Secrets to healthy glowing skin
Let's talk about our largest organ: skin. Recently, I have received many comments and compliments on my skin since many of you have been watching my Facebook Live Videos. I very much appreciate all of the kind remarks especially because my skin has been a real struggle since I was in elementary school. I got my first pimple in the fourth grade and of course it was on the very tip of my nose (it's hard to forget something that's so horrific to a fourth grader). Naturally, I was mortified and thought it was all anyone was staring at- I even begged my mom to let me stay home from school.
Since then I have battled with it all, from acne (and all of the things that go along with that), eczema, blackheads, to both oiliness and dryness (sometimes even at the same time). That all sounds horrible I know, but it wasn't all at once and it has taught me to seek out what works and what doesn't. From my own personal experience and experimentation as well my formal education on the subject, I have found remedies that actually work and I'm here to share a few of my secrets to having healthy glowing skin!
In last month's blog post, I shared with you two of my favorite beauty products for removing makeup and for moisturizing at night. Both of these natural remedies have played an intregal role in my skincare routine. Which brings me to my first secret- Have a routine.
I am ashamed to say this (and frankly a little bit disgusted) but for years I didn't wash my makeup off at night. I knew better, but boy did my skin suffer for it. Since adopting a regular night time routine, my skin has seen a dramatic improvement. It is now clearer, brighter, noticeably softer and my complexion is much more even. Figuring out a regimen that works for you is key, mine looks like this:
A.M. - Cleanse face, apply toner, moisturize face with a non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) moisturizer that contains an SPF, then apply lotion or body oil to whole body
P.M. - Remove makeup, cleanse face, apply night-time moisturizer, then apply lotion to hands, feet & body
Exfoliate face, apply a facial mask, exfoliate whole body in shower with body scrub
Monthly or Bi-monthly:
Get a facial (if you've never had a facial, I HIGHLY recommend trying it! I actually enjoy a facial even more than a massage!)
What you're putting on your skin matters- and I'm not just talking about which products you're using on it, I could recommend a plethora of skincare products that I love but it ultimately comes down to personal preference. I'm actually talking about everything else that comes in contact with it.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a freak about not touching my face. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like my face touched by any one or or any thing. I believe this phobia stems from having sensitive, acne prone skin most of my life. Anything that comes in contact with my face must be clean. My husband will tell you that after every workout at the gym I will wipe down my phone with a disinfectant wipe and I make him do it too. I set my phone down on the equipment, bench, and countertop in the gym so there's no way I'm putting it back up to my face without cleaning it off first. I change my pillowcase and shower towel two times per week and only touch my face with clean, freshly washed hands. Maybe this sounds excessive to you or maybe you're like this too... all I know is that it prevents breakouts. My incessant paranoia of contaminating my skin keeps my pores free from dirt and debris allowing for clean, clear and flawless skin.
Speaking of the gym (you had to know this was coming), regular exercise allows the body to rid itself of toxins through sweating. So instead of the toxins coming out in our skin through acne, eczema, psoriasis, dryness, and other skin conditions, we expedite the removal process by sweating them out. It's good for us to sweat!
Exercise also promotes better circulation and increased blood flow which helps our skin to heal. Not to mention all of the other amazing health benefits of getting that heart rate up. Even something as simple as going for a brisk walk or doing some pushups at home can have an amazing impact on the condition of our skin and overall health. Sometimes if I'm short on time or if I know I'm not going to get a super sweaty workout, I'll go and sit in the sauna at the gym to warm up my body and get my sweat on. Anything to get a quick sweat sesh in will do the trick! Bye bye skin-dulling toxins!
My biggest skin secret and by far the most effective and important one is something I could write an entirely separate blog post on alone. For today's purposes, I will keep it brief but read closely because I have to explain a little bit about how the body works.
As we all know, our skin is our largest organ, which means that just like any other organ, it is affected by our hormones (think teenagers and the condition of their skin). What affects our hormones? What we eat and drink. Everything we ingest comes out in our hair, skin and nails. That's why if we are deficient in any certain micronutrient our nails can become brittle, our hair can become lack luster, or our skin can look dull.
Eating a healthy and clean diet is key to having the best skin possible. Great skin starts from within. But what does that exactly look like for you? And what types of foods affect our skin the most severely?
Foods that are known to be inflammatory for most people dramatically affect the condition of our overall health and skin. What are the typical inflammatory foods? For most people they can be dairy, soy, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, artificial sweeteners, grains, gluten, and the list goes on. Consuming these foods inflame our bodies and it shows up in our skin very quickly. The biggest culprits? Sugar and additives.
We all know that as a nation we eat way too much sugar- more than our bodies were ever designed to handle actually. Our bodies even process carbohydrates as sugar and stores them as fat! It's also scary to think about all of the chemicals and artificial substances that are added into our food that are not regulated or banned in the U.S. like they are in other countries. Now, I'm not going to get into a whole thing on that, but all of this to say that we need to be mindful of what we are putting into our mouths and how it has an affect on our bodies. Unfortunately it is usually our skin where it shows up first.
You may have noticed I said that certain foods are inflammatory for some people and I listed some foods that are known to be inflammatory for most. So how do you know what foods affect you and what you should avoid? Well, as you may already know, I recently did an Elimination Diet. This is not a "fad diet" that is the next big thing or a way of eating forever. It is the temporary elimination of certain foods that are known to be common allergens or inflammatory. Once these foods are eliminated for a number of weeks, you slowly reintroduce them into your diet one by one and document how they make you feel. This is a great way to test certain food groups to see if you have any sensitivities or unknown allergies. You'd be surprised at the results and how great you feel knowing how food affects not only your skin but your mood, energy levels, sleep, etc.
I'll get off my soap box but if you want to know more about my experience with the elimination diet please reach out to me in the socials and let's connect! I have also been documenting my journey on my Instagram Stories so be sure to follow me there to learn more. I hope you found the secrets I shared with you today helpful! They have all made major improvements to not just my skin but also to my confidence and quality of life! If you have any skin secrets of your own share them in the comments below! I'd love to hear any skin discoveries of your own!