6 Natural Skincare Tips

Most of us think of skincare as the products we put on our bodies. In reality, diet, exercise, sleep habits, and more play a role in skin health. These six natural skincare tips help reduce inflammation and nourish your skin from the inside out.

Skin Tells a Story

The skin long been touted as your body’s first line of defense against disease. But more than that, your skin reflects your overall health, often providing the first sign that something isn’t quite right.

Inflammation

The most common internal issue reflected on your face is inflammation. Inside the body, it often manifests as pain or discomfort in the joints. Externally, your skin may feel more sensitive. You may also notice redness or experience conditions like rosacea, acne, and psoriasis.

There are numerous causes of inflammation, including medications, autoimmune disorders, and disease. But some causes can be traced back to lifestyle – food, drink, exercise, sleeping habits, etc.

The Microbiome

By this point, many people have heard of the gut microbiome. These are the healthy microorganisms that keep your digestive tract functioning properly (or not, depending on your diet). Your skin has its own microbiome.

This collection of “good” bacteria helps destroy harmful bacteria that cause a wide variety of skin issues. It also protects your skin against premature signs of aging. While lifestyle plays a role in nourishing your skin microbiome, personal care products do, too.

Foods that Support Healthy Skin

Inflammatory foods, especially if eaten regularly, cause or exacerbate a wide array of skin conditions. At the same time, anti-inflammatory foods help create a healthy skin.

Foods that cause inflammation include:

  • Fried foods: French fries, anything breaded and deep-fried
  • “Junk” foods: Chips, pork rinds, candy bars, etc.
  • Processed foods: Anything pre-cooked, canned, frozen, or otherwise packaged
  • Processed meats: Hot dogs, sausage, salami, and any other smoked or cured meat
  • Red meat: Steak, hamburgers, etc.
  • Refined carbohydrates: White bread, rice, pastries, etc.
  • Saturated fats: Margarine, lard, shortening, etc.

To control inflammation, we recommend a two-pronged approach. Limit inflammatory foods and increase consumption of anti-inflammatory foods.

Anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries
  • Fatty fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna
  • Fruits and vegetables: Watermelon, tomatoes, carrots, oranges, peppers, broccoli
  • Green, leafy vegetables: Spinach, kale, collard greens
  • Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocado (both the fruit and the oil), sunflower oil
  • Raw nuts and seeds: Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds

We typically advise eating the rainbow – the more colorful the fruits and veg you consume, the greater the variety of nutrients you feed your body.

You can also treat yourself to a small amount of dark chocolate (1 to 2 ounces).

Beverages that Nourish Your Skin

Skin-friendly beveragesAlong with eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones, you need to be careful about what you drink. You probably already know that soda is bad for you – even the diet variety contains ingredients that harm your skin. You also need to be careful with coffee, particularly if you load it with cream and sugar.

There are many benefits to moderate alcohol consumption. The CDC defines moderate drinking is one per day for women and two per day for men. And no, you can’t save those up for a single drinking session and still be a “moderate” drinker.

Water, of course, is the healthiest thing you can drink. Other skin-friendly beverages include:

  • Black tea is incredibly healthy, with over 10 times the antioxidants contained in fruits and veg. It also has vitamins C and E, great for fighting early signs of aging. However, avoid adding milk to black tea or you lose these great benefits.
  • Green tea is loaded with flavonoids that help protect your skin against sun damage and reduce inflammation. You can add honey or lemon and still get the same great anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Oolong tea helps delay common signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It’s rich in polyphenol, which helps your body fight free radicals.
  • Natural juices made with 100 percent fruit and/or vegetable juice give you the same benefits as eating the plant. You can make the juice yourself or buy pre-made varieties, just make sure they are 100 percent juice.

Also, the used teabags are terrific for eliminating dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. Just allow them to cool first.

Exercise Your Way to Great Skin

Walking ShoesRegular exercise is right up there with diet as far as overall health and wellness are concerned. It helps your body fight inflammation, increases circulation, boosts energy, promotes good sleep, improves brain health – the list is practically endless.

At a minimum, you should be getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. That’s on top of living an active lifestyle – gardening, housework, etc. Exercise doesn’t have to be slogging your way through the gym, though. Dancing, hiking, swimming – anything that gets your heart pumping for a good half-hour will do the trick.

Talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is when your body repairs itself, including your skin. To ensure you get the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night, create a bedtime ritual (and then stick to it).
Sunlight
  • Save the bedroom for sleep and sex, so your mind automatically associates it with those things
  • Start getting ready for bed at least an hour before you want to fall asleep
  • Create a wind-down routine, such as writing in a journal, reading, meditating, or taking a warm bath
  • Turn off personal electronics at least an hour before bedtime
It also helps if you support your body’s circadian rhythms by getting sunlight as soon as possible after you wake. This tells your body it’s daytime and helps it recognize nighttime as the time for sleep. Take a walk, eat breakfast on the patio, even sitting next to a window that gets the morning sun helps.

Sunlight and Skin Health

First, sun damage is one of the leading causes of premature aging. Always wear a quality sunscreen on your face. However, sunlight is also the most effective way your body creates vitamin D. It’s crucial to bone health and helps manage conditions like psoriasis.

Unfortunately, to create vitamin D, your skin needs direct access to the sun, i.e. without sunscreen. Luckily, bare arms and legs are enough, but you still need to manage this carefully.

The amount of time your body needs to spend in direct sunlight varies according to your skin tone and where you live. A fair-skinned person living in a climate like Arizona, for example, only needs around 10 minutes a day, preferably while the sun is at its strongest. That same person living in Alaska, though, needs around twice as much time in direct sunlight.

Ask your doctor how much sunlight you need. For example, if you’re at heightened risk for skin cancer, any amount of direct sunlight can be dangerous. In that case, supplements are your best bet (it’s nearly impossible to get what you need from diet alone).

Love Your Skin with Craig Connors Skincare

High-quality, natural skincare products help protect your skin’s delicate microbiome. Craig Connors Skincare doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, artificial colors, or any of the other harmful ingredients found in most over-the-counter skincare products. What’s more, the ingredients it does contain actively promote skin health.

For example, most cleansers have harsh ingredients that strip your skin, destroying the microbiome. Craig Connors Cleanser, however, is a pH-balanced, oil-based cleanser that nourishes your skin with natural amino acids (the “building blocks” of life).

In addition, instead of artificial fragrances, we use essential oils that smell terrific and leave your skin feeling soft and supple. Give us a try. We’re confident you’ll love the results so much, you’ll never go back to drugstore skincare.

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