Working in retail can be a real frustration dealing with the annoying and rude customers that come your way. What I never get sick of in work though, is having at least one person every day tell me what beautiful skin I have. Even while being flustered, sweaty, and definitely not looking my prime, I never fail to have someone praise and ask what I do for my skin. While I’m no college-educated dermatologist, these are a few things I do to keep my skin healthy and happy!
Eat the Rainbow to be the Rainbow!
We’ve all heard before that our skin is a reflection of what is going on in the inside. Whether it’s acne, dry skin, oily skin, etc., your skin is trying to communicate with you!
In my previous post Rich & Gooey Vegan Avocado Brownies!, I talked about my struggles with eczema as a child and still to this day. As a kid, I obviously didn’t have the knowledge I have now that your diet is one of the biggest triggers for eczema flares. Little chub-chub Taleah loved milk, yoohoo’s, poptarts, chocolate milk, cheese, ranch, fast food, etc. Basically, every thing that irritates eczema. As a result, doctors would put me on medications and creams that didn’t really help because the big picture was that my diet was not aligned with helping it. When I started getting older, it began to not be as severe and more so just dry, flaky skin. My forehead would be this massive slate of tiny, gross skin flakes. Even my cheeks would get these patches-not cute! It was not until I began my lifestyle change back in late 2015 when I started seeing a difference in my skin.
In my diet today, I eat a wide variety of foods. My staple fruits are berries and bananas. My favorite vegetables are sweet mini bell-peppers, mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, and SPINACH! I would seriously eat 10lbs of sautéed spinach a day if my wallet allowed me so. Spinach is high is Vitamin A which helps keep your skin moisturized, so eat your spinach! Foods dense in healthy fats are essential for healthy skin! My favorite healthy fat sources are AVOCADOS (god bless), and NUT BUTTER (god bless, too). Salmon, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are also some good sources! I also consume little to no dairy, as that is a major irritant for my eczema. Cashew milk is my favorite non-dairy milk and is the closest tasting to actual milk, in my opinion.
Whenever I eat an out-of-ordinary amount of sugar, dairy, or oils in a given meal, my skin might react with a break-out or two, but I don’t freak out! I know my skin is just flushing out the toxins out, and those kinds of things aren’t staples in my every day diet.
I urge you to expand your current diet with a variety of different fruits, vegetables, and grains! Try cutting back on dairy and eliminating the greasy fast food, and I promise your skin will thank you!
Just Keep Drinking, Just Keep Drinking
If you know me, you know I always keep my sacred gallon of water on me. I’ve been drinking a gallon of water now for about two years, and it’s become habit and don’t even think about it. On days I don’t drink my water or get close to at least half a gallon, I feel so dehydrated and sluggish. If our bodies are 70% water, you’d think it would have to play a somewhat important role in our day-to-day health.
Not only does drinking your water keep you feeling rejuvenated throughout the day, it does the same for your skin! This is one of the biggest things that shifted my dry skin into glowing skin. Water helps keep your skin hydrated and flushing the toxins out of your skin as it does your body.
Besides water, the only liquids I consume are: tea, coffee, cashew milk, and Sparkling Ice. I have not drank a soft drink in 3 years, and I have no desire to. One can of soda can range from 40-70g of sugar! If your skin is constantly trying to flush that sugar out, that is what is causing the acne and oily skin. The same thing goes for any other sugar-filled drink such as iced coffees/frappuccinos, energy drinks, slushies, etc. Once you stop drinking sugary drinks and drinking more water, you’ll notice a MASSIVE change in your skin! Start with a half gallon and add from there.
Sweat It Out!
I said earlier that water helps flush the toxins out of your skin, just like it does out of your body when you pee. I want you to imagine sweat as your skin peeing. Yep, I said it. What would happen if we never went pee? Well, we’d probably implode, but also our kidneys would continue to absorb all our body’s toxins and BOOM! We’ve imploded. While that probably isn’t medically correct, you get my analogy. If you never sweat, your skin is just holding onto all the bad stuff just chilling in your pores.
Exercising and physical activity is beneficial for the obvious health reasons, but also for your skin. Every work out for me usually ends with me covered in sweat and rushing home to get a shower. This usual release of sweat helps keep my skin fresh and kicking all the bad stuff out! Obviously if you sit and bask in your sweat you’re gonna have a reverse effect (gross), so please sweat and then go home and shower. Society thanks those with good personal hygiene!
Make-up and Skin Care Products
As far as make-up goes the only products I use are: mascara, eyeliner, brow filler, and concealer (dark circles will forever stay on my face). Foundation and heavy face make up has never been my thing, but I know it is for some girls. My advice would be as usual, wash your face really good and have a few days a week completely foundation free to allow your skin to breathe! I’ve started to wear less make-up in my everyday life and has contributed my frequent “glow.” I can also thank my naturally rosy cheeks for that.
For skin care products, I only use two things and have ever since the seventh grade. I use Clearasil Rapid Acne Cleansing pads and Aveeno moisturizer. I like to use something that cleans and almost leaves my skin feeling dry (Clearasil pads) , and then moisturizing (Aveeno). Switching up my skin care routine has never been beneficial for me and usually leaves my skin irritated at me. Find something that works for you and stick with it! The more you change and shock your skin, the more it has no idea what to do and how to react to it.
Happier the Better
Carrying a bunch of stress and anger in your life is just going to end up manifesting on your face. Your hormones are going to say a big “fuck you!” to your skin and cause you even more stress when you see the pimples adding up.
Approach your life with a positive energy and habits and it will show! Eat better, drink more water, let the stress go, and allow the skin to illuminate!
People who suffer from hormonal acne or prone due to genetics may have a harder time clearing up their skin, but making these lifestyle changes will make all the difference for anybody!
What can you start doing today to help better your skin? Are you guilty of neglecting any of these self-care acts? Comment and share!