After many months of being cooped up indoors and a perhaps wobble in our eating habits, Pippa Mitchell has some timely and easy to adopt tips to keep our skin looking vibrant and healthy as we emerge out of lockdown …..
Keep your body clean from the inside out!
- What you need to do: Start the day with giving your liver support.
- How do you do it: On rising sip 1 dessertspoon fresh lemon juice in a glass of warm water.
- Why do you need to do it: The liver is the main organ of detoxification (along with the skin) so you need to keep it functioning well so it can do its job. Lemon juice helps to stimulate digestive enzymes such as bile which aids digestion so you get the most nutrients from your food as well as supporting liver detoxification.
- What you need to do: Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- How do you do it: Start with you morning with water and lemon juice (see above). For some people it can be helpful to have simple reminders to drink. So you could have another glass of water (250ml) mid-morning, one after lunch, another mid-afternoon and one more after supper. Have a final glass about an hour or two before bedtime. You will need to drink more if you are exercising.
- Why do you need to do it: Helps to keep skin clear by avoiding constipation and keeps kidneys functioning optimally.
- What you need to do: Include lots of fibre in diet
- How do you do it: Eat at least 5 fruit and vegetables a day but preferably more. Aim to include vegetables and salads at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Aim to make half your plate leafy green and coloured vegetables and/or salads.
- Experiment with different whole grains such as barley, rye, quinoa, wild rice and seeds
- Why do you need to do it: Fibre helps you avoid constipation so you can eliminate waste products from your body efficiently. Fibre also encourages the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.
Fight free radicals
- What you need to do: Include lots of antioxidants in the diet.
- Why do you need to do it: Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to take full advantage of all the different miro-nutrients available. Think colourful plates of food!
- Why do you need to do it: Antioxidants help to neutralise free radicals that can cause ageing including of the skin.
Good fats, bad fats
- What you need to do: Reduce trans fats (processed foods, processed seed and bean oils) and increase essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6.
- How do you do it: Make sure you diet includes oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring and salmon. Cold pressed seed and nut oils (pumpkin, safflower, flax and avocado) can be used on salads. Cook with olive oil or coconut oil.
- Why do you need to do it: Essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties so are good for conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. They can also help with dry, flaky skin.
Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
- What you need to do: Avoid excess amounts of both these stimulants
- How do you do it: Stick to government healthy drinking guidelines that recommend no more than 14 units of alcohol per week for women and men. When you are out try to alternate alcoholic drinks with water. Aim for at least 3 days a week with no alcohol. Cut down on coffee and replace with herb or fruit teas
- Why do you need to do it: Both alcohol and caffeine act as diuretics that dehydrate the body so make sure you keep hydrated. Alcohol is also high in sugar which can contribute to poor skin condition as well as increasing blood sugar levels.
Increase your friendly bacteria
- What you need to do: Enhance your digestion and immune system by making sure you have a good balance of good bacteria.
- How do you do it: Include plain bio yogurt, kefir and fermented foods such as sauerkraut as part of your daily diet. These will provide a balance of pre- and probiotics.
- Why do you need to do it: The gut is the first line of defence for the immune system so ensuring a healthy digestion will help you absorb all nutrients from your food, including those that support your skin, more effectively.
Make sure you get enough sleep
- What you need to do: Try to introduce good sleep patterns. This is when the body has the time to rest, heal and regenerate and that includes your skin!
- How do you do it: Set a regular daily pattern to help you sleep; avoid handheld devices in the hour before bed; listen to calming sounds and make sure you and your room are a comfortable temperature – being too hot can make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Why do you need to do it: Your body boosts blood flow to the skin during sleep. Lack of sleep can show in your complexion making it look drab and lifeless. Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin surrounding your face and blood flow brings nutrients including oxygen to this area.