Improving the health of my skin from the inside out has been something that I have taken more and more seriously as I’ve gotten older. For those of you who have effortlessly clear skin, you have won the beauty lotto much like my sister and brother that were born with and continue to have abnormally flawless skin. Curses to you all and forever more! But for some of us, we have to work harder than others to maintain a blemish-free face.
While genetically I may be destined to have the youthful face of a 20-something year old well into my late 30s, I am a firm believer of the idea that the painting is only as good as the canvas. If you haven’t ascribed to this principle yet, make your skin a priority this year. Here are 21 beauty tips to adopt ASAP into your beauty and wellness routine for naturally radiant skin!
- Clean your face.Cleansing your face doesn’t necessarily mean using harsh soaps. Using a mild wash or cleansing oil could mean incorporating natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar (AVC) as the first step to improve your skin. The key is to rid your face of grime while avoiding stripping your skin to retain its natural oils. Cleaning your skin is particularly important after styling your hair in the morning and at night before bed. The residue from hair products are likely to collect on your skin to trap ingredients beneath the skin. Not only is AVC good for topical treatment, but it’s also works from the inside out due to the number of health benefits!
- Don’t forget to moisturize.Keeping your skin hydrated is just as important as finding a good skincare routine. While many of us moisturize our face, some neglect the neck. My mother always taught me to moisturize starting from the base of the neck in a sweeping upwards motion towards my face. This prevents the onset of wrinkles to provide a smooth face and neck. Apply your preferred moisturizing products on slightly damp skin to absorb the products when using toner after washing your face.
- Drink water. Lots of it. This isn’t the first time you’ve heard this and it won’t be the last. While drinking water alone isn’t the sole contributor for attaining flawless skin, it is a wellness practice that contributes to the overall healthy appearance. Drinking water goes beyond our skin to filter internal organs, such as your liver and kidneys, to help cells run evenly before making it’s way to the skin’s surface. As the largest organ of our body, our skin (read: our canvas) needs water to protect us against external elements in the environment.
- Amp up the excercise routine.While regular exercising is known to create a toned body and makes us feel good, it also improves the skin in a variety of different ways. Consistent physical activity helps with blood circulation which nourishes cells throughout the body. According to WebMD, “In addition to providing oxygen, the blood flow helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working skin cells.” Flushing the toxins out of your skin, much like sweating, allows you to rid toxins from the inside out.
- Get a goodnight sleep. A poor sleep schedule can lead to increased stress hormones in the body causing severe skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis. Not enough sleep will also diminish your skin’s natural beauty. I am incredibly guilty of having an irregular sleep schedule because I inherently come from a family of night owls. It feels incredibly unnatural to go to bed before midnight! However, going to bed at ungodly hours and waking up a few hours later is likely to upset the body’s balance and accelerate the aging process depending on your genetics. Don’t let your complexion suffer just because you’re skimping on your sleep.
- Get your diet in check. The link between our diets and our skin may not surprise people as some have had immediate reactions after eating a specific food product or red dye ingredient. Breakouts, blemishes and flare ups can be a result of fatty foods or unidentified allergies.Some medical professionals and people tuned with their bodies claim eliminating dairy or chocolate products can dramatically improve their skin for the better (think twice about that New York style pizza even though it is so GOOD.). While we may be foodies at heart, reducing consumption of specific foods, such as fried foods, sugar, candy, carbonated drinks, are important for the overall health of our skin. Listen to your body and be sure to note which foods cause adverse effects on your skin.
- Detox.Growing up Caribbean, I was always taught the importance of detoxing to rid the body of poisons. There are many ways to detox naturally, from acquiring an abundance of antioxidants from drinking green tea to incorporating leafy vegetables to alleviate toxins in the digestive track. To supplement your vegetables diet, consider taking chlorophyll in a liquid or pill form. The plant ingredient gives leafy greens it’s vibrant color and is a great way to improve liver detoxification, digestion and to boost skin health.
- Balance your water usage. Finding the right amount of times to wash your face during the week isn’t a topic that comes up too often. Personally, I’ve noticed that over washing my face can lead to more breakouts or agitating the skin due to products that leave my skin dry. Often times, I’ve substituted washing my face with soap and water with using extra virgin coconut oil to remove my make up and to clean my skin. I’ve also used apple cider for problem areas to reduce the formation of acne.
- Wash your hair. This may seem like a no brainer but hair product residue is likely to collect on your face, back and shoulders. Dandruff and a scalp in need of cleansing are culprits for repeat breakouts. If you’re waiting too long in between washes, you are hindering your skin’s ability to remain dirt-free at all times.
- Keep your accessories clean.Washing your face and hair can only keep your skin healthy to a certain extent. Maintaining the cleanliness of the accessories used on a daily basis is vital to maintaining healthy skin. Accessories consist of items that come in contact with your face including hair scarves, pillow cases, bedding, hats and cosmetic brushes. Any place where that your face occupies space should be kept clean at all times. Washing the accessories regularly will dramatically reduce your chances of experiencing an unexpected breakout.
- Examine your water.Is water making you break out? According to SheKnow’s website, U.S. surveys have revealed that over 85 percent of the country’s water is actually considered hard. Hard water has high mineral and metal content left behind from deposits which can consequently lead to skin conditions. As absurd as it sounds, a few years ago I experienced skin problems with the tap water in my home. Unexpectedly, my face started to breakout, from what looked like acne, but were concentrated red agitated bumps that resembled a heat rash on my cheeks and forehead. Not knowing the cause, I went out of town to Toronto for the weekend and overnight my face cleared up. Talk about a miracle! It stayed clear until I returned home where my skin flared up once again. Later that week I accidentally fell asleep without washing my face and realized that my skin had dramatically improved since washing my face with water the day before. The water was the main offender! Research reveals that households with soft water can be prone to acidic levels of water due to the sentiments found in the pipes which may lead to excessive dryness and acne. Until your water issue is resolved, treat your water by boiling it, filtering it or simply using bottled water to wash your face until the problem is fixed. I’ve also tested the water with pH balance strips during my travels to prevent breakouts on vacation!
Additional tips to improve your skin!
- Exfoliate occasionally.
- Don’t skip the vitamins.
- Stop touching your face.
- Spot treat problem areas.
- Sanitize your cell phone.
- Simplify your skincare routine.
- Tan to highlight your skin’s natural glow.
- If you must, squeeze pimples using sanitary measures.
- Clean your glasses and sunglasses with rubbing alcohol to remove bacteria.
- Use natural products such as lavendar, aloe vera and rose hip to reduce scarring.
If you’ve mastered these tips to a ’T’ and are still experiencing skin issues, consult a dermatologist to customize a skin regiment that works for you.
What else am I missing? How do you maintain clear skin through better beauty and wellness habits?