You know that sun kissed glow your skin radiates when the morning sun hits just right, or the healthy flush that colours your cheeks after a quick run? Luminous, rosy, and forever glowy is the tint that no contour or highlight can match, is timeless and more of a staple than your grandmother’s classic pearl earrings will ever be (sorry, nan!)
Yet, just how this glow finds its way to us is a journey that we tend to overcomplicate or overthink with too many products, too many expert guides and far too many trends. We’re not going to lie, there’s never going to be a one size fits all approach; we’re all far too unique for a generic solution to be the answer, but healthy skin is the first step to a lifetime of glow, go, glow.
What goes in, shines out.
Our skin covers our muscles, which in turn protect our organs that do the heavy lifting of turning food and liquid into fuel for our body. By design, we’re built in layers and that connection of enzymes, hormones, and tissue is essential to building healthy skin, bones and blood. Yes, blood. The easy explanation to this is that you need good blood circulation to deliver nutrients to the skin, from your head to your toes.
Nurturing your body with the right foods and liquids may sound like a track from a broken record but similar to the right way of washing your face in the morning, it’s one of those things that you have to nail down.
Eating a macro and micronutrient balanced diet and adding oxidant rich foods will help your gut and skin work in harmony for that rosy, healthy complexion. Grapes, berries and nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans have been linked to being the top foods to protect skin cells from UV damage like hyperpigmentation- think spotty instead of glowing skin. We don’t want that. Our advice? Keep snacks in your car or office desk as a delicious reminder for a handful of super skin foods.
Drink and radiate
Our bodies need water for a whole host of reasons, but especially for the skin, it’s non-negotiable for your glow. With enough and regular hydration, our bodily systems can do the hard work of dispelling toxins from the skin, maintaining a healthy pH level, reducing puffiness and overall encouraging a smooth and plump complexion.
Drinking enough water also helps to maintain that healthy, natural skin barrier that works to protect you from environmental pollution- a precursor to the glow. Which really, are all equally important ways of saying, guzzle down your H20!
Sleep, beauty, sleep
What should be one of the easiest steps to achieve healthy, glowing skin is often sacrificed for late work nights, busy and stressful schedules or a midnight netflix binge. A good night’s sleep is underrated and when we force ourselves to stay awake, we’re making a choice to wreak havoc on our skin. If the body is to do all the hard work we now know to be essential for healthy skin, how well can it serve you when it hasn’t been properly rested? When we don’t get enough sleep, our body releases a stress hormone called cortisol which unfortunately can lead to inflammation in the skin, flare ups of existing skin conditions and development of wrinkles, sagging skin and dark circles.
At least 8 hours of sound sleep is needed to give your body enough time to regulate certain functions. One of which is directly connected to glowing skin: the release of a human growth hormone that is a necessary ingredient for collagen production—the protein that gives people shiny hair, strong nails, and glowing skin. For more tips to get shiny hair, visit All Things Hair.
Moving in on the glow
Just as how everyday hydration is a requirement, moving your body and working up a sweat is a foolproof way to achieve a healthy complexion. It gets your heart and blood pumping and brings vital oxygen, nutrients and minerals to the skin. A little movement every day is all you need- going on nature walks, taking in fresh air, doing a 5-minute dance workout, or a going on quick 15-minute jog is easy to incorporate into any lifestyle. Bottom line: Your skin is happy when you are happy and research has shown that intentionally moving your body even in gentle ways throughout the day lifts your mood and improves your emotional well-being. Think of it this way, happy glow times can only start when your body is more awake and active, not when it’s slow and tired.
Skincare and your natural blush
Adopting a wholesome lifestyle of a balanced diet, sleep and exercise is a big stride on the lighted path to glowy-fication, but to truly see your skin reap the benefits, you need a fuss free skin routine to bring out that natural blush.
Washing your face with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water in upward and circular strokes is the first step in a skincare routine. Don’t skip it, no matter how tired you are. Choose a cleanser that’s right for your skin type and make sure all traces of makeup are removed before step 2. You don’t want gunk clogging your pores!
Next, hydrate your skin! For this step, reach for serums that are packed with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to deliver intense moisture and can be absorbed into your skin layers. A useful tip is to pat the serum on while your skin is still slightly damp. Apply a moisturiser to lock in all that moisture and finally, finish off with a protective sunblock!
These 4 steps are simple enough to follow in the morning and night (leave the sunblock out this time!) and with frequent and consistent use, will bring forth that glow you seek.
If you’ve mastered the basic skincare routine and want to achieve a smoother complexion, consider adding a weekly exfoliation step to buff away dry or dead skin cells- on your face and body! While our skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every 30 days or so, exfoliating can help to catch and slough off anything that’s left, to reveal new and healthy skin that’s ready to glow.
Bask in the afterglow
For days when you need rest, rejuvenation and a bit of pampering, book an appointment at a spa and ask for a luxurious facial massage. Beauty therapists swear that the glow from a facial massage is luminous and really, it’s hard to resist basking in the afterglow that is pure relaxation.
The massage itself is a great way to release any tension you may have from frowning, clenching your jaw or overall straining of face muscles, but the act of “manipulating and massaging the skin means more blood flow to the area” to help drain the toxins that can cause skin to look flat and grey. Stimulating the skin this way also helps to relieve any lethargy and gives a boost to fibroblasts to produce more collagen. Translation? Better glow!
Natural glowing skin is achievable and you don’t need to pile on product after product to mimic a rosy blush. Remember that your skin needs to breathe too! The best thing you can do for your skin is to feel and listen to what it needs- only then will it have the confidence to glow on.