What are your skin resolutions for the year?
You know, those good habits that help you take your skin game to the next level, stave off wrinkles and give pimples the boot.
Getting your skincare routine down is the first and most important step (obviously!) but if you find that alone doesn’t give you the results you crave, it’s how to take a look at your lifestyle and how it’s sabotaging your best skincare efforts.
When you’re making your resolutions for the new year, don’t forget your skin. Here are 5 healthy lifestyle habits to adopt this year for younger, glowy skin:
Get Enough Sleep
I know, who had the time to sleep with all those holiday festivities to go to? And now that work is back in full swing again, you’re tempted to stay up late to finish that presentation or check your emails. Don’t.
When you’re not getting enough sleep, dark circles are the least of your concerns. Poor sleep makes your body pump out more stress hormones, the little buggers that make your acne and psoriasis flare up. If a bunch of pimples have suddenly made an appearance on your face or your skin feels a lot more sensitive lately, you know what to blame.
There’s worse. Lack of sleep breaks down your collagen, the protein that makes your skin firm. When your skin doesn’t have enough, it starts to wrinkle and sag.
Tonight, turn off your computer and phone a couple of hours before you go to bed. Instead, read a book or have a relaxing bath to get you in the sleeping mood. Turn the lights down, make the room pitch black and… good night!
Every. Single. Day. Yes, even in winter. Yes, even if it rains. Yes, even if it snows.
UV rays are sneaky. They feel so warm and cozy on your skin and give us plenty of fun moments outside. But the second they hit your skin, they get vindictive. They destroy collagen, elastin, cellular DNA… everything they find on their path. The damage they leave behind leads to premature wrinkles, dark spots and, in the worst cases, even cancer.
UVA rays are the worst culprits. They’re present from the moment the sun comes up to the moment it goes down, penetrate the skin more deeply, can get through the darkest of clouds and even get reflected on snow.
Your skin won’t be safe from harm as long as they’re around. So pile on that sunscreen every morning before leaving the house. Call us biased but we recommend our SPF 40 Age-Defying Mineral Sunscreen. It uses titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, two mineral filters that provide broad-spectrum protection and are gentle enough even for babies. We've made a tinted version so you won’t have to put up with any white casts!
Eat The Rainbow
You knew this was coming. Getting your vitamins from your skincare is all well and good but that’s not a good reason to leave them out of your diet. Berries, leafy green vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, grapes and papaya are just some of the fruits and veggies loaded with antioxidants, those powerful free radicals scavengers.
Load up on oranges, strawberries and other Vitamin C rich foods - they make the complexion glow and keep wrinkles at bay. Oysters, grass-fed beef, spinach and beans are full of zinc, a mineral that helps reduce oiliness and acne.
And don’t forget to eat your healthy fats. Avocados, tuna, salmon, nuts and flax seeds are full of omega-3s, the good kind of fats that moisturize your skin from the inside out, and make it baby soft.
Go easy on sugar (yes, sodas, too). Sugar is sweet on the palate but hard on skin. It leads to glycation, a process that corrupts your collagen and leads to premature wrinkles. You’re still allowed a treat every now and then - just make sure to get your five portions of rainbow a day first.
Drink More Water
Looking for a tasty, healthy drink to replace your beloved sodas? Water’s where it’s at. No, it’s not a joke. Water is a true fountain of youth!
Hear me out. Your body is made up of 60% water so it’s only natural that your skin needs a lot of it to function at its best. When it has enough, magical things happen:
- Water staves off dehydration and flakiness
- Water plumps up the skin so that fine lines and wrinkles look smaller
- Water makes skin glow as if lit-from-within
- Water helps your body get rid of toxins, reducing the chance you’ll get pimples
If the idea of drinking plain old water doesn’t appeal to you, you can add a squeeze of lemon, lime, or a few mint leaves to add some flavor. Trying to kick a soda habit? Try a nice sparking mineral water, such as S.Pellegrino. I like mine with a tiny splash of orange juice for a refreshing and flavorful drink. Another trick is to get your water fix from water-rich fruits and vegs (yep, another excuse to eat the rainbow).
One more thing: get in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you at all times. That way, when thirst strikes, you can quench it immediately. No need to sabotage your efforts by buying a soda when thirsty. Win win.
Lack of sleep ain’t the only thing that stresses you out. Your job stresses you out. Your partner sometimes stresses you out. Your kids. Modern life in general stresses us out.
All that stress doesn’t just get in the way of your relationships and seriously compromises your mental sanity. It causes havoc on your skin as well. You already know this, but stress amps up inflammation. More inflammation = more pimples, more wrinkles, more dryness, more flareups… more of all the bad stuff you don’t want.
To add insult to injury, stress also slows down the healing process so your skin takes way longer to repair itself. No wonder your skin looks so tired and dull all the time!
The best thing would be to leave all your worries behind and leave for a vacation with a one-way ticket and no return date, but that’s hardly realistic. The next best thing to that is meditation. It doesn’t even have to be boring. You don’t need to sit with your legs crossed for an hour a day. Even just focusing on your breath for 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference!
Don’t worry if your mind keeps wondering away. That’s perfectly normal. Just gently bring your focus back to your breath. It’ll get easier over time. If you need help to get started, turn to apps like Insight Timer or Calm. They have guided meditations - some as short as 5 minutes! - that’ll make the process a lot easier and way more fun.
Wrapping It Up
The trick to develop these skin-friendly habits is to start small. If you try to implement them all tomorrow, you’re gonna get overwhelmed and quit in a week. Instead, pick one. Then, take baby steps.
Let’s say you want to eat more fruits and veggies. Instead of pancakes, start the day with a green smoothie. A few days later, swap your sugary snack for a banana, or a handful of nuts and berries. Let a week go by and decrease the size of your steak at dinner and add more veggies instead. You get the drift.
Once you’ve mastered one habit, move onto the next. Every little bit helps you to get you the clear, glow skin you deserve!
Happy New Year, gorgeous!