Advertisers and marketers would have you believe that beautiful skin can only be achieved if you use certain products – and it’s true that a well-chosen, effective serum or cream can work wonders if diligently applied – but products are only half the story. It’s actually the things we do every day (but seldom think about in terms of skin care) that can have the biggest influence over time… Here are four ways to amp up your skin care routine – and get healthy at the same time!
• Eat berries:
Blueberries (especially), cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries… They’re all chock-a-block full of antioxidants, which help to counter damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals (unpaired molecules, if you want to get technical) are a natural by-product of our body’s everyday functions – but they can also be created by various bad habits, like smoking, and when they occur in excess, they can cause a chain reaction that damages your body’s cells, leading to serious health problems, it’s believed. Skin wise, you’re looking at damaged collagen, age spots, wrinkles and sagging. In short, premature ageing. Berries are just one way to get a healthy dose of antioxidants… If you want the full treatment, eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg, a macrobiotic diet (i.e. eat food in its natural state as far as possible, mostly grains), and avoid processed carbs and sugar.
• Drink water:
Sure, we slap moisturiser on every morning and noon to seal in moisture and prevent our skin drying out, but it won’t do much good unless there’s some moisture to seal it in, in the first place. Drinking plenty of water (between 6 to 8 glasses a day is the consensus) will not only help keep your skin hydrated from the inside, it will also help your body to flush out toxins. Add some lemon juice to your water for an added antioxidant and detox boost, and try to include more water-rich food in your diet.
• Eat fish:
More specifically, oily, cold-water fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines and herring. They all contain omega 3 fatty acids, which your body cannot produce itself but are essential for the maintenance of healthy skin, as well as other vital functions (it’s even been linked to improved moods – omega 3 makes you happy!). So try to include the fish mentioned above in at least two meals a week.
You knew that one was coming, right? It comes as no surprise – exercise is good for us in every way, including your skin. Increasing your heart rate means your body pumps more oxygen to cells that need it, including those in your skin, which boosts repair and toxin elimination… You get the picture. So if you want a radiant glow, even when resting, try to work out for at least 20 minutes each day, or for 40 minutes three or four times a week (we’re talking moderate to high intensity exercise such as running, brisk walking, swimming or cycling).
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