When it comes to healthy habits for clean skin, what you put into your body is as important as what you’re putting on your skin. Are you experiencing breakouts, inflammation, and premature aging? Do you feel sluggish by mid-afternoon? Are you having trouble getting to or staying asleep? These, and more, are signs that it is time to make lifestyle changes.
The mind, body, and spirit are all connected; making adjustments in one area creates changes in others. Eating healthier gives you more energy. More energy means more exercise. More exercise means improved quality of sleep. Better quality of sleep means less irritability. In other words, small changes can have a big impact on your overall health, including your skin.
Begin with our list of seven healthy habits for clean skin. This is a holistic approach to understanding how your body works, what it needs, and how to take care of yourself.
1. Eat balanced, nutrient-rich meals.
Nourish your body from the inside and experience glowing clean skin. Focus on foods containing skin-loving fatty acids, antioxidants, probiotics and prebiotics, collagen-boosting nutrients as well as those with cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid inflammatory foods that contain sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, corn, nightshades, peanuts, and soy. Stay hydrated and avoid processed foods like frozen meals and fast food. If it comes in a box, it is likely not good for you; these foods often cause skin inflammation and other conditions. Instead, eat good fats like avocado and protein like skinless chicken at every meal.
2. Reduce toxins in your environment.
Environmental toxins in the form of skincare and cleaning products can increase inflammation in the skin. Reducing exposure to toxins and increasing the use of products that contain aloe and arnica will calm the skin. In my book, Clean Skin From Within, we address these in-depth and offer alternatives.
3. Strive for a balanced body, mind, and spirit.
Environmental toxins aren’t the only causes of inflammation and other conditions. What you read, who you spend time with, and how much exercise you get all contribute to how good you feel and look. Make yourself a priority. Include 10-15 minutes of me-time every day; read, meditate, do yoga, write, walk. It will help your mind get centered and you will find you’re better able to focus on the tasks at hand.
4. Practice positive thinking and attitude.
Several skin conditions, including acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, vitiligo, and even premature aging, can both cause and be triggered by stress. Be intentional about what you’re reading, watching, and saying facilitates a clean mind. Nerve endings are connected to our skin and other organs. The more you can de-stress, the less heightened sense of emotion your body has and the better your skin will appear. Yoga-style breathing exercises, 10-minute meditation, and a gratitude journal can go a long way to feeding your body and mind positive thoughts.
5. Exercise regularly.
Moving your body not only releases stress but causes the production of hormones that make you feel happy. Just 30 minutes of walking on most days is enough to feel a difference. In addition, you may notice changes on the scale as well as experience non-scale victories like pants fitting better and improved appearance of your skin.
6. Get adequate sleep and relaxation.
Sleep is essential to energize, manage stress, and keep us focused and positive. Eight uninterrupted hours per night is the ideal amount of sleep needed. If you have trouble getting to sleep, create a bedtime ritual. Put your phone and other devices down and turn the television off at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Listen to soothing music. Take a warm mineral bath. Do gentle yoga or stretching. Practice breathing exercises. Whether you have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, having a bedtime ritual will facilitate the sleep your body craves in order to restore and heal.
7. Develop positive relationships and interact with your community.
A few hours a week or month of volunteering can go a long way to increase positivity, not to mention benefiting the community. Talk to people in your neighborhood. Have friends over for game night. Interaction with others in a positive manner will go a long way toward making you feel better both inside and out.
Understanding these habits for clean skin not only benefits you, but it benefits your family, friends, and community. When you feel good and are feeding your mind, body, and spirit what it needs, your skin will reflect that!
Interested in learning more about healthy living? Dr. Cates’ book Clean Skin From Within is a guide for our two-week program to glowing, naturally youthful skin.