Last week I shared tips to enhance the health and appearance of your skin from the outside. Today I have a few key elements to include into your routine, which will help from the inside.
None of this low-fat, processed rubbish! Fat is good for us and is a vital component of a healthy body, healthy mind and healthy skin. The majority of dietary fat should come from polyunsaturated (oily fish, nuts, seeds, flax oil) and monounsaturated fats (oily fish, olive oil, avocado, nuts). Include some saturated fat from good quality organic meat, coconut and dairy but avoid all hydrogenated/trans fats found in processed foods, biscuits etc.
Healthy skin is made up of 15% essential fatty acids so consuming enough fat will increase intake of omega 3 and 6. Healthy hormones also rely on adequate fat and these can play a large role in skin health.
High quality oils
Oils are made up mainly of monounsaturated fat so again provide huge benefits for the skin. Pure, unrefined oils such as coconut, flax, hemp and olive provide high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, which plump out the cells of the skin, provide moisture and lubrication and give you that healthy glow. Avoid vegetable oils.
Eat oily fish such as salmon 2-3 times per week, take an omega-3 supplement if you feel you are deficient (not omega 3 & 6 or 3, 6 & 9 unless you have been advised to by a qualified practitioner).
Use coconut oil for cooking, as it is the most stable when heated. Use olive oil cold on bread and salads. You could also do what I do and add NYR Beauty Oil to your smoothies or drizzle over bread or salad for extra nutritional benefits.
These are our little helpers that mop up free radicals caused by various internal and external stressors in our bodies. Free radicals make the skin appear dull and sluggish and have been shown to contribute towards premature ageing. Antioxidants come from nutritious foods, most notably fruit and vegetables. They support collagen and elastin production, giving strength and structure to the skin. For maximum antioxidant power and minimum toxic input, choose fresh, organic fruit and vegetables.
Protein forms the building blocks of our cells. It is required for cell replication and energy. As we age, cell turnover decreases so protein is important to maintain the functioning of the cells, including those of the skin. Ensure you include a small amount of protein at every meal. This includes e.g. good quality organic meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, beans, quinoa, pearl barley etc.
You’ve heard it hundreds of times before but water really is your skin’s best friend. All cells are composed largely of water and require significant amounts to function optimally. Staying hydrated from the inside plumps out the skin’s cells and genuinely makes a visible difference.
I can tell when a client does or does not drink adequate water and with people I know well, I can tell instantly if they haven’t had enough that day!
Drink small amounts regularly through the day rather than huge quantities in one go. Herbal tea is also a fantastic way to get your fluid intake up, especially if you prefer warm drinks. Contrary to what some people tell you, your cup of tea does not count (due to the dehydrating tannins it contains).
Consuming warm food and drink enhances the circulation, warms the body and brings blood to the skin’s surface.
Conversely, cold food causes blood to rush to the gut and away from the surface of the skin. Include hot meals, herbal teas (try the amazing Beautiful Skin Tea), soups, chilli and ginger. Of course for some people, these things cause too much heat and they suffer with bright red cheeks! So if that’s you, avoid your triggers.
Exercise increases the circulation. I always notice a healthier glow to my skin after exercising. In addition to all the other reasons why exercise is good for our health, this enhanced circulation to our skin’s cells fills them with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood. This in turn improves the health, vitality and functions of the skin, as well as its appearance.
Following on from this is sweating. I talk about this a lot, as the detoxifying benefits of sweating are so important. The sweat glands are located within our skin and sweat escapes through our pores, taking with it all the waste and nasties that our bodies don’t need. Anything that makes you sweat in terms of exercise is great, as is a steam room 1-2 x per month.
I also strongly recommend you avoid antiperspirants. These prevent you from sweating – literally blocking the body’s own detox process. I know this is a tricky one for social reasons but there are some good natural deodorants out there, you just have to persevere! I spent a couple of years trying every single one in the health shop but many I found would work for a while and then stop being effective. Some were sticky or so creamy they’d leave marks on my clothes.
The one I stuck to in the end was NYR Lemon and Coriander deodorant – this is one of the main reasons I became a consultant with NYR. It is non-sticky, smells nice and really does keep me smelling fresh! On a hot day or one with lots of massaging, I might re-apply 1-2 times but other than that, a few squirts in the morning really does the trick! I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to find this! Try some different natural products out on your ‘at-home’ days to see how you get on with them.
Vitamins and minerals
The skin requires many vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamin A and E are most well-known for their skin benefits but many other nutrients play an important role. This is why it is vital to have a healthy and balanced diet.
Want to try Natural Products?
If you need any advice or guidance when switching to natural products and ingredients or when choosing the right products to leave your skin glowing with good health, please contact me in the facebook page.