Beauty From Within – Tips To Make Your Skin Glow
A skincare routine doesn’t need to be complicated (or expensive). Try these simple life hacks and beauty-boosting foods for glowing skin this summer.
We’ve all heard the phrase, beauty comes from within, but it actually holds true. How we nourish ourselves on the inside has an enormous influence on our appearance. Taking care of ourselves on a cellular level radiates outward. As we all crave that summer glow, we’ve compiled five tips to help you get a natural beauty boost.
Try these healthy habits for glowing skin:
1. Eat Skin-Loving Foods
Possibly the easiest way to show your skin some love is to eat a diet full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and healthy fats to strengthen the elasticity, collagen, and function of our skin cells. To help your skin thrive, strive to eat a diet full of whole foods with a variety of color. Some examples of beautifying foods, include:
· Avocados: Healthy fats are important for our skin, and avocados are high in monounsaturated fats—which lubricate our skin from the inside and shield against UV damage. This fruit also contains vitamin E, B vitamins and antioxidants—helpful for collagen production and anti-aging.
· Dark leafy greens: Every list of healthy foods seems to contain dark leafy greens, and for good reason. Dark leafy greens—such as spinach and kale and Swiss chard—are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Dark leafy greens also contain lutein, a phytonutrient known to be beneficial for eye health and may help decrease the risk of wrinkles, too.
· Kiwi fruit - This fruit is high in vitamin C, which fights damage from free radicals and plays a role in collagen synthesis. In addition to kiwi, other citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges), bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, mango, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower contain high levels of vitamin C. Since our bodies do not produce or store this water-soluble vitamin, it’s important to add foods containing vitamin C to your daily diet for a host of other benefits in addition to skincare.
· Wild salmon – Eating salmon can lead to more supple, radiant skin, due to it’s high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains selenium, which can help protect against sun exposure. Just make sure to reach for wild, not farmed, fish.
· Eggs – Whip out your skillets! In addition to being a great source of protein, eggs can improve the appearance of your skin. Egg yolks are rich in many minerals and vitamins, including biotin (the beauty vitamin) which helps strengthen hair and nails, while also protecting skin from rashes and breakouts.
· Coconut oil – As with many of the above foods that can be used in facemasks (avocado, turmeric, egg whites), coconut oil can be used topically to moisturize skin, but has beauty-boosting benefits when ingested. Coconut oil can be beneficial for gut health, reducing bad bacteria including candida, which can cause breakouts.
· Collagen – Collagen can be added to your diet in food or supplement form. Collagen peptides have been shown to improve the hallmarks of skin aging by increasing skin hydration and collagen density. They help your body repair and replace old skin cells. Additional benefits include strengthening nails and hair, improving joints, ligaments, and tendons and restoring the integrity of the gut lining. Collagen peptides dissolve in hot or cold liquids without altering taste, making it easy to add to coffee, smoothies, and more. Bone broth is another great way to add collagen to your diet, but make sure to choose high quality beef or chicken bones when making at home.
2. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is the replenishment of fluids we lose through breathing, sweating, and elimination. Water plays a major role in many of our body’s processes and is vital for our skin to function properly (our skin is our largest organ, after all). Well-hydrated skin not only appears glowy, but is also less prone to sun damage – especially important during the summer months. Simply drinking water is the best way to keep our bodies hydrated. Quality matters, though—reach for mineral or spring water (vs. tap) to ensure you’re getting the fluid and electrolytes needed for adequate hydration and a bright complexion.
3. Build a Healthy Gut
Our gut holds a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. A dysbiosis – or imbalance - of bacteria in our microbiome can lead to a variety of medical issues including digestive disorders, inflammation, certain skin conditions (eczema, acne) or simply a lack-luster complexion. Poor dietary choices (too much added sugar, unhealthy fats and processed food), stress, and an extended use of antibiotics can throw off this balance. However, we can improve the balance and diversity of gut bacteria through consuming whole foods, probiotics (living organisms) and prebiotics (non-living, indigestible fibers). You can obtain probiotics in your diet by including fermented foods or drinks such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir and kombucha. Probiotics can also be found in supplement form. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in our gut and help them grow. Examples of prebiotics include dandelion greens, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, raw or cooked onions, garlic, bananas, berries, leeks, and jicima. Read more on the benefits of a healthy gut here.
4. Manage Stress
When we’re stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol (the fight or flight hormone). Prolonged high cortisol levels can wreck havoc on our skin. It can lead to water loss causing dry skin, damage collagen resulting in the formation of fine lines and wrinkles, and cause breakouts on your face and body. While stress is ever-present, it’s important to find ways to manage stress in order to prevent its detrimental effects on our health and skin. Physical activity, relaxation techniques, a healthy diet and adequate sleep can help us keep stress levels under control.
5. Get Your Beauty Sleep
Chances are, you’ve never heard someone say, “you look so tired but your skin looks amazing,” right? Sleep is crucial to our health and wellness as it gives our bodies a chance to repair itself on a cellular level. It plays a role in maintaining proper hormone balance and metabolism. Sleep deprivation can show up in the form of under eye bags, puffiness and accentuated dark circles. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night in a dark room away from technology. Adequate sleep equips us to make healthier food choices, resist cravings, and be more active—which together, help us look and feel better.
These tips will not only keep your skin glowing, but will improve your overall wellness. Try incorporating these healthy habits in your routine for increased energy levels and vibrant skin (and don’t forget the sunscreen!).
Interested in more non-toxic skincare tips? Let us know!
Post written by Ascend Health Coach and content editor, Ashley Hart