Step 1: Hydrate
Your body requires an ample amount of water to keep your skin hydrated and free of toxins; after all, it is 75% water . This essential liquid also carries the nutrients that your cells need to function properly and efficiently.
As you become older, your body’s water content naturally decreases and you develop wrinkles. Staying properly hydrated every day can slow down the aging process, prevent clogged pores, and keep your skin firmer longer!
The amount you should drink varies depending on your body type, climate, overall skin condition, and level of physical activity. Rather than counting ounces, just make sure to always have some water with you and take a drink at least once every hour . Remember, if you feel thirsty and notice that your urine is bright yellow, that means you are dehydrated and you should drink more.
Step 2: Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are necessary for building and protecting healthy cell membranes. These “good fats” surround your cells and keep water and nutrients inside while allowing toxins and waste to easily pass out.
Healthy skin is made up of plump water-filled cells with strong and stable membranes. But if you don’t have enough essential fatty acids, the cells become weakened and this can lead to saggy skin, acne, and dryness.
These acids are called ‘essential’ because they are not produced by your own body and therefore must be replenished through food.
The following foods are naturally rich in the Omega-3 fats your skin needs:
• Olive oil
• Salmon and other fish
• Flax seeds
• Coconut oil
• Organic grass-fed butter
Step 3: Antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. These nutrients can counteract the negative effects of things like chemicals in the air and water, cigarette smoke, too much sun exposure, and even the body’s own normal processes.
Including plentiful antioxidants in your diet prevents cellular decay, slows down the aging process, and keeps your skin looking youthful. Fortunately, Mother nature provides an abundant supply of these nutrient powerhouses in whole fruits and vegetables.
Here are some excellent (and delicious!) sources of antioxidants:
Berries: Load up this summer when they’re fresh and local.
Beans: Don’t forget to soak for easier digestibility.
White tea: More antioxidants than green tea!
Artichokes: Perfect cooked with garlic as a side dish.
Brightly colored fruits & veggies: The brightest have the most antioxidants.
Small amounts of dark chocolate: Minimum 70% cocoa content.
Step 4: Cleansing Foods
The regular elimination of toxins and waste is essential to maintaining healthy skin. Just like periodic cleansing is necessary for digestive health, including cleansing foods and herbs in your diet will effectively remove cellular waste and reduce inflammation, keeping your skin clear, youthful, and positively radiant .
Aim to add more of these top 5 cleansing foods to your diet:
Lemon: Squeeze into your water first thing in the morning. Garlic: Eat raw for most benefits, great in salads or pesto. Ginger: Goes great in Asian recipes or as a tea. Chamomile: as hot or cold tea.
Dark leafy greens: Great cooked or raw in salads, wraps, or stews.
NATURAL HOME PRODUCTS
Brown Sugar Honey Scrub
The anti-microbial properties and enzymes of raw honey, mixed with the exfoliating texture of sugar, and the moisturizing fatty acids of olive oil make this a winning cleansing scrub for revealing radiant, glowing skin.
3 tbsp. of room temperature organic cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. of brown sugar
3 tbsp. of raw honey
Mix together, rub in circular motions on face, then rinse and moisturize.
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
This time-tested natural toner will balance your skin’s pH, ward off bacteria, shed dead skin cells, and reduce acne.
Wash your face with warm water.
Mix a 1:1 ratio of water to Apple Cider Vinegar.
Use an organic cotton ball to apply the toner evenly to your face.
Be sure to moisturize after using the toner.
Aloe Cucumber Mask
The cooling compounds of both aloe vera and cucumber make them the perfect anti-inflammatory combination to soothe and cleanse puffy, oily, or acne-prone skin.
2 tbsp. of aloe vera gel, just buy an aloe plant and skin one stalk 1⁄2 cucumber, chopped, seeds removed
Mix together in a blender or food processor and apply the paste evenly to face, leave on for 30 minutes before washing off with warm water.
Simple Sea Salt Scrub
This natural exfoliant will scrub off dead skin cells and increase circulation to your skin, leaving it glowing and soft for days.
1 cup of coarse sea salt
1/8 cup of glycerin (available in drugstores and supermarkets)
Combine the above ingredients before you shower so that they have a chance to blend. Then rub the paste all over your skin, with your hands or a sponge, before washing it off.
Honey Yogurt Exfoliant
For a scrub that moisturizes as it exfoliates, this combination will leave you feeling cool and refreshed. Blend the following ingredi- ents until they are smooth and creamy .
1 cup coarse sugar (such as turbinado)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. raw honey
3-4 drops of basil or the essential oil of your choice
Apply to skin in a circular motion after showering, rinse with cold water when done.
Honey Yogurt Exfoliant
Colloidal oatmeal is regular oatmeal that is ground into a fine powder. It is very effective at soothing and softening the skin from sunburn, rashes, eczema, dermatitis, and dry skin. Slowly add the colloidal oatmeal to running bath water so that it disperses and turns the water into a milky color .
2-4 cups colloidal oatmeal
1⁄2 cup chamomile flowers
1 cup buttermilk, optional