Gorgeous, flawless, glowing skin may seem the reserve of Hollywood’s elite but with these 4 +1 easy habits you can say goodbye to that dull and troublesome complexion. Ditch the layers of overpriced foundation and embrace a natural beauty that stays with you day and night.
1 Go Easy on the Sweet Stuff…..
We all love a decadent dessert from time to time and we’re certainly not asking you to give up chocolate but a diet based on sugar from dawn till dusk (think sugary cereals, juices, white bread, processed sauces, flavoured yogurts, jams, sodas, cereal bars) will cause both long and short term damage. A high intake of sugars causes a spike in your body’s insulin which in turn causes inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation produces enzymes which break down collagen leading to premature ageing of the skin. A.K.A wrinkles. A high sugar intake also exacerbates acne and rosacea and can cause unwanted blemishes on even the most genetically gifted.
So what to do? Instead swap out sweets for fresh berries (try frozen raspberries dipped in dark chocolate...easy to make and super yummy!)
Ditch the white breads and pasta and opt for their whole grain counterparts. Check labels of sauces if its more than 5g of sugar per 100g put it back on the shelf. Enjoy that triple chocolate sundae at you favourite gelateria but maybe save it for a weekend treat. Most of all focus on the delicious natural, whole foods that are low in sugar rather than focusing on “what’s not allowed”. Forbidding something only makes you want it more so instead find alternatives and enjoy mindfully when you do indulge. The reward is fabulous skin. Worth it, don’t you think?
2 Water, Water, Water
We’ve all heard that water is good for us in general but it is a particular lifesaver when it comes to good skin. Staying hydrated helps to keep our skin supple and vibrant. Plenty of H20 enables our body to flush out the toxins which can result in tired looking skin. Rather than aiming for the age old 8 glasses and achieving it only one day after reading this try carrying a 500ml water bottle with you (BPA free of course) at all times. Sip from it as much as possible throughout the day and try to aim for two to three bottles per day. If water tastes a little boring try adding slices of kiwi, strawberries, an orange and a squeeze of lime. Fresh and delicious!
3 Know your cleansing drills
Never, ever, ever, ever go to bed with your makeup on. Just don’t. If you could see on a microbiotic level the amount of dirt, oil and grease build up on your precious skin no excuse would persuade you to skip your nightly cleanse again. For eye makeup removal invest in a good quality removal solution and use organic cotton pads. Afterwards apply an eye cooling gel with a soft, natural mini sponge. It is crucial that you are gentle with your eye area and avoid all toxins to avoid sagging and wrinkling of the skin.
When removing foundation and concealers make sure to use a gentle face wash (look for those based on tea tree oil or aloe vera). After a first wash and rinse gently exfoliate your skin with a natural, Aegean Mollissima sponge. Unlike plastic sponges (full of petrochemicals FYI) the natural sea sponge is hypoallergenic, non irritable and naturally antibacterial. The Mollissima, found only in the Aegean Sea, differs greatly from other sponge species which can be rougher and less durable. It gently exfoliates whilst being soft enough to not irritate or stress sensitive skin. Rather than use throw away wipes which often contain harsh chemicals and harm the environment, why not try one of nature’s finest remedies for sensitive, aging or tired skin.
4 Make like Penelope- hello olive oil!
Ms Cruz is just one of many Mediterranean beauties who can tell you that nothing beats the Southern diet for great skin. From olive oil, fresh tomatoes and grilled fish to juicy oranges, sweet grapes and freshly baked whole meal bread their diet is not only absolutely delicious it’s one that your body (and indeed your skin) will thank you for. Don’t live in the sunny South? Shop like a Greek grandmother. Shun the processed isle and look for organic fruits and vegetables. Hit the local farmer’s market if you can or if yours is one of those trendy ones where everything is extortionate try heading to the frozen isle. Sounds crazy but in fact frozen vegetables can be better than fresh as they are flash frozen which requires less spraying of chemicals to preserve them unlike the “fresh” vegetables you seen in the supermarkets.
Try swapping out a few of your everyday foods for the Mediterranean alternative:
Leave the butter and opt for extra virgin olive oil
Instead of that sugary cocktail order a glass of red or dry white
Forget sugar laden cereals (see point 1) and start your morning with Greek yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and a handful of walnuts. High in protein with plenty of healthy fats for supple skin!
Want to learn a new skill? Head over to YouTube and learn how to make your own wholemeal bread. It’ll make the house smell incredible, it’s a great treat for visitors and guess what? Your skin will thank you for it too.
+1 Beauty Sleep- no old wives tale!
Before you switch off and say “yes ok, obvious” sleep is one of the most under appreciated tool that you have in your make-up bag. It’s also something that too many of us sacrifice. Not only is sufficient sleep important it needs to be good quality sleep. That means heading to bed before midnight ( every hour after results in that bags-under-eyes-not-functioning look) and not scrolling through instagram in the dark for two hours before you actually nod off. Here’s some of our tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
Leave the window slightly open to keep a steady circulation of fresh air
Be sure to properly wash and cleanse your face before hitting the pillow
Lavender and rosemary oils both help to relax the body. Try rubbing a few drops on your temples at night.
Take a hot bath before bed if you usually struggle to sleep.
Leave electronics out of the bedroom, reach for a book instead. Better for the mind and the eyes!
Avoid heavy meals or caffeine before bed.
So there you have it. Our 4+1 ways to beautiful skin which have a whole heap of other benefits in tow. Commit to these and they will soon become second nature leaving you more time to get out and enjoy life and less time worrying about the recurring breakout.