Far too often, people wait until they start to notice things like fine lines or wrinkles before they begin paying attention to the health of their skin. However, getting a jumpstart on healthy and youthful skin now won’t just help to improve your appearance.
There’s actually a greater connection between mental health and skin health than you might realize. Improving your mental health and stress levels can contribute to fewer blemishes and overall healthier skin, even in teens and young adults.
There’s also a connection between adequate hydration and skin health. Your skin can tell you a lot about your overall wellness, so it’s essential to take care of it at every age.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of these connections and what you can do to take better care of your skin while reaping the benefits of those practices.
The Link Between Mental Health and Skin Health
According to the American Institute of Stress, the global average number of people who admit to being stressed is 35%. Too much stress can create a laundry list of health problems. It can contribute to anxiety or depression, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, sleep problems, and more.
Stress can also take a toll on your physical health.
Stress is actually the most common cause of acne. It tends to decrease the amount of estrogen production in both women and men, leading to excessive sebum (oil) production. That can quickly clog your pores and make you more prone to breakouts. Stress can also cause you to fidget more than usual. You’re more likely to touch your face, causing the dirt and oils from your hands to rub off onto your cheeks and forehead, again potentially clogging your pores and giving your skin a “greasy” look.
While reducing your stress levels might not completely prevent breakouts, it can certainly help. Thankfully, there are simple steps you can take to improve your mental health, including:
- Prioritizing sleep 
- Staying physically active
- Eating a balanced diet
- Trying stress-reducing practices like meditation and mindfulness
- Leaning on your support system
If you feel like you’re really struggling with your mental well-being, don’t hesitate to reach out to a counselor or therapist for more help. Doing so will not only help improve your mental well-being overall, but it may also help your skin.
You Are What You Eat
Another factor that often has a major impact on skin health is diet. When you’re young, you might think you can get away with eating just about anything. While it might not affect your waistline so much, your nutrition impacts your skin at every age.
For example, foods that are high on the glycemic index can worsen existing skin conditions and even cause inflammation. Foods like sugar, white rice, juice, white bread, and pastries generally aren’t good for your skin health. That doesn’t mean you need to completely eliminate them, but it’s important to be mindful of how they impact the look and feel of your skin.
Alternatively, low-glucose foods like beans, fish, and green vegetables can improve your skin health. Overall, try to maintain a diet rich in nutrients, and pay attention to how your skin responds to dietary changes.
In addition to what you eat, make sure you’re staying hydrated. Simple dietary changes like drinking more water throughout the day can reduce blemishes and give your skin a healthy glow. It also improves the elasticity of your skin, which can be helpful in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as you age.
Of course, you don’t strictly have to stick to water. Consider trying other beneficial beverages, like green tea. Green tea is full of antioxidants and can serve as a natural inflammatory. Some people swear by it to maintain an ageless look.
Establishing a Skincare Routine
The best thing you can do for your skin at any age is to establish a healthy routine that fits your needs. Preventative measures like maintaining a healthy diet, drinking green tea, and practicing self-care are all important, but it’s also a good idea to have a specific set of things you do each day to strictly focus on skin health.
That might include washing your face twice a day, taking vitamins to ensure your skin is getting essential nutrients, exercising, and using moisturizers to keep your skin properly hydrated. Forming a routine isn’t just a great way to take care of your skin. It can make it easier to form healthy habits in other areas of life, improving your overall well-being.
There’s no wrong time to get a jump start on healthy and youthful skin. It’s never too late to start a routine and boost your healthy habits. When you do, you’re likely to see positive results not only in the health of your skin, but how you feel from the inside out.