9 Natural Secrets to Healthier Skin
What’s the secret to keeping your skin looking and feeling great? Contrary to what a host of product ads on TV and in magazines tell us, expensive creams and surgeries shouldn’t be our go-to solutions. There’s a lot more to taking great care of our skin than buying the most expensive product, including dietary choices, supplements, exercise, and other choices. In fact, there are plenty of effective and natural skin care techniques you can do right in the comfort of your home.
First Thing's First: Collagen!
Hands down, the best nutrient for your skin is collagen, which is a type of protein that forms the structural foundation of bone, muscle, joint cartilage and, of course, skin. As we age, our collagen levels decrease. Studies show that you can give your collagen levels a boost by taking a clean source of Type 1 marine collagen daily, together with natural support ingredients to improve your body’s production and preservation of skin collagen. The daily skin collagen support supplement can improve both the appearance and overall health of aging skin.
Remove Dead Skin
Our skin cells are constantly turning over; almost like a snake shedding its outer layer of dead skin for a shinier and healthier one. Exfoliating is an easy thing you can do at home to improve this process.
Exfoliation means gently scrubbing away the top layer of dead skin cells. It sounds painful, but it really isn’t at all. In fact, it feels really good. It usually involves a scrub brush or cream that you can buy at any local store. Studies show that this can help to boost skin health and appearance. Be sure to gently scrub away the dead skin. It’s better to use a gentle pressure over a longer duration than hard pressure, as this may damage skin.
Use a Moisturizer
After you wash and exfoliate your skin, be sure to use a moisturizer. Find a facial-focused moisturizer to use after washing your face, but don’t worry... it does not have to be expensive. It just needs clean, natural ingredients (daytime creams should be SPF-based). Studies show that moisturizers play a number of roles for skin health including providing anti-inflammatory, antimitotic (prevents cellular breakdown/division), and antipruritic (prevents itching) benefits.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
As much as you might love the sun, your skin does not. Sun damage is the leading cause of skin cancer and premature aging. What can you do to protect yourself from cancer and looking older? Use an SPF-based moisturizer. Most experts recommend a lotion containing 30 SPF. Stick to this, even If you don’t get outside during peak hours. Do make sure to read the labels though. Your sunscreen/moisturizer should include natural ingredients and not the toxic chemicals that are found in a lot of cosmetics.
Eat More Natural, Whole Foods
You might be tired of hearing this from nutritionists, but we keep saying it because it’s true! Your diet plays a key role in how you look and feel. If you’re not happy with how your skin looks now, then your diet could be a major culprit.
We highly recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet, which cuts out the most common culprits that cause inflammation such as the following:
Instead of eating these options, focus on more natural and whole food choices such as:
- Fresh Vegetables: dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies (e.g., cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus)
- Low-Sugar Fruits: berries, organic citrus fruits
- Lean Proteins: pasture raised chicken, eggs, wild caught fish
- Healthy Fats: coconut oil, avocados, hemp, chia, flax and pumpkin seeds
You already know that you need to stay properly hydrated — the unofficial rule used to be 64 ounces of water per day, but now experts believe you should be drinking half your bodyweight in ounces every day. What you may not realize is the role hydration plays in skin health.
Studies show that your level of hydration can directly improve skin physiology. While the amount of water everyone needs varies according to their body, environment, the type of work they do, and other factors, one thing is consistent: you should listen to your body when you feel thirsty. In fact, you should be even more proactive than that. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so make it a habit to sip water throughout the day. Be sure to consume water with electrolytes and limit your consumption of coffee, tea, and sugary drinks.
Take Time to Chill
Cryotherapy has swept the sports world, and now the fitness community, as a means of post-workout recovery, but it is also becoming just as popular for those looking for better skin health. Also known as “cold therapy”, this practice involves the use of very cold temperatures for short periods of time to treat various issues.
Studies show that cryotherapy can boost the number of free radical-fighting antioxidants in your system, which can protect skin cells. What’s more, cryotherapy has been shown to alleviate inflammation, the number one reason that most athletes and gym goers use it. This may help to mitigate some symptoms related to inflamed or puffy-looking skin. As this is a relatively new practice that comes with some potential risks, it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether cryotherapy is right for you.
Clear Your Mind
If you have a chaotic schedule (and most of us do), you may not be aware of the damage that excessive stress is doing to your body, especially your skin. Too much stress releases a catabolic hormone known as cortisol. While cortisol is needed to a small extent, too much of it can cause cellular and tissue breakdown.
Deep breathing may naturally lower levels of cortisol along with blood pressure and several other cardiovascular risk factors. Try it for just a few minutes each day, eventually working your way up to more.
Sit in a quiet room, close your eyes, and simply focus on belly breathing. If you get distracted — which you inevitably will — that’s okay, just try to refocus on your breath when you can. You can also count the number of breaths going in and out to help maintain your focus. Deep breathing calms your central nervous system, and focusing on the breathing helps clear your mind of stressors.
There are also plenty of other ways to reduce stress, that you can implement every day — take a walk in nature, take a hot bath, drink some calming tea, read a book, or try to get more sleep. It may seem like your schedule doesn’t permit such luxuries, but they’re actually crucial to your health, so make time for at least 10 minutes per day of stress relief.
Don’t Stress Over Skincare
One of the easiest ways to care for your skin is to not stress out over it. Choose one or two of the things on this list as a start, and implement them into your day-to-day routine. Don’t feel overwhelmed at the number of options. Once a few of these practices become a habit, consider adding one or two more things to try to improve your skin health. We recommend starting with a skin collagen support supplement each and every day!