Achieving soft, youthful skin as you age may seem like an impossible dream, but it's definitely achievable if you follow some simple lifestyle steps.
Many factors can place stress on your skin over time, from environmental elements, to food additives and stress. Not to mention the plethora of chemicals in today's household cleaning products and cosmetics that can play havoc with your skin's health and balance.
Because the skin is the largest organ of the body, its appearance can say a lot about the state of someone's overall health and the type of lifestyle they lead. In other words, supple, youthful skin is usually a sign of someone who takes good care of themselves and is in great health inside and out.
As a basic foundation, it's important to remember that the skin absorbs anything you put on it like a sponge. Also, the skin is your body's largest avenue of release when it comes to dumping unwanted toxins and metabolic waste.
For these reasons, everything from acne, to psoriasis, dry skin, oily skin, fine lines and wrinkles, can all be avoided or alleviated when you consistently embrace healthy skin care practices and the lifestyle tips we'll share with you here.
1. Drink More Water
Water isn’t just important to quench your thirst and replenish your body, but also to hydrate the skin. After all, your body’s largest organ gets thirsty too and needs water to thrive.
By drinking enough pure water each day, your body is able to flush out toxins more readily through its natural channels of elimination, with the largest of these channels being your skin.
When you drink enough water, it also helps strengthen the skin to help prevent cracking, dryness and sagging, whilst increasing elasticity and firmness.
Water also helps boost circulation, thereby helping to reduce swelling, puffiness and inflammation and speed up healing.
Aim to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water per day. Kick start your day by drinking a half litre of water when you rise and then drink water consistently throughout the day.
If you want to keep it interesting, feel free to add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to your morning water quota, or add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to your glass or ceramic water bottle to take with you during your daily routine.
Learn more about the vital importance of water in our blog, Water: Nature's Best & Why It's Critical To Life
2. Eat A Clean Diet
The old saying “you are what you eat” has much truth to it, especially when it comes to your skin.
Your skin reflects what you put into your body (and what you don’t), so if you don’t eat a clean, healthy diet, you’re likely going to see that show up on your skin over time.
When it comes to eating a clean diet, the first step is to know what to avoid.
Here's a broad list of food categories you should consider limiting or avoiding altogether if you want to maintain healthy, glowing skin:
- Deep-Fried Fatty & Salty Foods
- Processed Sugar
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Soft Drinks and Energy Drinks
- Refined Carbohydrates such as white flour, white bread and white pasta
- Processed Meats such as salami, bacon & sausages
- Factory-Farmed Dairy Products
All of these foods are not only inflammatory, but will deplete the skin's nutrients, dull the complexion and make you more susceptible to break outs.
The good news is that eating the right foods can have a big impact on your skin health and overall complexion.
That's why for great skin health, your diet should be rich in seasonal, fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, seeds and whole grains to provide your cells with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they need to help your skin stay firm, robust and youthful.
Also, be sure to include plenty of "good fats" in your diet because they are rich in natural monounsaturated fats and essential fatty acids which are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes.
They also help to produce the skin's natural oil barrier, critical in keeping skin hydrated, plumper, and younger looking.
Include as many of the following foods as you can into your diet on a regular basis:
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Macadamia Oil
- Sunflower Seeds
- Flax Seeds.
Also, any of the fruits that have one seed inside, when in season, are particularly great for the skin. In addition to avocados, additional 'skin' fruits include:
To learn more about the role diet plays on your skin health, visit our blog: Why Diet is Key to Glowing Skin
3. Reduce Your Toxic Load
In the same way that there are foods which you should reduce in your diet to alleviate toxicity and inflammation in your body which impacts your skin, there are also chemical ingredients in your environment and personal care products you need to limit or avoid if skin health is important to you.
Start by looking at your skin care and personal care routine.
While 'big brand' beauty and skincare products may promise to fix everything, the truth is that they’re loaded with chemicals, fillers and synthetic fragrances which are toxic to the body when used over the long term.
Remember, anything you put on your skin regularly, will eventually be absorbed through the skin and into the body, which in turn will ultimately impact the appearance of your skin over time as well as your hormonal balance and immunity.
In other words, the more you burden your skin with harmful chemicals, the more it will eventually show up in the appearance of your skin and your overall health.
When it comes to the personal care products you use - and your household cleaning products - start by being more conscious about what's on the labels.
A good rule of thumb is, "if you can't recognise the ingredients, don't put them on your skin or expose your body to them".
Thankfully these days, there is a big shift towards natural skin, beauty and personal care with some great companies offering wonderful alternatives to the chemical products that dominate supermarket, pharmacy and department store shelves.
Many of the plant-based or natural products you'll find are made from pure essential oils, plant butters and even floral plant extracts which are not only wonderfully fragrant, but also very effective and won't harm the skin.
Check out good natural food stores in your area for products you can be proud of using on your skin and around the home or visit our store at tolmanselfcare.com to experience our natural handcrafted products.
4. Exercise To A Sweat
Since your skin is a natural channel of elimination of your body, you can help the process of toxic elimination by working up a sweat.
This doesn't mean that you need to run a marathon everyday or go crazy in the gym, but it does mean you should move your body to the point of a light sweat on a regular basis, at least a few times per week.
Not only will you feel energised afterwards but you'll soon notice how great your skin looks as well.
Exercising also helps improve your body’s circulation and blood flow, while also helping to expel toxins that live under the surface of your skin through sweat.
Getting your regular exercise in such as brisk walking, hiking, cycling, jogging or circuit training, will support the release of toxins via your skin through perspiration.
Whatever type of exercise works for you, just be sure to get your heart rate up a little and work up a sweat to provide wonderful, restorative benefits for your skin.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for many reasons, including maintaining youthful skin.
If you don't get enough sleep, your skin will look depleted and will eventually appear puffy, dry and lack lustre.
Also, without enough sleep your body creates more of the stress hormone known as Cortisol, which contributes greatly to inflammation and stress in your skin.
A lack of sleep can not only worsen any existing skin conditions, but also accelerate the ageing process, and may even your diet and exercise routine which will eventually compound the negative impact on your skin.
Try to aim for 8 quality hours of sleep per night by setting a routine and sticking to it—even on your days off. 8 hours of sleep ties into the natural circadian rhythm, sleep/wake cycle of the body, which will do wonders for your skin health and overall wellbeing.
Tip: T o help you relax before bed and get a better nights sleep, try a detox salt bath at night with restorative and calming essential oils.
6. Do A Periodic Fast or Cleanse
Whilst diet and what you eat are vitally important, every now and then one of the best restorative things you can do is to practice a fast or cleanse for a number of days.
This can take the form of a juice fast or cleanse or a liquid diet incorporating juices, smoothies and soups for anywhere from 3-7 days. This type of plan is designed to give your digestive system a break from the normal rigours of consuming concentrated food.
A juice fast will also help your body to flush out toxins that may be stored in your digestive tract, impacting how you feel and the appearance of your skin.
Over a few days, a juice fast or cleanse will re-energise your body and skin like nothing else, leaving you glowing with good health!
This can be particularly helpful after times like a vacation or the festive season where your body may have been burdened with over indulgences.
With a chance to reset and an influx of phytonutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your skin can freshen up and bounce back to a healthy glow.
7. Add Probiotic-Rich Foods To Your Diet
Your gut health is very much linked to your skin health, making probiotic rich foods a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to the appearance of your skin.
Your gut flora depends on an influx of probiotic rich foods to maintain healthy bacterial balance and to ward off bad bacteria, that is typically able to proliferate with a poor diet or when the body is under stress.
Probiotics strengthen your gut flora and digestive health, which in turn creates a calming and protective environment for your skin against bacteria, external irritants, and inflammation.
Some of the best probiotic rich foods to include in your diet are the following:
- Organic Cheese and Yogurt
By eating these foods, you’re not only improving your digestive health, but also setting up the right environment for beautiful, soft skin to thrive.
Learn more in our blog Probiotics: Health Benefits & 7 Powerful Food Sources
The Main Takeaway
The appearance of your skin is a natural by-product of the things you do on a daily basis over time.
From your diet, to your environment, exercise and personal care routine, all of these factors play a role in your physical body both inside and out.
So, if you have skin challenges or want to dramatically improve the appearance of your skin, or restore youthful glow, the lifestyle tips shared with you here should be your first port of call when it comes to your skin health and bringing it back to life.
Understanding that your skin is a reflection of your overall health and wellbeing, hopefully gives you the encouragement to be very conscious about the foods you eat, your daily self care routine, and the products you use when it comes to taking good care of your skin as part of your healthy lifestyle.
Tolman Self Care.