During my past 11 years of working within the beauty and skin industry, I have gained a lot of do’s and donts when it comes to maintaining true, long term, skin health.
This ‘skin wisdom’, as I like to call it, has come from working for different companies, working alongside various skin experts and learning different philosophies along the way… Coming from a history of acne skin myself, this wisdom has also come through my own personal experience and trial and errors!
What gets me out of bed each day? EMPOWERING you to CONFIDENTLY WEAR the skin you’re in! My passions have always been to provide you with a high quality, 100% natural skincare range that takes the complicated out of skincare, while providing you with REAL skin results, but to also EDUCATE YOU on what your skin is doing and why, while providing you with lifestyle tips, to help you along your way, during what can sometimes feel like a tiering, frustrating skin journey!
The following 10 points are here for you to take or leave, but are here to assist you and your skin, long term!
Skin tip #1
AIM FOR 7 HOURS OF RESTFUL SLEEP EVERY NIGHT
The name ‘beauty sleep’ is there for a reason! While we sleep, our skin is busy healing and regenerating; trying to rebalance and reverse any damage done to it, throughout the day! Your immune system, metabolism and hydration levels are regulating, ensuring you’re balanced for the day ahead. REM (rapid eye movement) is usually the period of sleep when we dream and this REM sleep is the high quality sleep we are after! When our body relaxes into REM, this enables blood flow to increase – ensuring your skin cells are provided with the nutrition, oxygen and water needed to thrive, while allowing your body to re energise for the day ahead!
Skin tip #2
AVOID PROCESSED FOOD
I am always preaching BALANCE when it comes to lifestyle choices and understand this one can sometimes be difficult, however it is important to understand that processed foods affect the skins immunity and the body’s overall health. When we consume foods that are processed, we are consuming empty calories and calories that contain nothing to feed the skin from within. Often, processed foods are high in a variety of preservatives (giving them long shelf life) and salt, which often can get in the way of our bodys immunity. As our body has to work over time to drain the waste and toxins, this can affect our lymphatic system too, causing inflammation internally, which will always cause skin inflammation to appear (inflammatory skin conditions such as – psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis will always flare up when we consume processed foods for this reason) such as redness, premature ageing and uneven skin tone.
Skin tip #3
DAILY SUGAR INTAKE SHOULD BE KEPT TO A LOW
Just like processed food, sugar has no positive affect on our skin and overall health. Keeping it simple, sugar causes inflammation (remember that inflammation is a natural immune response of the body and skin and occurs when it’s trying to fight infection or something that is perceives as a threat). Internal inflammation causes external skin redness, swelling, heat, pain and inflammatory skin conditions (like dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis) to flare up and increases premature ageing (we are all ‘ageing’ but ‘prematurely’ ageing is something we want to avoid!) as well as affecting the skins immunity and ability to properly protect itself. It can be difficult if you enjoy sweets, but if you can make this commitment to cut back on sugar, not only for your skin, but for your overall health and not just for a week, but for a few good months, I promise you will notice an improvement in your skin redness and overall congestion (clogged pores, blackheads, active acne), long term.
Skin tip #4
EAT YOUR VEGGIES!
Remember – our skin reflects our internal health. We can use all the topical skincare in the world, but if you don’t have a healthy and balanced diet, your skin will always reflect this!
Vegetables contain potent antioxidants that help to protect and fight against overall ageing. When it comes to our internal cells, they NEED antioxidants to help protect them from all the free radicals we are exposed to 24/7 – often caused by stress, UV (sun exposure), pollution in the air we breathe, alcohol consumption and smoking. The free radicals destroy healthy cells and collagen and elastin fibres – which begins the breakdown of our overall skin health and functionality.
Skin tip #5
DRINK YOUR WATER
Skin. Needs. Water. It’s as simple as that. Not just your skin, but your entire body needs water to function optimally! Yes, we have heard that daily water consumption helps to ‘hydrate’ the skin, but it’s important to understand, that without good fats, water cannot be retained properly within the skin. When it comes to water and your skin, this accounts for your skins volume and will often be the result of a dewy, youthful skin complexion. Maintaining optimal water intake, will also ensure your skins barrier is properly protected, your skin is able to naturally exfoliate regularly – shedding dead skin cell build up to reveal a bright, healthy complexion and will allow your skin to communicate to cells properly – ensuring your skin remains balanced and healthy!
Due to our harsh environment and lifestyle choices, on average 97% of Australians are dehydrated! It’s important to remember that your skin is always the last to receive nutrients and water through the blood, meaning on average, if you consume 2 litres of water daily, only 13% of that water will reach your skin cells! What this means for you? DRINK 2-3 LITRES OF WATER DAILY and make it an ongoing priority and daily habit.
Skin tip #6
EAT GOOD FATS
Following on from the above, without good fats, water/hydration cannot be held properly within the skin! Good fats can be found in avocadoes, flaxseeds, chia seeds and salmon and can also be taken through a daily daily omega 3 supplement (such as fish oil). They are anti-inflammatory to help internally calm skin inflammation such as redness, irritation, and reactive and inflammatory skin conditions (such as acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis) and basically lock in the goodness and keep your skin moisturised, internally! Without good fats, your skin loses is barrier protection, which is the beginning of many skin conditions and concerns!
Skin tip #7
CONSUME ADEQUATE AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN DAILY
Collagen is a protein and is found in our base layer of the skin. It is responsible for the structure of our skin and the ‘fullness’ that gives our skin a youthful appearance. It is also what lines our skins capillary walls and prevents redness and capillaries from surfacing and what gives our skin its ability to heal from trauma or a wound. From the age of 20, the cell that produces our collagen and elastin, begins to slow down and as a result, by the age of 25, we can begin to see the very first signs of ageing within the skin. This is why daily consumption of protein within our daily diet is essential! I personally love collagen powders, for this exact reason, as they provide an easy way to consume and top up on your protein daily, ensuring our collagen fibres remain healthy, strong and stable within the skin, preventing the break down of collagen and onset of premature ageing as much as possible!
Skin tip #8
DO NOT SMOKE
Gone are the days where smoking was ‘sexy’. We now have so much information on why cigarettes are bad for our overall health and what they can negatively cause, long term… but keeping it short and sweet, smoking decreases the flow of oxygen to your skin cells, while decreasing Vitamin C levels within the body. Vitamin C is such an important nutrient, needed to protect our cells, while stimulating healthy collagen! … The result? Depleted, unhealthy skin cells and destroyed collagen fibres… Meaning dull, lifeless, and ageing skin. That’s a big no thank you from me!
Skin tip #9
REDUCE YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
I personally love my morning coffee and like I mentioned earlier, life is about BALANCE. Caffeine increases stress levels, in particular, the production of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’. High cortisol levels affect your hormone levels, which then affects your oil production, which will always affect your skin – especially inflamed acne. High cortisol also breaks down collagen fibres fast, causing premature ageing and can cause dehydration within the skin, which will always worsen skin conditions. In short, try to limit your daily caffeine intake to 1 cup per day and for every cup of caffeine, replenish your water levels with 2 cups of water!
Skin tip #10
We all know that exercise promotes overall health and in particular cardiovascular health, to assist with lymphatic drainage – essential for ensuring toxins are carried away and blood flow is optimal, while reducing overall fluid retention. Weight training tones muscle, which lies underneath the skin and allows our skin to appear firm and taut. Exercise also stimulates blood flow, which will always give your skin an instant glow! Remember – your nutrients, oxygen and water are transferred to your skin cells, through your blood, so the more blood that is flowing to your skin cells, the better your skins overall health! Just ensure you are properly cleansing your skin post workout, to prevent surface build up!
Remember our skin is an organ and the largest organ in our body. It will ALWAYS reflect what is going on internally, in fact, this is one of its main jobs – to show us internal health imbalances and what needs extra support!
Whatever we can do, day to day, to help internally support the functions of our body, will always help optimise the functions of our skin.
I hope you got some tips from this. Long term changes account for long term skin health and it’s about focusing on what works for you and your skin needs, as all skin journeys are different and individual.
Know that I am always here to support you along the way.
Photo by Hana Brannigan