Healthy skin is the epitome of good health. A glowing, smooth face suggests that you are taking care of your body. It may also provide a necessary boost to your mental health if the constant comparisons perpetuated by social media hurt your self-esteem. Luckily, clear skin is possible.
Achieving healthy skin often just means going back to the basics. It isn’t about the amount of money you spend on skin care products or how often you get facials, per se. Rather, it’s about how you holistically care for your body, loving it daily and caring for its needs. Keep reading for three ways to support healthy skin.
1. Balanced Diet
What you put on your plate has a direct correlation to your overall appearance. Eating overly processed, sugary foods can trigger acne, inflammation, and premature aging. Instead, focus on a varied diet full of anti-inflammatory foods such as vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. Incorporating a few specific ingredients into your daily routine can also boost your skin health.
For example, apple cider vinegar is known to improve gut health and reduce inflammation. If you are prone to eczema or acne, your gut may be trying to tell you something. Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to your water before eating a large meal. If you can’t stand the taste of apple cider vinegar, you can try ACV gummies instead. Just be sure that the gummies you select have adequate amounts of acetic acid so you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Also, eating lots of healthy fats will nourish your skin from the inside out. There are two main types of healthy fats: omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Both are needed for radiant skin, however the standard American diet includes too many omega-6s found in seed oils and cured meat. Focus on eating more omega-3 fatty acids instead. Add ingredients such as salmon, flaxseed, chia seed, eggs, and walnuts to your diet to boost your intake.
Along with eating well, you also need to hone in on hydration. The skin is the body’s largest organ, a shield against environmental damage and toxins. Well-hydrated skin looks glowing and dewy as opposed to dehydrated skin which can appear wrinkly, scaly, and dry. If you’re constantly thirsty, that’s a good sign that you are already dehydrated. Thirst is the body’s signal to the brain that you need more water.
Staying hydrated is easier said than done in today’s chaotic world. You may think that you’re drinking enough liquids when in actuality you’re drinking a lot of things besides water. Many beverages actually dehydrate the body. Coffee is a perfect example of this as its caffeine content provides a diuretic effect. This means you’re passing a lot of liquid while going to the bathroom, but you’re not actually absorbing any of the liquid to stay hydrated.
A tip to staying hydrated throughout the day is to carry a water bottle with you everywhere. Find a water bottle that you like, one that will entice you to drink more. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding some lemon, lime, or cucumber slices. Electrolyte packets can also be added to boost the taste and amp up hydration. These packets contain magnesium, sodium, and potassium — minerals that will aid in rehydrating the body quicker.
3. Skincare Routine
Skincare is now seen as a major act of self-care. While influencers and celebrities promote dozens of products, know that a basic skincare routine needs just four simple steps. First, you need to cleanse the skin. Washing your face gently gets rid of any debris, including excess oil and dirt. Choose a cleanser based on your skin needs and goals. Someone with dry skin should look for a product without any added fragrances or parabens; someone prone to oiliness should seek out products with aloe vera or tea tree oil to rebalance the skin.
The next step is toning, which essentially helps to balance your skin’s complexion. While the mere thought of toning may bring up harsh, alcohol-based rubs, times have changed! Today’s toners are gentle enough for everyday use without causing redness or irritation. Add the toner to a clean cotton pad, directing it upward to prevent wrinkles. A little goes a long way, so avoid oversaturating the cotton pad.
Next, you need to moisturize the skin. The type of moisturizer you select will vary based on your skin type and the climate you live in. A thicker cream or ointment is best for someone dealing with dryness, which can be exacerbated during the winter months. However, the same person may opt for a lighter, oil-based moisturizer when the temperatures rise during the summer months.
The final step is the most important and widely forgotten — sunscreen. Preventing sun damage starts with applying sunscreen every day, despite how sunny it is outside. There are two main types of sunscreen: chemical and mineral. Both are considered safe by the FDA. However mineral screens are considered more natural because they contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, rather than certain chemicals. Remember, the best sunscreen is the one you will apply daily, so find one that works for you and stick with it.
Eating healthful, nourishing foods, drinking enough water daily, and maintaining a regular skincare routine will set you up for skin success. Depending on what your skin looks like currently, you may not wake up to a glowing face immediately. Consistency is key when it comes to skin health, so avoid switching products every other month. Keep your skin goals in mind and know that each small step you take will pay off in the long run.