Not sure which products fit your skin best?
For the ultimate beauty, health, and vitality boost, simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference. Skin-care is self-care, and taking a holistic approach can transform the way you look as well as the way you feel (as in, more energetic, happier, and less stressed). Here are 5 easy things you can do today to start living in a more outside-meets-inside way.
Soaking in hot water has been a beauty ritual for cultures spanning the globe since time immemorial. Taking the time out for a bath relaxes the mind and body, reducing stress—which causes breakouts and other skin issues—and inducing restful sleep. Adding Epsom salts can help with detoxification, and there’s even evidence that because calorie burn temporarily increases when the body is exposed to heat, a bath can be as beneficial as a bout of exercise. Bathtime can also amp up the efficacy of your skincare products—the heat and steam increase penetration of active ingredients by opening up pores and dilating blood vessels, increasing circulation.
84 million adults in the United States qualify as sleep deprived. The implications are dire: studies show that a chronic lack of sleep—that is, regularly getting less than 7 hours—can make us more prone to depression, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. When our bodies aren’t given time to restore and regenerate overnight, our hormones are thrown out of whack, immunity drops, and inflammation surges. The skin suffers, too—a lack of sleep can accelerate the signs of aging, impair wound healing, slow collagen production, and compromise the skin’s ability to hold moisture. To make sure you’re getting optimum shut-eye, power down electronics at least 90 minutes before going to bed, avoid alcohol, get regular exercise, and keep your environment cool—about 68 degrees Fahrenheit—to help the body’s core temperature dip into the zone that ushers in deep, slow-wave zzzzs.
This will come as no surprise: stress is a major villain. What you may not know is that it’s also destroying our skin… via our stomachs. When stress spikes, digestion shuts down, which can cause stomach acids to seep into our bodies, increasing the inflammation that can lead to acne, wrinkles, and dull skin. Meditation is one of the best ways to moderate the way respond to stress both physically and mentally, reducing blood pressure and heart rate and increasing oxygenation of cells. Calming our minds can literally keep us youthful—studies have shown that people who meditate have a younger biological age than people who don’t, and regular meditation can actually lengthen telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten with age. By decreasing levels of the fight-or-flight hormones epinephrine and cortisol, which can wreak havoc on the skin when left unchecked, mindfulness practices keep them from breaking down skin elasticity and speeding up signs of aging such as sagging and wrinkling. Not into meditating? Even deep breathing alone can be beneficial, since it boosts micro-circulation circulation to skin. This sweeps nutrients into cells and activates autophagy, which repairs damage, detoxifies, and regenerates for a lasting glow.
Getting a sweat on doesn’t just improve our cardiovascular system, keep our muscles strong, burn fat, and boost immunity—it’s also absolutely crucial to beautiful skin. Why? Because in addition to flooding the skin with oxygen and a fresh blood supply, it supercharges autophagy, getting the gunk out of our cells so that they can get to work doing good things—like making collagen and elastin—unhindered. Studies have shown that only 30 minutes on a treadmill can boost autophagy by 40 to 50 percent, and that number continues to rise up to 80 minutes. This can make a huge difference in the way you look, fast. And it’s never too late to start: A 2014 study showed that regular exercise can even reverse aging in older adults, thickening the skin of volunteers who were more than 60 years of age so that it resembled the skin of people in their 20s.
Antioxidants are like armor against damaging UV rays and environmental pollution, protecting against the free radicals that damage cells and cause inflammation. Loading up on them both internally and externally in our diets and our skincare routines equips our cells to defend against signs of aging such as wrinkles, saggines, and hyperpigmentation. In skincare, look for red grapes, Vitamin C, and green tea, and make sure you’re filling your plate with dietary sources such as bergamot, blueberries, strawberries, and leafy greens. And remember, some of the most potent antioxidants are found in the most indulgent treats: the polyphenols found in red wine resveratrol and dark chocolate have been shown to activate autophagy and keep cells young and healthy.