The other day, my 10-year-old nephew came in from outside and said, “Hey Aunt Sam. Your epidermis is showing.” (Snark snark.)
He had a point though — it was showing. It’s always exposed, to sunlight, air pollutants, the chlorine in my water, and who knows what else.
(In case you’re feeling secretly out of the loop right now, epidermis is a fancy word for your body’s largest organ: your skin.)
You’re never too old to start loving up your skin. Sure, it’d be great if we were taking care of it all along, but hey. Live and learn.
Today I’ve got the mother lode of skin care tips. Take what you will; they’re all fairly simple, and any one of them will make your skin happier.
FYI, I’m not talking about “anti-aging.” That is just a ridiculous concept to me. Everything alive ages. And sure, nobody loves to discover a new wrinkle. But what I’m talking about here is your health.
I’m talking about upping the glow, amping up the brightness. Improving your skin’s elasticity and overall appearance. Preventing sunspots and skin cancer. A few wrinkles? Just means you like to smile. 🙂
Sam’s favorite skin care quickies:
Apple Cider Vinegar cocktails. This little miracle is alkalizing (which means it has loads of other health benefits), and it’s been shown to improve some pretty serious skin conditions like Psoriasis and Eczema.
Drinking this daily will help your skin glow and shine, partly because it improves your digestion. Put two tablespoons of ACV in a pint glass of water, and drink up. And make sure to get the raw, unfiltered kind, with the “mother” still floating around in there. You can add lemon or honey for taste.
Skin brushing. Use a medium, natural-bristle brush and brush your skin all over (except your face) before you hop in the shower. Start at your toes and fingers and work towards your heart in short, quick strokes and/or circles.
This exfoliates dead skin, and the vigorous rubbing brings blood to the surface of your skin, which improves circulation and lymph flow.
More water! It’s almost a joke at this point, how I keep bringing up the water. Almost. Because healthy skin is well-hydrated skin. No two ways about, kemosabe. You can up your hydration by drinking aloe juice and/or coconut water, but at the end of the day there’s no substitute for good ol’ H2O.
More skin care tips:
Truly great skin is a reflection of a healthy body. Your skin is the last place in your body to receive nutrients, so if you’re deficient in some way, guess where it shows up?
On the other hand, if your diet is abundant in veggies, fruits, healthy fats, and clean food, your skin will shine.
I’m not an expert on supplements, but vitamins E, A, and C are super important for healthy skin.
Eat plenty of healthy fats. Add a fish oil / Omega-3 supplement to your regimen, and stock up on the coconut oil and avocado. Healthy fats are what gives your skin that glow.
Extra credit: Down a shot of olive oil before bed. Hardcore! (But not as nasty as you think.) Down a shot glass of olive oil, with a lemon water chaser, at night. This not only lubricates your intestines and helps with healthy bowel movements, it also lends a buttery glow to your skin. (The higher quality oil you get, the better it tastes.)
Bathing & beauty:
Swap out your soap, moisturizer, and deodorant for natural alternatives. Many commercial soaps dry your skin, depriving it of its natural oils. They also contain fragrance and other chemical — and all that gets absorbed through your skin.
Get rid of fancy body washes and anti-aging “formulas.” (Unless you’re using something specific, like tar shampoo for scalp issues, or acne treatments.) Mostly this stuff is just a rip-off, to be honest. The more natural, the better.
You can moisturize with natural oils. Sesame and almond are both nice, and coconut oil is awesome after a sunbathing session. Alternatively, try a plant-based lotion (you can find some at your local health-food store).
Get a shower filter. Bad news: all that chlorine you’re filtering out with your Brita? Is getting absorbed through your skin every time you take a shower. Filtering your shower water reduces the need for moisturizer. It can also help alleviate Eczema or severely dry skin, reduces rashes and irritation, and calms Psoriasis.
Quit bathing so much. Really, it’s overrated. If you’re covered in dirt from the garden, or stinking after a long run, sure. But day-to-day, you don’t actually need to wash with soap. Every other day is sufficient. This will help your skin retain its natural moisture.
Cool down your showers. Super-hot water feels great, but it can be irritating to the skin. Try warm showers instead.
Hot/cold plunge. Woooo! This one’s daring. At the end of your shower, run the water as hot as you can stand it for about a minute, then as cold as you can stand it for a minute, then repeat as many times as you can take it (I usually bail after two.) This draws blood to the skin’s surface and encourages circulation and drainage. It’s also good for your pores.
Experiment with natural alternatives to makeup and perfume. Makeup has come a long way here – there are some really great options out there. For fragrance, try essential oil blends instead of alcohol-based perfumes. For more info, visit two of my favorite online resources:
Summer’s right around the corner. Which means you’ll be showing a LOT more epidermis to a LOT more people.
Make ’em jealous.
Much of this material was originally posted at TheNotMom.com.