Holistic Skincare Tips
There's no arguing the bounty of beauty potions and elixirs on the market today, from creams to serums and everything in between, each one promising a glowing, youthful, blemish-free you. And while some may be justified in their claims, many contain harsh--if not toxic--ingredients that do more harm than good over time. The truth is, fantastic skin starts from within. Diet, exercise, and self-care make up the foundation for youthful vitality, no matter your age. In short, if you're healthy, your skin will look healthy too.
Here are 10 holistic skincare tips to keep you glowing from inside and out throughout the year:
1. Stay hydrated.
You've probably heard it all your life: the human body is 70% water, therefore making H20 our most vital component. It's important to stay hydrated to keep your system flushed of toxins and all your organs functioning properly, as well as stave off dull skin and wrinkles. If you're not sure how much water you should be drinking, just follow the 8x8 rule: eight 8oz glasses of water a day.
2. Catch up on your Zz's.
Most health experts agree that the average adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sadly, only about half of the US population logs in a good night's sleep. The result? A weakened immune system, increased risk of depression and weight gain, and overall lack of energy needed to get through the days. The signs of sleep deprivation are clearly visible, with dark under-eye circles and dull skin the first red flags. If you're a night owl by nature, try retiring to the bedroom at least an hour or so before lights out, and limit the use of gadgets such as laptops and cellphones at least an hour before turning in.
3. Eat your fruits and veggies.
Apples, beets, carrots, blueberries, and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale are just a few of the fruits and veggies packed with essential vitamins and nutrients and proven to boost your skin's healthy glow. If loading your plate with fruits and greens at every meal seems daunting, homemade smoothies are a delicious and easy way to get the servings you need in one go.
4. --and cut back on the sugar.
Sugar is a known culprit for causing all sorts of complexion woes, from blemishes to early wrinkles. Sugar and simple carbohydrates are quick to convert to glucose in your bloodstream, resulting in an abundance of sugar molecules attaching themselves to collagen fibers and breaking them down over time. Try to keep your sugar intake as low as possible, and substitute where you can with natural sweeteners like raw honey, squeezed fruit juices, and stevia extract.
5. Make time for downtime.
Stress (or the lack thereof) plays a huge part in your overall health and well-being, starting from within and showing on your face. And while it's all but impossible to cut stress completely out of one's schedule, even an hour set aside each day for reading, meditating, or soaking in a long bath can make a world of difference in your appearance.
6. Mind your caffeine and alcohol.
Much like sugar, caffeine and alcohol inhibit healthy collagen production and furthermore act as diuretics, prohibiting your body from retaining much-needed water. Limit your morning coffee to one or two cups, and keep your evening cocktails on a similar scale. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and especially in between drinks.
7. Get moving.
Exercise is not only crucial for keeping fit, but maintaining a healthy complexion by sweating out toxins and build-up, as well as reaping the benefits of some good old fashioned fresh air. You don't have to haunt the gym to stay active; a brisk daily walk, yoga session, or casual outdoor sport will keep your body, mind, and skin in top form.
8. Stop smoking.
No, but seriously. Aside from the heavy toll it takes on your internal health, smoking also damages skin on a multi-layer level by decreasing the oxygen in the bloodstream and further constricting blood vessels. Furthermore, smoking disrupts the skin's natural composition, resulting in premature aging, skin discoloration, and more susceptibility to UV damage.
9. Ease up on your cleansing routine.
Leading aestheticians will tell you that harsh soaps and over-scrubbing are some of the worst things you can do to your skin, but did you know there's also such a thing as over-cleansing? Washing your face at night to remove dirt and make-up--followed by a good moisturizer--is a must, but cleansing in the morning is generally unnecessary. Your skin replenishes vital nutrients and oils while you sleep, and washing them off in the morning is counterproductive to keeping that healthy barrier your skin needs to ward off free radicals and environmental damage.
10. Exfoliate at least twice a week.
While daily scrubbing is unnecessary, keeping a twice-a-week exfoliation regime will slough off dead skin cells and keep your skin smooth and glowing. Look for organic scrubs that will gently but effectively do the job, and swap out your usual washcloth with a natural loofah sponge for optimum results. Make sure to apply a good moisturizer afterward.