One of the best self-care rituals you can incorporate in your daily routine is to take better care of your skin, using the tips I share with you in this article. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it is your body’s first line of defense against bacteria, viruses and other microbes.
We take our skin for granted and don’t put much thought into caring for it.
However, I truly believe we are what we eat and drink. Consequently, our skin naturally reflects this. I’m in my late 30’s, and I look 10 years younger because I take very good care of myself. People have asked me what my secrets are for having such healthy glowing skin.
It takes a little bit of effort to look younger, and I guarantee that if you follow the 7 steps below, you will begin to feel better inside and out.
1. Stay hydrated & drink water
Healthy skin starts within, and therefore keeping yourself hydrated with water is one of the most important steps you can take. Remember, our body is made up of 70% water so your cells depend on being hydrated to function at their best.
The easiest way to stay hydrated is to carry around a water bottle. My favorite water bottle is from Lifefactory because it is made out of glass and not plastic. I take my water bottle everywhere I go, including the office, gym and when I’m out and about.
Carrying my water bottle around has helped me adhere to the recommendation of drinking 64oz of water every day. I notice that I am in a better mood, have more energy and eat less when I’m well hydrated.
A lot of my colleagues drink soda, juice and rely heavily on coffee or other caffeinated beverages. You would probably think twice about drinking soda if you knew the amount of sugar and chemicals that you’re consuming. If you are someone that drinks soda regularly, I highly recommend researching this topic because you’re ingesting harmful liquids that will adversely affect your physical and emotional health.
2. Remember … you are what you eat
The next step to having healthy skin is to follow a mediterranean diet. I’m not a nutritionist, but the rule of thumb I use is to have variety and color on my plate at every meal.
Remember that your body needs vitamins and minerals to operate at its highest potential. You feel better when you fuel your body with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and legumes. Your cells love absorbing nutrients from what you eat. As a result, you have more energy, clarity and focus.
On the other hand, when you eat junk food (which is okay to eat once in a while), you initially feel good because of all the sugar and fat. Unfortunately, after 45 minutes to an hour, you begin to feel like junk, hence the name, junk food.
When you eat junk food, your brain goes on a dopamine high, because of all the sugar and fat. Soon after the high, you crash and begin to feel terrible. Since your body did not get the nutrients it needed from the meal, you will get hungry again. This cycle is never ending, especially if you add soda to the mix.
Eating clean is easy for some and hard for others. Meal planning is a big part of my weekly self-care plan because it ensures that I eat well every day. On Sunday’s, I plan and pack all of my snacks and lunches for the week. Doing this eliminates eating out or consuming unhealthy treats at work.
If you want to eat better and not sure where to start, I highly recommend reading “You are what you eat: The Plan that will Change your Life.” This book inspires me every time I pick it up because of the colorful photos and the easy to read text. I love that author Gillian McKeith encourages you have a diet of PLENTY and variety.
3. Get to know your skin care products
Remember that the rule of thumb for healthy glowing skin comes from within. If you want to look 10 years younger, you have to start from the inside out.
I rarely wear makeup and focus more on keeping myself healthy internally and externally. If you like to wear makeup, and it makes you happy, then go for it! If you’re like me, and prefer to have a more natural look, then I recommend learning more about your skin type and personal skin care needs.
Since your skin is your largest organ, whatever you slather on it is absorbed by your body. Therefore, it’s important to treat your skin as well as you can.
After having consultations with two different dermatologists, I learned that the best skin care products have high quality ingredients. Check out this article from the Cleveland Clinic, if you want to learn more about the ingredients in the products you’re currently using.
Surprisingly, good skin care products aren’t always expensive.
Both of my dermatologists recommend using Cerave which you can purchas at a drugstore or on Amazon. They also recommend using serums with Vitamin C and Alpha-lipoic acid. Good serums are expensive, but they last a long time and are worth the investment.
4. Keep a simple daily skin care routine
Every morning I wash my face with a gentle botanical cleanser from Aveda. After drying my face, I put on Drunk Elephant Vitamin C serum, Protini™ Polypeptide Cream moisturizer and tinted sunscreen that gives me a sun-kissed look.
In the evening, I first wash my face with the same cleanser and then apply B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Serum. Next, I apply my favorite night cream, Aveda’s Tulasāra™ wedding masque. I also apply a small amount of Aveda eye cream. Both morning and evening routines take me about 5 minutes.
Once a week I use Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum, which works like magic because it diminishes fine lines, gives skin a healthy glow, and boosts levels of other antioxidants.
Everyday I use Neutrogena Sheer Zinc sunblock on my arms and neck. I’m blessed to have olive tone skin, and wear sunscreen religiously.
All dermatologists and estheticians recommend prevention as the best skin care treatment. If you’re regularly wearing sunscreen, then you will reduce the chance of premature wrinkles, fine-lines and dark spots.
5. Get moving
Exercise is one of the most vital parts of integrating self-care and wellness in your life. When you exercise, there is an increase in blood flow to the surface of the skin providing much needed nutrition. In addition, you get rid of unwanted toxins in your skin and body through sweat.
It’s simple to get started, just put on your shoes and start walking. Yoga is also a great way to get moving and reduce your stress, check out my article on my 2 week yoga challenge at CorePower Yoga.
6. Manage your stress
When you’re under stress, the amygdala in your brain is activated, consequently releasing cortisol and adrenaline. These chemicals are there to help you “fight or flee” from a dangerous situation, and are designed to help you short term.
When you’re under chronic stress, your body is in a constant state of duress and inflammation. When there is inflammation in your body, your immune system is suppressed. Consequently, you’re more likely going to get sick and your skin will breakout.
Learn stress management by integrating mindfulness, self-care and wellness in your life. You can download my FREE Self Care Guide and start cultivating these practices today.
Another practice to lower your stress is to learn to breath correctly. When you’re in a heightened state of stress, you naturally breath rapidly because your body is preparing you for a potential threat. Check out my article on breathing to help lower your stress.
7. Get a free facial
If you’re unsure what type of skin care products to purchase, then you’re in luck because Aveda offers free 20 minute facials. You’ll meet with an esthetician that will get to know you, your skin care routine and specific skin care needs.
What is amazing about Aveda is that in addition to getting a free facial, you will get samples of products to try at home. You can also go to Sephora and talk to their skin care expert. At both stores, they will educate and support you. Most importantly, they don’t push you to purchase products, and encourage you to try before you buy.
Healthy glowing skin is two-fold as it starts within. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel when you stay hydrated, eat nutritiously, exercise, manage your stress and start incorporating a regular skin care routine as part of cultivating self-care and wellness in your life. Remember that you are important, and investing a little bit of time will help you feel better inside and out.
What do you think you can do to take better care of your skin? Do you have a skin care product you swear by? Please share your stories and comments below.