Everybody wants their skin to look smooth, bright and fresh. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and one of the first things that people notice. How your skin looks determines your appearance and plays a huge part in the first impression you set. Skin is the reflexion to the outside world of how healthy you are. Whatever problem is occurring inside the body, the skin expresses it. When you’re tired, under your eyes will get darker. When you’re stressed out, a pimple or two might pop up. If you’re not eating enough nutrients, the overall complexion appears pale. When you are happy, the skin looks more plump and your complexion literally appears as if it is glowing (think of the term “Glowing Bride”). Whatever is going on mentally, emotionally and physiologically, the skin will let everyone know. Have you ever had someone say, “Are you sick?” when you are not or “You seem tired!” when you thought you’ve had enough sleep? Your skin is trying to tell you something! There is a complicated science behind skin but I am going to make it as simple as possible. Good luck on your journey to glowing skin! Make these tips a habit and you will notice a difference in no time.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Do you know if you’re drinking enough water everyday? Chances are, you’re not and your skin is thirsty! I like the goal of 9 glasses (8oz. each) of water everyday (+1 extra water bottle if you hit the gym on that day). Best way to make this a habit and avoid dull skin: chug a tall glass every morning when you wake up and carry a transportable bottle around all day.
EAT YOUR FRUITS & VEGGIES. You should have a minimum of 5 servings per day. For skin purposes, try to eat more vegetables than fruits especially leafy greens, carrots and sweet potato. Great fruits for skin are berries, for the antioxidants, kiwi, apples and citrus fruits for the vitamin C. Both fruits and veggies have tons of bioflavonoids (like hesperidin, quercitin and rutin) that reduce darkened age spots and wrinkles. Eat more fruits and veggies and watch your skin’s tone transform to a healthier colour and rejuvenate from the inside out.
CONSUME HEALTHY FATS. Many people are scared of fats in the diet but healthy fats are actually quite important for everything health-related including good skin. The top of my list for healthy fats are avocados, nuts and raw olive oil. These foods will provide your skin cells with essential fatty acids in order to build cell membranes. EFA’s are molecules that your body cannot synthesize on its own therefore, you need them in your diet. Fish (free-range salmon is my top choice) is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s decrease inflammation and strengthen skin cells’ membranes. I always try to eat more fish than chicken/red meat. If you’re not a big fan of fish, try a fish oil like mine with added Vitamin D, “Cytomatrix Omega D3 Liquid Forte” ($47.50). I recommend talking to a naturopath to figure out what the best fish oil is for you (because there are SO many different types and it can be overwhelming) to make sure you’re getting the most potential out of your fish oil.
AVOID YOUR SKIN’S ENEMIES. Food to avoid in the search of glowing skin is refined sugar and dairy. These foods are proven to be the top two “bad guys” for skin. They can cause puffiness and acne breakouts due to the challenge they create for elimination. Elimination of the bowels is an important process to get rid of toxins and whatever is no longer nutritious for the body. If they aren’t eliminated through that route, the skin tries to do the job and it doesn’t look so nice. Also, avoid fast food, anything deep-fried and cigarette smoking (obviously) because they all create free radical damage that change the way skin looks overtime.
GET SOME SUNSHINE. Of course you need to protect your skin and wear SPF, but sunshine actually plays an important role in radiant skin. Vitamin D from sun rays plays an important role in collagen production. Try to get (just enough) sun. I typically go in the sun for 15 minutes without sunscreen on and then apply or stay in the shade after the 15 minutes are over. The sun gives our skin cells fuel so don’t completely deprive yourself of it.
LOWER YOUR ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE INTAKE. Alcohol depletes your B12 and thiamin levels, two components of healthy skin. Alcohol also creates free radical damage that breaks down collagen. Vitamin B12 is involved in new cell reproduction, reducing skin redness and inflammation. Most unfortunately, alcohol and caffeine are both extremely dehydrating, which can make the skin look tired and dry.
EXFOLIATE. I like to exfoliate 3-5 times a week. When you exfoliate, you create micro-traumas to the epidermis. This in turn, signals for cell turnover and collagen production in the deeper layer of the dermis. This way the skin continues to slough off dead skin cells and bring up new, fresh cells. I always find that exfoliating makes my face look polished and helps makeup go on much nicer. My favourite and well-priced exfoliator is “Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub” ($12.99).
VITAMIN C SERUM. In my opinion, this is the fastest way to achieve glowing skin. It is quite acidic and concentrated so be careful if you have sensitive skin. My naturopath recommended “Devita Rx C-Pro Plus” ($45.96) and it is amazing! I use one pump, before bed, twice-three times a week. I apply it after I exfoliate and a few minutes prior to moisturizing. I wake up with noticeable changes. Consult with a doctor before using this product because it contains AHA (similar to retinol) that makes your skin extremely more susceptible to the sun, might irritate rosacea and is contraindicated in pregnancy.
One of the most important ways to get that glow is to nourish it. You should moisturize after you wash your face, at least twice a day. For the main goal of glow, I like Eminence’s (organic line!) “Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream” ($102.10). It’s quite pricey but, with each use, I use only half the amount needed into my palm, then mix it with a bit of coconut oil before applying to my face. That way you are still getting the beneficial ingredients of the cream without sacrificing moisture and the jar lasts way longer!
CHOOSE HAPPINESS. Always do what makes you happy. Surround yourself with people you love, stay active, take time for yourself when you need it, etc. It’s as simple as this: if you’re not feeling good, your skin won’t look good. All of the cells in your body (including skin cells) resonate with the energy you put out into the world. If you don’t quite understand this, think of how many diseases are caused due to depression or anxiety (ex. irritable bowel syndrome). Simply smiling (even when you don’t feel like it) will make you look healthier. Choose to be a positive person and life gets so much better!