We all want to glow, but not all of us are sure how. When it comes to brighter, clearer, and healthier skin, every little bit counts. Here is how to glow naturally.
Make skincare a priority
We know we’ve touched on this before, but prioritizing your skin care routine on a daily basis is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with your skin health. Wondering what that should entail, and why? Here is the rundown:
Washing your face is a critical part to taking care of your skin since it removes dirt and oil that could lead to breakouts. While you can certainly over-wash your face, it is best advised to do so at least once a day, prioritizing an evening cleanse to help remove any dirt, oil, makeup, pollutants and grime that may have accumulated throughout your day before you go to bed. Whether you wash in the morning is up to you and your skin, but a good rule of thumb is that if you wake up to feeling dry and flaky, skip the AM cleanse and kick the day off with a purifying face oil. Want that extra clean feeling? Make sure you tone afterwards to remove any excess dirt, grime, oil or impurities that may have gotten stuck in your pores as you washed your face.
As we age, skin cell turnover decreases and dead skin cells start to pile up, leaving your skin looking dull, rough, and dry. Exfoliating removes those dead skin cells by separating the buildup from the surface, allowing a new one to emerge and take the stage. This will give your skin a nearly instant boost. In terms of process, people do this manually or chemically, with some chemical solutions rising in popularity. Caution, though: exfoliating more than once a week can be extremely irritating and can compromise your skin barrier making you more susceptible to unwanted skin conditions.
A hugely important part of your skin care routine, whole body moisturizing is critical to healthy skin, and is extremely important to your face. Since regularly moisturizing restores your skin’s natural hydration, doing this properly is the key to maintaining a youthful appearance. Not moisturizing can result in some discernable downfalls, including increased visibility of new and existing wrinkles. To tick this one off your routine’s roster, opt for something more hydrating for day time, and something a little more restorative for the evening.
For optimal hydration, the best time to moisturize is after the shower when your pores are open and primed for receiving the royal treatment.
There are a myriad of ways that sleep can be beautifying, but among the more important ones is cortisol regulation. Poor sleep makes it a challenge for your body to balance the stress hormone, causing inflammation throughout the body. This triggers a vicious cycle of puffiness, as less sleep equals more stress, and more stress equals more cortisol, all of it showing up on your face right before that important thing you’ve been looking forward to. In contrast, getting an adequate amount of sleep (experts suggest aiming for 7 hours or more) helps your body balance hydration as you sleep, awakening with a bouncier, more hydrated complexion. Key takeaway: the need for beauty sleep is real, and you should try to get it regularly.
Maintain balance of the skin microbiome
While we all know glowing skin is an inside job, did you realize your skin also has its own microbiome? Yes, you read that right. Comprised of billions of bacteria, fungi and viruses, your skin microbiota is one of the most resolute decision makers in your overall glow. The skin microbiome varies based on the ‘eco-niche’, also known as the location. The actual bacteria on your skin also vary based on the amount of light the area gets, as well as its level of moisture, oil, and hair density. A compromised skin microbiome can lead to infection and inflammation, so nurturing it is key to a brighter complexion ahead. One way to keep this in check is to encourage microbial diversity in the skin by promoting healthy gut bacteria through prebiotic and probiotic foods (or a supplement like this one if you’re strapped for resources). This will help inspire good skin bacteria and address concerns like harmful fungi and damaging free radicals and give your skin the chance to look its best overall.
VM, Dillague KM, Syah-Tjundawan BS. (2008 Nov-Dec) Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15. PMID: 19134433.
Cook, D. (2020, August 10). How Does your Gut Health Affect your Skin? Canadian Digestive Health Foundation. https://cdhf.ca/health-lifestyle/how-does-your-gut-health-affect-your-skin/.
Schmid, M. H., & Korting, H. C. (n.d.). The Concept of Acid Mantle of the Skin: Its Relevance for the Choice of Skin Cleansers. https://web.archive.org/web/20110301151916/http://www.sebamed.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pdf/Studien/Saeuremantelkonzept/1.05.pdf.