The weather is getting warmer and wardrobes are getting lighter and more revealing – it’s time to get your skin in shape for the summer. The best way to prepare for the most revealing season is to put your skin on a “cleanse” of its own. Any cleanse should target the factors that could be contributing to your less-than-glowing skin, including everything from the food you eat to the skincare products you use. Here are some easy steps that will help bring on a change in the look and feel of your skin before it’s time for the beach:
1. Leafy Greens
Start your new skin regimen from the inside out: eating a lot of leafy green vegetables will empower your skin with lots of antioxidants and high levels of vitamin A (repairs damaged skin cells) and lot of beneficial vitamins (folate, beta-carotene, vitamin E, calcium, and more). Make room on your plate at every meal for foods like kale, spinach and broccoli.
2. Healthy Fats
While you should definitely avoid the processed fats in commercial food, many foods contain natural, healthy fats (essential fatty acids) that help your entire body with cell renewal and hydrate the skin. You should eat a daily portion of avocado, nuts, fresh salmon or eggs.
3. More Water
Simply drink a lot more water than you already do. Water is the mechanism by which our body flushes out impurities – making every organ, including our skin, healthier and more efficient. The more hydrated you are, the better your skin will look.
4. Fermented Foods
Studies show that people who consume more healthy bacteria have less breakouts. Our digestive systems are populated by millions of helpful little bacteria that help us stay healthy. Promoting this “gut bacteria” helps the whole body, especially our immune systems. Pro-biotic foods that you can try include sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchee, miso, kefir, and yogurt.
5. Avoid Wrappers
Any food that comes in a package most likely contains either refined sugar or synthetic sweeteners and coloring, as well as preservatives. These are all things that weigh heavy on our digestive systems and have an inflammatory effect on our bodies. The healthiest foods have only one ingredient – themselves! Eliminate as much commercial food as possible from your diet.
6. Meat & Dairy
The less meat & dairy that you can eat, the better. The commercially produced milk and meat offered today in supermarkets is loaded with antibiotics and hormones. When consumed in large enough amounts over time, these can cause breakouts, hormone imbalances and a depression of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
Alcohol is treated in our bodies as sugar. It is also highly irritating to our organs, and depresses our liver. It causes dehydration, which is awful for skin, and leads our body to try and forcibly retain as much water as possible, causing us to bloat. Cut back your consumption of alcohol as much as possible, if not totally.
8. Less is more
Many ingredients in the cosmetics we rely on are less-than-healthy for our skin, shockingly. Every ingredient in a product you apply to your skin must be processed by it. Stuff like fragrance, preservatives and coloring are not meant to be ingested by our skin cells. Scale back your skincare regimen to as few and as natural products as possible, using just one at a time.
While the word “natural” has been repossessed and corrupted by many companies, it is still the best way to describe your skincare goal. Use as many natural products – rather than synthetic ones – as possible. Start by replacing your commercial moisturizer with a plant-based oil.