10 ‘do’s and don’ts’ for naturally beautiful skin

There’s a lot of skincare information out there and it’s sometimes hard to sift the good from the bad. These 10 rules simplify things for you with some simple dos and don’ts to achieve beautiful, healthy skin the natural way.

Do cleanse before bed

Chances are your mother told you never to go to bed with makeup on, and it’s great advice. Sleeping with a face clogged by makeup, sweat, dead skin cells, and sebum will lead to blemishes, blackheads, and a complexion that looks dull and grey. So, even if you just want to flop into bed and hope your pillow will wipe the makeup off, just take a few minutes to cleanse.

Use a natural oil-based cleanser like Okana’s Mango + Apricot Sorbet Cleanser and start by massaging the cleanser into your skin, being really gentle around the eye area. Once you’re done, remove it with a face cloth and warm water, apply an organic skin toner and some night moisturiser, then let sweet sleep take you.

Don’t exercise in makeup

When you’re exercising in makeup, sweat and heat will quickly dissolve foundation, powders, and concealers, which will then clog up your pores. They’ll also rub off on your gym towel, which will make it pretty useless — and look awful if your towel is a light colour!

Let your skin breathe while you’re working out, with just moisturiser and maybe some lip balm. If you just can’t bear to be in public without your ‘face on’, a flick of bronzer and a dash of mascara will do the trick.

Do turn your world upside down with yoga

Doing yoga is great advice for your general health and your skin’s health. Yoga gets your blood flowing, your muscles working, and tones your whole body. But when it comes to skincare, getting upside down is essential.

Being upside down increases blood flow to your facial skin, which will help it stay young and healthy looking. Good poses for inversion include shoulder stands, headstands, plough pose (lying on your back with your feet touching the ground behind your head) and legs-up-the-wall (lying on your back with your feet directly up the wall to make the letter L). Reversing gravity like this stimulates the facial capillaries to give you a natural glow while boosting brain activity.

Don’t treat good sleep as optional

Modern life is hectic and the pressure to constantly be doing something can feel overwhelming, but proper rest is essential for holistic health.

For healthy skin, good mental health, and a general feeling of wellbeing, most adults need to get seven or eight hours’ sleep each night.

To help you wind down, practice good sleep hygiene. Try to stick to regular times for falling asleep and waking up, and avoid using digital gadgets or watching TV right before bed. Calm yourself and prepare for sleep by reading a book or listening to a podcast or music.

Do drink hot water and lemon when you wake up

Before you have your tea, coffee, or breakfast in the morning, invigorate your digestive system with some warm water and lemon.

Natural health experts say that drinking lemon water first thing helps wake up your liver and boosts your immune system.

Don’t eat much sugar

Sugar isn’t just bad for your waistline, it also messes with your skin. Some of the ways sugar harms your complexion are:

  • Through a process called glycation, sugar can contribute to the breakdown of collagen in your skin, leading to wrinkles and premature ageing
  • Glycation can also change the type of collagen your body produces from type III to type I — guess which of those keeps your skin healthier
  • Sugar is dehydrating so eating a lot of it can make your skin puffy and cause dark circles around your eyes
  • Our bodies aren’t good at metabolising excess sugar, and bad gut health shows on the outside

Do eat foods rich in good fats

Your skin will love you for eating good fats, like the omega-3s in salmon, avocado and walnuts. While these foods are relatively high in calories, they make up for it by being nutrient-dense. Even a small portion comes with big benefits.

Every skin cell in your body is surrounded by two layers of fat that keep them healthy and firm. The healthy fats you eat contribute to the quality of this bilayer. But don’t expect results overnight.

Each layer of skin is produced deep in the dermis, then pushed to the surface layer by layer. This process takes about four weeks, which means dietary improvements will start to show on your face after a month or so.

Don’t over-exfoliate

When you feel how smooth and silky your skin feels after exfoliation, it’s easy to get carried away and decide to exfoliate every day. But you can have too much of a good thing.

Over-exfoliating will literally grind your skin barrier away, creating redness, dryness, irritation, and sensitivity. Two or three times a week is all the exfoliation you need to reap the benefits and avoid the problems.

Do massage your face

Facial massage encourages blood flow to your skin. It also helps to work beneficial skincare products into your pores.

French women are fond of giving themselves a daily facial massage, with an emphasis on upward strokes that counteract the effects of gravity.

Give yourself a facial massage before bed to help work your night moisturiser into your skin, increase blood flow, and relax your face and body.

Don’t drink too much alcohol

Alcohol dehydrates your body and your skin, and long-term drinking deprives your skin of important vitamins and nutrients. Rosacea, which can make your nose and cheeks unattractively red, is also linked to alcohol.

Over time, excessive alcohol use is one of the most detrimental things for your skin, leading to premature ageing as well as a raft of health problems.

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