Getting healthier, more youthful skin doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, when you being to understand what determines the health and beauty of the skin, taking care of it becomes a refined task. The skin is much more than a canvas to the world; it is a protective barrier system, part of the immune system and the largest organ of the body. It is a direct reflection of your internal health and therefore, in order to have healthy skin, we must nourish it from the inside out. In this post, we have put together a few holistic tips that will enhance your skincare routine, helping you achieve your best skin ever.
Holistic Tips for Radiant Skin
- Get your Beauty Sleep: This one probably goes without saying; after all, it’s called “Beauty sleep” for a reason. Most of us have experience first handedly what too little sleep can do to the skin. Telling signs of sleep deprivation include everything from eye bags, dark circles and even acne. However, the long-term side effects of poor sleep are much worse.Sleep deprivation is a form of physiological stress in the body, when stress becomes chronic, it can result in an endocrine imbalance, resulting in increased emotional and mental stress, cognitive problems, hormonal imbalance, digestive problems and a weak immune system. All these things combined is a recipe for accelerated skin aging. First, there are strong links between stress and skin, too much stress can result in increased oxidative damage to the skin. Secondly, the skin communicates to the immune system, if it is stressed out, the skin can run into chronic inflammatory issues. Lastly, sleep is the most restorative activity of all.When we skimp sleep long-term, our body and psychology are poorly repaired. In the simplest of ideas, if just one night of poor sleep results in short-term biological aging, just imagined what it could do if persistent for days, weeks or months!For tips on sleeping; a full sleep cycle is 2.5 hours long. You want at least one full cycle to repair the body. However, if you have skin issues, it’s better you get 2 or 3 (5 – 7.5 hour of sleep total). The most important part is to get full cycles of sleep and not wake up in the middle of a cycle. Additionally, it is best to sleep according to the circadian rhythm. Circa means “about” and dian or diam, means “day”. So, a circadian cycle is a cycle that occurs about a day long (24 hours). In other words, going to bed within a 24 hour period according to the turning of the Sun and Moon. We get our best sleep when we go to bed soon after sunset. This is because our brain and body is hardwired to release self-repair enzymes and hormones during the hours of 12-4 am. This is a prime time for immune system repair, endocrine and hormonal system balance, and even a time to heal the brain. A strong immune system hormonal system and digestive system are key for young, healthy skin.
- Cut your Sugar intake: Sugar, especially refined and unnatural sugars, when ingested, can lead to skin aging. Because our Liver produces its own glucose, it has primary evolved to be fat-adapted. Meaning, it can only process so much sugar before it becomes fatigued. One of the side effects of too much sugar consumption is glycation; a process where sugar cross-links with proteins in the body.When someone consumes too much sugar and alcohol for too long, the effects of glycation can become everlasting. This results in the deterioration of bodily tissues such as skin, joints and ligaments. That’s right, eating too much sugar can result in wrinkles and even cellulite as the body starts to become catabolic and breaks down its connective tissues in response to excess sugar intake.This is especially true for the intake of fructose (found mostly in sugar fruit, white sugar, and agave). The matter becomes worse when you consume highly refined sugars like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), found namely in soda and other processed, sugary “junk food”.So, the next time you feel like binging on sugar just remember what it’s doing to your body and especially your skin.One of the simplest ways to cut sugar cravings, physiologically, is to balance your hormones, especially leptin. Leptin is a satiation hormone; it tells your brain when you are satisfied. In the case of diabetes and people with strong sugar cravings, they usually have insufficient leptin levels. A simple way to bring them back up into optimum range is to eat plenty of healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, raw cultured butter, pastured eggs, and meats from organic, pastured animals.
- Nourish your Microbiome: The skin and the digestive system are very closely connected, we talk a lot about the connection between the skin and the gut here in our blog posts. According to TCM, the Skin is connected strongly to the Lungs, which is connected to the Colon. When the skin becomes inflamed, it is a sure sign that the colon isn’t functioning properly, which points us to those who dwell there; bacteria.Bacteria are everywhere in the body, but mostly in the colon or large intestine. We actually carry up to 4 lbs. of bacteria within our body. There are layers of bacteria on our skin. These bacteria play major roles in the health of our body and skin. They produce hormones and neurotransmitters, are nutrient alchemists, assimilate food, detoxify the body from heavy metals and so much more.When the bacteria in our colon are compromised, it can lead to digestive problems, hormonal issues, autoimmunity and inflammation; all factors in skin health. Therefore, if you want health skin, you want a healthy gut, which is one that is teeming with friendly bacterial. These probiotic organisms will help to create clear, glowing skin.A good place to start would be to remove anything that is “antibacterial” from your life. This includes antibiotics, antibacterial creams, soaps and other products. We do not want to kill every microbe on and in the body. We simply want to increase the count of probiotic (good) bacteria, which is naturally keep pathogens in check.A simple way to do this is to eat more fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut, kim-chi, fermented beets and other cultured vegetables.Tip: Avoid most commercial skincare products; they often contain harsh ingredients that kill off the precious beneficial organisms on your skin. Instead, stick with organic, small-batch skincare products that feature natural ingredients like essential oils, other plant oils (coconut, cacao butter, olive oil, jojoba, etc.) and other botanicals.
- Essential Oils for Skin Health: While the skin acts as a barrier system, keep in mind that what goes on your skin goes directly to the liver, bypassing the protection of the stomach. So, if you wouldn’t eat what you put on your skin, don’t use it. The good news is that there are endless plants and botanicals in nature that provide incredible healing and beauty benefits to the skin. Essential oils are just one form of technology that harnesses the therapeutic power of plants. Most of them contain concentrated antioxidants that protect the skin from oxidative stress. Best of all, they are non-toxic and directly from Nature, not a lab.Some of the best oils for the skin are: German Blue Chamomile: As a powerful anti-inflammatory oil, “true” chamomile can help eliminate acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin-disorders at the root.Australian Sandalwood: Sandalwood has been commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, for thousands of years. It promotes healthy, smooth skin, while reducing blemishes and scars.Ylang Ylang: This oil is a popular one for preserving the youth of the skin. It has antioxidant ability’s that are known to protect from the signs of skin aging and irritation. It is also known to prevent skin cancer development.Finally, when choosing essential oils, make sure they are organic and therapeutic grade.
- Derma Rolling for Wrinkle-Free Skin: One of the best-kept skin secrets, derma rolling is a guaranteed way to improve the health and aesthetic of your skin. Through the use of “micro-wounding” you can intentionally generate acute inflammation that triggers the healing mechanisms of the body. The result of derma rolling is increased microcirculation to regenerate skin cells and help detoxify old ones, increased collagen production and the elimination of fine lines, wrinkles and scars.To learn more about the amazing beauty benefits of derma rolling and how to do it, read this previous blog post! You can also check out Alitura's amazing Derma Roller.