Are You Treating Your Skin Right?
SKIN- the largest organ - is our first and greatest line of defence against growing environmental exposure and damage. There is much information out there, much of it credible and much of it suspect, and many of us have been conditioned on treating skin-related symptoms (e.g. rosacea, eczema, etc.) with products instead of identifying potential root causes and going after those for long-term healthy benefits.
Skin health really does start from the inside and, with a number of simple choices and tweaks such as making proper nutrition choices, giving your liver some love, healing your digestive system, and being active more regularly. These positive choices all contribute to not only improved and healthier skin but to overall wellness!!!!
Think of your body as a bathtub, throughout your life it is accumulating various toxins from the food we eat, the air we breath, the water we drink and the products we use. Eventually our "tub" gets full of these toxins and overflows to the point where our liver can't keep up. What happens then? Our body start to eliminate toxins through the skin which often show up as breakouts & other skin conditions, inflammation, digestive troubles, and much more.
"We exercise to keep our heart strong. We read to keep our mind sharp. We eat to fuel our bodies. For the largest organ in your body, what are you doing to keep it in top notch shape?"
Top 10 Tips for Glowing Skin!
1. Start Every Day with Lemon Water
Starting your day with a warm glass of lemon water awakens your liver and digestive system, makes your body more alkaline, and stimulates the elimination of toxins. It's an important kick start your body needs and a great addition to your morning ritual.
2. Stay Hydrated.
Drinking enough water each and every day helps to keep the skin from becoming dehydrated which can expose fine lines and wrinkles. Water also helps to flush out built-up toxins and delivers vital nutrients to your skin cells. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that in half and consume that amount of water in ounces daily. (e.g if you weigh 150 lbs you should drink 75 oz of water daily)
3. Support Your Gut
Our immune system is critical to overall health and did you know that 70% of it is located in our gut? I can't stress enough how important it is to heal and support your gut. If the food you are eating isn't being digested properly, it isn't getting absorbed and the nutrients aren't getting to your cells. A healthy gut means a strong immune system which has so many positive benefits for your entire body - especially your skin!
4. Eat Nutrient-dense Food
Many foods today have little or no nutrient value largely due to increased genetically-modified crops and the use of antibiotics and hormones. My golden rule is to eat as close to nature as possible using fresh and, whenever possible, organic foods and prepare them yourself. Stick to the outside aisles of the grocery store or, better yet, visit your local farmer's market. Often the fewer the ingredients, the healthier and less processed it is. If there are ingredients that you can't pronounce, it's best to avoid as your body likely won't know how to digest it. The more fresh and wholesome foods you incorporate into your home cooking, the more nutrients they contain and the more benefits you will gain from them!
5. Get Enough Vitamin D / Protect Your Skin
The Sun doesn't have to be your enemy but if you are going to be spending time outdoors it's important that you protect your skin properly Many of us are lacking vitamin D especially in the colder months. If you are not getting it from the Sun, choose a high quality Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is important for your skin as it stimulates collagen production, is essential for wound healing and cell reproduction. Enjoy your time outdoors but be careful during the hottest times of the day and be sure to protect your skin with a sunscreen that isn't full of chemicals or you may be doing more damage than good. For a more natural and safer alternative look for a broad spectrum sunscreen containing zinc oxide.
6. Manage Your Stress, Relax!
Life is busy, sometimes crazy, and our priority tends to be to look after others rather than ourselves. Some stresses can't be avoided however many can be with proper techniques. Too much stress releases "cortisol" which can throw your hormones out of whack causing breakouts and even breaking down collagen. Set aside at least fifteen minutes a day to relax. Yoga is one of my favourite activities which forces me to tune out, stretch and focus on myself and my wellbeing. Hot yoga can be a great skin detox too!
We take in many toxins on a daily basis from the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat, and even the products we use on our skin. Think about how many toxins you come into contact every day from the moment you shower in the morning to brushing your teeth before bed...it's more than you think! Sometimes we don't have a choice but we can make to minimize or reduce the toxins we are taking in. A buildup of toxins overworks our liver and what it can't process gets released and often shows up on our skin in the form of skin irritations and rashes, breakouts, and general fatigue. Your body is designed to detoxify itself but you can help support your natural detoxification process by limiting the amount of toxins going in and increasing the amount going out.
8. Be Active!
Exercise promotes blood flow which carries oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in the body. It's also important to rid the body of harmful free radicals which cause damage to the cells. Exercise also helps your body to manage stress and maintains normal levels of cortisol, and helps manage weight.
9. Cleanse Your Skin (right techniques & products)
A proper cleansing routine each morning and evening removes dirt, oil and environmental pollution that accumulates throughout the day. Having clean skin is necessary for the next step of serums and moisturizers which help with collagen production and elasticity. Choose your products wisely and use something natural, botanically based and safe, your skin will thank you.
10. Get Enough Quality Sleep
Sleep is important the older we get as this is the time that our bodies repair themselves and that goes for our skin cells as well.
Achieving and maintaining healthy and glowing skin takes work especially if you're dealing with an existing skin issue. These are easy and simple things anyone can do to help get and maintain your glow:
Use a quality mineral based sunscreen with a minimum 30 SPF and apply frequently
Drink plenty of clean, fresh water
Get vitamin C in its natural form from foods such as red and yellow peppers and oranges
Eat organic as much as possible
Always cleanse your skin and remove makeup before bed
Manage your stress
Get good quality sleep
Be aware of what ingredients you are putting on your skin
I am sure many of these aren't going to come as a shock to you. These are common foods that many of us love but did you also know that deep down that they are often the culprits of many skin-related issues. Take stock for a moment to reflect on how often you may be consuming these "radiance reducers" and keep in mind that sometimes they are hidden in other items. Throughout my blog, posts, and seminars, I will be touching on all these in more detail including tips for safe and healthy alternatives.
Fried and processed foods