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Article: The holistic approach to skincare; beauty from the inside out

The holistic approach to skincare; beauty from the inside out

Holistic health is about healing a person in mind, body, spirit and emotion. It’s not as simple as buying ‘organic’ and products with healthy-sounding ingredients on the labels.

Holistic health practitioners believe that every part of our bodies is connected. Ayurvedic practices are a good example of holistic healthcare, and they’re often recommended along with natural products, exercise, emotional work and removing problematic things from your life. Health is not just a pill or a treatment; it’s making every aspect of your life health-giving. So how does all this affect your skincare routine?

Holistic skincare

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It plays a vital role, keeping bad things out (like viruses) and good things in (such as moisture). But like any other organ in your body, it’s affected by the climate, hormones, diet and exercise. This is why a holistic view of skincare is important; skin doesn’t operate separately from the rest of the body and putting creams on the exterior only does so much.

  1. Eat nourishing foods

What we eat plays a huge part in our appearance. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, your skin will glow. This means lots of vegetables for nutrients and fibre. As a bonus, fruit and vegetables also contain antioxidants to help neutralise the free radicals that cause skin ageing.

  1. Drink loads of water

Aim for two litres a day. This helps to keep your skin and body functioning correctly and to provide moisture to your skin from within. If you’re not a big water- drinker, try it for a few weeks and you’ll see a difference in your skin, as well as your general health.

  1. Exercise

Going for a walk, dancing, running, weights - it doesn’t matter how you do it, exercise is seriously good for you. It releases endorphins that make you feel good. It helps to reduce cortisol, the hormone that is released when you are stressed. And the increased blood flow improves circulation, providing oxygen and nutrients to the skin.

  1. Get your beauty sleep

Sleep helps us in a range of ways. It’s when your body works on restoration and renewal, so when we don’t get enough, our skin shows it. Dark circles, saggy and grey-toned skin are all caused by lack of sleep.

  1. Remove bad things from our lives

Ditch the dairy: Several studies have correlated acne and dairy. If you suffer from breakouts, try cutting out dairy for a few months and see if that helps. Calcium is easily available in leafy green vegetables, so don’t panic about missing out on minerals.

Alcohol is not good for your skin: In dries it out, causes premature ageing, stops you from sleeping well and can lead to vitamin deficiencies. Not only that, it’s packed full of calories. Cut out the booze for an easy step towards great skin. Try replacing it with soda water, aloe vera juice, green tea, coconut water or kombucha.

Stop smoking (and vaping): You know that smoking dries out your skin and gives you wrinkles. You know it slows healing and cell renewal. You know it’s not good for you, so just stop it. Replace it with yoga or kale or some other wholesome activity, like reading bedtime stories to orphaned kittens.

  1. Ditch the stress

Easier said than done, because it’s not possible to leave the kids with their grandparents and quit your job to run away with the circus. But there are ways to manage the situation better. Sleep, exercise and a great diet help. Some people try meditation, breathing exercises or boxing the living daylights out of a punching bag. Find something that works for you. If you want to try meditation, the free app Calm is a good place to start.

  1. Pamper yourself

Taking some time out for a facial mask helps to lower stress and make you feel beautiful. Both are part of the holistic approach to skin health. Natural ingredients -  like avocado, honey, yoghurt or papaya - are a great way to get a cost-effective, healthy facial mask that also makes you look great.

  1. Protect yourself against skin damage

As well as repairing the problems we already have, it’s vital to be proactive about reducing future skin damage. Wear sunscreen every day. Sun damage not only causes wrinkles, but also skin cancer. Wear a hat when you’re in the sun and use SPF 30+ sunscreen every day.

  1. Read the labels on your skin products

Keep an eye on what you’re slathering on your skin. There are a number of known endocrine-disrupting chemicals being used in skincare; you need to avoid them, as well as synthetic fragrances. A quick scan of the labels on your skin products will help you identify the things you should be ditching.

Skincare is more than skin deep

Holistic skincare is about treating external skin with nutrients and healthy natural ingredients that nourish and heal. But it’s also about the other factors that affect your skin, like eating well, exercising, removing items from your life that are harmful to the skin and meditation to calm the mind. Taking a holistic approach to skincare gives you the clear, fresh skin you want, in a common-sense, healthy way.

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