When you think about some of the terms we associate with beauty these days, such as bright eyes, “healthy glow,” and a vibrant, clear complexion, it becomes clear that beauty and health go hand-in-hand. Beauty does not come from applying expensive creams or having drastic cosmetic surgeries–real beauty comes, quite literally, from theinside. When you treat your body with respect, it will respect you in return, and when your body feels good on the inside, it will show, through healthier hair, skin and nails, to brighter eyes and a glowing smile, on the outside.
Here we’ve compiled the top 10 beauty tips to get you started toward a more beautiful life, both inside and out.
- Drink plenty of water. Your body is about 70 percent water, and if your cells get dehydrated they will not be able to function efficiently. An abundance of water is necessary to perform every task the body requires, including the repair of damaged cells, which helps skin heal and stay healthy. Experts vary on how much water is really needed to stay healthy. A good rule of thumb is to drink when you’re thirsty, or, if you want a more precise guideline, for every 50 pounds of body weight, drink one quart of spring or filtered water per day (this is approximately 12 to 16 glasses of water a day depending on weight). Make sure the water is pure, meaning it’s free of fluoride, heavy metals, bacteria and other toxins that will cause your body more harm than good.
- Maintain a well balanced diet. This includes eating plenty of fresh vegetables (preferably organic), and making sure that you eat a wide variety of them. A good way to do this is by picking out your favorites from each color family (green, orange, red, etc.) and striving to include each of them with your meals (at least your lunch and dinner). Other important foods are low-glycemic fruits (again, organic if possible) and high-grade biological protein that is free of hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and other unsavory additives. Examples are free-range, organic meats, wild-caught (not farm-raised) fish, free-range chicken, organic eggs, quality farm-fresh dairy and nuts.Of course, part of eating a healthy diet also means staying away from unhealthy foods like refined sugar, trans fats, processed foods, fast foods, desserts, soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit juices (they’re high in sugar), sweet drinks, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Ideally, all junk food, including snack foods, french fries, fried foods, pizza and margarine, should be avoided, along with unfermented soy products and pasteurized dairy products. This may seem overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged. Take it a step at a time (don’t try to eliminate everything in one day!) and you’ll find that eating a healthy diet is quite manageable.You may want to start, for instance, by replacing soft drinks and juice in your diet with pure water (add a squeeze of lemon or lime for flavor). Then, once you’re used to that, move on to eliminating desserts or switching to free-range meat.
- Consume plenty of the essential “good” fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy skin, brain function and so much more. These can be found in a variety of foods including fish oil, omega-3-enriched eggs and flaxseeds.If you suffer from skin disorders like psoriasis, listen up. Taking fish oil has been shown to improve conditions like these. How does it work? People with psoriasis have greater-than-normal amounts of inflammation-causing compounds in their skin. Fish oil inhibits the production of these inflammatory compounds, and the result is healthier skin (and nails and hair).Dry skin, too, is affected by the “good” fats. Without sufficient healthy fats, your skin will be unable to seal in moisture and soon the skin will become dry. To make matters worse, many people are following no-fat or low-fat diets, which means they are not getting any of the healthy fats their skin (and body) so desperately need. This fat deficiency will be particularly noticeable during the winter months and can create very uncomfortable dry skin with itching.Healthy fats can be found in avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and mercury-free, coldwater fish such as salmon. Also, a B vitamin known as biotin will help extremely dry skin conditions by normalizing the natural oils in your skin. Use 1,000-3,000 mcg as a therapeutic dose, or 100-500 mcg as a maintenance dose.
- Get your beauty sleep. About seven to eight hours of sleep a night is recommended. If possible, it is best to get to sleep around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning–your body will appreciate the regular cycle. A good night’s sleep in a very dark room (you should put up room-darkening blinds and eliminate all other sources of light and nightlights–even the light from your alarm clock can disrupt your sleeping!) is one of the best beauty aids you can find. Having trouble catching some shut-eye?
- Get some sunshine. Sunlight is an essential element in staying healthy–everyone needs natural sunlight! It is suggested that one hour of sun a day is necessary to achieve optimum health, because fresh sunshine heals your skin with warmth and vitamin D (you should avoid getting sunburned, though).We all know that we need calcium for strong bones and teeth , but to make sure the calcium you do eat can do its job, you also need a good supply of vitamin D (it helps your body absorb calcium, protects against bone loss and much more). Vitamin D is not really a vitamin at all but a hormone-like substance that the body can only make when it gets enough sunlight. Sunlight is also a natural mood elevator; most people feel more energized and happier when the sun is shining. The book, “The Healing Sun”, is a source of information on the many health-giving powers of the sun.
- Clean your skin with soap and water every morning and bedtime. Lather up with a glycerin or natural beauty bar (avoid soaps that contain harsh chemicals and synthetic additives) and rinse by gently splashing lukewarm water onto your skin. Lather again and this time rinse with cool water (this closes the pores). Lightly rub your skin dry in a circular motion, this improves circulation and gently exfoliates the skin. Lastly, apply a moisturizer/sunscreen if needed.
- Take time to relax. You know what works best to help you relax, but the key is to take the time to do it. Need some ideas? Meditate, read a book, work on a hobby, go for a walk or take a bath. This will help you look and feel better day after day. Always take time out to stop and smell the roses.
- Exercise! It will do wonders for your skin and overall appearance. A number of recent studies show that even multiple, short bouts of exercise (five to 15 minutes of brisk walking several times throughout the day) have heart and health benefits.
- Laugh often. Smiling and laughing are infectious–in a good way. Not only will they boost your mood, but they’ll also make you look and feel more beautiful. Research is showing that it may even increase your lifespan. So learn to laugh and smile every day. See a funny movie. Learn a joke and use it to make one person laugh. Take the time to enjoy life!
- Good Diet. Yes, we are repeating ourselves here, and that’s because a good diet it is so very important. We cannot stress this enough! There is a reason why the phrase “you are what you eat” became popular. If you choose to eat primarily junk food and processed food, your body simply will not receive the nutrients it needs to function at its best. On top of that, your body will have to work to remove the extra toxins you’re ingesting in all of that junk food (it’s not called “junk” food for nothing!).On the other hand, if you eat a diet full of pure, whole foods, your body will get all the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Only then will it have the nutrients to devote to things such as skin and hair. (Your body will use the nutrients you give it to first and foremost help you survive . if you only take in a minimum amount of nutrients, they’ll all go toward your basic functions and there might not be enough leftover for the more “cosmetic” functions of your hair and skin appearance. That’s why people who don’t eat right often have a hard time getting shiny hair and smooth, clear skin.)
A QUICK TIP: Be Careful When Choosing Your Beauty Care Products
Are you aware that most personal care products, especially shampoo and skin care lotions, may contain harmful synthetic chemicals like sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates, propylene glycol and paraben preservative systems? These chemicals build up over time, plugging your pores, leading to the loss of oxygen, and causing skin irritations and allergies.
The solution is to become a loyal label reader, even when it comes to your toiletries. Seek out natural products from health food stores instead of the conventional ones sold in grocery markets and beauty stores. Even if a product says it’s “natural,” you still need to read the ingredient label, as some may still contain toxic chemicals that you don’t want to put on your body.
16 Extra Tips for a Beautiful Body, Inside and Out
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND FACIAL MASKS. Once in a while, instead of using cleanser, moisturizer and/or toner, mix about 2-3 cups of distilled water with a 1/2 cup of raw organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. You can buy this at any health store (it is very reasonably priced). Smooth the mixture gently onto your skin using a cotton pad or cloth. The apple cider vinegar is extremely antibacterial, alkalizing and soothing to the skin.For a deep cleaning and nourishing treatment, you could also mix apple cider vinegar into your mask instead of water. Also, consider taking saunas, or steam baths–these can even be done at home! Here’s how: Take a very hot bath with the door closed and the heat turned on very hot. Throw some mineral salts or seaweed into the water, and you will sweat out a lot of toxins. Afterward, cool off with a shower and splash on some watered down apple cider vinegar. You will look and feel fantastic.
- EXFOLIATE DEAD SKIN CELLS. Use a small, soft loofah sponge that is barely damp to exfoliate all the dead skin cells and dirt (these are the things that clog your pores) on your body. A loofah is important, as washing with just your hands may not be enough to really exfoliate all that dirt and dead skin. However, be careful not to scrub too hard: scrub very softly using a bit of your face cleanser on the loofah.
- RAW GARLIC–NATURE’S MOST POTENT HERB. Here’s one you probably haven’t heard before, so keep an open mind–and get ready for garlic. Only the real thing will work for you–not the pills. This means organic and raw. Put at least three cloves in a blender with juice (try vegetable juice from spinach, celery and cucumbers) and drink it down (the juice will be a little spicy).Why are we suggesting you eat raw garlic? Garlic is the best, most effective broad-spectrum antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-fungal herb, so it kills all those bad bacteria lurking in your body without harming any of the beneficial good kind. In fact, in laboratory tests it has been diluted to 1 part in 125,000 and it still killed bacteria. So, yes, it’s great to eat if you get sick or have a virus of any kind; it’s great for your heart and blood–whole books have been written about it. Another plus? Your skin will have a real tough time breaking out if you have some raw garlic in your system. Just remember, to get the benefits, only raw garlic will do. If you’re worried about bad breath, brush your teeth and use some (natural) mouthwash afterward. (Chewing on a little fresh parsley makes a great breath freshener!)
- DO NOT OVERWASH YOUR FACE. We know that this is the hardest thing in the world to do, especially if you’re broken out. But, if your skin is dehydrated from too much washing, your body will actually over-produce oils to replenish your overly dried skin, thereby causing more acne. This becomes a vicious cycle whereby you have to wash your face to keep it clean, but washing too much can actually cause you to break out! It is very important to promote the natural balance of your skin by not washing more than twice a day and also using products such as moisturizers and toners that don’t clog pores.
- YOUR SKIN IS BEGGING FOR NUTRIENTS. Make sure you are getting all the nutrients your skin needs to stay healthy. It is vitally important that you eat and drink NATURAL NUTRIENTS all day long (see above for some tips on a healthy diet).
- GET A GOOD SHOWER FILTER. It will cost you only about $25, but will take out the chlorine, fluoride, copper, pathogens, viruses, dirt, and other horrible pollutants that may be in your water. Studies show that in a 10-minute shower, your body absorbs the same amount of toxins as it does when you drink eight glasses of tap water! Remember, you’re trying to clean your skin and hair. The last thing you want to do is add in more toxins that will age your skin, dry your hair, and make you break out.
- CUT OUT THE SUGAR. Some researchers aptly call acne “diabetes of the skin,” meaning your body has great difficulty digesting sugar. Cut way down on sugar for a week or two and see if there’s any effect on your energy levels, mood and skin. This includes soft drinks and every other food that contains a high quantity of sugar.
- CUT OUT THE JUNK. You knew this one was coming: You should also attempt to cut way down on all of the toxins you consume everyday in the form of processed foods, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, chocolate, cheese, cream, eggs, fried foods, hydrogenated oils, margarine, fish, meat, poultry, and butter. This may seem very extreme, and we’re not suggesting you never eat any of these things again, but just be aware that these foods are laced with antibiotics, poisons, chemicals, insecticides, herbicides, toxins etc. Eat with awareness and sensitivity so that you know which foods your body and skin react to the worst. (Some of the foods mentioned above (meat, butter, poultry, etc.) can be good for you if you seek out free-range, organic varieties that don’t contain the added toxins.)
- GET AN ALOE VERA PLANT. They are about $5. Second best would be pure organic Aloe Vera gel. If you have any scars or red marks, break off a small piece, open the leaf and apply it to the area everyday. Guys, when done shaving, rub the gel on your neck and tender spots or cuts. Ladies, same goes for your legs and bikini line. Aloe Vera has been used for thousands of years and has been called a “miracle plant” for its healing properties. Watch razor burn diminish and cuts heal quickly without any scarring. Scars will literally fade and disappear. I believe that a growing plant is much more powerful than a bottled gel simply because it’s alive; therefore, will have more potent properties.
- USE ALL-NATURAL SKIN CARE PRODUCTS. Use skin care products that don’t create free radicals and attack your body with more toxins. Use products that will nourish, protect, and clean your skin with nutrients without causing irritation, dryness, acne, or any of the other serious problems associated with almost all commercial skin care products. Natural skin care products can be found at most health food stores.
- WASH YOUR PILLOWCASE AND TOWELS FREQUENTLY. There is a tremendous buildup of dirt and oils from your hair and skin on your towels, pillowcases and more. Anything that touches your face should be clean and fresh.
- STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE. This may seem painfully obvious, but if you become aware of how much you touch your face during the day with dirty hands, you will be surprised. You will find acne developing wherever you scratch, rest your hands or play with your face. Watch carefully during the day.
- ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! There is a physical, mental, emotional, chemical connection that enhances your feeling of well-being and is directly reflected in your face. If you notice just one side of your face is constantly breaking out, and that happens to be your favorite sleeping side, try a fresh pillowcase every night or try sleeping on your back.
- BRUSH YOUR LIPS WHEN BRUSHING YOUT TEETH. This will help to quickly exfoliate this mucous membrane, which is not ‘regular’ skin–this is why your lips dry out so easily. Short of certain medications or having been ill, your lips are a good indicator of your internal hydration level: hydrated lips = hydrated body.
- WHEN BRUSHING YOUR TEETH, KEEP THE FOAM OFF YOUR FACE. This is especially important if you have a tendency toward little bumps on your chin. This could be an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the paste, and you may want to seek out a natural, chemical-free toothpaste.
- COMBAT ACNE. Try to clean your face throughly, but don’t over do it! Also, stop touching your face with dirty hands.