Want A Healthier Complexion? Here Are 5 Skin Health Rules To Live By
Most of us would like to have healthy, glowing, youthful, and clear skin. But with so many products out there, and experts telling us how to take care of our skin, how do we know what to do? It can be overwhelming and expensive to do everything you hear—eat this way not that way, get expensive skin treatments monthly, avoid the sun at all costs, and lather dozen of skin products on yourself each morning and night. Sheesh! I'm wiped out just writing about it.
As a health coach and nutrition expert, I always advise my clients to keep it simple. Plus, I'm a new mom, and I just don't have time to do all the things. And luckily, the truth is that you don't have to. You can keep things simple and easy and also take care of your skin—and save the expensive treatments and intense daily regimen for the movie stars. If you're like me, and you want to feel and look healthy and vibrant on a budget, stick with these basics for healthy skin:
1. Drink more water.
This one might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many of us don't drink enough water or decide not to because it's boring or we don't like the taste. This is the single most important thing you can do for your health right now—and the good news is that it's easy and cheap! If you want to feel better, learn to like water and start drinking purified, high-quality water.
Your body is made up of up to 60 percent water, and you need it to survive. So, it makes sense that you need a lot of it to thrive. Test it out: Start drinking at least 12 more ounces of water each day for the next two weeks and keep an eye on how your skin changes for the better. I recommend that everyone drink at least half their body weight in ounces of water each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of purified water each day.
2. Eat organic, real foods.
Skin health is more about what you put in your body than what you put on your body. In other words, your diet and nutrition are super important. I recommend you eat organic, real foods for several reasons. First, it's important to reduce your exposure to toxins in your environment and your food. Eating organically will help with this. If your body is toxic it will start to come out in your skin and will decrease cell turnover (which is needed for healthy, youthful-looking skin). I define "real" food as food in its natural state. So eat food that looks like it does when it comes out of the ground or off the tree. It's as simple as that. Try to limit foods that come out of a package or box and are processed or altered with chemicals or additives. And if you do eat processed foods, stick with ones with as few ingredients as possible.
As I age, I've come to realize that healthy and beautiful skin is hydrated skin. So we must moisturize daily. Yet, I don't recommend you put just anything on your skin. Find a daily moisturizer that doesn't have all the gunk in it.
There are a lot of organic products on the market with simple ingredients. It depends on your personal skin type and your sensitivity level as to what works for you. I love products from Aveda and Origins, but you can find some great ones at Target and Ulta as well. Just read the ingredients and do some research (the Environmental Working Group is a great resource for this). Another option is to use oils like emu oil. I apply emu oil morning and night under my moisturizer as an added boost for my skin.
4. Sweat often.
Even if you eat well and avoid toxins in your food and skin care products, if you live on planet Earth you're going to be exposed toxins. Our body is designed to detoxify in several ways, and one of the most important ones is through sweating. It's important to sweat often so you can clean out your skin. Try a hot yoga class, jogging, walking, or a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class and move your body daily. Many people find that if they go to a hot yoga class regularly they don't get as much acne or body odor—which is a nice added bonus!
5. Supplement your diet.
Even if you eat a balanced and healthy, organic diet, it's very likely that you still are missing some key nutrients. This is due to the reduced soil quality in our current environment and modern farming methods. At a minimum, I recommend you take a high-quality multivitamin daily that is high in vitamins A, C, E, D, K, B3, B5, choline, and folate (folic acid or methylfolate). These all aid in skin health.
Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics and not get caught up in the trendiest new skin care product or supplement. Start working these simple strategies into your daily routine and you'll find your skin will respond in positive ways. Plus, all of these tips improve your overall health as well, so you can know you're making better choices for your future health as well as your skin's appearance.