I’ve never experienced acne, but the occasional WHITE ZIT always stood out. Not one to be self conscious, my skin journey was aroused when the skin appearance of a high school teacher scared me a little…..I lie, maybe a lot. Her skin was dry, shriveled and seemed to have lost its elasticity. She spoke of going for plastic surgery, but it really didn’t make much of an improvement. The idea of my skin looking like a shriveled up prune was not an option. While at that point in my life I was using soap and water, my curiosity of how best to look after my skin began and so did my introduction to Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising.
For as long as I can remember my mom has used Oil-of-Olay. Now at the age of 70 her skin is still soft and supple and well cared for. The first products I was introduced to, was Avroy Shlain. My older sister was a consultant and I got to try out their latest products; from skin care to makeup to fragrances. It was at the age of 16 that I learnt about understanding your skin and knowing which products best match your skins requirements, rather than which products made the biggest hype in the market. Observation, trial and error were my greatest lessons.
NOW LET US BEGIN TOGETHER …..
Before you take any advice I give, I need you to note – that despite having done a personal beauty and a nutrition course, I will speak from experience and added to that share with you some of what I’ve learnt in these courses, along with some useful tips and recipes. Your journey and what you pick up and learn about your skin is going to be your best way of knowing what’s best for you. I am merely going to share with you my personal journey in the hopes that you will learn how to do the same but not necessarily use the same products I have. Our skin is like our DNA, very unique and different to each other. You’ll find that one solution may work for you and not for someone else. You may even find that what worked for you over a given period, season or climate doesn’t always work for you all year round…. its all part of learning.
Since how my skin would age was my primary concern, here are the top five factors for premature ageing
How you treat your skin, what you eat and the lifestyle you lead doesn’t just impact on the skin you see in the mirror today, but what you’ll see in 10 to 20 years from now. My skin has had its ups and downs, I am now able to understand what its lacking and why its flaired up.
2. What You EAT and How You EAT – Diet
A diet that is low in protein and good fats but high in sugars is going to have significant loss of elasticity and inflammation. Understand the essentials:
Protein is essential in the body as they act as building blocks for muscles, bones, skin and even blood, and our bodies need a lot of it to perform at its optimum level. Protein in our diet is broken down in to amino acids and used by the body for growth and repair and because our body can’t make these amino acids itself it is essential that we get it through our diet.
Good sources include Eggs, Poultry, Fish, Red meat, Beans and legumes
Every cell is surrounded by two layers of fat and this is what makes up the cell wall so these dietary fats are key for the appearance of plump healthy skin. Increase your intake of good fats full of omega-3 and omega-6.
These essential fatty acids include salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, soy, eggs poultry, whole grains, avocado.
Sugar comes in many forms -Fructose, Dextrose, Glucose – If you have never heard of these or haven’t a clue what they are, just know they SCREAM of SUGAR….
Excess sugar in the body causes a process called Glycation which means that the sugar molecules attach to the protein or lipid molecules in your system (become cross linked) and impact hugely on the collagen and elastin fibres which we know are responsible for keeping our skin nice and supple and fresh and young looking. This process is going to cause Free Radical Damage, reduce the number of antioxidants in our skin cause our skin to look duller and more yellow. We can slow this down by cutting our refined sugar.
Cut down on these refined sugar– sweets, white bread, fizzy drinks and increase the amount of antioxidant rich foods that we are eating.
Fight Free Radical Damage
With Green or White tea – Applying green tea to your face or drinking has been proven to interfere with the glycation process while stimulating collagen
Green tea is said to quench free radicals and reduce inflammation
It has antioxidants that boost blood flow and oxygen to the skin, which of course delivers nutrients which keeps your complexion healthy.
With Watermelon & Tomatoes – Watermelon is full of lycopene – a powerful antioxidant in red or pink fruit or veg – Eating the seeds too for iron, zinc, protein and fibre and also a high dose of skin boosting Vit C.
With Broccoli, Spinach, Kale – Green leafy veg is full of vitamins A, C, E and K vital for skin health and full of antioxidants that will help you achieve that radiant glow
– Broccoli is noted as one of the most antioxidant rich profile with a high dose of Vit C & E which reduces stress in the body
– Spinach is great for reducing stress in the body and has high amounts of zinc and magnesium needed for healing and energy
– Kale has lutein which absorbs free radical damage caused by UV light
With Dark Chocolate – full of antioxidants as long as the cocoa content is 70% or above, it also contains Flavanols which improves blood flow.
When we exercise our circulation is increased – our blood carries oxygen and nutrients to cells keeping them healthy. This increase in blood flow is going to have a knock on effect on our lymphatic system which will speed up the removal of toxins and carry away waste products to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Exercise will have an impact on our overall wellbeing, improving your self-esteem and energy levels. And sweating will flush your body of toxins that can clog pores. It allows for better sleep patterns, and increase the production of collagen and Human Growth Hormone. SO YES….enjoy the benefits of sweat 🙂
4. Lack of sleep
While you sleep there are human growth hormones released (more of which will have been produced during exercise) and these are responsible for the production of skin cells and for collagen synthesis
Tips for BetterSleeping
- Tie your Hair back – apply oils on your face and hair
- Sleep on your back – in a bid to avoid wrinkles
- Get at least 8hrs sleep
- Drink a glass of water before bed – your skin can get dehydrated during the night. Limit blue light exposure before bed – put your phones and tablets away so that your eyes aren’t strained.
I’m not a smoker – but if you are – you’ll need to know that smoking can have a detrimental impact on your skin,
Effects on the skin
- vitamin C has been clinically proven to regenerate collagen in the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkle. Smoking depletes vitamin C by breaking it down quicker in the system, which means that you are excreting it much quicker than a none smoker – will have a knock on effect on your immune system as well.
- Smoking restricts your blood vessels which will affect circulation and deprive your skin on the much needed nutrients and oxygen.
- This lack of circulation and oxygen and nutrient supply means our skin can start to look yellow or grey with nicotine staining your fingertips – yellow or dry.
- Pursing your lips around a cigarette will encourage wrinkles.
- Introduces free radicals to the system encouraging free radical damage
Reasons to quit – if you don’t know already
- Nicotine withdrawal will inhibit your body’s ability to sleep peacefully
- Doesn’t just cause flair ups of psoriasis but puts people at risk of developing the skin condition
- Causes premature aging
- Stopping will instantly improve circulation meaning improved radiance and healthy teeth and gums as well.
I don’t consume alcohol – but if you do – then it is important to note the effects of alcohol on the skin.
The most known effect of alcohol on the skin is dehydration but excessive alcohol consumption is also going to lead to enlarged pores, dull and discoloured skin and even broken capillaries. This is only the effects of alcohol on the skin and doesn’t begin to indicate the impact of excess consumption on the rest of the body.
Alcohol also impacts on our sleep patterns, so all of these factors can be tied in together and can work in sync.
GOSH! I think that’s a mouthful for now and a good start. I know most of you would like to go straight into application of products and makeup but honestly its what we feed ourselves and how we care for our body that truly affects the outside. Once you understand what troubles your skin and the effects thereof, together we can uncover and address how to establish which products ie cleansers, moisturisers, brands and makeup works best for your skin.
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Till next time I’ll love you and leave you with this :
TIP : Correct your water intake. Daily intake of water: For every 30kg you weigh drink 1ltr of water (4glasses of water). Water cleanses your skin and reported to produce a radiant glow – I can vouch for this…. if you ever wondered where I get that radiant glow from – WATER is the answer. And on days when you don’t see the glow- I probably haven’t taken in my water for the week.