Want to have clear, glowing and supple skin at any age?
You only have to open a women’s magazine or turn the TV to see that the beauty industry is alive and well. Providing a constant stream of new products for us to try that promise to deliver desired results. It is easy to fall for this clever marketing, that usually show us young women that have that teen to early 20’s skin with youth on their side. Fast forward 10-15 years, two kids later and plenty of sleepless nights, stress, the odd sugar binge and too many days of forgotten sunscreen and we may long for the complexion we remember from years ago.
While I believe today’s society puts too much pressure onto women to maintain a youthful appearance and not enough emphasis on embracing the aging process as a gift and all of those little crinkles we start to develop as signs of a life well lived and a smile given often. There is plenty we can do that can improve the health of our skin and allow it to reflect our internal health and happiness.
1. Good nutrition (of course!) A diet high in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Our internal health can most certainly be reflected by the skin. Our skin is an organ of elimination and if our body is not eliminating toxins effectively enough through the liver and kidneys, the skin will be the next stop for impurities to be expressed. This may result in dull looking skin, pimples or other more irritating skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
The key to good nutrition is more wholefoods and less processed foods and sugar, yes it really is that simple! By wholefoods I mean consuming foods that have had minimal processing and are not packaged: Example: Eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cold pressed oils, fish, organic meats, fruit and organic dairy products. Of course the ratios that you consume these types of foods is also important, I would suggest vegetable intake should be on the high priority list.
Processed and packages foods being of minimal consumption means most of what is in the supermarket isle. Example: breads, pasta, biscuits, lollies, chips, crackers, ice cream, soft drinks, commercial yoghurt and dips.
*Special tip: Add fermented foods to your diet to boost levels of healthy gut bacteria for a clear and glowing complexion. Good gut bacteria will maintain a healthy gut lining and can help to reduce levels of inflammation within the body. Inflammation can impact our skin in many ways!
Dehydrated skin is loss of water from the skin due to the skin being unable to retain moisture in the epidermis. Water is transmitted from the inside to the outside layer of the skin and internal hydration will affect this process. Drink more water!! Limit fluids that can cause dehydration like coffee and alcohol.
3. Good liver health
Your liver is the main organ of detoxification. The health and function of the liver will impact many other body systems if it becomes overburdened or sluggish. This may result in impaired digestive function, hormonal imbalance and increased levels of toxicity within the body. Your skin health can be less than optimal when the liver needs some TLC! Good nutrition and reducing your exposure to toxins and chemicals will help to support healthy liver function.
4. Reduce your exposure to toxins and chemicals
Your skin is porous and it has been suggested that we can absorb up to 60% of what we put on our skin. This is not good news if you are still using commercial beauty products that are full of chemical preservatives and synthetic ingredients. If you read your beauty product’s ingredients and it looks like a very confusing biochemistry lesson then you might want to consider a natural alternative. A trip to the local health food shop can provide you with all of your natural beauty needs. There are plenty of companies making organic beauty products that can improve the health of your skin externally that won’t compromise your internal health. While you’re there, consider swapping your deodorants, body wash and hair care products.
5. Reduce your stress
When we are stressed our adrenal glands produce more of the stress hormone called cortisol. Ongoing high levels of cortisol can have plenty of negative health consequences like impaired immunity, weight gain and increased risk of developing mood disorders like anxiety or depression. It can also have an impact on the health of our skin. Cortisol can diminish the skin’s ability to retain moisture, this will dehydrate the skin. In response to this sebaceous glands will be stimulated and this is why we can have a break out when we are stressed. Increased cortisol can also cause collagen and elastin to breakdown in the skin, leading to premature aging. Learning stress management techniques, getting enough sleep and regular exercise can help to keep our cortisol levels in check!
Feed your skin with a natural skin treatment!
Face Scrub Base
Basic scrub mixture:
½ cup finely ground oatmeal
¼ cup rice flour
1 tablespoon French facial clay (available health food shop)
Combine and keep in an airtight jar
1 ½ teaspoons of basic scrub mix
1 teaspoon apple juice
¼ teaspoon powdered kelp
1 teaspoon natural yoghurt
Combine all ingredients to form a smooth paste. Spread onto the skin and massage using gentle, upward circular motions. Remove with a warm face cloth and rinse face.