Recently , I’ve had a couple of different people ask me about my skin care regime. My skin isn’t perfect but, I think it looks pretty good. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned about skin care. Please keep in mind, I’m not a dermatologist or a nutritionist. These are just things I that have worked for me.
1. “Good Skin” starts with what you put in your body.
Oh my god. I cannot stress the importance of this. Right after I graduated university I went through a Quarter Life Crisis. During this time my previously drama free skin went totally haywire. I started to get these crazy break-outs that just wouldn’t go away. I was stressed out and I was eating a lot of foods that were bad for me. Eventually, I drastically changed my diet and my skin did a 180.
-If you have problems with acne or breakouts, try eliminating all Dairy and Wheat (& any foods containing gluten) from your diet RIGHT NOW. You’ll probably notice a difference within a week or so. I did this when my skin was at its worst and it helped a lot. I also used a prescription acne cream on the problem areas to kill off the bacteria. Once things calmed down, I was able to start re-introducing these foods in moderation.
– You can click this link to read about why white (refined flour), gluten and dairy are all not skin-friendly foods . Basically sugary foods lead to inflammation (among other things), which has an adverse effect on the skin. Also, milk is full of iodine & extra hormones that can help make acne worse.
-If you’re going to eat wheat, eat whole wheat. Switch your regular pasta for wholegrain pasta. Choose a bread that is whole wheat & preferably has other good stuff in it like sunflower & flax seeds.
–Omega 3 fatty acids are your friend. Eat them. Love them. Your skin will thank you. Foods that are rich in Omega 3’s: wild salmon, walnuts, miso, avocados, spinach, collard greens, kale, strawberries (you can find more here). I also take an Omega 3 supplement daily just to top things off. Eating lots of these foods will literally make your skin GLOW. If you need ideas for dinner; one of my favorite meals is Grilled Salmon with a side of brown rice & a spinach salad topped with chopped avocado and strawberries. Yummy!
-Drink lots of water. Also, Green Tea is good for your skin so drink it whenever possible.
-Get down with Vitamins: Along with my daily Omega 3 supplement, I also take Zinc, Vitamin B6 & B12, Vitamin D (to prevent flu!) and Cod Liver Oil. Other good skin helpers: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5.
-If you want to know more about how what you eat affects your skin, check out Alan Logan’s book “The Clear Skin Diet” or read a summarized version of it online here. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, his tips really work.
Once I started subtracting/adding these things to my diet I not only noticed a huge difference in how my skin looked and felt but also I noticed an overall improvement in how I felt in general (mentally and physically)
With that said, I still love to eat a Filet o’Fish or some Hagan Daaz every now and then. Who doesn’t? Depriving yourself of things you enjoy is no way to live. If I keep up with the good habits most of the time, I feel its OK to indulge sometimes.
2. Chill out and stop doing so much stuff to your skin.
I used to use a million different products on my skin: masks, scrubs, treatments, anti-aging creams with all kinds of crazy “active” ingredients…all of these things probably irritated my skin more than anything. What I have learned is that its best to just keep it simple. This is what I do now:
I wash my face with Cetaphil and I use Kiehls Ultra face cream, morning and night. I don’t use a toner at the moment but, I probably should. If you’re going to buy toner, buy something alchohol free. I really like the Kiehl’s Calendula Toner. Also invest in a really great eye creme. I love Kiehl’s Avacodo eye cream. In case you haven’t caught on by now, Kiehl’s products in general are pretty awesome. If you have a higher budget I’ve heard the Laura Mercier eye cream is amazing.
I also do a mud mask once a week. I really like the Body Shop’s Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask.
WEAR SUNSCREEN. Don’t go to tanning salons (I’m scared to see what the cast of Jersey Shore will like in 10 or 20 years. My guess is LEATHERY- like a pair of Uggs that has seen one too many winters). And no matter how drunk you get, always wash your make-up off before you go to bed.
3. GET OUTSIDE.
GO WORK OUT.
HAVE AN ORGASM*
All of these things will get your blood flowing and give you a nice healthy glow!
(*If you don’t have a partner to help you with this I suggest you do one of the following things: refer to this post and invite an unsuspecting guy/girl over to help you put together your furniture. As the blog post illustrates this will probably lead to sex (and hopefully orgasms). Or, just get over it and do it yourself. If you feel inspired get some toys. If not, just do it the old fashioned way. You won’t go blind. I promise. I think Alexi from I’m Boy Crazy will back me on this.) Does anyone else have any tips they would like to share?