Your skin is a reflection of how you treat yourself.
Individuals are becoming more educated that it's not always topically what you put onto your skin, but it's how you support the body internally in order to find that youthful glow. I often get asked about collagen and botox. Yes botox. Injecting your skin with a substance full of chemicals is definitely not recommended for beautiful skin. Botox is injected into the patient to stunt natural aging process of the skin. What many people are unaware is that 'botulinum toxin' (ie. Botox) is one of the most poisonous toxins. It works by preventing muscles from receiving signals from nerve cells. Over time botox can do more harm than good, actually creating less elasticity in the skin, plus there are many health risks which I won't get into. Instead opt for ways to support the body from the inside out to keep your skin young and healthy.
What is collagen?
Collagen is found in abundance in our bodies, in fact it is the most abundant protein. Our muscles, bone, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons contain collagen. Collagen is what gives our skin the elasticity, makes it strong and supple. As we age, collagen production begins to decrease, especially after the age of 30 (hello 30-I just turned 30 this month!) Similar to how hydrochloric acid in our stomach begins to decline as we age, same goes with collagen production. So in order to keep beautiful, glowing, strong skin, we need to be practicing a preventative approach. Your nutrition, and how you feed your body plays a vital role in the maintenance of your skin. Along with what you do daily and consistently to support healthy youthful skin, what you don't do is equally as important. Ditching certain foods and ingredients is an important part of having glowing skin (you can't just take a tablespoon of collagen a day for long-term results, it's just as much what you ditch from your diet too).
Here are my top 5 tips for beautiful glowing skin:
1. Cosmetic Acupuncture
I started getting cosmetic acupuncture done which increases blood flow in the face, even helping with some hormonal acne and it also stimulates natural collagen production and increases moisture in the face. If you have done any type of acupuncture before, it follows Chinese medicine philosophy and focuses on acupuncture points in the body. You can also work on the liver and digestive system during your treatment which can also help aid in skin health. I go to this clinic in Yorkville if you're in the Toronto area that specializes in cosmetic acupuncture.
2. Bone Broth
Bone broth is a natural source of collagen that form tissues found in your skin. Collagen gives your skin its elasticity, suppleness, strength and that beautiful youthful glow. Research shows that higher intakes of collagen are linked to increased hydration, and reduction in signs of aging on the skin such as wrinkles, fine lines, and droopy saggy skin. It may sound a little strange to get collagen from homemade bone broth, but it is one of the best ways to support skin health and also help repair tissue lining in the GI tract. Try this delicious bone broth recipe.
3. Collagen Powder
Skin can improve in smoothness, moisture and suppleness from regular consumption of collagen, and yes you can get it in powder form too. Vital Proteins and Organika are two brands of collagen powders I have tried that I enjoy. Your local health food store should have a few to choose from. I love adding my collagen into my smoothie bowls, and lattes (dairy free turmeric and matcha lattes), making it an easy way to add it into my daily routine.
4. Antioxidant Rich Foods
Antioxidants combat free radicals in the body, free radicals destroy collagen, so making sure you're getting lots of antioxidant rich foods in daily will help protect healthy levels of collagen. Consume lots of antioxidant rich foods like berries, dark leafy greens and fresh herbs. Consume lots of foods rich in vitamin A such as pumpkin, cantaloupe, mango, squash, sweet potato, spinach and carrots. Opt for vitamin C rich foods such as oranges, grapefruits and strawberries along with Vitamin E foods such as mangos, avocado, apples, asparagus, tomatoes and spinach. Getting 5-10 servings of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables are essential for beautiful looking skin.
Keeping your body well hydrated will keep your skin's moisture and give you that youthful glow. You want to aim for 8-10 glasses of good quality filtered water per day. I recommend my clients to set a timer on their phone for every hour during their work day, each hour they consume a glass of water. The type of water you consume is essential for not only beautiful looking skin, but for your hormones, digestion and overall health. Many individuals are unaware what is actually in our tap water too. Tap water contains, VOC's, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, chlorine and fluoride which you do not want to be ingesting on a daily basis (let alone 8-10 glasses per day). Investing in a good quality water filter like the Berkey will give you proper hydration without all of those nasty chemicals.
Introducing the above is a great start. But as equally important, is to ditch the habits and foods that aren't doing any good for the health of your skin (and your entire health for that matter!)
What to avoid:
Treat yourself with care, and nourish your body from the inside and you will find that outer glow. That inner glow however comes from within and know that you are truly beautiful exactly as you are!
What are some of your best kept natural skin care secrets? I would love to hear it. Comment below.
In health and happiness,
Stephanie Morrison is a certified holistic nutritionist, registered yoga and meditation instructor with a passion for guiding others along their healing path. She uses a combination food, supplementation, homeopathics and lifestyle recommendations to create balance in the body and address the root cause of her clients health symptoms. She works in private clinic setting specializing in hormonal, digestive and emotional health.