the Reads: Skin

6 tips for glowing skin

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Summer has finally arrived but the onset of warmer weather can often signal the start of seasonal skin problems. Hot summer sun, beach breezes and fluctuating temperatures when travelling can cause havoc leaving your skin in need of some help. Nothing makes you feel as confident as having healthy, radiant skin, especially in the summer. Start the season as you mean to go on and follow our experts top tips for a beautifully glowing complexion this summer.

You are what you eat…and drink!

Hydrate your skin from the inside out. “Water will help your body to function at an optimal level. Not only will it quench your thirst but it will also help to flush out the toxins and waste that accumulate in the body helping to keep your skin, soft, dewy and clear. Aim to drink at least eight glasses per day” explains Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com the online shopping destination for all things health and wellbeing.

When it comes to your diet, try to avoid too much salt as it can have a dehydrating effect on your body and skin. “On hot summer days, treat yourself to delicious naturally colourful foods that are high in water content, such as juicy watermelon which is the perfect snack for a hot summers day” says Shona.

Boost your diet with lots of green foods and if you find it hard to fit in your five a day, think about drinking your fruit and vegetables with a healthy green smoothie to start your day. To improve your skin tone blend together avocado, pineapple, coconut water and spinach. Avocado will hydrate your skin and pineapple is packed with vitamin C, which boosts the production of collagen. In addition, spinach will help to detoxify and remove toxins from your body.  “Add a scoop of super green powder that contains chlorella, such as Natures Plus Ultra Juice Green Powder (www.naturesplus.co.uk) to improve circulation as well as skin firmness” recommends Barns.

Protect and fake it!

Skin doesn’t need to be tanned to radiate a healthy glow. While a tan may make you feel healthier, it’s actually a sign of damage and your skin’s way of trying to protect itself from damaging ultraviolet rays. “Make sure you always protect your skin from the sun with high sun screen– SPF 30 is a minimum! Try new Odylique’s Natural Sun Screen SPF 30 (www.odylique.co.uk, £25.00). Always wear a hat and  avoid the hottest part of the day from 10:00-2:00. If you can’t resist a bronzed hue then always go for fake. There are so many great options available now so find a formula that works for you” says Barns.

Cleanse and polish

Effective cleansing is essential for a glowing complexion, especially if you wear make up or live in the city. Pollution, make-up residue and dirt can leave your skin looking dull, not forgetting that it can also result in unsightly breakouts.

Make cleansing a committed part of your daily routine twice per day and if you wear make-up consider a double cleanse. The way you cleanse and prepare your skin for moisturiser is key to achieving a healthy glow. If you aren’t cleansing effectively, your skin won’t reap the benefits of the other products you are using in your regime. Find a cleanser suitable for your skin type and be cautious to avoid products that will strip your skin. Instead opt for nourishing products and use with a hot cloth or muslin for a thorough cleanse. Try Janjira’s Marine Radiant White Brightening Cleanser with algae extract (www.janjira.co.uk, £22.00).

For a truly polished glow, try using a facial exfoliator. This will help to eliminate dead skin cells and increase cell renewal for a brighter, healthy looking complexion. Try an enzymatic peel or an exfoliating toner rather than a grain-based product, which can be harsh on the delicate skin of the face.

Hydrate

Hydrating your skin sufficiently from the outside is also essential to achieving a natural looking radiant glow. Sonja Dymalovski at What Skin Needs recommends ”What Skin Needs Hydrating Facial Serum(www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, £17.99) provides a perfect blend of vitamins and plant extracts that are easily absorbed for an instant complexion boost. The light, non-greasy formula has superior hydrating and skin cell renewal properties and can be used twice per day. It contains Plantolin, a proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to soothe and rehydrate and the potent formula penetrates the skin’s deeper layers leaving you with healthier, younger looking skin”. For best results, massage into the skin after cleansing.

Get moving

The instant healthy looking post-workout glow is undeniable and regular exercise can provide amazing benefits for your skin. “When we exercise, it boosts circulation and increases blood flow to the living layers of the skin, providing a fresh delivery of oxygenated blood and nutrients, whilst also helping to remove toxins” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar (www.marilynglenville.com).

Exercise is always easier if you find an activity you genuinely enjoy and there is so much choice out there now. If you can’t fit in a daily workout, try to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Skip the lift and walk the stairs or get off a stop earlier and boost your mood too with a brisk walk to the office. Don’t forget that exercise triggers the production of those feel good endorphins and if you feel good, you’ll look good and you’ll glow from the inside!

… and relax!

Not only does frowning all the time make you less attractive, but stress can actually affect the quality of your skin too. Anxiety can be causing wrinkles, blotchy patches and spots. ‘One reason for this is that high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood can contribute to other hormone imbalances – for example in oestrogen and testosterone – which can then lead to pimples and outbreaks.’ explains Barns.

“Apart from triggering a number of other changes in your body, cortisol boosts sebum production, which can lead to blocked up hair follicle and acne. That’s why after an exam or a job interview we often end up with a few new spots the next day” adds Dr Glenville.

Apart from breakouts, stress can also lead to dryness or even eczema. According to a study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, women, who are experiencing high stress situations suffer with dehydrated and irritated skin.