I have to confess that I find January to March the toughest time of the year. The winter is a long gloomy one here in the UK and it’s really hard to stay upbeat, energetic and glowing with health. It’s very tempting to stay home in baggy pants and eat comfort food. And yes, I’m just like everyone else when it comes to this sort of thing. Who wants to get dressed up and go out when it’s cold and wet outside? And I’m very attached to my baggy pants thank you very much. So there’s a lot of potential for weight gain, dehydrated dull skin, wrinkles and the blues.
But what can one do I hear you ask? Well rather a lot thank you for asking.
We all eventually get lines and wrinkles, mostly from the expressions we make. And funnily enough this is a positive thing to a certain extent. If you have smile lines then you have earned them through all the good times. Research has shown that people who have Botox which prevents movement in the face, have less emotional response to things. This means that the movement of your face is connected to how you actually feel and therefore has to be a good thing.
However, there’s wrinkles and then there’s wrinkles. And then there’s dull pasty skin. A real problem in the winter. One of the best ways to prevent wrinkles and improve the quality of your skin is your diet. I know, I know, it would be so much easier if there was a facial or a treatment that would just do the trick, but the absolutely best way is through diet. And one of the most effective ways to get an attractive glow is by consuming vegetables and fruits high in carotenoids. These are mostly found in red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits but also occur in some green vegetables. Studies have shown that eating foods with these deeply coloured pigments can make your face look healthier than it does with a tan. One of the most potent carotenoids is astaxanthin and the great thing is it’s also available as a supplement ( more of this later ).
In order to have clear healthy skin you also need to clear your body of toxins. This means cutting out the junk and consuming the finest nutrients. Your liver and kidneys filter out impurities on an ongoing basis and can become overtaxed causing breakouts and other problems.
Which foods help in this process and also promote beautiful, clear skin:
Vegetables and fruits high in carotenoids as already mentioned. ( peppers, carrots, berries, tomatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach etc )
Fermented foods promote the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria which aid digestion ( important to absorb all those lovely nutrients ), improve gut health which in turn helps improve mood, anxiety and depression. ( sauerkraut, pickles, yoghurt, kefir etc )
Animal based omega-3 fats help keep skin cells strong, prevent dehydration and keep cells full of moisture decreasing the appearance of lines. ( fish, eggs, dairy )
Avoid sugars and grains as much as possible. Probably the most important thing to do for your skin health. If you eliminate these for a few weeks you will most likely see a very visible improvement in your complexion.
Do these things as well:
Exercise, especially high-intensity interval exercise. This leads to a natural increase in your body’s production of human growth hormone ( HGH ). This plays an important part in maintaining youthfulness and strength. It also releases endorphins as well as a host of other hormones which gives mood a boost and helps reduce stress.
Drink lots of water. Being dehydrated will make your skin rough and dry. However rather than sipping small amounts through the day, drink good amounts when thirsty or drink at certain times of the day.
Use coconut oil. This can be used on the skin ( and hair ) as it helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles by keeping your connective tissues strong and supple. It also helps exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother. You can use on it’s own or add a favourite essential oil. It’s also great to ingest and is one of the best oils to cook with as it’s stable at high temperatures. This protects your skin from the ageing effects of free radicals among many other health benefits.
Some quick fixes to help you along:
With the best will in the world it’s hard to have a perfect diet. I’m a big believer in using supplements to make up for it. ( just click on the links on each name to get more info or buy )
- Astaxanthin – potent carotenoid as mentioned
- Krill Oil – good source of omega-3 oil
- D3 – many people in northern climes are deficient in this and it’s vital to good health
- K2 – important to take with D3 to maximise efficiency
- D3/K2 combo
- Probiotic – vital for gut health and numerous health benefits
- Coconut oil for cooking
- Coconut oil for the face
- The In-Sync Diet – my book with nutritionist Fleur Borelli outlines a way of eating and exercising that maximises health, burns fat and gives skin an incredible boost
- The Masterlift – a powerful facial that will make your skin look amazing. Incredible results when done as a course but also perfect as a one off for a special occasion. Only done by Marie Reynolds so her diary gets very booked up.
- Collagen Wave – radio frequency treatment that tightens skin and improves collage