Better Skin In Eight Days
Better skin. A beautiful glow. The fountain of youth. Ageless.
Everyone wants it. But what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of better skin? Probably an arsenal of expensive creams and skin care products. Topical skin care is definitely important, but what else makes for better skin?
The skin is a window to internal health. No amount of topical creams or makeup can counteract the effects of poor diet and lifestyle habits. I can tell when someone has been following my dietary and exercise recommendations because it shows up on their face – no crystal ball needed! In fact, when I begin working with a weight loss client, the first place she often notices changes is not on the scale…but in her skin!
To achieve better skin, start from the inside and work your way out! Try the following tips to get you on your way to better skin in just eight days!
Day One: Quit Smoking
Smoking displaces cellular oxygen, decreases blood flow to cells, and depletes nutrients needed for skin repair and elasticity. And, of course, smoking can kill you. Quitting is hard, but there’s never a better time than right now. If you need help quitting try reading or listening to this book. My husband was a smoker for 30 years and he quit cold-turkey after reading it. You can also talk to your doctor or go to the CDC website for help quitting.
Day Two: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Picture a grape with its smooth and perfect round shape and tight skin. What happens when you leave a grape in the sun and let it dehydrate? It turns into a wrinkled and shriveled raisin! The same happens with your cells when they are dehydrated. Chronic dehydration will cause skin to become dry and flaky with more pronounced wrinkles. If you want better skin drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day!
Day Three: Eat Fat
Did you know that fat is an essential part of all cell walls and also helps skin cells regenerate and protect against damage? This is why folks on ultra-low-fat diets often have the appearance of sickly gray and sallow skin. We need dietary fat! For better skin eat healthy anti-inflammatory fats like those found in fish, avocados, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, flax, and chia seeds.
Day Four: Eat The Rainbow
You thought I was talking about Skittles, didn’t you? Sorry to burst your bubble, but candy won’t help your complexion. Eating deeply colored fruits and vegetables will! Plants that are deeply colored contain phytochemicals, antioxidants, and vitamins that assist skin cells in detoxifying, repairing, and protecting. I swear to you that my skin never looks better than when I’m on one of my green smoothie kicks! For better skin, variety and depth of color are key: blueberries, spinach, kale, chard, beets, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, dark chocolate (woot woot!), blackberries, cherries, and cranberries are excellent.
Day Five: Eat The Right Kind of Protein
Protein is an important building block for bones, joints, muscles, hair, nails, and skin. Ever heard of collagen? If you’re interested in skin care, you probably have. Collagen is a protein…the most widely used protein in the body, in fact! Collagen is known for its reparative and “plumping” effects, making it very important for better skin. Collagen is one of the few things I supplement with and frequently recommend to clients for both better skin and as a post-workout recovery protein. My favorites are Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate and Ancient Nutrition’s Collagen Peptides.
Day Six: Sweat It Out
This is starting to sound like a weight loss plan, isn’t it? Remember, better skin starts on the inside, so the very same recommendations that I give to clients for weight loss and better health will also create glowing skin! Sweating flushes toxins from the body, and gets blood flowing which delivers nutrients to cells. Perform any activity that raises your heart rate enough to break a sweat for 30 minutes every day! Just be sure to rinse off when you are done so those sweated-out toxins, dirt, and oils are washed away!
Before we move on to days seven and eight, which cover external tips for better skin, I have a special note: better skin won’t happen if you exercise sporadically, take a collagen supplement once, or eat a few blueberries. No matter what actions you decide to take in the name of better skin, be sure you stay consistent and do them regularly!
Day Seven: Exfoliate
Exfoliation removes the top layer of older skin cells to reveal a fresher layer below, leaving skin bright and glowing. Years ago I read an article in a magazine that said men often have more youthful-looking skin as they age because they shave their faces. I don’t know if this is true, but I do know that shaving removes dead skin cells, so it sort of makes sense. Exfoliate by giving your face a gentle scrubbing once or twice a week.
Day Eight: Splurge on Skin Care Products and Cosmetics
The skin is a barrier - our first line of defense - that keeps the outside from coming in, but it’s a permeable barrier. That means most anything you smear, rub, or cake onto your skin gets soaked into your body. This is why nicotine and birth control patches work! Be cautious about what you use on your skin! My sensitive-skinned, penny-pinching financial guru friend, Amanda Sharratt, just wrote a blog post about this. If she is splurging on skin care products, we know it’s worth it! Check out her post on where to splurge and where to save when it comes to skin care and cosmetics here: Makeup: Splurge or Save?