Every woman wants beautiful skin. The kind of skin that glows naturally, defies age, and elicits compliments from others without a spot of concealer, powder or foundation.
Let’s face it, the idea of “flawless” has been peddled in beauty ads and magazines for as long as they’ve been in existence. However, it is experience, poise, confidence, and sensibility that determines the beauty marks of a REAL woman. Can I get an Amen?! And in this media driven society there is a cruel irony at hand when the primary subliminal message puts emphasis on the superficial as opposed to substance, urging us on the one hand to eat whatever, tweet whenever, and go-go-go forever; or at least until we’re six feet under. Turn down the noise enough to hear your inner voice. –and trust me; finding that voice may take a bit of time amid the chaos of our lives. Nevertheless, meditate daily on the idea that you will not be defined by bells and whistles or tools of trade. This kind of thinking will add years to your life.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I love a good beauty product when I see one, but if it is as important to you as it is to me to recognize yourself in the morning when you look in the mirror, focusing on what is skin-deep is a lifestyle choice well-served. Over the years I have compiled a working knowledge of medical facts, historical reference, personal trials and error and determined that there are eight, cost effective and natural ways to vibrant skin that have truly worked for me.
Tried & True, from The Dames with ? to You
What You’ll Need
Balanced Diet: Minimize sugar, caffeine, salt, and monitor carbs and fats. Fried and processed foods may not immediately affect you, but like the sun, have a cumulative effect on our skin. Some women feel the effects of their diet within weeks, especially during their periods and may break out or even look and feel bloated especially if they overdo the salt and sugar. Eat a regular diet of fresh power foods that taste good. Finding good foods that work for you means more than just a diet, but a way of life. My favorites are non-red meats, eggs, real Greek yogurt (high protein), green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, avocado, organic apples, and berries. And if you’re like me and suffer from leg cramps every now and then, a banana a day can do the trick.
Sun protection: The less melanin in your skin the less natural protection you have. Over exposure to the sun not only ages the skin prematurely, but increases one’s risk of getting skin cancer. Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body. For all you sun worshippers out there, apply sun screen or moisturizer with sun screen and don’t forget those sensitive areas of your body, such as your ear lobes, ankles, and neck. Also be aware of scalp exposure as our hair is not a natural sun blocker. Enjoy the sun especially when at the beach, but if you plan to be in it for hours, you’ll need to reapply sunscreen often, but most importantly wear a sunhat, cap or use a parasol/umbrella. Your skin will love you for it.
Heat: When the heat is up you SWEAT. Two thousand years ago, the Romans spent hours in steam baths as a way to rejuvenate their bodies, thwart and cure ailments. Whether you prefer wet or dry heat, a multi-weekly exposure to either is your ticket to the fountain of youth; However, if you’re not sweating you’re not maximizing the benefits. Not only does sweating act as a natural moisturizer, but it purges your skin pores and gets rid of toxins which otherwise remain in the body, taxing the immune system.
Move: Nothing does a body better than exercise. Moving your body produces serotonin in the brain, balances hormones, and improves blood flow; all age defying and stress relieving benefits. But the best results are physical. A variety of activity using good posture with or without resistance nourishes your joints and promotes good, firm muscle tone. Getting a cardiac work-out can be tough to fit in your day, but strive to do at least 20 minutes per day and add at least 10 minutes of light weight lifting at a minimum of three times per week. Trust me, just showing up will yield good results.
Water: The human body is comprised of over 50% water. Be sure to clean your face with a gentle soap and wipe around your eyes and eyelashes before going to bed at night to remove bacteria, unwanted oils that can lead to acne and even eye infections. Add a touch of organic water-based moisturizers or essential oils to your face as desired. Be sure to drink a minimum of 8 ounces of water everyday to balance your electrolytes and prevent dehydration.
Oxygen: This one is a no-brainer; yet we do take it for granted. Did you know that most adults do not breathe correctly? Oxygen is life and a red blood cell booster. Your body is most efficient when you breath deep which usually happens with exercise, but also is vital when we are at rest. Diaphragmatic breathing requires good posture which leads to good muscle tone and therefore firmer skin with less wrinkles. Expand your ribs and take air in your nose while you inhale and out through your mouth upon the exhale; remember to do this often and it will change your life.
Positive Attitude: There is good stress and there is bad. Minimize distress and maximize your eustress by working hard, doing what you enjoy as often as possible and when you can’t do what you love, at least have the attitude that you may be doing what you don’t want to do at the moment, but it’s a means to an end. Then your perception of any negative situation will gradually improve. Control media, minimize cell phone use and you’ll improve your outlook on life in general as studies have linked social media use with fostering low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. –All of which contributes to exhaustion! Good posture feeds confidence and vice-versa. Think good. Feel good. Do good. Look good.
Sleep: We all need it. Now more than ever, fewer of us are getting restful sleep. Life can be hectic and if what we do and how we feel during the day is taxing, it can result in a restless night. Couple that with lack of the seven above ways to vibrant skin over weeks…even months and you’ve got yourself a race to the bottom. Doing all of the above will contribute to restful sleep. Just be sure to keep the time you go to bed consistent whenever possible. And if and when you are unable to fall asleep, remember it’s better to sit up and read a good book rather than feed exhaustion by tossing and turning for hours.
Disclaimer: This article is non-scientific and meant to be the opinion of the author(s).
THINK GOOD. FEEL GOOD. DO GOOD. LOOK GOOD ? @SalonofTheDames