Tips for Healthy Skin, Naturally
Everyone wants healthy looking skin! We usually do posts about specific health and skin conditions, so we thought we’d create a post for everyone this time – kind of like a do-it-yourself-guide to healthy skin. There are lots that we can do in our daily routines to keep our skin looking beautiful. So, below are 10 tips you can build into your daily regime to keep your skin looking great. You can also follow us on social media for daily skincare tips over the next couple of weeks.
Healthy Skin 101
- Hydration is very important for healthy skin. Drinking water not only helps to keep our skin supple and smooth, but it also helps to flush out toxins from the body. If our digestive process is not functioning efficiently to get toxins out of our body, the next best route for elimination is through our skin. It’s been said that our skin is a reflection of what is going on inside our bodies, so healthy skin will equal a healthy digestive system – people talk about the digestive tract lining being our internal skin. While we recommend drinking water throughout the day, we suggest that all our patients start the day with a big glass of water to help flush out metabolic waste that has accumulated overnight while you’ve slept.
- Deep breathing is also a great way to help get toxins out from the body, not to mention it’s also a great stress management technique. When we exhale we are releasing toxins from our body. And while we’re breathing all the time, deep breathing is a really great way to keep our system calm, breathe in oxygen, and release toxins and carbon dioxide.
- Dietary choices we make affect our digestive system, which ultimately affects our skin. For example, if your body does not digest dairy well and you eat it, inflammation will arise in the digestive tract and can cause damage to the healthy gut flora. As we said above, your skin is a reflection of the inside – if you have inflammation on the inside, it’s going to come out on the outside in the form of acne or other skincare issues. One of the easiest ways to track what foods affect your digestive system (and also your skin) is to keep a diet diary and note how you feel after each meal. You should notice a trend between foods you eat and when your skin reacts. Please note it may take 24-48 hours before you see a reaction, so if you eat something like dairy and you don’t see a reaction right away, remember it can take time.
- Related to dietary choices is our number one recommendation for patients – be sure to eat a clean diet as often as you can. A clean diet to us is lots of veggies, a small serving of fruit, keep carbohydrates low, moderate protein, and lots of healthy fat. Our skin loves healthy fat, and although we hear about the significance of hydration, our skin is predominantly a fat based organ. So we recommend lots of healthy fats, especially Omega 3 fats because they help to reduce inflammation in the body. Life is short and we know that we can’t always have a perfect diet, so we like to refer to the 80/20 rule. Have a clean diet 80% of the time and 20% of the time you can allow some indulgences.
- Vitamin C is also very important for skin. While you can supplement with it, we recommend that patients try to get it naturally in their diet through fruits and vegetables. Berries are high in vitamin C and are low in sugar. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen which is a protein that helps keep skin elastic, aka wrinkle free.
- Sweat it out. Exercise is a great way to improve blood flow, which helps to circulate essential nutrients for the body and skin. Exercise is also a great way to build up a sweat. Also when we sweat, toxins are released from our body. You can also add some sauna time to your workout routine to really boost up sweating. If you haven’t used the sauna before we recommend starting small by only sitting inside for 5 minutes or less, and make sure that you are well hydrated.
- Use a gentle cleanser on your skin. There is an app we like called “Think Dirty” which allows you to scan a barcode to find out if there are any carcinogenic ingredients in skincare and household products. Harsh chemicals in facial cleansers can irritate the skin and cause inflammation which can lead to a breakout. Instead, you can look at the Environmental Working Group’s website for healthier alternatives, or make your own. The Queen of Green on the David Suzuki website has great ideas for how to make your own products. You can also just use coconut oil to moisturize your skin and to remove makeup. As an added bonus, coconut oil is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so it will help to kill any germs on your skin.
- If you do get a breakout it’s very important not to break or pop pimples, no matter how tempting it is. Picking at pimples will lead to inflammation and scarring which will take much longer to heal. The best thing to do when you get a breakout is to gently clean your skin, make sure your diet is very clean, and drink lots of water to help flush out toxins. You can also use tea tree oil topically as a spot treatment to kill bacteria.
- Sun is really important for skin health, but it can be tricky to get a healthy amount without sun damage or a sunburn. The best times to get sun is when the UV is at its lowest, which is usually early in the morning or early evening, depending on the time of year it is. You can also check the forecast for the UV reading, and avoid exposing your skin to the sun during peak UV times.
- Lastly, for healthy skin we recommend doing a detox at least two times per year. Think of this as a reboot, or some people liken a detox to spring cleaning. It’s a great way to clear up inflammation in the body, ensure your detoxification organs are working efficiently, and allow the body to heal. Many people notice how healthy and glowing their skin looks after they’ve completed a detox. We can help you design a custom detox and skincare management plan that is right for you.