People say that beauty is only skin deep but the skin’s health should not be overlooked. So its whats on the outside that counts too!
The epidermis is the body’s largest organ and it acts as a barrier and defense for our gentle insides. The skin works as a waterproof layer that protects our bodies from the outside world — a world of viruses, bacteria, UV rays, and environmental toxins. The skin also helps to regulate our body temperature, controls fluid balance, and acts as a sensory collector for the nervous system. The basic layers of the skin are the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, with the epidermis being the outermost layer.
There are many internal factors that play into the health of your skin such as aging, genetics, stress, diabetes, and hormones. With some of these internal factors we can only do our best to help bring balance into our system but we can’t reverse the aging process. Yet we can learn how to alter external factors such as diet, skin care regime, and sleep to provide optimal conditions for vibrant and healthy skin!
10 Tips to Vibrant Healthy Skin
Diet: A healthy diet is the foundation of any and all issues surrounding healthcare. Eating a whole foods-based diet that is most reliant on vegetables will start you off in the right direction towards a clear complexion. Avoid processed, greasy foods, and steer clear of too much sugar. Omega 3-6-9 essential fatty acids are crucial for skin health. Omegas are are found in foods like fish, flax, and other seeds.
Healthy Sleep Hygiene: Another foundation of health! Try to get 7-9 hours of peaceful restful sleep every night, free from technology. Learn more about sleep tips and hygiene in our previous article.
Keep your Stress in Check: Stress is a underlying cause of many disorders and diseases. Some ways to help de-stress are meditation, Qi gong, yoga, art, or going for a hike. Research shows that when looking at the permeability barrier certain skin disorders are associated with high levels of psychological stress. Learn more about our stress and anxiety treatment if this is a concern for you.
Hydration: Our skin thrives on water, so keep your body and skin happy with hydration from pure clean water. Try to drink an average of 64 ounces of water a day to have your skin looking its best. (This number varies depending on age and weight, but it’s a good starting point.) You can add cucumbers or mint into your water to enhance the flavor too, but really do try to stick with water.
Massage and Lymphatic Drainage: As Vanda Scaravelli says, “Movement is the song of the body.” So get that blood and lymph flowing with some massage. This can be performed by another person or it can be self-massage! Get up and do some dancing too… it’ll make you feel great!
Acupuncture: Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are great tools to help the skin strive for optimal health. Acupuncture has been shown to decrease stress and herbs can help rectify internal imbalances leading to conditions such as eczema or dry skin, hives, rashes, and acne.
Moisture and natural Skincare: Keeping the skin moisturized is a very important part of the skins self-care regime. Minimize the use of harsh soaps and really hot water, as they can lead to dehydrating the skin. Face and body oils are a great way to keep your skin hydrated and looking fresh. There are many different oils you can use for your individual skin type. Keep your skincare simple!
Jade rolling: This technique has been thought to improve skin tone, elasticity, and lymphatic flow. Oh and did I mentions that it also feels great?! Check out our jade roller explainer to learn more.
Dry brushing: Dry brushing is a technique in which you use a natural fiber brush and lightly brush the skin towards the heart. It is great to improve circulation, decrease ingrown hairs, and remove dry skin. It is a must-try for your skin care routine!
Healthy sun exposure: The sun is our source of life and it provides use with vitamin D which is essential for so many of our physiological processes. But too much UV radiation can be harmful and lead to wrinkles, burns, sun spots, and even worse (for example, melanoma). Take care when you are in the hot sun and after a few minutes keep covered up.
Chinese Medicine Skincare Tips
In Chinese Medicine the skin is related to the lung and large Intestine organ systems. Through the system of the lung we notice disorders of the respiratory system, fluid metabolism, as well as skin conditions. Through the system of the large intestine we notice the link between diet and skin health. Chinese medicine seeks to find the root imbalance of conditions, so instead of looking superficially at the skin surface, we look deeper to the organ system that controls the skin. There are some great techniques such as micro-needling, facial rejuvenation, facial cupping, and lymphatic massage that can drastically improve skin health.
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Skin Healthy Foods
Green and white Tea
Fish and fish oils (SMASH fish in particular)
Foods high in Antioxidants- such as pomegranate, blueberries, and strawberries
Food high in vitamin C, vitamin E and Zinc.
Try to avoid over processed, greasy foods!
Garg, A., Chren, M., Sands, L. P., Matsui, M. S., Marenus, K. D., Feingold, K. R., & Elias, P. M. (2001). Psychological Stress Perturbs Epidermal Permeability Barrier Homeostasis. Archives of Dermatology,137(1). doi:10.1001/archderm.137.1.53 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/478156
Spence, D. W. (2004). Acupuncture Increases Nocturnal Melatonin Secretion and Reduces Insomnia and Anxiety: A Preliminary Report. Journal of Neuropsychiatry, 16(1), 19-28. doi:10.1176/appi.neuropsych.16.1.19
*Please check in with a health care professional to see if these suggestions are right for you. Do not add any supplementation or make drastic dietary changes due to information read on the internet! Please seek professional care especially with a pre-existing condition.