Your skin is a wonderful measuring system of body and spirit. Sickness, sadness, worry-all are mirrored in a very poor complexion. however, once you are healthy, glad in person and professionally, and have a lust always, your face shows it. once individuals tell you, “You look great!” it’s most likely a tribute to your lustrous, spirited complexion.
To have great skin, be happy. Sound too simple? It isn’t—your state of mind has an enormous influence on the condition of your skin. A positive mindset promotes the healthy functioning of nerves and hormones, which in turn ensures good circulation and the production of natural chemicals for all parts of the body, including the skin. Achieving a positive frame of mind requires reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and balancing your nutritional and exercise habits.
By the way, when was the last time you took good care of your skin? Ever go to bed with your makeup still on, or without washing your face? Ever stay up all night, or oversleep? Do you smoke, or tend to have one drink too many at the bar? Do you spend a lot of time in rooms loaded with stale air? Expose yourself to sudden chill or heat? Neglect to wash your skin after a workout?
It’s hard living in today’s fast-paced society without having your skin take a beating. The trick is to eliminate “skin enemies” whenever possible and to “train” your skin to be strong enough to withstand foes like extreme temperature and stale, smoky air, without obstructing the natural breathing of the skin.
But, first, let’s get down to basics.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. We tend to take it for granted—we scrape it, stretch it, expose it to the elements, and still expect it to hold up without much help. How vitally important is skin? Let’s look at the six major functions it performs:
1. A window on the emotions
Japanese people are often considered inscrutable and poker-faced, but needless to say, given the right situation, they are as capable of expressing emotions as anyone else. Feelings are expressed by a rush of blood—to the face, when flustered or embarrassed, away from the face, when angry or afraid—and by contractions of the facial skin. Women often try to hold back a smile or other expressions, in the belief that this will stave off the wrinkling process. This is foolish and may even give your face a mask-like appearance. Natural expressiveness is an important human trait, one that distinguishes our personalities. Instead of giving up smiling, a more sensible approach is disciplining yourself to a good skin-maintenance routine. (On the other hand, you should try to avoid habitual frowning, pursing of the lips, or any other nervous tics that can etch deep lines in your face over time.)
2. Nature’s armor
Skin wraps the entire body and internal organs, providing a shield against various irritations. This natural armor takes a considerable amount of punishment— it’s the only thing between you and bacteria, ultraviolet rays, chemicals, vast temperature fluctuations, poisonous substances, and sudden blows to the body. Cosmetics, if used properly, act as a kind of skin-on-the-skin.
3. A thermostat
The skin does 80 percent of the job of regulating body temperature. In cold environments, the blood vessels and pores constrict to conserve heat. Subcutaneous fat—a layer of fat beneath the surface of the skin— also keeps the body warm. And when it’s hot, the blood vessels expand to induce sweating and help the body shed heat. Sweat glands are generally concentrated in the palms, soles of the feet, and forehead. In addition to sweat, a minute amount of moisture—insensible perspiration—is constantly being released both from the surface of the skin and by exhaled water vapor. The water lost via insensible perspiration can amount to as much as 1.5 pints (700 milliliters) a day.