We are all searching for that ‘magic cream’, but sometimes life offers us a far simpler (and cheaper) antidote. Here are five simple and accessible tips for healthy, glowing skin.
Although a good night's sleep for some is hard to achieve, sleep deprivation can cause a host of issues for your skin including; acne breakouts, dehydration, irritation, collagen break down, accelerated ageing, puffiness and dark circles under your eyes.
Sleep offers the perfect beauty prescription for these skin complaints, whilst also boosting your mood and energy levels so you feel refreshed and restored for the day ahead.
Living during a pandemic and being cooped up at home has caused a lot of us to feel stressed and anxious. These feelings trigger your adrenal glands (glands that sit on top of the kidneys), to release cortisol, our master ‘stress hormone’, which can wreak havoc on each system of the body, including how our skin looks and feels.
The Mind-Skin connection is clear, think how our tiny hairs on our arms stand up when we are scared, or how our face flushes when we are embarrassed. When we are stressed (for long periods of time), it shows on the skin and can accelerate ageing. The wonderful thing about meditation is it allows us to reduce our stress levels by putting us in a deep state of relaxation, reducing anxiety and distancing us from future stressful scenarios. Studies are showing that meditation actually reduces inflammation in the body, a major causative factor in ageing.
When we sleep we lose water gradually through the night, so it's important to start the day with water or even better a hot water with lemon, rather than a caffeinated coffee or tea which can lead to further dehydration. Drinking water and increasing your intake of fruit and veggies with a high water content will aid digestion, promote detoxification and leave your skin with a radiant glow.
When our digestive system is sluggish, and toxins are not eliminated efficiently, this internal toxicity can express itself on our skin, leading to a problematic complexion. Dehydration can also lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, whereas a more hydrated body will allow your skin to maintain its moisture, giving it a healthier look and feel. A good tip to see if your skin is dehydrated is pinching the back of the hand and seeing if the skin is quick to return to normal, if it’s slow, then you need to up your water intake.
A wonderfully effective and skin rejuvenating habit is facial massage using an oil based cleanser (I love Pai’s Rosehip Cleansing Oil). A perfect start to the day, awakening the facial muscles, increasing blood flow to the skin's surface and exposing skin cells to blood nutrients. Facial massage stimulates your lymphatic system into action which can help reduce puffiness and these effects can be seen immediately. A golden nugget to remember is to massage in an upward and outward direction. We want to defy gravity, so be careful you're not dragging down. We want to move outwards towards our lymph nodes to encourage lymphatic drainage which your skin will thank you for.
If you want to indulge in a nice present, then a Gua Sha can be an effective tool to include in your skincare routine. Plus it's wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable to use.
SAINTLY SKIN GUA SHA | £10
In this western world of processed foods, we really need to start thinking about eating for a healthy gut. A healthy gut massively plays into the health of our skin. Let’s first talk about fibre, something the typical western diet drastically lacks. Fibre encourages bowel motility, and we all know our bowels were made to move! When the bowels stop moving regularly, toxicity starts to build in the
colon. Increasing our fibre intake in the form of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes, we can increase stool bulk and prevent toxic build up in the colon, which can express itself on the skin.
A good quality probiotic taken for at least three months can be a great way of helping diversify the strains of good bacteria in the gut. Couple this with introducing prebiotic foods which can then feed these strains of good bacteria to promote their proliferation in number. Some great prebiotic foods are jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, asparagus, raspberries, black beans, garlic, bananas, pears and watermelons. We could talk all day about the gut but if you remember one thing, think DIVERSITY! Challenge yourself and aim for 10 different fruit and vegetables everyday.
Co Author Beanie Robinson
Beanie is a nutritional therapist, yoga teacher, masseuse and founder of The health space. She originally trained at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, and has done further studying in Ayurvedic medicine in India. Now a mentor for newly qualified nutritional therapists, Beanie spends her time working one-to-one with clients, as well as doing corporate talks, wellness days and hosting holistic yoga retreats.
This blog does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All these dishes may contain allergens.