You needn’t shell out a small fortune on fancy face creams in order to benefit from beautiful, healthy looking skin. Indeed, smooth, flawless, wrinkle free skin can be achieved simply by following a few sensible tips and by pampering your body with the right nutrients.
Below you’ll discover 5 indispensible tips as well as 5 fantastic superfoods for healthy skin.
5 tips for healthy skin
Costly revitalising face creams, anti-wrinkle treatments and intensive moisturising lotions are a complete waste of money. That’s because they target the ‘symptoms’ rather than the root cause of damaged skin. The good news is that you can start to enjoy beautiful, healthy looking skin today, merely by following these 5 simple tips. And, you’ll save yourself a small fortune into the bargain!
1. Avoid excessive amounts of sun
Your body needs a daily quota of sunlight in order to produce vitamin D, however, excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes DNA damage to skin cells, leading to wrinkles, age spots and other types of skin distress. It also increases your risk of skin cancer.
Here’s how can you enjoy sufficient amounts of sun safely:
- Use a natural sunscreen – opt for a natural, mineral-based sunscreen that’s free from chemical ingredients that may cause toxic reactions and increase your risk of melanoma.
- Limit your exposure – avoid the sun at its most powerful (between 10 am and 3 pm) and restrict your exposure to a maximum of twenty minutes, twice daily (depending on your skin type).
- Cover up – wear a wide-brimmed sun hat or cap and sunglasses whenever in direct sunlight.
- Choose a natural after-sun skin care product – such as nourishing organic coconut oil or soothing aloe vera.
2. Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake
Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This restricts the blood flow and deprives your skin of the oxygen and nutrients that it requires to stay healthy and wrinkle free. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin – the two proteins responsible for your skin’s firmness and elasticity.
Alcohol dehydrates your entire body, including the skin, and again starves it of the vitamins and minerals essential for skin health. Heavy, long term drinking can lead to chronic skin conditions, such as rosacea – an unpleasant disorder that can even cause facial disfigurement.
3. Drink plenty of water
Water makes up more than two-thirds of your body – it lubricates your joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps your skin adequately moisturised. Your body continually loses water throughout the day, meaning that you must maintain a healthy fluid balance in order that your skin remains sufficiently hydrated. To boost your fluid intake, drink a minimum of two litres of pure spring water every day, and supplement your water intake with green juices, coconut drinks and smoothies, which are a natural source of water.
4. Keep an eye on your stress levels
Over a prolonged period, stress, which is triggered by the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, not only increases your risk of heart disease, depression and mental illness; it can also leave your skin sensitive and more prone to skin problems like acne. You can prevent stress and unwanted skin complaints by taking regular, gentle exercise, such as yoga, employing relaxation techniques, including prayer, affirmations and meditation, and by enjoying adaptogenic superfoods that actively combat stress, such as organic maca powder, organic matcha green tea powder, organic ashwagandha powder, organic goji berries and organic Incan berries.
5. Enjoy a healthy, balanced diet
Flawless, healthy looking skin is nurtured from within by minimising the build-up of toxic substances in the liver, kidneys, adrenals, thyroid and bowel (which can result in dry, flaky skin and unsightly skin rashes) and simultaneously nourishing your body with those nutrients that specifically benefit your skin.
Nutrients that promote healthy skin include:
- Protein – protein is essential for the healthy growth and repair of cells. It also plays an integral role in supporting your hair, nails and skin. Indeed, protein contains amino acids that aid in the production of collagen, which provides structure to your skin. A lack of protein in your diet will eventually lead to a breakdown in collagen and result in loss of elasticity and wrinkles.
- Oils and fats – healthy oils and fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, form a protective layer on your skin and prevent moisture loss, leaving it feeling wonderfully soft and supple.
- Vitamins – such as vitamin A, which your body uses to manufacture the retinoides that regulate keratin in your skin cells, vitamin C, an antioxidant that assists in the formation of collagen, reduces the symptoms of aging skin and, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, may also reduce sunburn caused by exposure to UV radiation and might therefore also help to prevent the development of skin cancer, and tocopherol, the fat-soluble vitamin E that, in combination with certain antioxidants, protects your skin from the damage caused by free radicals.
- Minerals – in particular, iron, which is crucial for the growth and maintenance of healthy skin, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which boost your skin’s antioxidant capacity, and zinc, which contributes to the synthesis of collagen.
- Carotenoids – natural yellow and red coloured plant pigments, including β-carotene, lutein, and lycopene that, thanks to their ability to absorb sunlight, boast a protective effect on your skin.
- Polyphenols – micronutrients that protect and repair your skin from the damage caused by UV radiation.
5 superfoods for healthy skin
To profit from radiant, youthful looking skin, try incorporating some of these 5 superfoods for skin into your daily diet.
1. Organic coconut oil
Organic coconut oil is made from the flesh of coconuts and is rich in vegetable saturated fatty acids, such as omega-3, oemga-6, choline and lecithin, which help to restore your skin’s natural fat content at a cellular level. It also supplies your body with both vitamin E, which repairs skin damage, and protein, which rejuvenates, your skin. An ideal alternative to standard cooking oils, organic coconut oil can also be applied directly to your skin as a kind, gentle and hypoallergenic moisturiser.
2. Organic kale
Vegetables are brimming with water and valuable nutrients – green leafy vegetables, such as organic kale, additionally support healthy liver function and encourage a natural detox, which in turn promotes healthy skin. Organic kale is crammed with vitamins A & C, and is an excellent source of iron. The perfect addition to green smoothies, organic kale can also be enjoyed as a sensible snack between meals in the form of crunchy kale chips.
3. Organic goji berries
Organic goji berries, the small red berries that grow on the Box Thorn shrub native to the Himalayas, are bursting with nutrients that are beneficial for skin. They are the richest source of vitamin C on the planet, the skin-friendly vitamin that demonstrably reduces the visible signs of aging, such as fine line and wrinkles, and are an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and selenium, amino acids, which help to smooth skin and improve tone and colour, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene, crytoxanthin, and xanthophyll, which help to protect the skin from sun damage and maintain a healthy glow, and polysaccharides, which boast antioxidant properties and increase skin hydration. Enjoy organic goji berries straight from the bag or as a delicious addition to smoothies, trail mix and raw chocolate.
Fermented foods and drinks, such as kombucha – a refreshing tea drink that contains friendly bacteria – enhance the effects of omega-3 fatty acids and digestive enzymes in the body, and thus play an integral role in promoting strong and healthy skin. Kombucha is also a powerful antioxidant, which reduces wrinkles by improving your skin’s elasticity. An active ingredient in many natural skin care products, kombucha is increasingly used as both an internal and a topical treatment for younger looking skin.
5. Organic cacao butter
Organic cacao butter is made from the yellow vegetable fat that’s extracted from cold pressed organic cacao nibs. Sometimes referred to as theobromine oil, it is rich in vitamin C, tocopherol (fat-soluble vitamin E), omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduction in the symptoms of the common skin condition known as eczema (De Spirt et al., 2009), the cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP), which can help to relieve dermatitis and troublesome skin rashes, as well as the minerals, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc. Organic cacao butter is an integral ingredient in raw chocolate and can be applied directly to the skin as an occlusive emollient that prevents moisture loss and the associated development of fine lines and wrinkles. It also reduces stretch marks and provides welcome relief from sunburn.