Having great skin this summer (and all year long) is all about forming healthy habits. Your genetics may play a role in how smooth a complexion you have, but treating your body right will show up first on your skin.
As the body’s largest organ, your skin is like the canvas upon which the health of your body is painted. A healthy looking and feeling skin is indicative of overall wellness. In purely aesthetic terms, you probably want to resemble a Rembrandt rather than a Jackson Pollock.
The good habits of good skin include diet, exercise, sleep, proper cleansing and moisturizing, as well as avoiding the sun, smoking, and the toxic stew of many commercial beauty products.
Look at your skin. Dry or oily skin, acne, and inflammation are all signs of poor internal health. Treating your blemishes and imperfections with chemical-laden skin care products doesn’t dig down to the root of the problem: poor nutrition and exposure to toxins in both what you eat and what you put on your skin.
Here are our top tips for leaving you with a masterpiece of a complexion that any artist could appreciate:
1. Don’t Fear the Fat. Healthy fats and fatty acids in your diet are good for you and your skin. So the fats in cold water fish oils, flax seeds, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil, for example, are your friends. Just stay away from the trans fats, saturated fats and fried foods. They won’t look good on you.
2. Avoid Questionable Ingredients. That vibrant pink creme that you picked up from the drug store probably didn’t get it’s colour from nature. When you read the labels, remember that many polysyllabic ingredients are utterly harmless, others are not: Health Canada regularly publishes a (22 page!) hotlist of banned cosmetics ingredients. When purchasing skin care products, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the ingredients. If you want to dig deeper, the Environmental Working Group has a huge database of cosmetics, cosmetic ingredients and their potential hazards at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
3. Don’t Pay More Than You Have To. The most expensive ingredient in many leading and well-known cosmetics? Marketing. Major brands often tout the latest scientific discovery that promise to turn back the clock and render plastic surgery obsolete. Over the years, these products have provided enormous benefits: to the people who make and sell them. You don’t have to pay a fortune. Most natural skin care lines are very good to your skin and your wallet.
4. Simplify Your Skin Care Regime: 1. Wash, 2. Tone (optional) and 3. Moisturize. Good skin care doesn’t take a lot of time – it’s more about consistency and simple ingredients. Planet Organic stocks a wide variety of botanically sourced organic moisturizers. They contain neither mineral oils nor chemical preservatives, but rather powerful natural extracts that help to restore proper levels of natural skin oil (sebum) and keep your skin from being too dry or too oily.
5. Feed Your Face: Add a simple regime of vitamins and minerals that will help to nourish and protect your skin: silica, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, Vitamins C, E and A. Antioxidants protect the skin from sun damage and help reduce damage in skin cells caused by harmful free radicals, which contribute to skin aging.
6. Save Your Skin: Sun damage is the leading cause of premature aging. Get in the habit of slathering on natural sun protection – year round. Harmful UVA levels are possible throughout the year. Leading conventional brands contain sunblocks such as PABA which may cause irritation. Natural brands contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are inert, opaque minerals that physically block the sun’s damaging rays without any ill effects.