A woman’s complexion is linked with her feelings of self-confidence and it’s the “face” she shows to the world. It’s no wonder women spend so much money on beauty products and make-up that promise ageless skin. But like the old adage reminds us, beauty is not just skin deep.
Women “in the know” understand that they must look beyond the surface if they want to enjoy beautiful, healthy skin. The anatomy of skin is linked to all our major functions – immune, respiratory, circulatory, lymph and neurotransmitter systems. In a nutshell, this means that improving your health will ultimately improve your skin.
Here are five keys to unlocking your most beautiful skin … and not one of them involves spending a penny on expensive lotions, creams or serums!
- If you smoke, stop!
Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which displaces the oxygen in your skin, and nicotine, which reduces blood flow, leaving skin dry and discolored. Cigarette smoking also depletes many nutrients, including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage.
- Stress Less
When you live in a chronic state of stress, you are constantly producing the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for weight gain, high blood pressure and collagen breakdown, among other things. This makes it harder for the skin to repair itself naturally, continue to form healthy collagen and elastin, and deal with damage. You can decrease your levels of cortisol and reverse this damage by getting lots of restful sleep and exercise.
- Gulp Green
Japanese women, who are known for their radiant skin, drink a lot of green tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that naturally protects the skin from UV rays – which is one of the main cause of wrinkles and pigmentation.
- Add Antioxidants
Pile on antioxidant-rich foods, such as colorful veggies, berries and fruits. Also eat omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish, flax and chia seeds, walnuts and dark leafy greens.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid to the Rescue
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is the ‘mother’ of all antioxidants because it activates your body’s free radical defense systems, which are up to 1,000 times more powerful than a normal antioxidant. In other words, ALA benefits skin cells from the inside out, where most of the free radical damage occurs in the first place. Oral supplementation of ALA is key for improved cellular health that is reflected in your overall well-being, and ultimately skin quality. Again, Japanese women are ahead of the curve as these supplements are featured in the skin care section of top department stores in Japan. Now, ALA is widely available here in the United States, too. Here, wise women are taking a page from Japanese women’s skin care rule book, which advocates skin care beauty from the inside out.