Today we’re talking about how your lifestyle affects the look and feel of your skin, and ultimately your visible radiance.
Did you know that the number one cause of aging prematurely is stress?
Every time you lose sleep to work late, or because the kids need your help with a school assignment, it takes a toll on your skin’s health. When you worry about loved ones or anxiety gets the best of you thinking about something you didn’t do or could have done, that hurts too.
Your diet matters too. All those times that you should have had a salad but instead you ran out of time and grabbed junk food, those times matter too. On top of the physical effect of eating less than healthy meals, you also get hit with the guilt of knowing you should have eaten better, plus your quality of sleep decreases because of the nutrients you’re missing out on. Of course, then you wake up feeling weaker than you could have, and unhappy. All of this matters to your skin.
Then what’s next? Do you skip the gym because you’re too tired or because you don’t feel well?
What’s happening is that these bad habits create a self-fulfilling cycle of more poor choices that all result in oxidative stress in your body, and free radicals wreak havoc on your skin.
The point of this story is not to make you feel guilty about how you’re living your life, but rather, to make you aware of the many decisions you make throughout the days and weeks that lead to a cycle of negative habits that all amount to one thing: premature aging of your beautiful skin.
Stress is the #1 cause of premature aging and causes 90% of human illnesses.
Stress causes your body to create free radicals. These ‘stress chemicals’ break down your elastin and collagen causing the skin to thin and sag and lose is its youthful vibrancy. You don’t want this, and you don’t deserve it.
We talk a lot about how to care for your skin from the outside in, but what can do about healthy skin from the inside out?
The impact of free radicals and oxidative stress on the body are by no means limited to their affect on our skin.
This is why our whole body inside-out approach to healthier younger looking skin addresses more than just the external factors. Your skincare and anti-aging routine should always include a variety of activities designed to reduce stress.
When you consider the forces that are outside of our control, like environmental toxins, sun exposure, processed foods, our bodies are constantly under attack by factors that lead to premature signs of aging.
It’s time to fight back!
Since we know that free radicals are the main enemy when it comes to early skin aging, let’s look at what we can do about this.
Let’s start with an easy one. Though we all know we need to drink a lot of water to stay healthy, it’s incredibly common for women to undervalue just how essential hydration really is to the youthful complexion of your skin.
For internal and external health, dehydration can cause or worsen a huge array of health problems. It should be second nature for all of us to drink tons of water each day, yet for some reason, many of us struggle. It takes a conscious effort towards constant hydration, spread evenly throughout the day for best results.
If you aim to drink 1oz. of water per pound of bodyweight, every day, your skin will thank you (along with the rest of your body). If you don’t hit the goal each day, that’s ok but using a Nalgene or other measured water bottle will help you keep track and be realistic with yourself about how much water you’re really drinking.
We also recommend adding lemon or cucumber (or both) to your water because of their natural antioxidants and nutrient rich nature. Infusing water with fruits and veggies also helps to break up the monotony of drinking regular water.
Air pollution and sun exposure
Fresh air is good for your skin; sunburn is not. Another simple and unfortunate fact is that the air quality where you live, and where you spend your time, play a major role in the aging of your skin.
Seeking balance is the key; you need some daylight for vitamin D and the renewing properties of fresh air. However, if you spend too long in the sun or skip sunscreen, then the positive effects of the outdoors will be reversed. Indoor air gets stuffy and dry without ventilation and proper humidification, which can have a devastating effect on the hydration of your skin.
Without healthy moisture levels in your skin, premature aging can take a major toll. People who work inside office buildings and those who live in areas with harsh winters must be especially aware. Investing in an air filter for your home and making sure to flush with fresh hair regularly will pay off in the appearance of your skin.
Fresh air is one of the best natural anti-inflammatory activities for your mind, body and skin.
It’s time to talk about how much sugar you’re eating.
When you eat sugar, a chain reaction called glycation takes place that has devastating effects on your skin’s collagen. Collagen is what keeps the texture of your skin smooth and firm. Glycation causes collagen to become brittle and crack. This causes the appearance of aging and meanwhile sugar wreaks havoc on the rest of your body.
Hidden sugars in your food are found in nearly all processed foods and even some that you wouldn’t expect.
Be on the lookout for: cane, dextrose, sucrose, syrup etc. Remember, the damaging inflammatory effects of sugar are not limited to the appearance of your face, but is one of the first places to show the damage.
Hydrogenated and Trans Fats
Trans fats and hydrogenated fats increase the risk of heart disease over the long term and create immediate inflammation in your body that leads to premature aging externally (your skin) and internally (your organs). This inflammation destroys good cells and creates unhealthy hormone imbalances. When your body is in this inflamed, imbalanced state, your skin suffers.
These oils are widely used in processed foods by manufacturers to extend the shelf life of their products and, again, to protect inventories. Restaurant owners use them in their deep fryers because they’re cheaper than other cooking oils.
Are you REALLY sleeping enough?
Alright so most of us wish we had time to get a little more sleep each night, but we can’t talk about a healthy lifestyle without addressing the biggest thing that most of us are depriving ourselves of–sleep.
Your sleep habits are written all over your face.
It’s not just about the bags that develop under your eyes, or the lines that form. It’s about the tired, stressed out expression that you literally draw into your face when you don’t get enough sleep.
When you’re stressed, you frown and scowl and through that create and exacerbate lines wrinkles and bags under your eyes. It’s unfortunate but true.
Despite everything you’ve no doubt heard about how important sleep is for your complexion, so many people continue to overlook the easiest they can do to improve their skin.
There isn’t a single doctor on earth who won’t tell you that sleep is critical for your mental well being, your body’s immune system, your muscles and for your skin.
If you want better skin, are you really ready to commit to getting 8 hours of sleep per night? You need it, we all do.
Many of us are in denial about how much sleep we make time for, and it’s time to quit lying to ourselves.
Some of the ways you can improve your sleep are dietary.
If you consume alcohol regularly before bedtime, this not only continually dehydrates you, but it reduces the quality of your REM sleep and prevents you from getting the best rest that your body could be getting.
So how do we get better sleep?
- Avoid sweets and alcohol (which breaks down to huge amounts of sugar) before bed.
- Exercise during the day to relieve muscle tension, reduce stress and make your body physically tired.
- Turn off the screens 1 hour before bed; blue light tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime and you should be awake.
Nobody wants to hear that they look tired.
Aside from using makeup to mask the problem, there is nothing quite like a good night’s rest to give your skin its best chance to glow and show off your beautiful self.
Sleep is a nutrient that your body needs to be it best.
Why do we need sleep so bad? Sleep reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and allows your body time to heal, recover and relax.
We need to relax.
All of the advice that you’ve read here today amounts to one thing: battling oxidative stress and free radicals. We at Naturely spend all of our time and energy creating the cleanest most effective skincare products on the market, and in order to achieve the maximum benefit from any one of our solutions, you must give your body and skin what they need.
We’ve talked a bit above about how to cut out sugar and trans fats, increase the amount of water and sleep we’re getting, but what about exercise?
Moving your body, every day, or as often as you possibly can is the fastest way to reduce stress. There’s no easy way out–you’ve got to move. If all you can manage in a day is a walk, then take that walk.
If your doctor says you’re healthy enough to lift weights or do yoga, even better. Yoga has changed many, many stressed out lives. Stretching, yoga and even meditation all work wonders to reduce the amount of stress that you carry around with you every day.
The problem is that so many people don’t realize that all of this writes the story physically written on their skin.
Physical movement helps all of your body’s processes to run, and rinses out your internal organs so that everything runs cleaner and more efficiently. This includes improving circulation which in turn makes your skin glow from the inside out.
If you want better complexion, you need to work on your circulation. The best way to do this is to move your body. There are no shortcuts to health or else everyone would be healthy. If you want to look your best, you’ve got to focus on your health from the inside out.
Moving helps your body grow healthier and helps your mind to relax at the end of the day. Whatever you’ve got to do to get the blood pumping more than sitting around, do it. Your whole body will thank you, not least of all your skin!
Putting it all together.
So now that we’ve got you thinking about all the simple ways that you can improve your skin while reducing stress and powering up your health overall, there’s one more thing: balance.
Here are some examples: if you work out and get a nice sweat going, but you don’t get reward your body with the right foods, or enough sleep afterward, you’re working against your potential best.
In the same manner, if you buy yourself all the best skincare products that you could possibly need, but you don’t drink enough water every day, your skin still won’t look as vibrant as it could.
This is why developing a healthy routine that addresses all of these root ways to reduce oxidative stress and combat free radicals is your best way to reveal the beautiful vibrant you, that you already are inside.
There is a great confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re feeding your body with everything it needs from healthy foods, to sleep, hydration and exercise. Add in proper skincare and you are well on your way to your most vibrant self. This feeling of confidence will feed your natural glow, and your glow will be felt by everyone you encounter.
So what are you waiting for? Your best self is waiting.