Layer on all the expensive products you want, but if you’re not taking a holistic approach to your diet and skincare routine, results may only go so far. We love these tips from the wellness pros at Food Matters, a reminder that we are what we do daily.
We’re divulging some of our skin tips that might just help you achieve your best skin ever. It’s not so much a to-do list, but more of a “what not to do” list. You’re probably already doing some awesome things for your skin, like using natural skin care or eating an organic diet. Keep on keepin’ on! But you might also be committing skin sabotage in some ways you didn’t realize. We made a list of 9 things you might be doing to make your skin less-than-radiant. Most of us have been guilty of some of things at least once in our lives!
Eating Excess Sugar
A 2013 study looked at the connection between blood sugar and aging. Participants who tested with higher blood sugar levels were also rated as looking older. Crazy, right? Looking older shouldn’t be the only reason you avoid eating sugar, but it is one effect that this addictive substance seems to have. Constantly spiking our blood sugar levels and then later crashing down is an unhealthy cycle that many of us subject our bodies to, and our skin shows it.
We recommend making informed choices about which kind of sweetener you use and paying attention to how much sugar is in the prepared foods that you buy. For those of us who maybe haven’t perfected the art of making “meals” (ahem, guilty), simply eliminating Justin’s Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from your breakfast menu might be an easy place to start.
Not Hydrating Enough
We’ve all heard that statistic that says we’re pretty much just a bunch of water that look like humans walking around the planet. Yet we still find reasons not to hydrate: “Water is boring…” “Having to pee all the time is inconvenient…” “I hate washing cups…”
We know that we need water to do all the things our body needs to do. One is transporting nutrients to the places they need to go. Another is flushing out the toxins we don’t want hanging around. So do yourself a favor and drink up!
Personally, the constant motion of drinking from a cup kind of annoys me. Not like a pet peeve, I’d-tell-you-this-during-a-get-to-know-you-game kind of thing. I’d just rather drink out of a straw. So I use one of those obnoxiously huge cups with a built in straw, add a squeeze of lemon and ice and take sips throughout the day. Maybe having an awesome water receptacle would work for you, too.
Sleeping on Pillow Cases Washed with Toxic Laundry Detergent
Some chemicals found in laundry detergents that you might be using, are linked to cancer, lung damage, and hormone disruption. Given that your clothes are on your body all day and you sleep on your pillows all night, you might want to think twice about what you use to launder them.
Is using chemical detergents to wash your pillow cases causing your acne or wrinkles? Probably not. But it’s definitely not helping, and some people are more sensitive to chemical irritation than others. Either way, having those substances near your face (for ⅓ of your life!) does not a happy complexion (or body) make. You might try making your own detergent if DIY is your style.
Using Skin Care Products That Contain Alcohol
Why is there alcohol in your skin care products? They’re used to help ingredients mix together to form a finished product, act as preservatives, and temporarily shrink your pores. Why don’t you want them there? Some alcohols used in skin care are drying, irritating, and damaging to your skin, and many contain petroleum-derived additives that you definitely don’t want on your face.
Even the types of alcohols that are pretty much harmless aren’t doing anything good for your skin, but if you replaced the alcohol with healing aloe juice, your skin would be singing joyful noises (or dancing or painting or doing whatever your skin does when it wants to express itself).
All we’re saying is, be choosy when it comes to the ingredients in your skin care. There are so many plant-based ingredients out there that your skin loves, so there’s no need to settle for skin-drying alcohol.
Harsh Ingredient Addictions
Skin gets used to what you put on it. If you’re feeding it well, awesome! If you’re not, then there can be problems. A common ingredient that skin gets addicted to is benzoyl peroxide. Usually prescribed for acne, it clears up the skin by killing bacteria and reducing oil production. In the long term, it is extremely drying for most skin types, essentially working like a bleach. Ouch!
Alkaline benzoyl peroxide disturbs your skin’s acid mantle, which should be at a pH of between 4.5-5.5. Once you stop using it, your skin starts to re-balance itself to its natural pH. During what is essentially a detox process, many people find that they break out.
Have patience! These skin detox-induced breakouts should subside after a few weeks. And there are lots of natural remedies for acne and other skin conditions. Our cleansers are pH balanced and gentle while also helping to keep acne breakouts at bay.
Using Unnatural Makeup
So we talked about your skin at night (resting on a pillow case), but what about during the day? Many of us wear makeup, either occasionally or for everyday coverage. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but putting on foundation, blush, concealer, etc. everyday could be making your skin less healthy.
Many makeup brands, I’m going to say most, use ingredients that can cause you harm. Putting those chemicals on our skin freaks us out, and we’re kind of confused about why these toxic chemicals are being put in makeup products to begin with. Unnatural makeup products can clog your pores, irritate your skin, and create a barrier that keeps your skin from breathing. So, your skin gets worse over time as you use them. We favor natural mineral makeups without added preservatives and fragrances. They’re a healthy way to even out your skin tone and cover imperfections.
Leaving Your Makeup on Overnight
You’re tired. Your eyelids are closing against your will. You’re almost considering sleeping in your jeans. Stop! Wait! It’s time to wash off your makeup. Naked skin is happy skin. Especially if you’re wearing chemical makeup brands, you want to give your skin a break over night.
In the same vein, make sure to wash your makeup off before working out. When you break a sweat and your pores open up, dirt, oil and, yep, makeup will get in there. Also, unless you want to wash your pillow cases every day (Ouch! Said mother earth) you should do your best to keep them clean in between washes. Another reason that washing your face before bed is a must!
Eating From a Box
You can’t talk about good skin without talking about health. Your skin is an indicator of what’s happening inside. We can’t tell you whether being gluten-free, vegan, raw, vegetarian or what will work for you. There a lot of theories and diet plans out there, and we don’t have the bandwidth to sift through them all.
However, eating whole foods is something pretty un-debatably healthy. It can be challenging to prepare foods from scratch and avoid the urge to succumb to a prepacked frozen entree, but preparing fresh foods is a great way to stay healthy. At the very least, you’ll know what’s on your plate.
Try to have a salad or smoothie every day to up your intake of raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Try to eat the rainbow! Different colored produce provides different benefits, so make things fun and multicolored on your plate in order to cover your nutritional bases.
We’ll end with a simple one: exfoliation. As you get older, your rate of cell turnover decreases and your need for regular exfoliation increases. Giving your skin a good scrub sloughs off dead skin cells and encourages new ones to generate. Plus, when you’re using potent anti-aging products, you want to make sure they are being well absorbed (not just sitting on top of dead skin cells). Of course, there is such a thing as too much exfoliation, so you need to find a balance. For most people, a couple times a week does the trick. As you age, this may be closer to 3 or 4 times a week. If you have whiteheads or otherwise sensitive skin, be careful not to exfoliate too vigorously.
Discover more daily skincare habits for a healthy glow here.