We’ve all heard the phrase “beauty comes from within.” But beauty isn’t just about having a heart of gold: confidence is key. If we want to stand out, we have to give off the right energy, and a lot of that comes down to feeling secure about ourselves.
It’s not superficial to want to like what we see when we look in the mirror if it’s going to help your self-esteem. And one way to boost your confidence is to give yourselves a brighter, smoother looking complexion. While many factors can contribute to bright, dewy skin, here are 12 simple things you can do right now to look as radiant on the outside as you are on the inside.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
There’s a reason we’re told to drink eight glasses of water a day. It’s what keeps our bodies moving, flushing toxins from our system and promoting blood flow. Getting proper hydration is the first — and very necessary — step to keeping our skin moist and vivid.
What you may not know is that your water intake doesn’t just have to come from the tap. You can easily increase your H20 consumption by eating hydrating foods such as cucumbers, watermelons and tomatoes. The green tea you’re drinking in the afternoon counts too!
2. Eliminate inflammatory agents.
Certain foods and ingredients can wreak havoc on the immune system, causing your body to go into fight-or-flight mode. Skin is your protective barrier, so when you consume irritating ingredients, your body may react by breaking out in rashes or blemishes.
While sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint a particular allergy, there are common types of foods known to be inflammatory: dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods are good places to start.
3. Eat more fats (the good fats!).
Along with eliminating irritants from your diet, adding essential fatty acids helps prevent breakouts because of their anti-inflammatory properties. EFAs also help skin maintain moisture and repair damaged cells, keeping it plump and hydrated.
In turn, this reduces dullness and signs of aging. Foods high in healthy fats include salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, eggs, and avocados.
4. Maintain a healthy gut.
Even if you adhere to a balanced diet, it won’t do you much good if your digestivesystem is out of whack. Adding probiotics to your meal plan can help you maintain a healthy level of good bacteria in your gut, thereby reducing inflammation that can trigger aggravating skin conditions. Probiotics may also increase collagen production, hydrate skin, and reduce fine lines.
An easy way to add these is through supplements as well as foods like kefir, yogurt (you can get lactose-free yogurt if dairy is an issue), sauerkraut, and tempeh.
5. Reduce stress.
Many breakouts are caused by hormonal imbalances or weakened immune systems. By not keeping our stress in check, we increase the chances of flare-ups. Certainly easier said than done, but try staying calm by incorporating exercise and meditation into your routine.
6. Swap your coffee for lemon water.
Lemon water is a great way to detox: it cleanses your body of harmful buildup while aiding in digestion and boosting immunity. Lemons, which are packed in nutrients such as vitamin C, also help stimulate collagen production and brighten your complexion.
7. Add antioxidants.
Sunscreen helps ward off harmful UV rays, and antioxidants fight free radicals, which can cause inflammation and break down collagen. But it’s also important to make sure you’re consuming foods with a good amount of vitamins A (carrots and sweet potatoes), C (citrus fruits and kale) and E (avocados and almonds).
8. Cleanse properly.
You may think you’re off the hook if you’ve washed your face before going to bed, but not so fast. You won’t get the results you want if you’re not cleansing properly. This means going the extra mile by first removing makeup, grime, and pollution that have accumulated throughout the day to make sure your cleanser will be able to effectively unclog your pores.
One way to do this is by double cleansing, first with oil and then with your regular cleanser. You can also use a product specifically designed to remove impurities, such as Honest Beauty’s konjac sponge and makeup remover wipes before following with a gentle cleanser.
9. Choose a green beauty routine.
Our diet isn’t the only thing that causes inflammation. These days, there are often hidden chemicals in some makeup and skin products that can easily trigger irritation. Choosing cosmetics and skin supplies from a company such as Honest Beauty can help you choose safe and effective products with confidence.
10. Eliminate bacteria.
When bacteria on your skin builds up, it clogs pores and often results in acne. If you adhere to a healthy diet and skin care routine, and still struggle with your skin, other factors may be contributing to your breakouts.
Unchanged pillowcases and cell phones commonly hold dirt and oil, so it’s important to regularly clean your sheets and wipe down your phone. Also, be careful about touching your face — think about all the places your hands have been!
11. Get those Z’s!
Beauty sleep is no joke. Getting adequate rest is essential for maintaining a youthful complexion. Without the proper amount of sleep, your body is unable to repair itself and detoxify, leading to a weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances, and inflammation.
When you’re young, your skin-cell turnover is high. But as time passes, the rate slows down and dead skin cells to pile up, resulting in a dull complexion and clogged pores. Proper exfoliating creates a smoother and brighter surface, as well as fewer breakouts.
While beaded scrubs are one way to exfoliate, they may not be the best choice for sensitive skin (or the environment!). A more gentle alternative is Honest Beauty’s refreshingly clean powder cleanser, which instead relies on aspen bark to spark cell turnover.
*Disclaimer: This post was researched and written by the eco-minded editors at mindbodygreen and does not reflect the opinions of the Honest Company.