I never suffered from skin issues like acne till my mid-twenties! This was the time I had a few underlying issues that I hadn't realized and tried to mask the problem with expensive creams and cleansers. It wasn't until I truly embarked on my mind-body healing journey that I came to realize, we can all have glowing skin without dropping dollars on expensive treatments.
I get it! We all want that clear, glowing, picture-perfect flawless youthful-looking skin. Clear beautiful skin is a source of confidence to many - including myself. We see women in magazines, actors that we look up to have amazing complexion and we want that for ourselves. So we go to great lengths to make that a reality. I am here to tell you we don't need expensive treatments or complicated procedures to make ourselves look and feel amazing. Flawless skin can be achieved with these 8 simple tips.
1. Take care of your gut health
Your gut is the gateway to the outside world. Anything and everything you eat or drink meets with the digestive system before having an effect on the rest of the body. Therefore one of the main reasons for skin issues is underlying gut issues. I know this article is specific to acne, but I'd like to take it a step further and say stubborn conditions like eczema and psoriasis also have a connection to gut health. While the gut microbiome works to pull essential vitamins and minerals from the food we eat, the gut lining ensures that our underlying immune system does not get disturbed. In order to keep the gut happy, we need to keep our gut microbiome thriving and the gut lining or barrier strong. The best way to do this is by consuming wholesome foods with loads of prebiotics like flax or chia seeds and probiotics like yogurt and fermented foods along with tons of leafy greens and antioxidants. This ensures that our gut bugs are happy while also helping the gut barrier stay strong. One note I'd like to make is, trigger foods like gluten and dairy can impact the strength of the gut lining. It is important to become aware of how we feel after consuming foods with these entities.
2. Manage your stress levels
Everybody has stress in their lives. It is how we handle them that makes or breaks our health & wellness. I know this is easier said than done but as one of my favorite quotes by an author named Charles Swindoll goes, "life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it! Our attitude is everything" If we can manage how we REACT to our daily stressors, then we are able to have better control of our inner biochemistry such as imbalanced cortisol surges or adrenaline spikes. With the gut having its own nervous system, called the enteric nervous system, it is no surprise that stress has a profound impact on gut health. As a rule of thumb, we have established how important gut health is when talking about skin health. So figure out what helps you destress. Whether it is doing some deep breathing, meditation, yoga or simply going for a walk, listening to some music - whatever helps to calm your system, consider it one of the key elements of your prescription for skin health.
3. Sweat it out
Sweating is one of the body's natural ways to detox! It is also one of the best ways to destress! Movement gets the blood flowing therefore nourishing your cells with all the nutrients they need to thrive! Furthermore, it helps keep the fascia young. What is fascia, you say? Fascia is an ORGAN that wraps around every part of your body. This includes your heart, lunges, your digestive system, and your SKIN too. When you move and support your fascial system you also help keep your skin young and supple.
4. Take care of your nutrition
This goes hand and hand with gut health. But I want to reiterate and emphasize how important this is! Along with adding wholesome foods such as fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, greens, and antioxidants it is also important to moderate our consumption of indulgent treats that fall under the processed foods category. Processed foods have high amounts of inflammatory ingredients such as hydrogenated oils (think soybean or canola oil), loads of sugar, excess salt, emulsifiers, and other entities that lead to systemic inflammation. OTW philosophy is 'balance' above all else. Extreme measures are not ideal or sustainable and I always recommend the 80/20 rule when it comes to diet and lifestyle.
5. Phase-out toxic products and opt for cleaner products
Have you ever taken a look at your skincare products and wondered what chemicals am I putting on my skin? Our skin has a direct link to our circulation and whatever product we use, has a profound impact not just on the surface but internally as well. So how do we know what product to choose? A simple and easy way is to look at the ingredient list and opt for products with minimal yet natural ingredients that would help reduce clogging of pores, ease breakouts and help enhance the complexion.
6. Have a simple and sustainable skincare routine
My favorite rule of thumb is Keep It Simple and Sustainable - aka the Kiss rule. We have enough influencers, celebrities, big-time beauty companies telling us we need a bunch of products to look and feel beautiful. But I think by now, we have established that beauty comes from within. I personally, do not subscribe to a 20 step skincare routine with different cleansers, exfoliants, toners, day creams, night creams, serums. Why waste money when we can take a few simple steps to nourish our skin from the inside and pair that with a few clean products to keep the skin thriving from the outside. I keep my skincare routine simple with just washing my face with water in the morning following that up with a clean, non-toxic moisturizer.
7. Let your skin breathe!
If there is one habit that I have built over the years, it is to never skip my skincare routine at night - thanks to my mom! I make sure to cleanse with gentle soap and moisturize my skin every night regardless of whether I am wearing makeup or not. Once a week, I make sure to gently exfoliate with a simple DIY scrub: a teaspoon of pink salt mixed with equal part olive oil. This helps the skin breathe and rejuvenate by getting rid of dead skin and debris.
8. It all starts with your mindset
I saved the best one for last! Above all love the skin you are in - blemishes, freckles, beauty marks, and all! We are all beautifully imperfect no matter our skin color and complexion. No makeup can ever compare to your self-confidence and self-love. Regardless of whether you are light skin, dark skin, have freckles or discolorations - own it, work it! It all starts with your mindset and how you see yourself.