Trends in the cosmetic and skin health industries tend to come and go, each promoting nutrients that promise supple skin, reduced fine lines and a renewed glow. But which tips and tricks actually stand the test of time to produce a long-lasting glow and healthy looking skin? Believe it or not, some of the best pieces of advice for healthier skin are the same “back-to-the-basics” ones our grandmothers relied on. Go figure.
Here are the top five ways you can easily support your skin for even tone and a natural healthy glow.
Perhaps the most underappreciated and under practiced step in skin care, exfoliating clears dead surface cells and promotes a clear and healthy glow. Skin cells shed every 30 days or so, and when we’re young this process is rather smooth and even. But as we age the process slows and shedding becomes uneven, resulting in drier, rough areas of skin and uneven skin tone.
As you age, your skin loses the ability to produce the nutrients that protect it from the damaging effects of things like the sun’s UV rays, pollution and free radicals.
Many beauty products contain harsh chemicals that can actually make your skin age faster! But there’s a natural skin care solution that’s been proven to make skin look younger by providing it with the #1 nutrient it craves.
Bonus: exfoliating also helps maximize absorption and efficacy of the other products in your skin care routine.
For full body exfoliation, use your favorite exfoliator once or twice weekly, in addition to daily dry brushing. For facial exfoliation, choose a gentle exfoliating formula to use daily. There are some great DIY options such as a baking soda exfoliating scrub, but my favorite is PurGevity’s Jojoba Red® Exfoliating Cleanser for daily facial exfoliation (which happens to smell amazing and work wonders for balances skin tone). Another option to explore is chemical exfoliation, which removes dead surface cells by using a natural or synthetic acid such as glycolic acid. While some find this more effective, it can sting a little at first so proceed with caution.
2. Drink More Water
Hydration is the hallmark of healthy skin. In fact, increasing the skin’s moisture content is the primary aim of most, if not all, anti-aging skin care regimens. And while hydrating the skin by way of topical treatments, such as a hyaluronic acid serum, is key, the best results will be seen when hydration starts on the inside. One woman conducted an experiment to see if drinking upwards of 99 ounces of water a day for 4 weeks could improve her complexion and, while there is talk that the final results (pictured here) may be slightly touched up, there is no denying that drinking more water improved her overall skin tone and texture.
3. Use an Oil to Maximize Skin’s Hydration
Contrary to what we’ve been told our whole lives, skin cells favor oils over thick and heavy creams, so long as they’re the right oils carrying the right nutrients.
This is because skin is protected by a layer called the stratum corneum, also known as the lipid barrier, which shields skin from external threats such as bacteria and pathogens and helps prevent water loss. After the age of 40, though, this layer begins to breakdown, which is why it becomes harder for the skin to retain moisture.
To maximize skin hydration and reclaim that supple glow, find a nutrient-dense oil or serum to use either in place of or under your daily moisturizer. For more than two years now I’ve been using PurGevity’s NightFX® Renewal Serum in place an evening night cream and I can tell you I’d never go a night without it.
For more about choosing oils over creams check out this article, which discusses the details you need to know
4. Cut Back on Sugar
Many foods stand to damage skin cells and rob you of a youthful glow, but few cause damage quite like sugar.
Sugary foods and beverages trigger inflammatory changes and collagen breakdown thanks to a process known as glycation, a biochemical reaction that occurs when excess sugar in the bloodstream bonds to proteins or lipids. This sets the stage for the formation of toxic compounds called Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs.
When this process of glycation occurs in the skin, sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen fibers, triggering a series of chemical reactions that eventually culminate in extensive cross-linking of collagen. The result: visible signs of aging.
While healthy collagen fibers slide over one another, keeping the skin elastic, collagen cross-links cause the skin to lose its ability to “bounce back,” which means wrinkles, sagging and roughness.
5. Nourish From the Inside Out
In addition to upping the antee on water intake, increasing consumption of certain antioxidants can have a profound impact on skin tone and texture. Nutrients such as astaxanthin and omega fatty acids from krill oil help dramatically reduce inflammation and improve skin cells’ ability to retain moisture. For a list of the top nutrients to focus on, visit this article which highlights the top ten nutrients to improve skin.