Like women everywhere—regardless of your skin type or how genetically blessed you may be—you’re fighting an ongoing battle for healthy, beautiful skin. Although there are lots of weapons at your disposal—many in the form of products boasting the ability to give your skin a smooth, radiant glow—nature has also provided some very effective tools to bring out the best in your complexion. Here’s a look at 5 natural ways to win the battle for beautiful skin.
Beautiful young woman (Photo credit: MyTudut)
Ask any dermatologist or skin care professional what the foundation of any skin care regimen should be and they will probably say, exfoliation. They’ll also tell you that one of the best natural exfoliators you can use on a daily basis is a plain old run-of-the-mill cotton washcloth. The purpose of exfoliation is to improve circulation and remove dead skin cells, along with dirt, sweat, and oils without causing too much irritation. And a cotton wash cloths natural fibers do this very gently and effectively. Just make sure that the washcloth you use is laundered routinely and designated for your face only.
In order to stay soft, supple, and youthful looking, your skin must remain moisturized. This is especially important during winter months when your skin is subject to the drying effects of cold winds and dialed up thermostats. Long plane rides can also wreak havoc on the skin through constant exposure to re-circulated air. The most effective moisturizers are oil-based, due to the ability of oils to form a protective barrier on the surface of the skin that promotes the retention of moisture. However, many commercial oil-based moisturizers use oils that have a tendency to clog the pores. This is where pure essential oils come in. Oils such as primrose or almond oil help to promote moisturization without clogging the pores.
Studies have shown that people who get at least 8 hours of natural, restful sleep tend to have healthier, better looking skin than those who are sleep deprived. Chronic sleep loss wreaks all kinds of havoc on your skin, leading to fine lines, dark circles, and a loss of natural elasticity. This is caused by an accelerated release of cortisol, a stress hormone that breaks down collagen, a foundational protein which helps keep skin firm and smooth. Along with too much cortisol, sleep loss causes a reduction in the release of HGH, a growth hormone that helps promote the retention of lean muscles, stronger bones and thicker skin.
Being healthier means eating a balanced diet and staying away from saturated fats. But too often we tend to overlook the good fats (monosaturated) that are found in natural sources such as nuts, sunflower seeds and olives. Adding moderate helpings of monosaturated fats—two teaspoons of oil, a handful of nuts, or a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter—into our daily diets can help skin stay more supple. And while we’re on the subject of natural dietary fats, let’s not forget fish oil. Salmon, herring, tuna and other oily fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. One of these acids, EPA, promotes healthy skin by regulating oil production which can help to increase hydration, prevent acne, and delay the appearance of wrinkles. In addition, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, EPA can also help to prevent and repair sun damage. To make sure you get the recommended amounts of EPA and DHA, which can give your brain a healthy boost, it’s best to take a daily supplement.
Along with getting more sleep, getting rid of stress through natural relaxation techniques will improve your mood and your skin. Don’t let a week go by without indulging in at least one self-serving and relaxing activity such as a full-body massage, a facial, or a warm relaxing bath (don’t forget the bath salts and don’t stay in too long). Daily meditation, yoga, and regular moderate exercise are also excellent for reducing stress, resulting in a healthier body and clearer, more naturally beautiful skin.
About the Author: Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in pure essential oils and beauty. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book.
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