We often take our skin for granted. We go out in all weathers (because we have to) and it burns, gets dried by the wind, gets affected by smog, pollution and radiation (from things like TVs and computers).
Some of us smoke, drink too much alcohol, party and/or work too hard. We push ourselves.
Our skin is extraordinary. It keeps our insides in, and the bacteria and nasties out. Mostly. And rarely do we think about this wonderful organ, our biggest organ, in fact – seriously.
Just think about that for a moment….
When we think of looking after our organs we think heart, lungs, liver, kidneys but often don’t put a lot of thought into caring for our skin. And I’m not just talking about skin care (although that does play a part.)
There are many things we can do to look after our skin, so here are 5 Fabulous Tips:
- Drink lots of water. I know, I know, boring huh? You read it everywhere. But why? And how much? The current thinking is eight glasses a day – which is about eight cups (a cup is 250ml). It’s not hard to do and won’t make you pee all day once your body has adjusted. And you can infuse your water too. Mix ginger and mint; or any citrus and ginger or other herbs; you can steep lemon balm and then cool it down; you can add berries, too for natural flavour (whatever you use should be tossed out within 48 hours). Hydration plumps your cells, which helps reduce wrinkles. Just as an example, Elle McPherson drinks three litres of water a day – and her skin looks terrific! .
I drink at least two litres of water a day and I’m really seeing the benefits.
- Get a good night’s sleep. We are often so pushed during the day and then sleep eludes us at night, creating a vicious cycle. Here are some tips that might help you if you have trouble sleeping:
- have a cool bedroom, 22 degree celsius is ideal
- don’t have animals or children in bed with you, as they can interrupt your sleep
- turn down the lights gradually two hours before retiring, so your body is gets ready
- don’t eat dinner within three hours of retiring, and don’t snack after dinner
- avoid stimulants such as vigorous exercise, coffee, alcohol or sugar before bed
- keep all electronics (TV, mobile phone, tablet) out of the bedroom (a red-light clock radio is ok), and don’t look into any of these items within two hours of retiring. These items shine on the back of your retina, tricking your brain into staying awake
- write in your journal, listen to gentle music, do a five minute meditation or reflection before turning out the light, as this will calm your mind
- Remove your make up before bed. Night time is when our skin replenishes and renews, so don’t make the job too hard! It only takes a minute or so each night, but will help give you a lifetime of clear skin.
- Use a quality skin care (click here to see what I use). This includes making sure it is free of any nasty chemicals such as parabens, sodium laurel suphates (SLS), triclosans, and formaldehyde, just to name a few. If you want a full list of the nasty stuff cosmetic companies have been known to include in their products, check out what Dr David Suzuki at the Environmental Working Group has to say. The EWG has a load of consumer information about what’s really in our cosmetics, and our food. Choose skincare that is botanically based, free of nasty chemicals, is full of vitamins and antioxidants. Look for a range that is truly nutritious, one that will support cell strength, as this will help you keep wrinkles at bay!
- Eat loads of Omega 3 fats. Sources include salmon and tuna (fresh and wild, not canned and farmed), nuts such as walnuts and macadamias, flaxseeds, avocado, olives. Why? These fats strengthen the cell wall, which serves two purposes:
1) they acts as a barrier to nasties wanting to get into your cells, and
2) they act as a pathway for nutrients to move in and out of the cells. These foods also help reduce inflammation in our bodies – and inflammation can increase the look of aging skin.
There are many people who can’t eat what is required for a diet rich in Omega 3’s – and if you are one of those there are quality nutritional supplements you can take that can make like easier for yo
u. There is much public discussion about the value of supplementation – some say we don’t need it, some say we do. My personal view is that our farming practices are so tainted and our food so reduced in vitamins and minerals, through over farming and use of pesticides, herbicides and even worse, GMO, that supplementation is a necessity for good health (and, for what it’s worth, the American Medical Association agrees).
If you do choose supplementation, do yourself a favour and don’t just buy what’s on sale in the supermarket, or even the pharmacy or drug store. Do you research, or check
ut what I take – I’ve done LOADS of research and have found what I think are the best – and the independent Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements agrees. It pays to be particularly careful of taking fish oil – you want to be guaranteed that the mercury and other toxins, so prevalent in many fish today, have been safely removed.
So these are just a few tips on how to look after your skin. I’m currently writing my first book on keeping your skin healthy and beautiful, and will certainly let you know when you can get a copy when I’m done!
Until then, stay healthy, and care for yourself!