Immune systems are powerful things. They develop, learn, and adapt to help safeguard us against outside forces, from pollutants to viruses, diseases, and everyday germs.
But here's the thing most people don't realize: your immune system isn't something that just works inside to keep you healthy. It's also outside, right where you can see it—on your skin.
This is why it's important to learn how to boost skin immunity. Read on for a helpful guide.
The Basics of Skin Immunity
Every inch of your body has immune cells that actively work to ward off outside intruders, and your skin is no different. In fact, all three layers of the skin's barrier—the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis—are just teeming with good-for-you white blood cells.
- Macrophages, which recruit nearby immune cells and also help repair skin wounds.
- Lymphocytes, which help control inflammation and infection.
- Neutrophils, which aren't commonly seen in healthy skin but may grow in number when the skin is inflamed or wounded.
And yet, though our body and skin barrier naturally contain all the ingredients we need to get and stay healthy, sometimes they need a little boost. Just like taking vitamins or eating a wholesome diet can support immune function, there are many things you can do specifically for your skin to get it back into tip-top shape.
Identifying Skin Barrier Damage
How do you know if your skin's immune system needs support? Consider your skin barrier: the three layers of skin that work around-the-clock to protect you from sunlight, water, bacteria, and other hazards. Any damage to any of those layers can create dryness, cracks, burns, wounds, or other types of sensitivity.
If you notice these warning signs, take heed. You may have chemical damage (like pollution from wildfire smoke), physical damage (like sunburns, cuts, or even face mask irritation), or maybe a bit of both. The damage can affect the skin cells of your skin barrier, including those precious immune cells. It may even make you more susceptible to future skin problems.
This sounds scary, but here's some good news: most damage can be healed with a rejuvenating skin care plan.
Supporting Your Skin and Your Health
The most important thing you can do for your skin, today and always, is assess how you care for it. A basic daily routine includes a gentle cleanser, broad-spectrum sunscreen, and moisturizer.
In addition to your daily routine, you can nourish your skin a step further with amino acids. These are compounds that do many things to keep your body functioning as it should, including to heal body tissue.
For an optimal mix of amino acids, grab a combo kit of EltaMD's Skin Recovery System. With a science-based formula of toner, serum, and moisturizer, the kit contains everything your thirsty skin needs to strengthen from within and get back to a repaired and refreshed state.
But don't stop there. Holistic wellness can also lead to healthy, vibrant skin. That means taking care of yourself, inside and out:
- Eat wholesome food. Some experts say that a nutritional diet is among the best things you can do for your skin health because it supplies the skin with a water-soluble form of essential nutrients like Vitamin C. Stock up on fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy for best results.
- Get enough sleep. Adequate slumber not only supports mental and physical health, but it also better enables your skin to do its magic by way of collagen production and cell repair. Most adults need around eight hours of sleep per day.
- Stay active. Not only can regular physical activity help support blood flow and give your skin a post-workout glow, but it may also help to clear your head, too. Experts recommend about 150 minutes of exercise per week.
- Manage stress. Acne and other skin problems linked to stress can be a formidable but familiar foe. Try breathing exercises, yoga, or even a soothing bath once in a while—whatever it takes to calm your mind!
So, when you're wondering how to boost skin immunity, remember these best practices. If you follow these tips, your skin health and immune system will be better prepared to jump back to normal in no time. And good thing, too: you never know when you'll need your body at its best to fight off the next microscopic bad guy.