You are applying an army of cosmetic products on your skin, yet you feel like you are just masking a problem. Right. More cosmetics doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll look younger or more attractive. Let alone feel that way. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, there’s a whole bunch of reasons to check the ingredients on the labels of your beauty collection items. Tens of toxic chemicals lurk in your face cream, body lotion or eye shadow.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to convince you there’s no need to use cosmetics at all. On the contrary, choosing organic and eco-friendly options is something I really advise you on. But all your efforts (and expense) could be wasted if you don’t accept a simple truth. Beauty starts from the inside. Though it sounds like a cliche, it proves to be true in so many ways. Here are 5 doable tips to give you an amazing healthy look and make you feel energized at the same time. The underlying rule – stick to nature.
Your Smile is the Finest Natural Makeup
“Always start the day with a smile,” a dance teacher of mine once told me. “You owe your first morning smile to yourself. Try to beat your gloomy sleepy mood, smile in the mirror and compliment yourself – you’ve got the most beautiful smile, you look amazing. You’ll see how it changes you!”
I took the advice with much prejudice. But, surprisingly, it worked. For two reasons. Compliments do matter in improving mood. And, second, it helps you understand that your opinion about how you look matters no less than anybody else’s. You feel that the moment your smile gets larger and stays with you all day long. It all comes with self-acceptance. Beautiful thoughts mean being beautiful, in a way. Self-confidence will underline what you already got to show. Thus, take care of your inner world. Physiologically and psychologically. How you feel is printed on your face. So is what you eat or drink.
Water – Your Fresh Sip of Beauty
I start my day with a bottle of water, you could start your day with a glass to stimulate liver function and hydrate the body. There’s a discussion as to how much water a person needs per day. Just make sure you drink enough water taking into consideration your needs and physical activity level. Lines of dehydration is something you don’t want on your face. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, it might turn dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin is more prone to wrinkling.
Though there’s not much scientific evidence to back up this claim, dermatologists advise that we supply our skin with a steady flow of water – eight to 10 eight-ounce servings per day. (1) But remember – hydrating your skin from the inside out is just as important as moisturizing it from the outside. Choose a moisturizer that contains no harmful ingredients including retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid and retinol in daytime products.
Take in Clean Air, Nice Views and All Shades of Green
Spend in nature as much time as possible – hiking, camping or just an easy going walk – all do great for your body and mood. Go far from the big city, away from pollution and all negative effects on your health…and skin. Pollution is one of the key external factors affecting the process of skin aging. If you are a workaholic who rarely has the time for that, put it on your schedule as an important appointment. Make an arrangement with friends and stick to it.
You’ve probably heard that any physical activity can reduce stress and anxiety. There is also evidence suggesting that exercise may feel easier when performed in the natural environment.(2) Thus, spending time in nature might actually keep you in a good shape or even help you lose weight if that’s what you need. All types of green exercise activities also improve self-esteem and diminish negative moods, such as tension, anger, and depression. (3)
Nature also has an impact on our brains and our behavior. It helps to not only reduce anxiety, relieve stress, but also to increase creativity, improve concentration, and our ability to connect with other people. It fills you with positive emotions which inevitably show on your face.
Psychodermatology, a field that addresses the impact of emotions on the skin, claims that the mind and the skin are connected on many different levels.(4) “A lot of nerve endings are connected to the skin, which wraps around the organs, so as emotions are played out neurologically, they can be expressed through the skin just as stress can be expressed through gastrointestinal symptoms, increased anxiety, or hypertension, ” explains Karen Mallin, PsyD, an instructor in the departments of psychiatry & behavioral sciences and dermatology & cutaneous surgery of the University of Miami for WebMD.
However, don’t forget to apply a high-quality organic sunscreen to protect from UV damaging effects on skin cells.
Do More of What Makes You Happy
We all spend at least 40 hours a week making a living. Consequently, we should try and do what brings us satisfaction, not just maintaining a standard of life at the expense of exhaustion and lack of life. Have you noticed the charming aura glowing around people who are truly in love with and enthusiastic about what they do? They spread pheromones. Their soul just seems to light up and radiate outward. The energy they give out and the aura that surrounds them make them look beautiful. There’s passion in their hearts and lives during all those 40 hours we spend working. Find your passion and find a place for it in your life. It should all come naturally, don’t push yourself into that.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
What are we fighting for (or with) using cosmetics? Our greatest fear is aging. And skin is our greatest friend or foe in concealing the signs of aging.
Skin aging is a result of naturally occurring body processes, as well as external factors and environmental influence. This might include chronic sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, smoking, pollution, not enough sleep and bad eating habits.
Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against skin aging effects. The best prevention strategy against the harmful action of free radicals is a well-regulated lifestyle (body care and physical exercise), avoiding stress conditions and adopting a balanced nutritional diet, including anti-oxidative rich food.
Too much sugar in the blood, for example, causes glucose molecules to attach to the proteins in collagen to form AGEs. These processes disrupt the elasticity of fibers in your skin, creating lines and wrinkles. Minimizing your intake of AGE-increasing foods can make your skin look younger and brighter. Foods to avoid include red meat, dairy products, processed food, all kind of sugar, including sweeteners. (5)
Adopt a diet rich in foods that have natural skin-boosting properties. Some of the following substances are known to have a positive effect on skin aging processes (6):
also named L-ascorbic acid – an important antioxidant. It stabilizes the structure of collagen. The richest natural sources are fresh fruits and vegetables – citrus fruits, blackcurrant, rose hip, guava, chili pepper or parsley.
(tocopherols) is a fat-soluble membrane-bound antioxidant. To supply your body with enough of it, add more vegetables to your diet, as well as vegetable oils like wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and seeds.The intake of natural vitamin E products fights collagen cross-linking and lipid peroxidation, both causing aging of the skin.
– the human body can synthesize it itself through sun exposure. Smaller amounts of vitamin D come from animal-based foods such as fatty fish or egg yolk. It has a protective effect against UVB-induced skin damage.
– found in fruits and plant-derived beverages such as fruit juices, green tea, coffee, and red wine. Grapes, vegetables, cereals, chocolate and dry legumes are also a good source. The way you prepare your food affects the content of polyphenols in it. Onions, a major source of phenolic acids and flavonoids, and tomatoes lose between 75% and 80% of their initial content when boiled over 15 min. They lose 65% if cooked in a microwave oven and 30% if fried. So, french fries have no phenolic acids left after preparation. As antioxidants, polyphenols may improve cell survival.
– a well-known powerful antioxidant compound. Though we are used to reading it on the labels of cosmetic products, the amount of CoQ10 needed in a human organism can be gained through a balanced diet. Just include in your meals oily fish (such as salmon and tuna), organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains.
or Essential Fatty Acids. Essential for the synthesis of tissue lipids. The human body doesn’t produce them, thus, we need to consume them through our daily dietary intake. Fish and shellfish, flaxseed, hemp oil, soya oil, canola oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, walnuts, sesame seeds, avocados, salmon and albacore tuna are all excellent sources of Essential Fatty Acids.
And, in the end, it’s our vibes and attitude that make us unattractive, not wrinkles. Diligently choose cosmetics, and diligently apply it. But don’t forget – beauty comes as much from within as from the outside, a harmonious inner world magnifies your outer beauty and keeps it thriving. Drink water. Respect your body with nutritious food. Be thankful for what you’re given. Your self-confidence and self-love, your deep appreciation for all you have and all you are, radiate from your soul and make you shine better than the most expensive makeup could ever do.