Here are 10 common mistakes to avoid to have beautiful skin and keep your skin healthy.
1. Trying to hydrate with sodas or energy drinks. How these drinks age your body and why avoiding them will keep your skin healthy: As the years go by our bodies literally dry up from the inside out. Our skin just can’t continue to retain moisture like it used to back in the day when we were plump infants with juicy flesh that stored water like desert succulents. Diet sodas and energy drinks may quench your thirst on the spot but they don’t hydrate your system and help have beautiful skin in the long run like good old H2O does! Why? Because they are jam packed with artificial flavors, sugars, chemical preservatives and acidifying agents that can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, tooth decay, organ stress and lowered immune system. What you can do to make a change: DRINK WATER, DRINK WATER, DRINK WATER. Drinking water is the true fountain of youth! It is all your body needs to stay hydrated and the easiest way to have beautiful skin. How much water should you drink? A good rule of thumb is to drink between 64 ounces and 0.67% of your body weight per day. For example, if your body weight is 150 pounds, then you need to drink anywhere between 64 ounces and 100 ounces (0.67% x 150) of water per day. Read more about hydration hacks here.
2. Getting too much sun exposure without SPF. It is common knowledge that ultraviolet (UV) rays is harmful to your skin because it damages skin fibers called elastin, which makes your skin stretch and sag like a dry old rubber band that you use tie a bunch of mail together. What you can do to make a change and keep your skin healthy and beautiful: THINK SUN KISSED NOT SUN DRIED! Vitamin D is vital for healthy gut, bones and blood. So go out in the sun and enjoy, but if you’re going to be outside for longer than 15 minutes then wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher—preferably one that is chemical free and contains natural ingredients.
3. Underestimating the value of heart-healthy fatty acids. How this ages your body: The older you get, the harder your body has to work to pump blood to your heart and brain because age slows down the body’s functioning and puts strain on your heart and immune system. Keeping your heart healthy is how to have beautiful skin. So the good news is that Omega-3’s found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, lake trout sardines, mackerel and tuna are nature’s gift to anti-aging! Here’s why: Omega-3’s are known to significantly reduce inflammation in the body, which is a symptom of many chronic age-related diseases. For example, Omega-3 supplements are known to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels that can otherwise put you at risk for heart disease. And some research suggests that Omega-3’s even protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. And aside from eating fatty fish, what is the best way to get Omega-3 fatty acids? What you can do to make a change: TAKE FISH OIL. If the thought of eating sardines out of the can turns your stomach, the next best thing is omega-3 fish oil capsules! These are one of the BEST ways to keep your skin health and supple with less wrinkles and they support your heart and immune functions as aging takes its toll on your system. According to Dr Mark Hyman, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the UltraWellenss Center, finding a high quality fish oil is imperative. So look out for reputable brands that certify that their products are heavy metal and pesticide free! Dr Hyman recommends taking 1000 mg of fish oil twice daily with a 300/200 ratio of EPA/DHA. These are both long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids—EPA is found in most fish and shellfish and DHA is found in algae.
4. Caking on Foundation. How this ages your skin: As you age you don’t want to be that woman who has slapped on so much foundation that you land up looking like a cadaver with make up. Firstly, it looks like a bad cover up job and secondly, caking your face in foundation is really bad for your skin. Why? Most foundations are drying and thick. They draw moisture from your skin and seep into fine lines and wrinkles, exaggerating them instead of concealing them. A lot of foundations also contain fragrances chemicals and alcohol that can irritate your skin and remove its natural oils causing more wrinkles. What you can do to make a change: CHANGE YOUR FOUNDATION….OR GO BARE! Let your skin breathe whenever you can! Instead of foundation use a tinted moisturizer or or translucent make up especially if you are prone to dry skin. Both products cover, color-correct and gloss over wrinkles.If you do need extra coverage, then here’s a tip on how to use foundation without drying out your skin: Use a makeup brush to apply a tiny bit only to the areas, spots or patches that really need it.
5. Using High Level Ph Body Soaps. How this ages your body: Washing your whole body from head to foot with generic bar soaps is often second nature. It’s what our grandmothers used to do right? But the problem is that generic bar soaps nowadays are manufactured using all kinds of harmful ingredients by companies out to make a profit, not to protect your skin. Bar soaps are usually worse culprits than liquid soaps when it comes to drying out your skin because they generally contain much higher pH levels. What’s a pH level? Good question! This is the first thing to look out for when choosing a soap that’s truly gentle and moisturizing for your skin. The symbol pH stand for “potential of hydrogen” which is a way of measuring the acid or alkaline levels of soaps. In short this is how it works: Your skin’s natural pH level is 5.5 and most brand name bar soaps have a pH of between 8 and 10, which is way too harsh and drying for most people’s skin! So much so that these soaps crack the skin making it more prone to harmful pathogens and bacteria. (Note that as each number increases the acidity is multiplied by ten!) So, if you are using a soap with a pH of 6.5 that is making your skin feel too tight, it’s because it is drying out your skin tenfold!) And don’t be fooled by advertisers labeling their soaps as “gentle,” “natural” or “pure”… this is just marketing. So pick soaps according to their pH levels of between 5 and 7 not because of the adjectives on the box. (Empty adjectives are just as bad for you as empty calories!) What you can do to make a change: RAISE THE (SOAP) BAR! Ditch the drying soap altogether and use one with a neutral pH (soaps with a pH of 7) or a balanced pH (soaps with a pH of 5). Household brand name bar soaps such as Ivory, Dial, Shield and Palmolive have a pH of 10 or more which is extremely caustic and damages the skin leading to all kinds of dermatological problems and premature aging so stay away from these! Instead, here are some brand name liquid soaps that are either pH balanced (5) or pH neutral (7) that are much gentler on your skin: Cetaphil (pH 6) pHisoderm (pH 5) Neutrogena (pH 6). And the rest of the time don’t wash your whole body with any soap or simply buy a bottle of organic sesame or almond oil from a health-food store, slather it all over your body and wash it off in the shower…Voila! It will stimulate your muscles, get your blood circulating and the oil will wash away dead cells and hydrate your skin making it glow. Oh yeah, and hydrotherapy can make your skin even glowy-er and more beautiful!
6. Ignoring your hands and neck in your beauty routine. How this ages your skin: Nobody looks forward to getting a turkey neck later in life or hands that look like chicken feet! Your hands and necks get just as much sun exposure as your face does yet we often neglect them in our beauty routine or wash them with regular, drying soap with high pH levels to remove germs. What if you treated your hands and neck with the same care and attention as you do your face? What you can do to make a change: LOVE UP YOUR HANDS AND NECK Use the same exfoliating scrub, cleanser and moisturizer on your hands and neck as you do on your face. In the morning put natural, chemical-free sunscreen with a high SPF of 30 or more on your face, neck and hands. And at night put coconut oil on your hands and neck before bed. (Remember oil is oily so be careful not to stain your sheets)
7. Eating too much sugar. How this ages your skin: Experts now agree that eating processed sugar over a lifetime can lead to dull, wrinkled skin instead of glowing, beautiful skin. Huh? Why would sugar speed up the aging process? Good question! A high-sugar diet reduces the quality of the collagen in your skin. How does this work? Your skin has three types of collagen (I, II, and III) and when it absorbs too much sugar, it weakens type III, which is also the strongest and most durable collagen. This is what makes your skin look less supple, drier and more prone to wrinkles. What you can do to make a change: SWITCH TO NATURAL UNPROCESSED SWEETENERS. If the thought of foregoing sugar altogether is giving you a nervous breakdown, relax… here are a few healthier alternatives so you don’t have to forever abandon your sweet tooth: • Maple syrup that is pure, unflavored and free of additives like high-fructose corn syrup • Raw honey that is unheated and unfiltered is rich in minerals and vitamins • Blackstrap molasses is super high in iron and Vitamin B6 • Date sugar is high in fiber, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Also, coconut sugar is just as sweet as sugar and contains small amount of iron and potassium.
8. Turning to supplements instead of fresh fruit for antioxidants. How avoiding this will keep your skin beautiful: Vitamins may not age your skin and they can be useful but they can also be expensive so they shouldn’t replace the power of fresh, organic foods that are high in antioxidants in keeping your skin beautiful. Antioxidants are vitamins such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E found in colorful fruits and veggies especially berries, which protect us from free radicals that cause our cells to age and can also boost collagen production to make our skin glow. What you can do to make a change: BERRY-LY EVER AFTER! Add a handful of organic mixed berries: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries to your breakfast bowl. Over time, these super fruits can actually reverse skin discoloration associated with aging because they help speed up your skin’s natural repair systems.
9. Turning your nose up at stinky vegetables. How this ages your skin: You know that stinky egg odor that rises up from mineral hot springs? That’s sulfur! And it’s actually really good for your skin. It’s the often-misunderstood “beauty mineral.” If your body lacks sulfur, your skin will look dull, your pores will clog up and your complexion will appear lackluster. Why? Sulfur provides smoothness and shine to your skin by helping with fat digestion and controlling the metabolism of carbohydrates and ridding the body of waste. It also resists bacteria and protects against toxicity. And it helps restore connective tissue in the skin and maintain its structural integrity. What you can do to make a change: EAT STINKY VEGGIES! Think twice next time before turning your nose up at the green, gassy cruciferous family of veggies in the produce section like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy and kohlrabi. Add these to your diet and your skin will start to glow as though you’ve been soaking it up in mineral hot springs!
10. Casually sipping your coffee or tea. How this ages your look: Your eyes may be the window to your soul, but your teeth are what others see when you talk or smile. We all know that the caffeine in tea and coffee is notorious for staining your once cloud-white tooth enamel yellow. As we age we are more prone to stains because of the amount of caffeine we consume and because of how we sip it. What you can do to make a change: STRAWBERRY WHITENING PASTE! Be mindful when you drink coffee or tea not to swoosh it around on your teeth like a mouthwash as it erodes the enamel and stains the teeth. Instead, either drink from a straw or swallow without swooshing it Another trick is to use a natural tooth-whitener containing malic acid— a strawberry! Mash one strawberry to a pulp and mix with half a teaspoon of baking powder. Use a toothbrush to coat your teeth with the mixture. Leave on for five minutes and then brush!
By Elise Fabricant
As a health and habits coach, Elise is passionate about helping people all over the world achieve their healthiest, most powerful goals. She also joyfully practices as a massage therapist and yoga teacher in Denver, Co. Connect with Elise to learn how to thrive this Winter and into the new year! Elise is also a featured teacher on Yoga Download!
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