I have to tell you something. It's kind of a secret. But I really don't want it to be all hush-hush anymore.
It's about your skin. More specifically, your skincare. I want to be totally honest with you, 'cause I really don't think anyone else truly has been.
So here's the thing that no one (ESPECIALLY no one in the beauty industry) will tell you: there's never going to be a product (or a even a whole line of products) that will totally and completely fix your skin.
Womp womp. I hear you. It's disappointing news.
But the thing is, the health of our skin, just like every other organ in our bodies, starts from the inside out — everything from hormones to allergies to diet to lifestyle factors. So there's no magic lotion or potion that can simply make skin issues disappear.
I'm not here to just drop the hard truth on you and bail. I have GOOD NEWS, TOO!
There may not be a silver bullet to instantly erase every blemish, but here are some things you can do to support your skin, from healing to straight-up glowing:
Invest in understanding your body.
The best thing by far that I have ever done for not only my skin, but my overall health and wellbeing, was begin working with a naturopathic doctor.
Naturopaths and other natural health practitioners take a holistic approach to understanding symptoms (such as acne, dry skin and eczema), as well as their root causes and treatments. They get that our bodies aren't made up of separate compartments, that all of our organs and systems work together and depend on each other, and that even a small imbalance can show up in places like our skin in a big way.
And best of all, a holistic health practitioner is a true partner to help you in your journey to understanding your body, getting back in balance, and achieving your health goals.
Eat what makes your body feel good.
This is not necessarily what makes your brain's instant gratification centre feel good. You know this. I probably don't need to say it, but focusing on nutrient-dense foods like organic vegetables and fruit, complex carbohydrates, high-quality fats and grass-fed and pastured meats will give your body the building blocks it needs to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
Another important piece of the diet puzzle is identifying and addressing any food sensitivities, which can show up on your skin as acne or other concerns. This is SUCH a huge one for me — since realizing that gluten, dairy and soy are intolerances for me, I've avoided them and my skin has thanked me for it. Also, I know that when I eat too many sweets, especially cane sugar, I can expect a breakout pronto.
When what you eat actually makes your body feel great, your skin will look the part.
Switch to all-natural, holistic skincare.
Natural skincare companies like Province Apothecary blend hydrating oils, fruit and veggie extracts, essential oils and nourishing organic ingredients to create gentle-yet-effective formulas without harsh chemicals that actually damage your skin.
This is the worst: those high-end "miracle" products you're spending a fortune on are actually just making the problem worse. The toxic ingredients in conventional skincare products get absorbed right through your skin barrier and into your bloodstream. So not only are they messing with you on the surface by interrupting your skin's pH, proper sebum production and your natural moisture barrier, they're circulating in your body and throwing everything from hormones to detoxification out of whack. YIKES.
And the thing is, natural products may be mellow (as in, not full of toxins and irritants) but they are mighty. By harnessing the powerful healing properties of plants like lavender, calendula, chamomile, seaweed, apricot, carrot and broccoli, holistic skincare products truly support your skin, deeply hydrating, soothing inflammation and accelerating the healing process. That's what makes natural skincare an integral piece of the skincare puzzle — it works from the outside in.
So while I practice all of the internal elements of good skincare, like balancing my hormones, eating well and getting proper nutrients, treating other health issues, and excellent self-care, I'm nourishing my skin and body from all angles. And that's what gets real results.
Take good care of yourself.
"Self-care" may be dominating everything from magazine covers to hashtag trends right now, but there's research to back up the buzz. These strategies are going to sound basic AF, but I promise they're effective — and most of them are super easy.
Take this first tip, for instance: keep your sheets, hats, scarves, towels and hands clean. All of these touch your face on the regular, and if they've gone too long without a washing, dirt, oil and makeup residue leftover can lead to breakouts or irritation.
The next two may sound simple enough, but in reality they're often the ones most of us get stuck on because they require us to prioritize ourselves over our loved ones, Netflix queues and to-do lists. Which, let's be honest, is hard to do.
But sleep and stress management are non-negotiable if you're having skin struggles. Quality sleep allows our cells to regenerate and gives our bodies a chance to detox. Without sufficient sleep to permit those critical functions, skin is bound to be dull, puffy, inflamed and congested.
Managing your stress levels is another must-do when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. When you're stressing, your body's cortisol levels are skyrocketing, throwing your sex and adrenal hormones out of their very delicate balance. And your brain begins prioritizing survival functions like your breathing and heartbeat rather than things like digestion, detox and skin health because it doesn't know the difference between your work-deadline-stress and a life-threatening stressor like meeting a bear on the hiking trail. These instinctual responses result in acne, eczema flares and dry, dehydrated skin.
The last self-care skin health strategy is FUN. No, literally, having fun is the strategy! This is probably one of the top game-changers for my own health in general, including my skin. There is no replacement for joy. No amount of leafy greens, spot treatments or fresh pillowcases can achieve what a fantastic night filled with friends, belly laughs and life chats can do. Creative pursuits, connecting with your tribe, an outdoor adventure, an episode or two of your favourite comedy series, window shopping on a sunshine-y afternoon, a dance class, coffee dates — whatever makes you smile, come alive, laugh out loud and feel deep gratitude for life. Do that. Your body responds to your happiness.
Welcome to round four of my Green Beauty Giftgiving Guide!
This week, I'm going practical.
Because let's be honest, we all need the basics. Infinite bonus points for high-performance, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free versions!
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