your skin and hair.
5. Get Your Blood Flowing
Circulation is essential for the health and efficiency of every body system. To keep your skin and hair healthy, make sure there is adequate blood flow by staying active and following a safe exercise plan. There are also things you can do to stimulate excess blood flow, such as scrubbing, brushing, or massaging certain areas. Do not smoke, as it can constrict your blood vessels and lead to poor circulation throughout the body.
6. Don’t Skimp on the Moisturizers
Even with excellent lifestyle choices, your skin and hair still need a daily dose of topical moisturizer for soothing protection. Apply lotions or creams to your skin immediately every time you bathe and wash your face. Always follow up a shampoo session with a good conditioner that suits your hair’s needs.
Healthy skin and hair not only feel great, but they can also help you look great too. These small steps can have a huge impact on your body for the better, so take steps to care for your integumentary system today.