TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL, GLOWING SKIN
Who doesn't want beautiful, glowing skin? Look and feel amazing with our top five self-care tips that will help you achieve and maintain an amazing glow!
Most of us know and understand how important self-care is. Or, at least I hope we do. There's even a hashtag for it. Self-care is an essential component of living a healthy lifestyle and should be a priority. Self-care isn't selfish. It is your absolute greatest responsibility.
This is not going to be your typical self-care blog post. You may be disappointed if you're here looking for the latest homemade face mask or body scrub.
Face masks and body scrubs are super important and have their place and purpose. I'm here to talk about what I believe is even more important.
The skin-related self-care things that are typically promoted and talked about, are external. How about we discuss what you can do internally that can have a far greater long-term impact?
1. MOVE YOUR BODY
It's common knowledge that exercise can have a positive effect on your body. But, it can also influence how your skin looks and feels. Exercise is a key component of a healthy complexion. There is a reason why we experience what's known as the post-workout glow. Yes, it's a real thing.
This is a result of increased blood flow, which moves oxygen and nutrients through our bodies. The increased blood flow and sweating help in flushing out toxins. Sweating opens up your pores and releases impurities.
Did you know that exercise releases anti-inflammatory proteins and can reduce inflammation? Stress can also wreak havoc on your skin, and regular exercise decreases stress by decreasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
You will certainly experience these benefits at a greater level with higher intensity workouts since they get your heart rate up, and make you sweat more. But, low to moderate intensity can also be beneficial and is better than nothing.
It's important to find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy. Exercise shouldn't be just another thing on your checklist that has to be done. It can be something that you actually enjoy and look forward to. There are so many options. Explore different things until something clicks. You are more likely to stick to it long term, which is the goal.
If you have just recently started your journey, simply walking can be a fantastic starting point! There is beauty in simplicity. Slowly work your way up to higher intensity as you are able. Remember, it's about progress, not perfection.
2. EAT NUTRITIOUS FOOD
It is really important to understand how food affects your skin. When it comes to food, I like to keep it simple. Let me start by saying that I don't believe in fad diets, and actually would advise against them. They may work for temporary results, but they are not sustainable long-term. Some of them may even be downright dangerous.
I personally focus on eating unprocessed, clean, natural, whole-foods. This approach not only helps with my overall wellness but makes my skin healthy as well. Especially making sure to consume plenty of fresh produce!
The foods (and I use the word lightly) that can seriously mess with your skin and should be eliminated, or at the very least decreased significantly; processed food, fast food, soda, and refined sugar. All of which you would naturally avoid with a clean eating, whole-food approach.
3. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Drinking enough water can be one of the most impactful things you can do for your skin and overall well-being.
Our body naturally contains a high percentage of water. Every single cell and organ needs water to function properly, and our skin is the body's largest organ.
We need a certain amount of water just to survive. There is, however, a huge difference between merely surviving and thriving. We naturally lose water throughout the day and can see adverse effects if we don't properly replenish.
There are many healthy ways to add flavor if you have a hard time drinking plain water. Dehydration can make your skin more vulnerable, and prone to dryness, dullness, fine lines, and premature wrinkling. The importance of drinking water can not be overstated. Water is an undeniable catalyst for glistening, glowing skin.
4. GET ENOUGH QUALITY SLEEP & REST
Lack of sleep or lack of quality sleep can negatively affect your skin. Our skin needs sleep to repair itself. Lack of sleep can cause inflammation in the skin, which can promote all kinds of undesirable skin conditions.
Did you know that sleep deprivation can increase dryness because there's more water loss when you don't sleep enough? It can also reduce growth hormone production which can reduce skin thickness. This may cause collagen and elastic tissue to break down, and produce loose skin and wrinkles.
Most of us know that inadequate or low-quality sleep can cause eye redness and under-eye dark circles and puffiness. It's one of the most outwardly obvious signs of tiredness and lack of sleep.
Prolonged, chronic sleep deprivation can accelerate skin aging and make you look older than your actual age. This is a sign of intrinsic aging, which means your skin will have more lines, laxity, or looseness.
How can you improve the quality of your sleep so you don't experience any of these negative side-effects?
There are certain things that work for some people such as melatonin, and herbal teas. I won't recommend anything specific because results can vary from person to person.
These remedies may not work for some people because of other factors. For example, hormones can play a role for those of us who are over 40. And, that's a whole other conversation.
But, I can at least share what has helped me: please refer to tips 1, 2, 3, and 5. Yes! I believe that the five things listed here for beautiful, glowing skin are holistic in nature. I believe that they all seamlessly work together.
5. REDUCE STRESS
This is a big one, ladies! Stress can wreak havoc on our entire body, including our skin. Stress can cause your skin to be more sensitive and reactive. It can worsen and aggravate existing skin issues, such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. Fever blister flare-ups can also be caused by stress.
Did you know that stress can accelerate skin aging? High amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, can play a big part in breaking down collagen and elastin and cause wrinkles.
Let's be real though, completely eliminating stress is probably close to impossible. There are always going to be external factors beyond our control, but we can at least try to control how we react to those stressors. And, we can also try to focus on what steps we can take in helping reduce stress in our lives.
Let's go ahead and focus on the things that we can control. Please refer to tip #1 above. I absolutely believe this is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress.
At least for me, it has been. Exercise releases endorphins known to produce positive feelings, and can help you feel happier, calmer, and less stressed! Exercise can also improve the quality of your sleep (tip #4), which can positively affect your skin, as well.
I always try to remind myself of this on hard days. When I'm feeling down or extra stressed. It's even more important to move on those days. It gives me the motivation that I need because I want to feel better. And, guess what? It hasn't failed me yet. Works every single time.
There are other things that can help reduce stress, such as deep breathing exercises. Have you heard of the 4-7-8 breath? Go ahead, try it!
Repeat the cycle at least three times. This is a simple relaxation technique that can be done anywhere, anytime.
Let's not underestimate the importance of laughter when it comes to stress relief! Laughter really is the best medicine. It actually induces positive physical changes in your body.
Not only does it reduce stress and soothe tension, but it can also strengthen your immune system and relieve pain.
Surround yourself with those who bring you joy, watch a funny show or movie, or go to the comedy club for date night.
One of the most important things that I have ever done in relieving stress is learning to say no. You do realize that it's okay to say no sometimes, right? It's not just okay, it's critical. You don't have to be everything to everyone all of the time.
Sometimes, especially as women, we tend to focus our energy on taking care of others. Making sure everyone else's needs are met, and that everyone else is happy. Some of us are natural givers and nurturers. And, that's a beautiful thing!
It's important to learn how to set healthy boundaries. We need to be able to say no sometimes so that we have time and energy to nurture and love ourselves.
And, those face masks and body scrubs that you probably thought you were going to read about here? Sorry if I disappointed you. I will probably do future posts about them though! They absolutely are great stress relievers!
Or how about soaking in a nice Epsom salt bubble bath with smell-good candles glowing? Or a massage? Or a pedicure? Please and thank you!
I really do make an effort to set aside one "spa day" per week where I focus on these types of self-care activities. And they're marvelous. They definitely help me feel more relaxed and less stressed.
These are just suggestions, and things that have helped me. I hope that this post will encourage you to include nurturing your body with healthy food, water, exercise, rest, and stress relief as part of your overall skincare plan.
If you are already making these things a priority, I applaud you and sincerely hope that you continue to do so.