We are all aware of the term holistic health. It is about fitness that results from a healthy body, mind and soul. But have you ever heard of holistic beauty? Well, it has arrived (for some time now) and is here to stay. So, there must be some truth in the idiom “In the pink” (of health). Beauty experts have realized that there is no glow without health, and we cannot ignore the relation between beauty and health. Our face reflects the inner health and wellness of the body.
Skin care is not just about beauty, it’s also self-care. In the hustle and bustle of daily life we tend to forget ourselves. Most women spend a lot of time at meetings in office, care giving to children, household chores, etc. and have practically no time for themselves. If this continues, then in the long term the day-to-day stress will pile up and result in health conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep disorder and other associated health issues. So, it is vital that women should indulge in self-care and make a beginning with skin care that takes less than 30 minutes each day. Just standing in front of the bathroom mirror with only you for company while taking care of your skin is in itself a relaxing ritual. It’s your “me time” and promotes wellness.
Why it’s important to take care of your skin?
Skin is the largest organ in your body. Skin problems affect your health and overall wellbeing. The skin works as a protective cover for internal organs. Various factors affect the overall health of skin, such as:
- Unprotected exposure to sun for long periods of time
- Exposure to UV radiation in tanning beds
- Exposure to toxins in tobacco
- Lack of rest, inadequate fluids and low nutrition diet
Because your skin is exposed to the outside elements, it’s vulnerable to problems and needs to be taken care.
Adopt holistic skin care
Beauty is not just skin deep; it’s linked to your health and emotional wellbeing. So, skin care has to be holistic, where every aspect of our lifestyle needs to be balanced. Taking care of the outer skin is not enough, we need to nurture it from inside as well. Here we have listed a few elements of holistic skin care that can be adopted for beautiful skin.
- Use products with the right ingredients
Know your skin and use products as per your requirement. Buy products after checking the ingredients list. Skin care is about nurturing the skin inside out. No amount of spot correction potions will do the trick, unless you go deeper into the underlying cause. Aging is a natural phenomenon of life; it can’t be halted but we can reverse the effects of aging skin by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Use products with discretion, strictly avoiding harsh products that strip your skin of its natural oils. Use a good oil cleanser, moisturizer, vitamins, antioxidants and few anti-aging ingredients that have been tried and tested, and proven to work. Most important, wear SPF for protecting your skin from harmful rays of the sun. The bottom line is to give your skin the care it deserves. Fix a skincare routine and follow it on every single day.
- Adopt healthy skin diet
Your skin reflects what you eat and not just what you apply on it. A balanced diet is the key to healthy, glowing and clear skin. It’s best to know about the effects of the food you consume daily on your body.
Dairy products have been linked to acne by various studies. Look out for signs of acne on your skin due to consumption of dairy products. Avoid it or reduce intake if you seem to be sensitive to milk products.
A diet predominantly based on food like processed food, white bread, pasta, white pastries, sugar, soda, cookies, etc. will spike your blood sugar level. It’s also unhealthy for the skin as it increases sebum production and is bad for acne; leads to collagen breakdown; and can cause inflammation. Include whole grains, vegetables, beans, fruits and nuts in your diet to keep your blood sugar level in control.
Fiber-rich food is vital to good health as it keeps the blood sugar levels balanced. Fibers also play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut that supports the digestion process. Try to increase your daily fiber intake gradually by incorporating lentil, beans, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc.
Vitamins in adequate amounts are vital for proper functioning of your body. It’s best to get these essential nutrients from natural sources rather than from supplements. Raw vegetables and fruits are the best source.
Antioxidants need to be taken regularly as it helps in neutralizing free radicals that damage healthy cells. Tomatoes, berries, beans, grapes, apple, pecan, nuts and dark green vegetables are rich in antioxidant.
Healthy fats have a vital role in lowering bad cholesterol and boosting your immune system. Avocados, walnut, olive oil, flaxseed and nut butter are rich in healthy fats. Omega-3 fatty acids ensure the health of skin cell membranes, keeping them strong and elastic. Fish, flaxseed and walnuts are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Too much salt in your diet results in water retention in the skin, giving you a puffy and bloated look. Similarly drink alcohol in moderation as it dehydrates your body and also adds a big dose of sugar, which can increase inflammation. Puffy face, redness and broken capillaries are the visible skin signs of heavy alcohol consumption.
Balance is the keyword for diet. A restrictive diet can lead to serious health and skin conditions and not good for overall wellness. Try to include good nutrients in your day-to-day meals, including healthy choices. But don’t deprive yourself of all things you love, like a glass of wine or a slice of your favorite chocolate cake for dessert. The idea is to enjoy everything, but in moderation. The soul needs to be happy!
- Drink more water
Water is the naturally available magic potion for healthy body and skin. Water hydrates and nourishes every cell in the body and is vital to its proper functioning. The effect of drinking water is visible in your skin, hair, nails and overall health and wellness. Benefits of drinking adequate quantity of water includes:
- Increase in skin elasticity
- Boosts skin glow
- Combats skin conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis
- Important for nail health
- Promotes eye health by preventing dryness
- Flushes toxins out of body and makes skin clearer
- Enables you to exercise for longer period
- Aids digestion process
- Prevents bloating & ensures regular bowel movement
Drinking water is an essential part of good skin-care routine.
- Exercise and stay healthy
Exercise helps you stay fit and healthy, which is key to better skin health. Physical exercise releases hormones like endorphin that regulates cortisol (stress hormone), leading to reduced stress. High levels of cortisol in blood is responsible for production of acne-causing oil and inflammation. Exercise causes sweat that helps to flush out toxins and clears the skin. Make sure to have a bath after every exercise session.
Physical exercise improves the functioning of circulatory system – vital for transporting oxygen and nutrients to every cell and for removing toxic wastes from the body – leading to glowing skin. Regular exercise promotes better sleep, which again is good for skin health.
- Get your beauty sleep
There is a deep relation between sleep and beauty. Sleep deprivation is bad for your health and leads to premature skin aging. A few nights of missed sleep can result in dark circles around your eyes, pale dehydrated skin, saggy skin and hair loss. Sleep deprived people have high levels of cortisol, leading to more inflammation and skin conditions like Eczema & Psoriasis gets worse. When your body is deprived of sleep it doesn’t get a chance to restore itself, so the skin is not able to regenerate, renew or rejuvenate itself.
- Stress less
Stress is a major cause of many human diseases and health conditions. The effect of stress is visible on your skin in the form of acne, hives, rashes, hair thinning and skin conditions like rosacea & psoriasis that gets worse. Stress releases higher levels of cortisol in blood, leading to increased oil production, and may also damage the immune system. Stress suppresses production of hyaluronic acid that causes dry and dull skin. People under stress experience sleep disorder that causes skin problem. So, it’s vital to manage stress and relax by practicing meditation, breathing exercise, physical exercise and adopting other activities that makes you truly happy.
- Pamper yourself
Skin care is an important part of selfcare as it plays a vital role in holistic skin care. A beauty treatment like facial massage (done by self or by a professional), is relaxing as massage increases blood circulation in your face. Similarly, other skin care treatments like beauty masks, skin exfoliation or taking steam on face helps to make skin clear and smooth. They are different ways of pampering your skin.
When you pamper yourself with an essential oil massage/facial treatment at a spa, or with an at-home bubble bath/facial mask, you give a message to your body and mind to relax, which has health benefits. It helps to de-stress. The benefits of pampering your body includes, reduced anxiety, relaxation of tensed muscles, better sleep, lymphatic system functions better, reduced inflammation, and it triggers the release of hormones like serotonin and oxytocin that are responsible for good mood.
Pampering is a way to achieve mental wellbeing responsible for happiness and emotional wellbeing. All of which are important for healthy skin.
- Wear sun protection
Protect your skin from premature aging due to sun expose. The harmful rays of the sun cause skin problems like skin aging, sunspots, and melanoma or skin cancer in extreme cases. Wear sunscreen with SPF on exposed skin and cover your body with full-sleeved clothes whenever you go out in the sun. Your skin will thank you.
- Consult a dermatologist
Consult a dermatologist if you get skin breakouts, flares or conditions that persist for some time and refuse to go away. There could be an underlying health condition like allergy, digestive problems, vitamin or mineral deficiency, hormonal imbalance or other health problems. Such conditions need to be examined, diagnosed and treated by a medical expert.