We all crave flawless glowing skin. Smooth, soft, unblemished and unmarked. We want perfection, without a single drop of foundation or a streak of cover up. And we can have it. Here are my seven simple secrets to achieve beautiful radiant skin.
The Cardinal Rule: Drink LOTS of Water
Hydrated skin is happy skin. Water flowing through your veins helps to keep your skin looking bright, refreshed and firm. Think of your body like a plant. Feed it water and it will flourish and blossom. Forget to water it… and watch the petals shrivel and die. When our bodies are dehydrated, we get dull, flaky, wrinkled, snake-like, saggy skin. But drinking two or three glasses a day is simply not enough. If you don’t feed your body enough water, it won’t get to the skin. Organs get water as a priority, and only reach our skin cells later. So make sure you are drinking at least two liters (eight cups) of water a day to keep your skin looking its best.
Sleeping Beauty’s Rule: Sleep is Beautiful
Sleep restores, rejuvenates and repairs our bodies. You can always tell when someone has been up half the night because their face is a weary map of dark circles, puffy eyes, and dull, saggy skin. A restful night of quality sleep can help keep your skin looking refreshed and clear. Aim for 7-9 hours a night, and sweet dreams.
The Athlete’s Rule: Sweat to Glow
In regards to skin care, exercise is great for two major reasons. One, working out helps to keep the blood pumping. Good circulation means better blood flow to nourish skin cells. Good nutrients that travel in the bloodstream can make their way to the skin, and toxins can be cleared from skin. In a way, working out is like giving your skin a mini cleanse. Reason two, exercise is linked to the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin (the happy transmitters!). This can relieve stress in the body, and as we know, stress is a major enemy for good skin – it can cause acne, breakouts, and wrinkles.
The Relaxing Rule: Stress Always Shows
When your mind is under pressure your body feels it too. When you experience stress, your body realises certain chemicals; hormones called cortisol. This can lead to a chemical imbalance in your body and result in oily skin, breakouts, even rashes. Finding ways to ease or minimize stress throughout the day can be a big help to your skin and mind. Take time to meditate, sip tea, listen to music, or exercise. Even spending time around nature, or owning a plant has been proven to reduce stress levels. Either way, making time for yourself should be an important daily practice. The results will be worth it. Also be sure to listen to what your skin is telling you. Skin is like a visual map to our bodies; when something is wrong, your skin is a quick indicator. Dry or wrinkled skin can sometimes mean your body is not receiving sufficient nutrients. Acne may mean there is a hormonal imbalance or toxic buildup in your body; and eczema may indicate an allergy. If there are certain conditions that seem persistent, then you may want to contact
The Fresh Food Rule: Eat a Rainbow of Colours
White bread and French fries may be delicious, but they are not the best for your skin. The best vitamins and minerals for your body can be found in natural foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Berries, apples, kale, collard greens, carrots, cabbage, papaya, pomegranate… the list goes on. These fresh foods come packed with antioxidants, calcium, and nutrients like vitamin C, A, K. Foods with high levels of antioxidants are especially good for glowing skin. Antioxidants help reduce the formation of wrinkles, keeping our skin firm and smooth. Foods that contain vitamin C, like citrus fruits and dark leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli, are also known to help prevent wrinkles and to strengthen collagen. And for truly youthful skin, we must not forget to include a few healthy fats into our diet. Avocados, nuts and extra virgin olive oils contain naturally good fats that are essential to the maintenance of soft, radiant skin. Healthy fats (omegas and monounsaturated fats), play a role in keeping skin hydrated and in repairing damaged skin cells. So fill your plate with a colourful array natural foods. The more the merrier! They contain an alphabet of vitamins and a plethora of wholesome nutrients that will nourish your skin.
The Sugar Rule: You Are Sweeter Without It
We all love to indulge in sugary treats. Cakes, donuts, ice cream, pies, and my personal favourite… chocolate. But sadly, sugar does not love us. If stress is the enemy, then sugar is the evil sidekick. Consuming too much sugar can lead to more than just breakouts and acne. The sugar high you get from eating too many sweets can cause inflammation, which can damage collagen and the elasticity of our skin. This will in turn lead to saggy, wrinkled skin. Try to avoid foods that have high levels of sugar; baked goods, candy, sweetened cereals, pop, protein bars, jams and juice to name a few. If you’re craving something sweet, grab a banana or a handful of grapes. They contain natural sugars, fiber, and vitamins that are much better for your body than a chocolate bar.
The Moisturizer Rule: Lotion is a Lifesaver
As soon as you hop out of the shower you have one job: put on lotion! Forget about drying or hair or brushing your teeth, that can wait. Lotion and moisturizers are best applied right after a bath or shower while your skin is still damp and your pores are open. If you wait, your skin can dry out and grow irritated and itchy. So hydrate your skin as quickly as possible. Personally, I like to take things a step further than lotion and moisturizer. For truly soft skin that doesn’t dry throughout the day, I like to apply dry oils. The Body Shop has a decent collection of Beautifying Oils for your face, hair and body. They carry the scents of Moringa, Coconut and Shea Butter. Coconut happens to be my favourite, but all are effective are maintaining silky smooth skin. They can however be a bit messy and of course, oily. I would recommend rubbing on oils after a nighttime shower right before bed – you don’t want this oil on the clothes you’ll be wearing to work.
So there you have it. Seven simple lifestyle choices that can have a huge impact. Water, sleep, exercise, relaxation, healthy foods, less sugar and more moisturizer. It’s as easy as one, two, three…
But besides just skin care, the most beautiful way to obtain radiant skin is to smile. Your confidence and gorgeous smile will always make you shine.