10 Ways to Nourish and Improve Your Skin
It doesn't matter what type of skin you have - dry, normal, combination, oily, acne-prone, and more - it is so important to nourish your skin on a daily basis. Even the healthiest people can have some skin concerns, which can impact the way you feel about how you look.
Consumers are now bombarded by so many skincare options from stores, social media, and marketing - feeling very overwhelmed. Every body is different, every skin is different. So how do you even know what works and what doesn't?
In general, the skin is the outer reflection of your inner health, which means that your diet and what you use to nourish your skin does affect the way it looks. (Remember that what you put ON your skin does get absorbed!) Clear, glowing skin is an indication of optimum inner health and a good diet.
Fortunately, there are so many ways to nourish and improve your skin and to adjust your diet and lifestyle so you can look your best and achieve the look of youthful skin. Believe it or not, the body is incredibly resilient, and even with some adjustments, you'll be able to see results within weeks or months (well, in some cases even days but it's always best to be patient).
Here are 10 ways to nourish and improve your skin starting today without feeling overwhelmed or making drastic lifestyle changes:
1. Drink more water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Number one rule ALWAYS. The adult human body is made up of about 60% water (varies from person to person, and women generally have a lower body water percentage than men). The skin contains about 64% water.
This means that hydration is crucial for the skin, especially when your skin is feeling dry. Drink plenty of water and always replenish after working out or sweating it out. Remind yourself to drink water at various intervals throughout the day. My favorite water bottle is from Swell, and there are plenty of cute water bottles with motivational/cute sayings like this one from Ban.do.
If you cannot stand drinking water or get bored of it, try drinking organic herbal teas without any sugar instead. There are blends out there that are great for your skin - those with natural vitamins and antioxidants (no additives, sugar, sweeteners, etc).
2. Use a gentle soap or cleanser
Many soaps and cleansers are actually harsh for the skin and can worsen skin conditions. Those type of soaps and cleansers are often more basic (skin's pH is acidic), which also make them more harsh. Not only do they remove dirt and germs from your skin, they'll also remove all the good natural oils secreted by your skin - sending your sebaceous glands in the skin to overdrive and producing too much oil. Results can vary depending on your skin type: more dry for dry skin, more oily for oily skin, more unwanted acne and clogged pores for oily and acne-prone skin.
Organic, natural soaps made for sensitive skin without unnecessary ingredients may be better for your skin. If you're looking for a gentle cleanser, try ours (available starting tomorrow).
Remember, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, do not wash your face often and throughout the day. You can actually wash your face too much and further irritate your skin, which can then lead to breakouts. Instead, only wash your face twice a day - in the morning and right before you go to bed. The only time you'll want to wash your face another time is when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.
3. Use oil as a moisturizer
Certain oils have been proven to effectively hydrate the skin, heal certain skin issues and concerns such as scars, aging, stretch marks, rosacea, and more. This does not mean that you should go to your kitchen cabinet right now and slap on any oil you can get your hands on. Not all oils are created equal and good for your skin.
Jojoba oil is one of our favorites since it best mimics our natural oils and is noncomedogenic (does not clog pores). It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help aid skin repair and damage control with its natural Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins, reduce redness, ease the effects of eczema and rosacea, combat chaffing and chapping, and calms the skin. It is moisturizing, antibacterial, has antioxidants, and so much more.
Other natural oils we like are argan oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, coconut oil (do not use this on the face for oily and acne-prone skin, it may clog pores), and extra-virgin olive oil. Keep in mind that some of these may result in allergic responses, so be careful!
Organic and unrefined oils will best the best to use straight on your skin, so make sure to look for those.
If you are looking for a complete blend of nutrient-dense, high-performing organic botanicals and oils for your face, try our Face Serum. It contains 15 certified organic oils that does wonders for your face! Definitely a solution to many skin problems.
4. Use a face mask with natural ingredients
Want a great way to soothe your skin while helping you relax? Face masks are your answer, and you technically only need 20 minutes or less to use them. Look for ones that are natural, better yet organic.
Honey, a must-have ingredient so look for this in face masks, is great for acne-prone skin, aging skin, and more! It is naturally antibacterial and full of antioxidants. Honey also boosts complexion since it is extremely moisturizing and soothing, helping create healthy glowing skin.
Just like most of your personal care and beauty products, avoid these ingredients no matter what type of face mask you're using - sheet, clay, and more: PEG, parabens, phenoxyethanol, fragrance/perfume(parfum)/scent/aroma, DEA/MEA/TEA, mineral oil, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, acrylates, PVP, formaldehydes, phthalates, sulfates, and a ton more toxic ingredients.
Regular exercise is one of the keys to healthy skin! Exercise can actually help nourish skin cells by increasing blood flow. It is vital since blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout your body, which also includes your skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow always carries away waste products like free radicals from working cells.
Although you may need to take special care of keeping your skin protected while exercising if you have skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, and acne, you should still regularly exercise to help improve your skin. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you exercise outdoors, your skin will be exposed to the sun and sunburn can increase skin cancer risks while rapidly aging the skin. You may want to avoid exercising during peak sun time and/or wear sun protection.
6. Keep stress in check
Exercise will help reduce the stress, and in general, lowering stress will help your entire body as well as your skin. We all have, one time or another, experienced how stress takes a toll on pretty much the entire body and may cause acne breakouts. Stress increases the body's production of hormones - cortisol - which can increase our skin's oil production as well as reduce our skin's ability to fight off acne-causing bacteria.
Some good ways to reduce stress or manage it are mindful meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong, body scans, and focused deep breathing.
7. Get enough rest and a full night's sleep
Getting enough rest will sure lower stress. When you are sleep-deprived, your body's stress level increases and sends signals to release more adrenaline and cortisol. This then triggers breakouts, atopic dermatitis, and other skin problems as well as immune-related skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis due to inflammation in the body.
Also, your body rebalances hydration while your are sleeping. Not getting enough good sleep will result in poor water balance, leading to puffy bags under your eyes, dark circles, dryness in your skin, and more visible wrinkles.
The phrase "get your beauty sleep" is real! Having a full night's sleep will definitely help your skin be healthy and beautiful.
8. Drink green tea
Early we talked about drinking plenty of water and substituting with herbal tea if needed. Specifically, green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that are soothing for red, irritated, blotchy skin. According to some experts, the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea may help prevent collagen destruction which leads to wrinkles. It may also help prevent sun-induced DNA damage in the skin such as discoloration and lines. Maybe green tea instead of coffee several mornings would be a great slight lifestyle change... Or you can always end the day with a cup of green tea.
9. Watch your dairy intake
Sorry, dairy lovers! For those with acne-prone skin, this is super important. Most evidence-based studies have shown that acne can be irritated by dairy. There are several theories as to why and researchers are still trying to get to the bottom of this, so we won't go into this. What we know is that when humans digest proteins found in dairy, IGF-1 (a hormone similar to insulin) is released. This hormone is known to trigger breakouts.
Everybody's skin is different and the cause of acne will be different for everyone. But if you are having issues with acne, it may not be a bad idea to eliminate dairy from your diet for at least two weeks or more to see if that makes a huge difference in your skin (and your gut health). Chances are that it will!
10. Improve air quality
Did you know that air pollution including chemicals, toxins, and smog can clog your pores and cause acne flareup or trigger other skin conditions?
Exposing your skin to air pollutants have also been associated with inflammatory or allergic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and atopic dermatitis. Skin cancer is among the most serious effects. Improving air quality isn't just about avoiding smoky environments, which does lead to the release of free radicals that damage skin and speeds up aging. Other indoor pollutants are also at fault and should be addressed.
Somethings you can do right away are change your AC filters as well as other air filters. Check your air ducts. Use cooking vents and the fan over your range if you cook with oil. Control humidity in your home and run a humidifier if the indoor air is dry (and will dehydrate your skin and make fine lines more noticeable). Keep your rugs and carpets clean.
Buy indoor plants to freshen the indoor air. You can Google this and find out which plants would improve air quality best as well as what type of light each of those plants would need. Some of my favorites that are hard to kill are the peace lily, golden pothos, Dracaena plants, aloe vera, bamboo, and snake plants.
This is a great quote to summarize what we talked about today:
"Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body's internal needs, including its nutritional needs."
- Dr. Georgiana Donadio
Look and feel your very best by considering what you're putting into your body, investing in what you put on your body and skin, and implementing some lifestyle habits that improves your quality of life. Skin health is absolutely a reflection of your inner health. Making even the smallest positive changes can improve your skin in 2020, and we're here to cheer you on!