5 Ways To Give Thanks To Your Skin
Don’t forget to shower your skin with love this Thanksgiving. Because it deserves your thanks just as much as the other fabulous stuff in your life.
We don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is officially our favorite holiday. Time with family? Check. A day off work? Check. A great excuse to overindulge? Check. Most importantly it’s a time to reflect on the year and give thanks to everything you’re grateful for. Well, we bet that when you’re coming up with the list of things you appreciate, your skin’s not one of them.
And what a mistake that is.
Your skin is one of the most important parts of your body. You have around 21 square feet of the stuff and it’s not just there to plague you with lines, wrinkles, pimples and dark spots. It helps regulate your body temperature, prevents moisture loss and provides an essential barrier against injury, infection, trauma, disease and everything else the world likes to throw at you. So, give it a break already.
We understand it’s oh-so-easy to dislike your skin and complain about the bad stuff, but here’s the thing: you’re the only one who notices your so-called ‘flaws.’ Who else gets close enough to notice that tiny line between your brows? No. One. In fact, they’re way too busy coveting whatever it is about your skin they think they don’t have. Human nature. It’s a crazy thing.
Face it: your skin is pretty darn amazing. Every line, crease and freckle is a reminder of the roads you’ve travelled to get to this point in your life. And we think it’s time to celebrate that by showing your skin you care. Here’s how…
1. Be Positive About The Good Stuff
More importantly, don’t sweat the bad stuff. Sure, you might have a small acne scar on your cheek and yes, the skin around your eyes is nowhere near as smooth as it once was. But that’s just fine. So, instead of seeing only these things when you look in the mirror, smile at your reflection and be conscious of all the awesome features your skin has to offer. Maybe it’s looking particularly glowy today. And OK, you might have crow’s feet but what about that kick-ass smooth forehead of yours? Dang, you’re gorgeous.
Being positive will not only make you feel better, but it’ll immediately make you look happier, healthier and radiant. And showing gratitude has been proven to reduce cortisol levels in your body which will help balance and de-stress your skin. Cortisol is also known as the ‘stress hormone,’ you see. So, there’s that.
2. Shower Your Skin With Kindness
Treating your skin with a gentle, effective skincare routine is actually fairly simple. The motto is: less is more. Pare back the number of products you use (no, you don’t need 10 lotions, potions, essences and oils) and steer clear of nasty chemicals like parabens, sulphates, phthalates and PEGs which can upset the balance of your skin’s barrier function and exacerbate dryness, irritation and redness.
Start as you mean to go on with a super gentle cleansing routine using Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser and lukewarm – never hot – water. Hot water strips away the protective layer on your skin’s surface, sucking dry all those natural lipids and moisture that help keep your skin hydrated and healthy. After cleansing for a minute or so, rinse thoroughly and gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Vigorous rubbing is a major no-no.
The rest of your regime should consist of just three or four more products to work on your concerns and beautify your complexion. Of course, moisturizer and sunscreen are musts, but anything further is up to you. Our go-tos would be an antioxidant serum like Niacinamide Facial Serum plus an eye treatment like Peptide Eye Gel, but the choice is yours.
3. Try To Manage Stress
There’s no doubt life has been more stressful than ever these past few years, and this can take a real toll on your skin. Stress plays havoc with your sleep (more on that in a minute) and causes your body to produce higher levels of cortisol which encourages inflammation, depletes vital collagen and interferes with your skin’s healing process. Studies also show that stress compromises your barrier function making your complexion feel dry, dehydrated and exacerbating existing conditions like acne, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema.
Managing emotional stress is easier said than done, but small lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Meditation, for example, is an extremely effective way to relax your body and mind; even some simple breathing exercises are great for clearing your head and lowering your levels of stress. Our friends at the Mayo Clinic have some great breathing tips, right here.
Also, set aside half an hour (or more!) every day for a little me-time. Go for a walk, read a book, take a bath, whatever you need to do in order to take time out will be worth its weight in gold for your mental health.
Of course, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, never be afraid to ask for help from a qualified health professional.
4. Get Plenty Of Quality Sleep
When you miss out on valuable zzzs, your skin is one of the first things to suffer. How so? Because sleep is the most important time for your skin to heal and regenerate. When you turn in for the night blood flow increases, transporting oxygen and nutrients to the skin to help nourish and strengthen it. Simultaneously, cell turnover accelerates to bring fresh, healthy skin cells to the surface; collagen production revs up and your natural antioxidant system kicks up a gear to reduce unwanted damage from the slings and arrows of daily life.
Sleep could not be more important for the health of your skin. End of. The National Sleep Foundation recommends between seven and nine hours every night for a healthy adult, so try to hit this sweet spot as much as possible. Your skin will thank you for it – especially if you cleanse thoroughly, then treat it before bed with Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream to boost radiance and help your skin renew itself as you sleep.
5. Think About What You Eat
A balanced diet is important, you know that. But it’s not just essential for your health; it can play a vital role in the overall look and feel of your skin. A diet that’s packed with sugar, for example, will lead to the accumulation of advanced glycation end products in your skin. These damage a lot of important good proteins, causing them to stiffen and weaken. Oh, and they’re aptly named AGEs which speaks volumes.
Too much salt can also trigger dehydration, eczema flare-ups, acne breakouts and is a devil on eye bags. And don’t even get us started on fried food and refined carbs. Skin's mortal enemies, right there.
Anything in moderation is fine, for sure, but make sure you get way more good foods in your diet. The key is to ensure things like antioxidant-rich fresh fruit, veggies, beans, lean poultry, fish and nuts outweigh the bad stuff.
Now smile, relax and enjoy your skin. And it will do the same.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.