There isn’t just one set secret to clear, beautiful skin. Having healthy skin comes from a number of contributions you need to make to your body on a daily basis.
In this recent post, we explained how certain foods can work wonders for your skin but, it’s not just what we’re eating that can help our skin out! When we take care of our entire body our skin thrives. Whatever we’re putting into our bodies will show on the outside so, diet is a crucial part of taking care of the skin. There are also many other things we can do to benefit our skin through loving and looking after our bodies and minds.
We all know exercise is good for our health, especially our hearts, but did you know it’s actually great for your skin? We tend to focus on cardio being great for weight loss and heart health, which it is! It’s also an excellent way to reduce things like cellulite.
Exercising promotes blood flow and healthy circulation which leaves our skin much more lively and vibrant looking. Increasing the blood flow nourishes your cells as our blood carries nutrients and oxygens to our working cells. Exercise has also been proven to lower stress and anxiety levels, boosting your endorphins relieving depression which, as you’ll see later in this post, can also take its toll on your skin! Let’s be honest, working out is something we should all be doing every week. It’s truly one of the best things we can do for our bodies. Even if you’re not one to head off the the gym daily or go for a run, nice long walks a few times a week are super enjoyable and a great way to get out the house!
Although we touched on this before in this post there are many reasons we should look after our gut and lots of ways to do so. Your skin has ways of telling you that different parts of your body are not working the way they should be, especially your stomach. Breakouts can be indications of intolerance to lactose and gluten or even a sign of digestive issues.
Many people, including myself, take probiotics for their digestive health. A lot of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema have been linked in some cases to digestive and gut health. Probiotics are live, healthy bacteria and yeasts that aid digestive health. Your immune system is heavily linked to your gut and digestive system so it’s best you look after it anyway you can. Eating a good diet with wholesome foods is good for your skin as it is but also great for digestion. Fermented foods are also naturally full of probiotics and easy to digest. Taking probiotics has been proven to help eczema in some cases, they’re packed full of benefits so are definitely worth a go.
We hear it time and time again, how great water is for us! From a young age, we’ve always been taught that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day, which is roughly 2 litres. Some people really struggle to just have plain water so add squash or use flavoured waters with less sugar. It’s always better to be drinking a lot of water daily than filling up on fizzy drinks packed full of sugar. If you do struggle to get your water in try replacing 2 of your drinks a day with squash, or just plain water! Small changes can make a huge difference.
The more water you drink, the more toxins our bodies can get rid of. A sign that our bodies are filled with toxins can be acne and even rashes on the skin. A sure way to make sure our bodies can detox is getting out water in every single day.
It’s often forgotten that our mental health can affect us in physical ways. High-stress levels can worsen existing skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea and even trigger rashes leaving your skin inflamed and sore.
If you’ve ever noticed your skin conditions are taking a long time to go and you're stressed there could be a reason for it! Stress causes a chemical response in your body which makes it harder for your skin to heal. It can also make your skin very sensitive and reactive, you’re more likely to have flare-ups of any existing conditions you have and even become sensitive to new things such as cosmetics or washing powders.
Ways to manage stress include meditation, breathing exercises, light - moderate exercise, taking a break when possible, finding time to put aside for hobbies/things you enjoy, eating well and talking about your stress with understanding people. It’s very important to manage stress as it can damage our overall health, including our skin. If you are having skin problems and think stress may be the cause, try and get a handle on it as early as you can.
It's very rare that anyone actually gets in all the vitamins and nutrients we need every single day. You can get many different types of vitamins depending on what you need. Most people reach for a multi-vitamin each day which combines essential vitamins our body needs to work!
When choosing a vitamin you should look for something with the following vitamins in; Vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Vitamin A aids in the repair of your skin tissue, people lacking vitamin A often have drier skin which can start flaking easily. Vitamin B is an essential vitamin for strong nails, hair and healthy skin. It hydrated cells and gives your skin that natural glow we all love! Vitamin C is fantastic for anti-ageing purposes such as filling our fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin's texture. Vitamin E is great for repairing the skin and helps reduce scars we may have and improve dry and rough texture, it’s great for leaving skin more youthful. Vitamin K is what you’ll want to look for if you suffer from dark circles. Of course, you should be taking vitamins but all of these vitamins can be found in natural oils and you can use them topically for an extra boost.
We’ve said it before here at Peachy Fox but your skin repairs while you sleep so it’s essential you’re getting enough of it! If you have existing skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis or dermatitis, not getting enough sleep could actually worsen them! It’s recommended the average adult needs around 7-8 hours sleep per night, whereas most adults usually sleep around 5-6 hours a night and some of us even less.
The less sleep we get the less time our skin has to repair overnight. While sleeping our bodies hydration rebalances and skin is able to recover moisture from it while what we don't need is processed ready to leave the body, hence needing to pee when we wake up! Not getting the hydration our skin needs can lead to early signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin. Make sure you’re getting your well deserved 8 hours a night to avoid this!
Watch What You’re Eating
You’re always told what foods are great for healthy skin but don't hear much about things you should stay away from. You should never fully restrict yourself from things that you enjoy, everything in moderation! Cutting something about is never sustainable but there are a few things you should probably limit, especially if your skin isn’t the best it could be.
- Iodine - Although there’s no scientific proof that foods high in iodine cause breakouts, it is proven that too much of it over a long period of time could be causing your pimples! Foods such as shellfish, eggs, spinach, seaweed and others eaten in large quantities over a long time can cause breakouts. If your diet consists heavily of these sorts of foods maybe try taking a break or cutting down!
- Alcohol - Alcohol is not good for your bodies hydration. In fact, the more your drink, the more dehydrated you become. It’s one of the worst things we can consume for ageing skin as it accentuates wrinkles and fine lines, it also aggravates rosacea and can cause big flare ups.
- Sugar - Sugar can slow down the production of collagen which leaves our skin less elasticated. Collagen keeps skin supple and soft, something we don't want to compromise on! Sugar has also been linked to acne, especially in puberty. So if you’re going through the bad skin stage, lay off the chocolate bars!
You can find out more about what you should be loading your body with and what you should stay away from here. Of course, you’re never going to completely cut bad foods from your diet but it’s good to know what could be causing our skin to freak out.
As you can see great skin isn’t always just in the products we use or how well we’re cleaning our face and body. Looking after our general health benefits our bodies in so many ways and its something your skin will always thank you for. Some people may be looking for a cure for something that’s been bothering them for a while, some may just want a way to prevent ageing skin or other problems. Whatever your reason is for using these tips remember you’re improving your over all health.
Love Abigail, Peachy Fox Skincare Writer