7 Secrets to Supple, Youthful, Healthy Skin
Maintaining soft, youthful, healthy skin as you get older can seem like an impossible dream.
Environment factors, food additives, stress - not too mention the plethora of chemicals within household cleaning products and cosmetics - can all greatly impact the appearance and texture of your skin. After all, as the largest organ of elimination in your body, your skin says a lot about what's being absorbed on the inside.
Luckily, you don’t have to settle for lacklustre skin any longer.
The secrets to supple, soft and healthy skin aren’t really major secrets after all.
Instead, they're pretty common-sense principles and lifestyle steps that will not only improve your skin but go a long way to transforming your health as a whole.
Everything from acne, rosacea and psoriasis, to dry or oily skin, fine lines and wrinkles...all of these pesky conditions can manifest if you don't pay attention to what you put IN and ON your body.
So what's the source of UN-healthy skin?
Well, again, the first thing to realise is that your skin is your body's largest organ of absorption and elimination - which means that toxicity will show up there if 'your house/abode/body' is in some type of chaos.
That's why people who frequently work up a sweat through exercise typically have amazing looking skin - it activates the release of stored toxins and impurities in their bodies.
Quite simply, your skin is a reflection of your total body health.
Also, there's much truth to the 'ole saying, "You are what you eat".
Once you realise and embrace that everything in your body is interconnected, it starts to make sense that the skin is a reflection of your health, and that a few small, easy changes can make all the difference.
1. Drink More Water
Water isn’t just important to keep yourself hydrated, but it also hydrates the skin. After all, your body’s largest organ gets thirsty too.
By drinking plenty of water each day, your body can flush out any toxins that are preventing it from being and looking its healthiest, and it also helps strengthen your skin to prevent cracking, dryness, and sagging while increasing elasticity and firmness.
Water can also help increase circulation, reduce swelling, puffiness, and inflammation, and speed up healing. All of these help contribute to healthy, happy skin that looks like it’s glowing from the inside out.
Try to get at least 8 glasses of water a day; if you’re finding it tough to get enough water, try adding fruit or cucumber slices to jazz it up, set hourly targets for levels on your water bottle, and eliminate other drinks throughout the day like soda, coffee, or alcohol to force yourself to drink more water.
Learn more: Water: Nature's Best & Why It's Critical To Life
2. Eat A Cleaner Diet
The old saying “you are what you eat” has quite a bit of 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 treat yourself right, you’re likely going to see that mirrored on your skin. The good news is, eating the right foods can often be enough to see a major improvement in your complexion.
You’ll want to cut out known inflammatory foods like processed and refined sugar, carbs and grains, artificial sweeteners, soda, processed meat and dairy, all of which deplete the skin's nutrients and are the main culprits for dull complexions and breakouts.
A heavily plant-based diet gives you all of the phytonutrients - vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, without overwhelming your system with irritants.
Pack your diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats to see clear, glowing skin.
Some key components are lemon juice, kale, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado. Add these into your diet daily to see clear, hydrated skin effortlessly.
So what 'dietary' tips can help you achieve awesome looking skin?
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Drizzle it on food whenever you can and for extra dry skin, apply it topically before bed
- Garlic - you just can't cook enough with this incredible little food that has so many health-giving qualities
- Lemon Juice - Especially good for Psoriasis. Drink the juice of one lemon each day and apply topically to affected areas 5 times per day and get out in the sunshine
- Kale - Throw a small handful into a smoothie (with coconut water and frozen banana)
- Avocado - Just halve them with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt
Learn more: Why Diet is Key to Glowing Skin
3. Reduce Your Toxic Load
Start with your skin and personal care routine.
While beauty and skincare products might promise to fix everything, the truth is that they’re loaded with chemicals, toxins, fragrances, and fillers that shouldn’t be anywhere near your skin.
When you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients on the label, you should take that as a warning sign. Opt for natural products with wholesome ingredients that you recognise immediately (bonus points if the product is actually safely edible!).
And what should you be putting ON your skin?
Scan the ingredient labels of your skin creams and personal care products in your bathroom.
What you see may shock you!
Typically these products are laden with chemicals and fillers that are more suited to your car's engine than your body.
If you scale back on all of the toxic items that you have in your bathroom, laundry and pantry, and replacing them with a few nature-made products - that you can actually "eat" if you wanted to - your body will love you for it!
In fact, a lot of the beauty and skincare products you buy can actually be made in your own kitchen from natural ingredients that give your skin exactly what it craves. Find natural, healthy products here.
Also pay attention to the household kitchen cleaning products, laundry detergents and soaps. All of these sublimate toxic chemicals into your home environment, contributing to an influx of unwanted compounds that are absorbed into your skin and body which will take its toll over time and distance. Instead, choose tox-free, organic household cleaning products which you can find in good health food stores.
4. Exercise To A Sweat
Choose a daily exercise that allows you to break a sweat. Not only will you feel energised afterwards but you'll soon notice how great your skin looks as well.
It might be sweaty, but it’s flushed and glowing, and it’s definitely not by accident.
Exercising 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 workouts in will help ensure your body is eliminating what it doesn’t need, so that you can have healthy, bright skin (especially as you age).
By the way, you don't need to take up cross-fit or run a marathon. Brisk walking or hiking with a few minor inclines along the way will do it. So too will cycling, pilates and hot yoga.
Whatever you choose, by choosing activities that cause your heart rate to rise and work up a sweat you'll experience some wonderful, restorative benefits for your skin.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough shut-eye isn’t just good for your mental health and productivity, but it’s also incredibly important for your skin.
When you’re tired, your skin automatically becomes puffy, dry, and dull; your body doesn’t have a chance to reset and heal, and the effects can be seen immediately. Not to mention, when you don’t get enough sleep your body creates more of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to inflammation and stress in your skin.
Skipping sleep can worsen any existing skin conditions, accelerates the ageing process, and can lead you to make poor choices in terms of diet and exercise (furthering the cycle of bad 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.
6. Try A Fast or Cleanse
While eating and drinking are important, sometimes it’s also important to give your body time to reset.
A juice fast can be exactly that; not only do you get an abundance of liquid sunshine (phytonutrients) into your body, you'll also give your digestive system a chance to clear out toxins that may be stored in your digestive tract, impacting how you look and feel on the outside.
Over a few days, this juice fast will re-energise your body and skin like nothing else, and have you glowing with good health.
This can be particularly helpful after times like the holidays or a vacation where you might have overloaded your body with toxins. With a chance to reset and an influx of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, poor skin doesn’t stand a chance.
7. Consume Probiotic-Rich Foods
Your gut flora has long been linked to your skin’s health, making your digestive health so much more important than you thought.
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.
Probiotics can be easily consumed in your diet, with foods like pickled vegetables, olives, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir, organic yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and more. 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 Probiotics: Health Benefits & 7 Powerful Food Sources
The seven secrets to soft, supple and healthy skin make it easier than ever to achieve the skin you’ve been dreaming of.
Whether you suffer from acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles, sun damage, or simply dull, dry skin, these tips can help bring life back to your skin and unveil fresh, bright skin that’s here to stay.
Forget silly tips like using a cold spoon under your eyes or an expensive new skin cream; these seven tips are doable by anyone, on any budget, and with any skin type.
All it takes is a more conscious approach to your daily habits and routine and you'll gradually notice the return of healthy skin and that youthful glow.
Tolman Self Care.