Let’s face it! Life can get quite hectic while we try and balance work, a social life, exercise, and eating well to be fit, healthy and successful, and rule the world! And because of that, we get tempted to grab that extra drink, binge on some fries, or skip a morning workout just to off some steam and eventually, we tend to lose a little control and where do we see the signs of our bad choices first? The skin!
HOW POOR DECISIONS AFFECT YOUR SKIN!
Drinking and smoking lead to vascular skin surface changes that change the texture and color of your skin, a poor diet results in dry and flaky skin, high-stress levels can cause itching, hives, or loss of skin color and lack of sleep immediately shows with the dark circles and droopy eyes! It’s hard to maintain glowing skin in our very busy, hustle-bustle lifestyle, but there is a way and you can do it!
WHAT GOES INTO THE BODY REFLECTS THE OUTSIDE OF THE BODY
While face masks, face washes, and body creams do help with our skin, the actual way you can improve your skin and bring back its glow along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, is by eating right. This is key! Every cell of our body needs nutrients to allow the body to carry out its functions and perform well and the food we eat acts like the raw material of the nutrients we need for the body. Our skin is the biggest organ in the body and needs nutrients and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and potassium. When we do not eat the right kind of foods, we do not receive those nutrients, hence our skin cells suffer and cannot work optimally, which results in a loss of elasticity and collagen. This leads to dullness, wrinkles, and lack of glow. So it is very important to eat a well-balanced diet where you can receive all the nutrients for healthy, glowing skin. 1
TIPS OF THE TRADE TO GLOWING SKIN
TIP NO.1: STOP SMOKING
Everyone knows smoking is bad for health. It is bad for the lungs, for the heart, and even for the skin. Smoking leads to premature aging, wrinkles and makes the skin pale, giving it an unhealthy yellow paleness. There are more than 1000 harmful toxins in cigarettes and every time you light one up, your collagen levels go down and the elasticity and youthful appearance go out the door. People who smoke a lot also tend to look older and of course paler.2
TIP NO.2: GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP
Sleep helps the skin with cellular regeneration. Like sleep is important for you to function during the day, it is just as important for the skin to regrow its cells and repair the damages. You should get at least 8 hours of sleep for the skin to work at its optimum. If you receive less than 8 hours, your skin breaks down the collagen and causes the skin to look tired, dry, lackluster, and causes minor skin imperfections like graininess and small bumps. In addition, lack of sleep causes dark circles under the eyes, which result in dilated blood vessels. 3
TIP NO.3: PUT A STOP TO STRESS
Our fast-paced lifestyle causes a lot of stress. Stress can have a detrimental effect on your skin because it leads to the production of a hormone called cortisol. This increases the production of sebum, the oil found in your skin. As a result, your skin may become oily or spotty. Of course, stress can also worsen existing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Learn to manage stress with meditation, relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, and/or yoga. Also, take regular holidays and remember to make time for fun.4
TIP NO.4: EXERCISE MORE
Grab your gym gear and get moving if you want to improve the health of your skin! Sweating helps to flush impurities and clears pores. Cardiovascular exercise also improves circulation, which encourages the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This will result in fresh, glowing skin!
TIP NO.5: WATER IS YOUR POTION TO YOUTH
You know that your skin is the biggest organ of the body but did you know that your cells are ALSO made up of water? If your skin is not receiving a sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry and flaky. Dry skin also has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. So drinking enough water daily is important for overall good health because water not only helps with recharging and rehydrating the skin and flushing out the toxins, but it also aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion.5
TIP NO.6: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Last and most importantly, a poor diet is almost always bad news for your skin and can result in dehydration, dryness, premature aging, puffiness, and clogged pores. For some people, it may even contribute to acne. The state your gut is in will impact the way your skin looks and feels. Also incorporating probiotic supplements into your diet will ensure good gut health since we don’t always get all the nutrients from the foods we eat. Natural supplements are an extension of your diet so taking them can be very beneficial.
For those who don’t have acne, following a diet that is rich in protective nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber is good. For those who do have acne, following a low-GI (low glycemic diet) diet will help better your skin.
WHAT IS A LOW GLYCEMIC DIET?
A low glycemic diet is an eating plan based on how each food affects your blood sugar levels (glycemic means blood sugar or glucose). Each food is given a Glycemic Index (GI) number that can be compared to pure glucose (GI 100). The closer the number is to 100, the higher its GI. The closest to zero, the lower its GI. You want to stick to foods with a lower GI. High levels of insulin (sugar) triggers the skin to produce more sebum than it needs to; which results in pimples. Too much sugar also causes inflammation, dark spots and irritation of the skin; which in a result can also cause more pimples. Hence, opting for a Low-GI diet can be a good option.6
Stocking up on fresh fruit and vegetables, unsifted grains and cereals, nuts, seeds, sprouts and poly- or monounsaturated fats will help get all the vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids you need for overall good health and beautiful skin.
Making changes in our fast-paced lifestyle is not easy but very necessary. It is important to be conscious of what your body is feeling and what we put into it because your inner health is a reflection of your outer health.