Top tips for gorgeous skin
Some people are born with ridiculously amazing skin. Genetically blessed as they say.
Others, like myself, have to work hard to keep our skin looking healthy.
Skin health is a good indication of overall health, especially health of the gut. You may be able to hide a tonne of sins or how you're really feeling in other ways, but your face never lies - unless it has been 'tweaked' via scalpel, needle, expensive treatments, lighting or a brush (physical and/or digital). Whilst those help, they don't treat the underlying issues.
Having a sensitive digestive system can also result in even more irritation in the skin, and this can come out in a variety of ways. Treating the root cause of skin problems can be tricky but with professional help, a good quality diet and my tips below, you can be on your way to improved radiance and calmed skin.
My top tips for that highly covetable clear and dewy complexion:
Carbs: If you're going to have carbs in your diet, and you should have some, always make them low GI, unrefined and high in fibre. Low GI carbs won't spike your blood sugar as drastically as high GI carbs. They often contain more fibre and less refined sugar. Fibre helps to brush out toxins from your body via your digestive tract and reducing sugar helps to reduce inflammation in the body that can result in increased redness in the skin. Opt for things like sweet potato, purple potato, quinoa, corn, buckwheat, amaranth, millet and oats (if tolerated) are good options, and all gluten free.
Fat: Increase the amount of healthy fats you eat from wholefoods. Avocado, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, oily fish, olives etc. Most wholesome pure fats such as the ones listed above are anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce redness and irritation in the body and the skin. avocado and almonds are also packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant group that is essential for skin health.
Exercise: Sweat out the toxins, and get the blood flowing with exercise. Proper blood flow to your skin allows nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to your skin cells, giving you a lovely glow. Just don't forget to remove any make up and wash your skin thoroughly immediately after to prevent blockages and imperfections popping up from a mix of bacteria, dirt and sweat getting trapped into your pores.
Gentle cleansers: Always use a gentle cleanser with as few ingredients as possible to help reduce any chance of reaction. DON'T put coconut oil on your skin if you are prone to acne. It's rated one of the highest likely to clog your pores on the comedogenic rating scale - trust me, I've been there done that. Not pretty!
Limit caffeine: Caffeine is a gut irritant. When your gut is not happy, typically, neither is your skin. Keep coffee to one cup a day or less and cut out the sugar and dairy from it too. Both can be inflammatory. If you're quite sensitive to caffeine like me, coffee can only be a once a week or so treat. Cut back on chocolate too, even the raw kind - cacao contains caffeine which can contribute too.
Limit alcohol: One word. Dehydration. Want fine lines and wrinkles to come early and set in earlier? Both caffeine and alcohol can dry out the skin, making it lose its healthy glow; causing tired, dullness to settle in, and those fine lines to reappear.
Plenty of water: On the opposite side of the scale, drink plenty of water. You're body is mostly water, and uses it as a carrier device for everything to function well. When you use it up (e.g. sweat, diarrhoea, overheating, sickness, exercise, just simply living), and don't fill it back up, you end up looking like a sultana. Well, maybe not that drastic, but it'll sap your skin of its radiance thats for sure!
Eat plenty of vegetables: You hear it all the time, eat more vegetables. It's the annoying phrase that makes me sound like a broken record, but I don't mind, because when you actually listen and follow that piece of advice, things change. Great things occur. Veggies are nature's multivitamins you can't really beat them for nourishing you from the inside out. Fill half your plate at every meal with them, and use a variety of colours each time. See what happens.
Take it off: Regardless of how light weight, sheer or mineralised it is - never sleep in make up. It clogs your pores, dirties your pillow case (so even when you clean your face the next night, you're sleeping in dirt), and causes all kinds of skin troubles. A silky pillow also helps to reduce those fine lines from the pulling on your face from regular pillow cases, and helps to reduce what I like to call "sheet wrinkles" - the ones that occur when you wake up having slept funny on creases of the pillow slip. You've all done it. Walking around on the weekend looking badass with that killer indent of a scar going down your face for a few hours. But when you're racing off to work, and make up doesn't cover it, then it's another story entirely.
Sleep: Get enough. Tiredness can really sap the energy from your skin too. When you're tired, stressed and run down, your body uses what nutrition you give it to keep the key organs strong - think heart, brain, liver, etc. These organs gets first dibs on what you consume, and are first in line for repairs while you sleep. When you don't get enough rest and your diet is poor, then your skin suffers.