Caring for Your Skin...Inside and Out
Would you believe me if I said healthy skin starts from within? Well, it’s true! Just like every other organ in your body, your skin needs a steady stream of nutrients to thrive. And to look and feel great.
Plus, problematic skin, especially conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, is often a sign that something on the inside isn’t quite right. And when this is the case, the food you eat or don’t eat is often one of the biggest factors. Now this doesn’t mean that you don’t need any skincare products or a healthy beauty regime. But you can’t underestimate the importance of nutrition when it comes to your skin.
So in this article, I’m going to share my top internal and external “pump and glow” tips.
Nourish Your Skin from Within
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
When it comes to healthy skin, both hydration and moisturization are essential. But it’s important to recognize that they actually mean two completely different things. Hydration solely comes from drinking nourishing fluids and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Because it relates to the water that gives your skin cells their shape and keeps them plump and juicy.
On the other hand, if your skin cells are dehydrated, they shrivel up and die. And this is what leads to the dreaded wrinkles, sagging, and dull skin. No, thank you! So dehydrated skin lacks water from the inside. But when we talk about moisture, we’re referring to oils. And a lack of oils leads to dry skin.
Eat Healthy Fats
We must tackle moisture from the inside and out. And one of the ways to keep your skin from drying out, is by eating healthy fats from whole foods such wild salmon, avocado, coconut, olives, nuts, and seeds. Because it’s these fats that your body MUST get from your diet to produce its own oil, known as sebum, to provide a protective layer on your skin and keep it moist. But the benefits of healthy fats for your skin don’t stop there. Omega-3 fats, such as those found in fish, are anti-inflammatory.
They help reduce redness and swelling. Many healthy high fat foods (i.e., almonds, avocados, olives) also contain vitamins A and E. And these vitamins are potent antioxidants, which help prevent skin damage and the slow the signs of aging. Plus, both vitamins A and E help to boost the production of collagen, which is what gives your skin its elasticity. It’s what keeps your skin plump and wrinkle-free. Which leads to my next tip...
Eat Collagen Boosting Foods
I’ve already mentioned vitamins A and E when it comes to boosting collagen. But vitamin C is also essential. Without a sufficient supply of vitamin C, your body can’t make new collagen. Period. Fortunately, vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables in high doses. Especially the ones listed below:
- Brussels sprouts
- Red bell pepper
You probably also know I’m a HUGE fan of bone broth as well as collagen protein powders. Because both are excellent sources of the amino acids (i.e., glycine and proline) that your body needs to build collagen. Numerous experimental studies have shown that collagen protein powder (a.k.a. hydrolyzed collagen) is readily absorbed by the body and efficiently transported to the deepest layers of your skin where it works its magic.
And by magic I mean plumping the skin to erase wrinkles, reverse sagging, fade stretch marks, and reduce cellulite. Yes, please! In addition to boosting your collagen, it’s also important to protect the collagen you’ve got. And antioxidants are the key. And you’ll get them by eating an abundance of color fruits and vegetables, such as red beets and peppers, orange carrots and sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, and purple berries.
Nourish Your Skin from the Outside
Choose Your Products Wisely
It’s important to avoid chemical-laden products. Because not only can these toxins make it into your bloodstream, but they’re also very harsh on your skin. Causing irritation and stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Thus, I recommend sticking to truly natural products, such as one of my favorite brands–Annmarie Gianni Skin Care.
The main purpose of a cleanser is to wash away dirt and impurities. But in the process, it also washes away oil and can change the pH of your skin. Therefore, I always recommend using a natural toner. To help balance your skin’s pH. Close and tighten your pores. And toners also help your skin better absorb the nutrients in your serum, cream, or moisturizer (if applied when your skin is still a bit wet). You have many choices when it comes to toners. I love toning spritzes that contain simple, yet effective ingredients, such as witch hazel, aloe vera juice, floral hydrosols, and essential oils.
Many people shy away from oil. But in most cases, oil is your skin’s best friend. Even for those with oily skin and acne. Because they can penetrate your skin and provide a healthy source of moisture. And when your skin has the moisture it needs, your body stops produces excess oil. Plus, oils naturally contain an abundance of nutrients that fight inflammation and prevent free radical damage at the surface level. All you’re left with is soft, glowing skin. While there are many amazing oils used in natural skincare, some of my favorites include:
- Rosehip seed oil: packed with skin-brightening, collagen boosting, wrinkle reducing vitamin C as well as several other antioxidants
- Jojoba oil: a highly moisturizing oil that resembles your skin’s sebum
- Rose essential oil: it moisturizes, prevents water loss, reduces inflammation, and improves the texture of your skin
Exfoliation refers to the removal of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. When dead skin cells collect, age spots appear darker, wrinkles appear deeper, and the skin appears duller. Thus, exfoliation allows plump, new cells to emerge and shine. There are many methods of exfoliation.
You can remove dead skin cells physically with a facial scrub. But the trick is to be gentle. Because it can cause irritation and inflammation if you overdo it. Or, you can use certain exfoliating ingredients, such as alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), to “chemically” remove dead skin cells and stimulate skin renewal. And fortunately, there are many natural sources of AHA, such as citrus fruits, sugarcane, milk, and apples, that natural skincare companies can rely on.
I love to draw a warm bath, apply a mask, and settle in for a soak. Most masks are designed to deep clean your pores, exfoliate, and/or nourish your skin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. And unlike toning and moisturizing that are required daily, a mask once or twice a week is usually all you need to keep your skin healthy and beautiful.
To Sum it Up…
When your skin looks and feels good, you have more confidence to face the world. And it also boosts your mood. So if you want that “plump and glow” look, you must nourish your skin from both the inside and out. This means staying hydrated, eating nutrient rich foods, and sticking to natural skincare products that gently cleanse, tone, moisturize and exfoliate your skin.
Keep thinking big and living BOLD!