Pregnancy is a miraculous experience as you bring another life into the world. At the same time, it causes a huge transformation in your body — including your skin. Learning how to care for your skin during pregnancy will help you feel happier and healthier.
Why Does Pregnancy Affect Your Skin?
Your skin is your largest and most sensitive organ, reacting to even minor hormonal changes. During pregnancy, when your body experiences significant hormonal shifts, it’s no surprise your skin may reflect the changes.
You may notice changes like acne breakouts, the appearance of melasma or dark patches and even the formation of stretch marks. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, especially if it’s your first time getting pregnant. However, keep in mind that these changes are to be expected.
4 Tips For Maintaining Healthy Skin During Pregnancy
It’s never too late to care for your skin, especially during this time. Check out these tips for keeping your skin clear and soft.
1. Build a Gentle Skincare Routine
Consistency is key and routines help you develop new habits that will benefit you in the long run. If you’re not used to a skincare routine, now is the best time to practice. You can do your routine at any time of day, but for best results, both mornings and evenings are recommended.
Building the right skincare routine might require some experimentation and trial and error. You should determine what skin type you have and then find products that are best suited for that type.
2. Drink Enough Water and Eat Well
Hydration during pregnancy is important for many reasons, including healthier skin. While it varies from person to person, most pregnant people should drink 8-12 cups of water a day.
You should also consume foods that are rich in antioxidants, like vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants are known for their anti-aging benefits, including improving skin health and appearance. Avoid sugary and processed foods when possible — they can cause acne breakouts and inflammation.
3. Choose the Right Products
Using the right products is often as important as maintaining a regular skincare routine. Look for products that contain ingredients like vitamin C, retinol and ceramides. Vitamin C encourages collagen production and equalizes uneven skin tone. Retinols can reduce wrinkles, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. Ceramides are lippy acids or fatty acids that keep skin cells firm and hydrated.
4. Practice Stress Management Techniques
Stress can cause breakouts and speed up the aging process that leads to wrinkles and fine lines. It’s essential to manage your stress with breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or other coping techniques that work for you.
Pregnant and Glowing
Taking care of your skin is a powerful act of self-care. Throughout this transition, make sure to appreciate everything your body is doing for you and your baby. You can manage hormonal changes and keep your skin looking clear and beautiful during your pregnancy with these skincare tips.
Cover photo by Lucas Mendes
Insert photo by Pixabay
Fragrances are in almost everything, including your skincare. Even if you opt for unscented items, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re without scents. Does that mean you need to opt out of nice-smelling products? The answer may vary depending on how sensitive your skin is and how interested you are in finding natural scents over synthetic ones.
What Does Fragrance Do?
Fragrance makes things smell nice and in some cases, it can neutralize ingredients that smell bad, so you’ll be more likely to use a product. Even some skincare is scented, whether naturally or artificially.
Forty-one percent of women in America use fragrances daily in some form, making it a huge market many people can’t see themselves living without. Some people even have signature scents that make you think of them. Others might opt for unscented products, believing they are the same as fragrance-free items.
There’s a major difference between the two terms you should know before your next purchase:
- Unscented means the product contains ingredients that neutralize the smell of other elements so it has no fragrance.
- Fragrance-free means there are no natural or synthetic fragrance materials in the product.
Why would someone opt for fragrance-free skincare, even over naturally scented products? They might have allergies to scents or have a skin reaction to the fragrances, whether synthetic or natural. Some sensitive skin might not be able to handle essential oils — another product made with natural fragrances.
The Science Behind Fragrance-Related Reactions
Unfortunately, not all fragrances are harmless for every person. Sometimes, even natural fragrances might make a person unwell. Synthetic fragrances are often the cause of contact dermatitis, which results in a painful rash or swollen hives in the area affected by the product. You can avoid future flare-ups by removing fragrances from your life. Try to pinpoint the cause of your contact dermatitis first — it could always be something else, like nickel.
Because many personal care products feature endocrine disruptors that can harm your health, you should learn the ingredients in your personal care products. Look out for potentially harmful components no matter what you use — especially in skincare and hair care products. Endocrine disruptions are known to mess with reproductive health and increase cancer risk.
Since synthetic fragrances could be harmful, you may opt for natural fragrances only. Certain flowers give off a lovely, natural scent you can smell all year long, like roses or lilies. You could even make your own perfume out of flowers from your garden using their petals and some water.
You can use certain essential oil scents to affect your mood, like how citrus can make you happier when you feel down. You have to find the right balance of fragrances that work for you. Before using essential oils, research the scent and whether it can be toxic to any four-legged family members.
Make the Choice That’s Right for You
Some people may rely on fragrance-free skincare, while others might like the scent of their favorite creams and body washes. It’s up to each individual to decide whether fragrance-free skincare is best for them, but you should also try both and see which affects you the least. You might be surprised at what you find out.
Cover Photo by Chermiti Mohamed
Insert Photo by Min An
How to Improve Blood Circulation for Healthy Glowing Skin
Every organ needs continual blood flow to function. You might not think of your skin as an organ, but it is. If your veins struggle to transport blood, you could experience symptoms like dry skin, a paler countenance, or rashes. Use these tips to improve your blood circulation and enjoy healthy skin that glows.
1. Exercise More Often
When you need to jog a short distance, you likely experience a flushed face and shortness of breath. The movement forces your heart to pump faster and send more blood through your veins.
Exercising regularly improves blood flow by strengthening the heart muscles that operate every minute of the day. If you do light to moderate cardio exercises, your heart will pump blood more easily when resting. Your body will function more efficiently, including your skin.
2. Give Yourself Massages
The lymphatic system clears toxins from the body by draining waste from your cells. It may not do this as efficiently when you have poor circulation, though. Massaging your skin stimulates the lymphatic system, like recharging a battery.
Give yourself daily massages or visit the spa frequently to engage this natural system that results in glowing skin.
3. Drink More Water
Iced coffee and bubbly sodas taste great, but they don’t do much for your skin’s health. Even though both have water, they aren’t as hydrating as water by itself. Drinking more water hydrates your body, allowing thinner blood to travel through veins more easily than when you drink mostly sodas, coffee, or other beverages.
Consider carrying a water bottle throughout your day so it’s always accessible, and you may notice your skin improving within days.
4. Quit Any Smoking Habits
Smoking introduces chemicals directly into your bloodstream. The toxic mix from cigarettes contains over 7,000 chemicals that pollute your blood after transferring through your lungs. The blood then carries less oxygen to your organs, leading to vessel and heart damage.
You might think vaping is a better option, but recent research proves otherwise. When researchers studied participants who smoked nicotine-free e-cigarettes, they noted a 17.5% blood flow reduction due to the chemicals affecting blood vessel lining.
Instead of smoking to reduce your anxiety, you could eat healthier foods to support your brain health and maintain improved mental wellness. Other stress-relieving habits like exercising, journaling, and meditating could supplement your new routine so you experience healthier skin and inner peace.
5. Get More Omega-3s
Fatty acids, also known as omega-3s, are great for your blood circulation in moderation. They come from foods like salmon, tuna, some seeds, and canola oil. When you ingest it, the fatty acids lower your blood pressure, among other health benefits. Lower blood pressure allows your arteries to open more easily, promoting better circulation.
Talk with your doctor if you believe adding omega-3s to your diet could help your skin. They’ll know how to balance it with your medical history if it’s a sustainable option for your health.
Achieve Healthier, Glowing Skin
Moisturizing and washing your face aren’t the only ways to achieve better skin. You can also improve your blood circulation with these tips. You may find that you have a healthier, more glowing appearance by making these slight adjustments to your daily routine.
Inset photo by Mateus Souza
Cover Photo by Nathan Cowley
Organs couldn’t function without each other, and your skin is no different. It relies on your entire wellness to thrive, but many people don’t realize how essential it is to have a comprehensive skincare routine. Read more about the importance your liver has on your skin’s health to better understand how to improve and maintain your appearance.
1. It Processes Everything
Your liver’s primary function is to remove toxins in your blood and process them into bile. Afterward, the blood that exits your liver is clean and ready to support your health.
Your liver also regulates your thyroid hormone production, which can clear your skin or cause breakouts. Although you might not always think of your skin as an organ, it’s intricately connected with your liver.
Everything you eat and drink contains nutrients, ingredients, and chemicals that will pass through your liver. When it can’t process everything, the rest of your body doesn’t function properly because your bloodstream is polluted. Having less-clean blood and oxygen means you’ll have poorly performing skin cells.
You can easily support your liver and skin health by drinking more water. Beverages with water and no added ingredients are easiest on your liver because they provide liquid with little need for processing. You’ll flush toxins out and prevent them from affecting your skin.
2. It Banishes Toxins
As toxins build up in your bloodstream, your body will expel them in other ways if your liver can’t handle them. That includes processing the toxins through your sweat glands. The sweat will be more toxic than usual, leading to skin irritations and potential acne.
Revamping your diet is an excellent way to strengthen your liver. Try adding more whole foods free of processed ingredients and you’ll have an anti-inflammatory diet. This type of diet typically includes many foods high in antioxidants, which may reverse liver damage caused by poor diets.
Every unhealthy food you swap with fruits, veggies, or another healthy alternative will support your skin health. Look for options that lack artificial ingredients or sweeteners to get started. A nutritionist can always assist with your dietary needs while you’re figuring out what works with your lifestyle.
3. It Breaks Down Fats
You might not think of fat as a toxin, but it’s another nutrient your liver expertly breaks down. It comes from foods and drinks, so your body will have more of it on some days than others. When your liver is too inefficient, the fat remains in your bloodstream. Sebaceous glands will try to expel the fats to clear your bloodstream, which often results in more oily skin and clogged pores.
While protecting your pores by ingesting better foods and drinks, you should also protect them from outside factors. Applying sunscreen each morning is an excellent way to shield yourself from ultraviolet (UV) rays, even on cloudy days. When inner or outer factors don’t damage your cells, your skin will thrive.
4. Revitalize Your Skincare Routine
Your liver health directly affects your skin, so take control of your health and appearance with these tips. They’re easy to work into any routine, even if you’re always busy. Eating healthier and drinking more water could be the secret to the gorgeous skin you’ve been working to achieve.
Cover Photo by Guilherme Almeida
Insert photo by Badulescu Badulescu
Whether you have a dry skin type frequently or it’s a new development as the seasons change, keeping your skin moisturized can save you a lot of irritation while improving confidence in your appearance. Fortunately, there are dozens of remedies to treat dry skin, and most of them require little change to your normal regimen.
Before you head to your dermatologist or the skin care section of your local drugstore, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to naturally attract and retain moisture in your skin.
1. Drink More Water
Our first tip is the most obvious — keep your moisture levels up by increasing your water intake. Most people don’t drink enough water throughout their day, and your skin may be paying for it. If you want to decrease your risk of dehydration:
- Find a good water bottle: Keeping a water bottle on hand ensures you can sip on it any time you feel thirsty. Find a reusable bottle you love and decorate it so you never want it to leave your side.
- Make your water fun to drink: Don’t like drinking normal water? Any water is better than none. Try drinking more sparkling water or water infused with fruit to add extra flavor.
- Cut your caffeine intake: Caffeine can dehydrate you. If you drink a lot of coffee or other high-caffeine drinks, you may be lowering the moisture levels in your body, even if you drink enough water. Try substituting coffee with herbal and low-caffeine teas.
2. Use Moisturizers and Sunscreen
If you think about your skin’s moisture, you likely already use a moisturizer regularly. But what about sunscreen? When applied after moisturizer, sunscreen creates a barrier that retains water inside and prevents UV rays from damaging skin and further affecting your natural moisture barrier.
Follow these moisturizer and sunscreen tips:
- Apply directly after bathing: Swimming, showering, washing your hands and other water-based activities deliver moisture right to your skin. Make sure it stays there by applying your skin care products as soon as possible after you’re finished.
- Reapply often: Sunscreen in particular has a limited life span. If you’re going to be outside for a while, reapply it every two hours or more often if you’re swimming.
- Look for humectants, sealants and emollients: When deciding which sunscreen and moisturizers to use, look for ones with humectants, which attract moisture, sealants to keep moisture close to the skin, and emollients that fill the space between skin cells to prevent water from escaping.
3. Eat More Seafood
Lobster, sardines, oysters and other delicious tastes of the sea — a decadent, tropical meal can be more than a good time for your mouth. Seafood is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can give your skin that radiant glow you love while protecting it from free radicals, like UV rays and smog. It’s also a good source of fish oil, which can prevent or ease acne breakouts.
Certain types of seafood are high in other minerals, too. Salmon is packed with vitamin A, while tuna can boost your vitamin D levels. These nutrients improve wellness from the inside out, enhancing bodily functions for all organs, skin included.
4. Avoid Dry Air and Irritants
Sometimes, the reason your skin is dry may have more to do with your environment than your skin type. If your moisturizing measures aren’t working as well as you’d hoped, it may be time to consider external factors.
First, equip your home and workspace with a humidifier. Humidifiers give your skin a constant boost of quality air to fortify its barriers. Then, explore whether you may be unknowingly exposing yourself to other irritants.
Irritants can range from uncomfortable textures to personal allergens. Common irritants include fragrance products, wool and textured fabrics, soaps, detergents and plants.
Start Experimenting Today
As you can see, there are several methods for moisturizing your skin and bettering that natural glow. Try them one by one to discover which works best, or incorporate them all into your daily routine to experience better wellness overall.
Cover Photo by Shiny Diamond:
Insert Photo by Julia Zolotova:
We love summer for its warm temperatures and bright skies, but nobody enjoys getting sunburned. The redness, irritation and lingering itchiness can ruin an otherwise pleasant day. Wearing the right sunscreen is essential to be comfortable and safe in sunny weather. Here are five tips for picking a good sunscreen so you can spend more time outside this summer and ban the burn.
Know the Science Behind Sunburn
Understanding sunburn is the first step to knowing how sunscreen works. Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause skin to burn and age, leading scientists to categorize two ultraviolet ray types: UVB for burning and UVA for aging. Overexposure to UV rays initiates a reaction in our DNA that deteriorates the skin and can lead to many medical problems:
- Inflamed corneas
- Impaired vision
- Liver spots
- Actinic keratosis
- Solar elastosis
- Skin cancer
Despite these health risks, UV light is a good thing in moderation. About 15 minutes of daily sun exposure can bring some impressive benefits:
- Higher levels of vitamin D
- Stronger bones
- Better sleep
- Lower stress levels
- Strengthened immune system
Sunburn is your body’s first warning that you’ve spent too much time outside without sufficient protection. The UVB rays have already penetrated your skin, so you need to find a reliable sunscreen before the UVA rays do more severe damage.
Look for Broad-Spectrum Protection
Look for sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. They meet more rigorous FDA requirements and protect the wearer from UVB and UVA rays. Non-broad spectrum products only guard the skin against sunburn, but not against skin cancer, aging or other long-term health issues.
Only Buy Sunscreens SPF 30 or Higher
Make sure your sunscreen has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. SPF is the number that represents the level of protection. Higher SPF numbers are the best, but the difference between 30 and 100 is negligible. SPF 30 sunscreens block 97% of UV rays, while SPF 100 blocks about 99%.
However, anything lower than SPF 15 marks a significant drop-off in quality. It filters out 93% of UVB rays but doesn’t block UVA rays, making it ineligible for broad-spectrum protection. Search only for SPF 30 sunscreens or higher.
Try Physical and Chemical Sunscreens
A sunscreen falls under two categories based on its ingredients: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that stay on the skin’s surface and create a protective shield. Chemical sunscreens contain organic carbon-based substances that absorb into the skin, capture UV rays and release them in the form of heat.
Both sunscreens have notable advantages and disadvantages. Physical sunscreen lasts longer under direct sunlight and is better for sensitive acne-prone skin. Chemical sunscreen doesn’t last as long, but it’s also more water-resistant and versatile, as cosmetic companies often include it in makeup and moisturizers.
Dermatologists recommend you use a mixture of both types if you plan on staying outdoors for a long time, putting a layer of physical sunscreen over a chemical one.
Check for Water Resistance
No sunscreen is 100% water-resistant, but most products last between 40 and 80 minutes under exposure to water or sweat. Check the front label for a timeframe and lean toward the 80-minute products. These sunscreens usually have broad-spectrum protection and a high SPF, checking all three important boxes.
Still, you should reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours or even more frequently if you’re swimming and sweating a lot. Don’t expect to get 80 minutes of water resistance every time you put on a new coat.
Have Fun in the Sun This Summer
Don’t let your fear of sunburn hold you back this summer. Getting the right sunscreen and applying it responsibly will shield you from those harmful UVA and UVB rays, allowing you to have more fun in the sun. Keep these five tips in mind during your search to find a reliable product and get the most out of summer.
Cover Photo by Mikhail Nilov
Inside Photo by Kindel Media
Summertime means fun in the sun— and dehydrating more quickly. When your body becomes a desert, it wreaks havoc on every organ, including your skin.
What can you do to ensure you don’t end up looking parched? Here’s how to hydrate yourself for good skin.
1. Switch Up Your Morning Brew
Have you ever noticed how coffee gets you going — in more ways than one? That’s because caffeine serves as a diuretic, helping rid your body of excess water. The problem is that it can also dehydrate you more quickly. Fortunately, an easy fix benefits your overall health: switch one or more java cups for green tea, containing only a third of this go-juice ingredient.
Swapping a coffee for green tea could reduce the jitters you feel from too much caffeine because it contains theobromine to mitigate the effects. Green tea also contains polyphenols that do everything from safeguarding your tooth enamel against bacteria to protecting your heart and brain from inflammation.
Finally, green tea might help shed those last few pesky summer pounds. It contains EGCG, a potent antioxidant that reduces the amount of adipose tissue or fat your body retains.
2. Find a Bottle That You Love
The bottom line? You aren’t a camel — you can’t store hydration. You need to sip throughout the day to maintain proper levels. How can you make it easier?
Find a water bottle that you adore. Is it crazy to drop more than $50 on such a device? It’s not if you live in a hot climate — or, you know, experience summer — and you appreciate a frosty brew. Some of these gadgets guarantee to keep ice in your drink for up to 24 hours, while others provide snazzy features like built-in Bluetooth speakers for jamming out poolside.
Once you find your dream reusable water bottle, personalize that puppy. Go crazy with stickers, be as loud and political as you like and express yourself. It might sound silly, but you’ll be more likely to sip up if you adore your vessel.
3. Set Reminders
You probably take your cellphone with you everywhere you go. Why not use it to stay hydrated?
You can find oodles of reminder apps, many of them for free. However, there’s probably nothing wrong with the alarm your phone came with pre-installed. When you hear the beep, you take a sip.
4. Add Fruit and Flavor
Plain water leaves a bit to be desired in the flavor department. It might be healthier than cola and sports drinks, but it pales in comparison when it comes to taste.
Fortunately, you can make your brew tastier the healthy way. How? Soak fruit in your pitcher or refrigerator water cooler. Water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and various B-vitamins infuse your mixture while adding flavor, all without a single extra calorie. If it’s still not sweet enough for you, a few drops of monk fruit transforms it into a fruity ade even your kids will adore.
5. Make It Sparkle
It might sound crazy if this symptom doesn’t affect you — but some people feel physically ill from drinking flatwater. The problem isn’t bacteria in the brew but the lack of carbonation that leaves them feeling queasy.
Researchers have found that drinking Coca Cola helps some people with trouble moving food through their digestive system. They hypothesize that the beverage’s natural pH resembles the gastric acid required for fiber digestion.
However, soda is high in calories and sugar, and many folks cast aspersions on artificial sweetener safety despite FDA reassurances. The answer? Carbonate your water. All it takes is a Sodastream or similar device to add stomach-soothing bubbles that will encourage you to sip more frequently.
Hydrate Yourself for Good Skin
Summertime heat and sun can dehydrate you quickly. Too little water stresses your organs — including your skin.
Follow the above tips to hydrate yourself for good skin. You’ll enjoy a rosier complexion all summer long.
Cover photo by Arnie Watkins (Pexels)
Interior photos by Mareefe and Charlotte May (Pexels)
5 Skin Health Benefits of Seeing a Dermatologist Regularly
Visiting your dermatologist may be the last thing on your mind, especially with your busy schedule. However, seeing a skincare expert is necessary for your health. Your skin is the largest organ, and it’s imperative it’s in good working order.
For instance, skin can regulate your body’s temperature, fight off bacteria, and protect you from other elements. It’s your body’s way of defending you to ensure you don’t become ill. Yet, as complex as this part of your body may be, it is also susceptible to many conditions.
Some issues may be cosmetic while others may cause physical discomfort. In addition, over 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer each day. If you’re experiencing skin problems, you should consider scheduling your annual appointment. Here’s why.
1. You Get a Knowledgeable Expert
Dermatologists have extensive education in their field. They are medical doctors specializing in skin, hair, and nail conditions. Upon completing medical school and an internship, they receive additional training at a residency.
Seeing a dermatologist is beneficial to your skin’s health since they can diagnose and treat over 3,000 skin diseases – even hair, nails, and cosmetic issues. These doctors typically work more than 40 hours per week, treating various skin conditions from eczema to hair loss, melanoma, acne, and more.
Some dermatologists will even specialize in cosmetics, surgery, and pediatrics. Either way, a dermatologist can offer treatment options and skincare advice to keep you at your healthiest.
2. You Can Receive a Total Skin Evaluation
A dermatologist is thorough in a skin evaluation, checking you from head to toe. They may look for moles and check if any changes have occurred in size, shape, and color. Furthermore, they’ll evaluate your hair and nails to identify what could be causing your medical condition.
Once they make a diagnosis, they can offer you treatment options. Then, you get to determine whether you’d like to pursue further treatment based on your information.
3. They Offer Various Cosmetic Procedures
Dermatologists can offer certain types of cosmetic procedures. For example, your doctor can administer Botox injections to plump your skin and help you appear younger.
Skin doctors also provide chemical peels, which remove dead skin and rejuvenate your entire face. You may also have the option to sculpt your body, making it slimmer and inducing self-confidence.
With a wide range of services available, you can choose the most appealing options.
4. Get Clearer Skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 15% of women in the U.S. struggle with acne.
Acne and scarring, especially as an adult, can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Maybe you have pimples that cause pain or stubborn acne that doesn’t disappear. A dermatologist can treat your acne with a professional, tailored regimen and speed up your healing process.
Additionally, skin doctors take care of scarring by minimizing their appearance, helping you look more presentable. Meanwhile, dermatologists can assist if you have dry, irritated, or itchy skin patches. Seeing a dermatologist can offer you much relief when you feel uncomfortable all day.
5. Prevent and Treat Skin Cancer
One of the essential roles of a dermatologist is screening you for cancer, preventing it, and treating it immediately. Some skin cancers start as small lesions, but doctors can easily remove them. Meanwhile, others grow and spread quickly throughout your body, leading to cancer. In some cases, it can turn into a terminal illness.
During your exam, the doctor will look for moles and lesions that could be concerning. Then, they’ll determine which treatments are necessary.
Live Well by Caring for Your Skin
While there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies, they may not be the most effective treatment for you. If your skin makes you uncomfortable or concerned about certain conditions, see a dermatologist right away. Skin doctors can provide expert advice and help you solve issues to live your best life.
Cover Photo by Anna Shvets: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-young-face-clinic-4586709/
April showers might bring May flowers, but they can also bring acne! As the weather grows warmer, your skin will likely get shinier and more oily. Dry, cracked hands will become a thing of the past and, soon, you might spy a few pimples on your face, back, and chest.
Luckily, there are ways to soothe your skin and nix acne before it turns into a full-blown breakout – and they all start from within. Rethink your diet and eat foods that reduce acne, not encourage it. Here are just a few to add to your grocery list this spring.
Nutty, crunchy, and oh-so-tasty, walnuts are great for overall health and wellness. On top of providing your body with fiber, energy, and protein, walnuts also offer omega-3 fatty acids and a good deal of vitamin B. These essential nutrients are responsible for boosting skin health and can minimize fine lines and wrinkles as you age. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt to taste.
Acne is an inflammatory disease at its core, so eating foods that fight chronic inflammation is a great way to prevent breakouts and keep your skin smooth. Luckily, most berries contain antioxidants, which reduce inflammation, free radicals, and oxidative stress. Add a handful to salads, smoothies, or yogurt parfaits to reap the benefits. You can even eat them by the handful if you’re in need of a light and refreshing snack.
Speaking of yogurt, Greek varieties are highly effective at fighting acne. These yogurts contain live, active bacteria cultures called probiotics, which improve gut health and reduce inflammation. Greek yogurt also goes under a fermentation process that decreases the levels of growth factors in milk, making it a safe and healthy option for people with lactose intolerance.
Many processed foods contain unhealthy fats, including full-fat dairy products, take-out, and baked goods. Eat too much of one or another, and you may end up with oily skin or breakouts. That’s why it’s best to fill up on foods like salmon, which contain healthy fats called omega-3s. These nutrients reduce inflammation and improve acne symptoms. They’re even good for your teeth and can prevent periodontal disease as you age.
Like berries, spinach is high in antioxidants and can add an acne-fighting boost to practically any diet. This leafy green is easy to incorporate into salads, smoothies, omelets, and even muffins if you chop it into tiny pieces. Spinach also contains vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin E, all of which aid in reducing inflammation and warding off breakouts.
6. Navy Beans
People with irritable bowel syndrome or sensitive stomachs might want to avoid eating legumes. However, if your tummy can handle beans, adding navy beans to your diet could dramatically improve your skin. Navy beans contain copper, a nutrient that helps you produce collagen to improve skin strength and elasticity. Eating one cup will provide nearly one-fifth of your daily copper intake. Enjoy a serving or two for faster and more effective results.
7. Chia Seeds
Chi-chi-chi-chia! Did you know you can use chia seeds for more than growing chia pets? The small but mighty seeds have become a superfood in recent years thanks to their ability to keep you feeling fuller longer. However, they’re also a good source of omega-3s, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, all of which promote a clear complexion and glowing skin. Make chia pudding with the seeds and some milk or add a tablespoon to yogurt parfaits, smoothies, and baked goods to reap the benefits.
Adopting an Anti-Acne Diet
You know what they say. You are what you eat! If your diet mainly consists of greasy, oily foods, your skin will likely exhibit the same qualities. However, if you fill up on fresh, bright, and crisp foods, you’re more likely to experience flawless skin – or at least fewer breakouts and blemishes.
Adopt an anti-acne diet by slowly incorporating the above products into your meals. Soon, adding a bunch of spinach or a scoop of yogurt to your plate will become second nature, and you’ll have glowing skin to show for it.
Cover Photo: ROMAN ODINTSOV
Inside photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich
4 Tips to Protect Your Skin in the Spring
Did you know that your skin care routine should change with the seasons? As harsh winter weather subsides and spring approaches, sunlight, warmer temperatures and humidity will dramatically affect your skin. Here’s how to protect it so you’re ready to welcome brighter days, whatever they may bring.
1. Look for Lighter Formulas
Frosty winds and freezing temperatures can do a number on your skin, especially your hands and face. Whether you spend most of your time indoors or often brave the biting cold, dryness, flaking, itching, cracking and scaly skin can happen to anyone.
That’s why so many people use heavy creams and moisturizers during the winter. Your skin is typically oilier in the spring, which means you can get away with using lighter formulas. You might even use ones that purposely dry out your skin to fight acne, improve skin tone and minimize fine lines.
2. Use Exfoliating Scrubs
Dry indoor heat and heavy moisturizers can leave skin patchy and dull. When brighter days are in the forecast, it’s time to revitalize and restore its warm glow. Slough off dead skin with an exfoliating scrub. Avoid plastic microbeads and opt for natural ones with granulated pumice, Epsom salt and even coffee grounds.
You can even make your own with ingredients you have at home. Use your hands to apply scrubs to your face and a loofah to exfoliate the rest of your body. Gently massage your skin to improve circulation and bring some color to your cheeks.
3. Add a Layer of SPF
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is responsible for 86%-90% of skin cancers. That’s why it’s so important to protect your skin, even in the springtime. Save yourself the trouble of burns, blisters and sun spots by layering on broad-spectrum sunscreen before heading out the door.
Apply products with an SPF of 15 to 30 for the face and 30 to 50 for the rest of your body. Pick moisturizing ones that block UV rays while nourishing your skin.
4. Cover up Outdoors
Are you sensitive to chemical sunscreens? What you need is a wardrobe update. Add jackets, shawls and wide-brimmed hats to your repertoire and protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Many outdoor companies also carry clothing that promotes an ultraviolet protection factor. These stylish yet effective garments block ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B rays, just like broad-spectrum sunscreens. Stock up on these wardrobe staples before spring arrives to keep your skin safe.
Knowing Your Skin Type
Your skin care regimen might differ from your friends’. In fact, it probably should. Everyone has a different skin type that reacts to each season in its own way. Whether yours is dry, oily or somewhere in between, there’s a product and regimen that’s right for you.
It might take some trial and error, but once you understand the skin you’re in, purchasing products that are tailored to your skin type and goals should be a breeze. Stick with what works and keep an eye on the weather. You never know when you might have to switch things up again.
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Taking vitamins and nutrients can keep your skin looking beautiful. You probably have multiple steps to your skincare routine, so why not add one more? Incorporate these essential vitamins and nutrients into your daily regime.
7 Most Important Vitamins and Nutrients for Healthy Skin
Having healthy skin makes you look and feel good. Washing your face regularly is one way to maintain clear skin, but vitamins are also useful. Here are 7 essential vitamins and nutrients to add to your skincare routine.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced when your skin absorbs sunlight. That’s why it’s important to get outside at least once a day. Vitamin D can help with skin cell growth and repair and improve your metabolism. It can increase your skin’s immune system and reduce inflammation.
There are products containing this vitamin that help with psoriasis. To get Vitamin D naturally, eat foods containing this vitamin, such as salmon or tuna fish. Try to get at least 600 IU’s of Vitamin D daily.
- Vitamin C
This vitamin is found in the outer and inner layers of your skin. It produces collagen which plays a role in skin elasticity. Vitamin C also decreases cell damage, heals wounds, and prevents wrinkles.
Plus, it can lighten your skin and make it appear more radiant. To get Vitamin C you can find over-the-counter products and dietary supplements. Another idea is eating citrus or plant-based foods, such as oranges or strawberries.
- Vitamin E
This antioxidant helps to protect against sun damage by absorbing harmful UV light. This then prevents dark spots and wrinkles. Vitamin E is produced through an oily substance emitted by your skin’s pores. This substance keeps your skin conditioned reducing dryness. You want to get at least 15 mg a day of Vitamin E.
You can do this by taking supplements or using a topical cream. If you take any medications, talk doctor about drug interactions. For example, Vitamin E may interfere with some cholesterol-lowering medications.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K helps aid in the process of blood clotting. They can also help with certain skin conditions, such as stretch marks, spider veins or dark spots. This vitamin can be found in multiple topical creams, including Aroma Naturals products. Doctors use these creams for people undergoing surgery to reduce swelling and bruising. Along with medication, you can eat foods rich in Vitamin K, like kale or spinach.
The protein you eat turns into amino acids which are the building blocks for your cells. They’re also used to make important proteins, such as collagen, which form the structure of your skin. Some amino acids protect your skin against UV rays or heal and repair damaged tissue.
To get more protein, consider eating more meat, such as beef or chicken. You can also make simple swaps such as eggs or yogurt for cereal. Another tip is to include a source of protein with every meal.
Here is some food containing protein to add to your plate:
- Lean meats
- Seeds and nuts
- Beans and lentils
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A prevents sun damage by interrupting the process of collagen breakdown. It may also protect you from sunburn, help your oil glands, and heal scrapes and cuts. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A is 900 mcg RAE for men and 700 mcg RAE for women. To increase your daily intake, take supplements or eat leafy green vegetables.
Calcium can strengthen your bones and prevent serious injury. It can even rejuvenate your skin, by regulating cell turnover. Calcium improves your skin’s barrier by keeping out pathogens and locking in moisture. So, if you have dry skin, this nutrient is beneficial.
You need at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day. One easy way to obtain this goal is by drinking milk. You can also eat other dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt. Another idea is taking dietary supplements, like calcium carbonate or calcium citrate. Keep in mind calcium carbonate should be taken with food.
There are so many ways that you can improve your skin and your skin care, from the inside out. Whether you have a great routine in place already or you’re simply curious about what other aspects of your lifestyle can benefit your beauty routine, you might be surprised to learn that probiotics can be fantastic for the skin. Even though probiotics are available in topical form, you can find plenty of fantastic probiotics to take orally that can benefit your entire body, in addition to your skin.
Here are some of the benefits that you might find when you take probiotics.
Improving Your Moisture Barrier
Your moisture barrier is one of the most important things when it comes to protecting your skin from damage, debris, and everything outside of your skin’s ecosystem. Not only does the moisture barrier offer protection, but it also helps to keep the skin hydrated by preventing transepidermal water loss.
By taking probiotics or even applying certain probiotic serums and extracts topically, you can strengthen the moisture barrier for better protection.
Balancing the Good Bacteria
Just like any other part of your body, your skin has the ability to balance good and bad bacteria in order to create the best environment for your face. Probiotics introduce bacteria into your system, but instead of harmful bacteria, it’s good bacteria. This can offer protection and improve your skin’s appearance and even the health of your skin.
By offering a bit of extra protection and balance, probiotics have shown the ability to reduce the severity of allergies and eczema. Although it’s obviously different for everybody, you can try taking or applying different forms of probiotics to see which ones work for you in conjunction with your usual allergy and eczema treatments.
As a result of offering a bit of extra protection and by balancing some of the good and bad bacteria, probiotics have the power to reduce skin sensitivity and irritation. Specifically, those who have especially dry or oily skin can benefit a lot from taking probiotics, as they can help to bring a little bit more balance to the moisture, which helps clear acne, discoloration, and other skin concerns.
Although this one can go hand-in-hand with acne, it can also be true for many other skin concerns. If you tend to experience a lot of irritation and sensitivity, taking probiotics can be extremely soothing to the skin. Probiotics can help to reduce inflammation, acne, and even rosacea, all of which tend to come in cycles or as a part of a pattern.
Improving Gut Health
At the root of all of this, one of the most important things to consider is the benefit that probiotics bring to your gut health, and therefore your skin. Even though your gut health might seem unrelated to your appearance, there is actually a very strong connection between your gut health and the health of the rest of your body, which includes your skin. When you improve your gut health, you make the space for the rest of your body to balance in accordance with it.
Probiotics and the Skin
There are plenty of reasons to take probiotics, and improving the health of your skin is just one of them. By taking probiotics, you can improve your gut health, reduce inflammation, and introduce plenty of other benefits into the body’s systems, which happen to all be connected. From protecting the moisture barrier to clearing up acne and eczema, there are so many reasons why you might want to look into taking a probiotic for the health of your skin. Do you already take a probiotic, or are you simply looking into it?
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