Your skin is a part of the body as a whole. It is connected to everything else via an intricate web of vessels, veins, nerves, and tissue. For truly healthy skin, you need a healthy body. That means fresh air, a good amount of sleep, exercise, and nutrition are crucial to achieving and maintaining beautiful skin, but there are also some natural tips that can help you along the way.
Exercise improves circulation so your skin has the nutrients it needs to glow, deep down. Blood carries more than nutrition. It brings antioxidants to protect against damage, oxygen to boost metabolism, hydration, and infection (like acne) fighting immune cells.
2 - Eat well
Processed foods and unhealthy fats clog pores, slow down metabolism, and fill the blood stream with junk and it shows in your skin. Eat fresh, organic vegetables. Eat more raw whole foods. These will help clear skin and aid circulation. Studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a healthier and more attractive hue to their skin tone that people notice.
3 - Sleep Well
Sleep is a time for the body to repair all the damage that occurs during the more active day. It is an important part of cleaning up toxins, removing waste, letting the immune system get to work, and it helps us let go of a lot of the physical, emotional, and mental baggage we accumulate all day. Get at least 8 hours a night and your skin will thank you.
4 - Release Stress
Stress and anger are not the best emotions for our skin or our body in general. They lead to lines, wrinkles, and bags under our eyes as our body responds to an unseen threat by filling pushing our bodies harder and longer than they really need. Find a way to release those negative emotions. Exercise is a great way. Deep breathing and meditation also help us let go and relax.
5 - Wear Less Makeup
Too much makeup covers up the natural beauty in each of us. It also can wind up looking weird and unnatural or accentuate imperfections you were trying to hide. It can also flake, wrinkle, and smudge. Minimalism is the best way to go.
6 - Smile
Yes, smiling may cause you a few more wrinkles in the long term, but smiling makes us glow. It deflates bad situations, gives comfort, and brightens someone’s day. It can also make us more attractive, friendly, sincere, and approachable.
Posture is important to beauty. It keeps muscles and bones in their proper place, makes us appear slimmer, and alters the way we view the world and even how we behave. Strive for proper posture as often as possible.
8 - Visualize
Never underestimate the mind and its ability to alter our bodies. This is how placebo effect works. We believe in something and our body responds. Visualize yourself with clearer, healthier skin and believe it can happen. Your body will respond.
9 - Accept Uniqueness
We are not all the same and we are all not models or movie stars. That doesn’t make us not beautiful. In fact, it makes us more so because individuality is beautiful in its own right. Embrace what makes you different, own it, love it, and others will do the same.
10 - Strive for Happiness
Happy people are more attractive. They have a healthy glow about them. Try to be happy. It is a choice. With each bad situation, each challenge, decide to be happy, not perfect, but happy. It will make you beautiful.
Now for some more concrete beauty tips for those of you who want something physical to slather on your face. Nature has given us plenty of ways to improve the way our skin, hair, and teeth look and feel. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on products that may or may not have chemicals, preservatives, and artificial additives.
11 - Rinse with Cold
Your pores shrink when exposed to cold water. This means you should wash your face with warm water and then splash cold on to tighten up skin tone and keep those pores small and free of infection.
12 - Lemon Skin
Lemons are an excellent way to get rid of dry, rough patches of skin. Cut a lemon in half and rub it on elbows, knees, or feet and then rinse it off. You will notice a difference right away.
13 - Whiten Teeth
Baking soda makes a pretty good toothpaste and tooth whitener. Moisten a tablespoon with water to make a paste and brush like normal. You can add a drop or two of peppermint oil to make it more pleasant.
14 - Face Masks
Oats, banana, honey, and avocado all make effective face masks separate or in any combination with one another. They moisturize, soften, protect, and rejuvenate with minerals and antioxidants. Honey also has antimicrobial properties to help get rid of acne and other blemishes.
Banana and avocado are also great for the hair, separate or together. Banana has potassium to strengthen hair and avocados are rich in good fats that rehydrate, smooth, and repair damaged locks. Mash them into a paste, run it through hair, and rinse it out after 15 minutes.
16 - Moisturize
Seems moisturizer commercials are always touting that they’ve added some healthy natural oil. Skip the middle man and use your own. Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil are natural cleansers and moisturizers that give you supple skin. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties to keep infection away.
17 - Dermabrasion
Natural dermabrasion doesn’t rely on chemicals or lasers to clear off dead skin cells, oil, and bring more blood to the surface. You can get amazing results with simple baking soda. Make a paste with water and rub it over the skin to clean, revitalize, and renew. You can also combine raw sugar with fresh papaya, pineapple, or lemon juice to use as dermabrasion scrub. Brown sugar mixed with honey is another. Do dermabrasion only once or twice a week.
18 - Astringent Cleanser
Shrink pores and cleanse naturally with witch hazel. Witch hazel also comes in handy as a carrier for essential oils.
19 - Treat Pimples
A dab of raw honey on a pimple will help it clear up faster as it aids the body fight off the bacteria that cause it. You can mix honey with baking soda to make a paste for even more antimicrobial effect.
20 - Take a Bath
Make your bath a relaxing, cleansing, and hydrating experience instead of just a quick scrub. Mix a cup of ground oats, a couple tablespoons sea salt, a cup of epson salt, a few tablespoons of coconut oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil into a warm bath. Lavender or vanilla are especially relaxing. This will ease tension, release stress, clean, detox, and rehydrate the skin.
Learn more about Charlie Pulsipher
(originally published Oct. 15, 2012)