Achieving healthy and youthful-looking skin is a result of time, effort, and commitment to taking care of your skin (and overall health and life, in general). Your body is a complex creation, and the vitality in one system is going to show up in others. It’s not enough that you use skin care products like Sulwhasoo, you’ll have to make skin care an essential part of your life.
Here’s what you need to know to achieve healthy skin for the long-term:
Part One: Diet
The foods you eat have a huge impact on your skin. A healthy diet is so crucial, so much that an expensive and rigorous skin care routine cannot be effective unless you work on your diet first. To achieve radiant and youthful-looking skin, you must eliminate junk foods that destroy your skin cells and replace them with wholesome meats, vegetables, and fruits. Here are some foods that boost skin health, so make sure to add them to your diet.
Our skin naturally produces sebum to balance our skin’s moisture and pH levels, to keep it from drying, irritation, and infections. Adding healthy fats to your diet supplies your body with fatty acids needed to hydrate and lubricate your skin cells and make them look plump and glossy. Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, fatty meat cuts, grass-fed butter, and wild caught salmon and other fatty fish are excellent sources of healthy dietary fat.
Collagen is a protein found in connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and skin. Sufficient collagen is important in keeping your skin’s firmness and elasticity, keeping it from sagging and decreased elasticity. The top two collagen-rich foods are eggs and bone broth. I use biosil daily as a natural collagen generator.
Vitamin C is important for collagen production since it helps ‘link’ amino acids that are needed to form collagen. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, and grapefruit are rich in Vitamin C. Kiwis, strawberries, pineapples, and bell peppers also contain high amounts of this vitamin.
Sulfur is a trace mineral needed for effective collagen production and helps prevent the breakdown of collagen. Garlic, shallots, onions, and chives are excellent sources of sulfur. These spices also contain a broad range of antimicrobial properties, which help cleanse of pathogens that may contribute to skin breakouts.
Lutein is an important carotenoid that is needed for clear eyesight and luminous skin. Lutein is mainly found in yellow, orange, and reddish vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots. Also, these reddish crops are rich sources of Vitamin A that work synergistically with other nutrients in maintaining good sight and luminous skin.
Part Two: Skin Care Regimen
The second foundation in achieving glowing skin is maintaining a skin care regimen. The basics of your regimen should include daily cleansing, toning, and moisturization, followed by additional weekly treatments.
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Also, choose skin care products suitable for your skin type and do not contain harmful chemicals like sulfates (SLS), parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and fragrances. That’s a whole other topic. I found this list of toxic skin care ingredients to avoid super helpful.
Here are some tips to create your own skin care regimen:
- Cleanse your face daily. Cleansing your face daily is important in keeping impurities like grime, pollution, excess sebum, sweat, and makeup off your skin because it may lead to skin irritation and breakouts. Choose a cleanser that’s suited for your skin type. If you have oily skin, choose a cleanser that helps control excess oil. For sensitive skin types, a mild hydrating cleanser may work well with you. Cleanse your face upon waking up and before bedtime.
- Follow up with a toner. Apply toner after cleansing to cleanse off remaining impurities from just washing. Furthermore, toners also help balance your skin’s pH levels and prep your skin to absorb hydration and nutrients from moisturizers. Use a natural toner like diluted apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.
- Moisturize. Moisturizers hydrate your skin and seal in nutrients by protecting your skin’s barrier. Choose a lightweight moisturizer for oily skin types, and a creamier one one dryer types.
- Do not skip sunscreen. Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, which accelerates skin aging. This study showed that over 4.5 years, women who applied sunscreen daily experience reduced aging results. Choose a sunscreen with at least 35+ SPF, and apply on skin 30 minutes before going out. Reapply as needed, especially after sweating, swimming, or continuous sun exposure. You might even reach for a natural sunscreen, here’s why.
- Exfoliate. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells, leading to faster skin rejuvenation and a brighter complexion. Exfoliate your face 1-2 times weekly with a gentle exfoliator. Here’s my fav DIY grapefruit sugar scrub.
- Add masks or serum treatments. Masks and serums provide extra nourishment for your skin and have concentrated amounts of active ingredients and botanicals to deeply nourish your skin. Apply masks or serums 1-3 times weekly. Some of our favorite masks featured on Urban Gyal are:
Maintaining a youthful glow is attained by eating a nutritious diet, a consistent skin care regimen, and living a healthy lifestyle. The sooner you start taking care of your skin health, the better results you get over the years. Make your health a priority and regularly check with a dermatologist for other skin care concerns.
Related: 15 beauty tips every woman should follow.