Let's talk about skin for a second...
Now, bear with me, knowing some of the sciencey nitty-gritty will give you a clearer picture on how to gain glowing skin.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Delicate fine lines around your eyes or around your mouth? Early signs of aging? Do you have patchy spots or some oil? Or is your complexion smooth and clear?
Your skin is telling a story...
About how well you've slept, whether you've been stressed, how much time you've spent outdoors, whether you are nurtured and happy. It's amazing!
Our skin is our outer expression of our inner selves and it plays a critical role. Some of the things skin does includes:
- Being our immune system's first line of defense, preventing viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms from getting inside and causing infections.
- It keeps our internal hydration in balance.
- Maintains proper internal body temperature.
- Converts ultra-violet rays into Vitamin D3 which is needed for proper absorption of calcium for strong bones.
- It is a highly sensitive sensory organ with over 1,000 nerve endings in one square inch.
Our skin is called the 'integumentary system' which is an organ that includes our skin, hair, and nails. It makes up 12 - 15% of the average persons weight. The skin includes nerves, lymphatic tubes, and blood vessels. In one square inch you can find 65 hairs, 9,500,000 cells, 95-100 sebaceous (oil) glands, 650 sweat glands, 19 yards of blood vessels, 1,000 nerve endings. The integumentary system is our second largest body organ and the fastest growing (shedding and replacing about 30,000 - 40,000 cells a day). This complex structure has a job of keeping us alive day and night. It blocks things from coming into your body and is constantly transmitting information. If something is wrong it'll display signs of distress and if all is well, it'll glow radiantly.
Clear skin does so much for us. Implementing helpful habits for skin health will start to change our looks one molecule at a time. The foundations include skin-loving nutrition, nurturing self-care and a proper skincare ritual.
A deeply impacting foundation for clear skin is nutrition. Our skin is a nutrient hungry organ, requiring an incredible array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients. (Note: this is not about jumping on the latest fad wagon and making ourselves suffer.)
There are foods that pack a powerful punch, healing and rejuvenating skin. On the flip side, there's foods that are detractors, taking more than they give, causing free-radical damage, leaving you more susceptible to sun damage, wrinkles, and inflammation.
We can go incredibly deep into the field of nutrition and how it all impacts skin, but I'll try keep it short to prevent you from nodding off. It's just important to remember that science is finding out that your diet and lifestyle choices can influence as much as 80% of your genetic expression. That means we have incredible power to influence our looks. The next bite and sip you take can make a difference! Your skin changes so quickly, you can start seeing improvements within days of identifying the nutrients your skin wants.
Our nutritional needs are all unique, depending on our ethnic background, blood type, living environments, and likes and dislikes. It takes some detective work to identify what is best for you!
NURTURING SELF-CARE includes movement, sleep and stress management.
Movement supports your bodies remarkable ability to self-repair by increasing blood circulation delivering nutrients to your tissues while simultaneously carrying away irritants. Extra sweating helps flush out pore-clogging debris. Plus increased blood flow to your hair follicles means more luscious locks! To top it off, moving our body helps lower the stress hormone cortisol. Mix it up with cardio and strength training. Be sure not to overdo it and cause strain on your body!
Sleep has been extensively studied. The results? Incredible! The old scientific thought that our body basically shuts off during sleep has been proven completely wrong. In reality, our body focuses on repair and recovery during sleep. Lack of sleep causes a drab, dull complexion with baggy eyes and increased wrinkles plus hair loss, breakage, & damage. Bonus: it's easier to eat better when you're rested.
Lessening stress....Our brain and skin were both formed from the same part of the embryo, called ectoderm, linking these two organs before we were even born. Wow, that's a pretty strong brain-beauty link! What's happening in our brains shows up on our skin. Just think of the sparkle you exhibit when you're excited about something. Or the rash that breaks out during a stressful event. How about that flush you feel when embarrassed? Removing stressors, when possible, and implementing something we enjoy into our days is so helpful! (Here's some more reading about the stress-skin connection).
THE PROPER SKINCARE RITUAL
The good news is that our skin is our fastest growing organ, so once we hit on the right skincare routine we'll notice changes within a few short weeks or even days. The outer layer of your skin is continually replacing itself with layers underneath it and if the outer layer is not removed it will cause your pores to clog and create inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of both acne and tired, saggy skin.
A simple daily facial ritual will remove this outer layer while simultaneously boosting circulation and providing nourishment. This has a profound effect on keeping pores clear and restoring vitality. While most of us can identify our skin type pretty easily, what you have now isn’t necessarily permanent. The nice thing is that you can impact your skin with a regimen that brings it into balance. Consistency is important when it comes to skin health. Sometimes it feels impossible to fit a facial care regimen into your daily schedule and it may take some getting used to the additional self-care - but over time it won’t feel like an effort at all and the results will be worth it (pinkie-promise)! Be patient with yourself as you get into the groove.
A good daily ritual includes cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and an eye cream. Plus exfoliation and a mask weekly.
Our skin is amazing and nurturing it from the inside-out and outside-in will have you glowing for years to come!
Hanna is a mom of busy children, is completing her Diploma is Organic Skincare Formulation and is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Hanna's love of natural skincare began with her own journey of struggle and angst with skin issues. Finally, after finding no solutions she rolled up her sleeves and spent half a decade researching ingredients and formulas until....finally...something actually worked. Most of her time is spend trying to keep up with the kids, folding something like 99 loads of laundry a day, and making sure nobody starves (they seem to do that 30 minutes after meal time). But when she's got a spare minute she loves helping other women achieve radiance, naturally!
A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The contents of this email and website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to have that level of knowledge. These posts are intended for basic informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice of any sort.