It's 2020, let's glow things up!
I'm sure you've heard by now that your skin is a reflection of what's going on inside. If you're experiencing acne, eczema, dermatitis or rashes, it's likely there’s an underlying imbalance.
Skin imbalances can be caused by stress, substandard gut health, liver dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, diet and lifestyle. If you’re looking for that desired glow, there are several things you can do to look after your skin and take it from drab to fab.
Here are my top ten tips for glowing skin. Plus, stay tuned for a skin-friendly treat that will make your skin shine, gut happy and taste buds sing.
- One of the most underrated, yet essential, things we can do for ourselves is to drink more water. I couldn’t write a list of tips for glowing skin without it! Staying hydrated is key to maintaining a fresh glow, as well as helping assimilate and process the nutrients in the food you’re consuming. The aim is to drink at least 1 1/2 litres of water a day, and more if you’re exercising, sweating or breastfeeding. Other gut-friendly liquids to embrace are herbal teas, such as ginger, fenugreek, lavender and fennel, get my recipe here. Plus read my post about soothing drinks to set you up for a good gut day here. Looking for other ways to incorporate spices simply? check out my full spice guide here.
If you’ve ever seen my blog, you know I have a bit (okay, a lot) of a love affair with gut health. The skin can tell us a lot about what’s going on internally. For example, if you suffer from a sluggish digestion or toxicity, it can manifest as acne on the cheeks. If you’re looking to cleanse your gut to help with the glow of your skin, you may like to try my Love Your Gut powder or my Love Your Gut capsules for a convenient gut dose on-the-go. Love Your Gut powder is made of 100% food-grade diatomaceous earth and helps clear out bacteria, viruses, pesticides, fungi and more, which may be interfering with optimal digestive function and your skin. Another gut-friendly tip is to consume enough fibre. Fibre is abundant in plant-foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, wholegrains and seeds. Some of my favourite fibre-rich recipes include:
3. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for glowing skin. These come in the form of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Omega-3 reduces bodily inflammation and protects the health of the cell membrane, helping combat lines, wrinkles and even acne. If you’re looking for a delicious way to increase your omega-3 intake, you’ll have to check out my delicious bars down below. I love including fish into my daily meal rotation. One of my favourites at the moment is my ginger seared tuna.
4. Collagen exists in every bone, skin, blood vessel and tendon in the body. It helps maintain tissue integrity and the elasticity of the skin. Collagen also heals and seals the gut lining, helping us out with tip number 2 about gut health. While collagen is naturally formed in the body, it reduces with age, which can lead to wrinkled skin and loss of cartilage in the joints. If you’re looking to up your collagen intake, it can be found in my Gut Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth and Supercharged Lamb Bone Broth . Other sources of collagen include eggs and meat or hydrolysed marine collagen powder.
5. Your skin is your largest organ so, whatever you put on your skin, your body ingests. If you won’t eat chemicals, why put them on your skin? To keep your skin glowing, try to use products that are as close to their natural state as possible. This includes make-up and products you use for dermal hygiene, such as face wash and exfoliants.
Opt for products that do not contain harsh chemicals, as they will end up causing skin irritations and other problems. Instead try using products that are mainly made of natural ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, coconut oil, tea tree oil, goat milk. For instance, if you have dry skin you can try natural goat milk soaps that contain fatty acids which replace missing oils and prevent skin from dryness. However, for those who have oily skin, soaps that contain aloe vera can be helpful as they gently remove excessive oils without causing any skin irritations.
Always make sure to use sunscreen in the morning and use unscented and natural cleansers to keep the skin clean. Control the urge to squeeze, rub, scratch or pick your pimples, wash your make-up off before bed and use natural skincare products, such as my Supercharged Food Earth Mask & Scrub.
- Glowing skin represents what’s going on internally. If you’re not receiving enough nutrients, your skin may be struggling to glow as a result. Two major dietary deficiencies that are linked to poor skin health are zinc and vitamin A. Zinc is essential for skin healing and immune regulation. Similarly, a Vitamin A deficiency can contribute to acne. Vitamin A can help reduce sebum production under the skin and therefore, improve skin health. Increase your consumption of foods rich in these vitamins. Nuts and seeds, whole grains, legumes, shellfish, meat and eggs are high in Zinc. Foods rich in Vitamin A include orange vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin and carrots, and dark greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard and collard greens. Try on my Nourishing Bowl Breakfast Bowl for size.
7. Our hormones can play a huge role when it comes to the health of our skin. If we have an excess of hormones, our livers may be unable to detoxify them, causing a build-up. Hormonal imbalances, particularly excess oestrogen or testosterone, often manifest as acne on the chin and jaw. To assist the liver in doing its job, we need to be eating foods that help the liver detoxify hormones effectively. Cruciferous vegetables contain a compound which naturally support liver detoxification. Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, rocket, cabbage and kale. You can't go past my Oven-Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower Steaks.
8. Superstar ingredients for reducing inflammation and helping the skin shine are foods rich in anti-inflammatories. When you think of anti-inflammatories, think of foods that are very rich in colour, such as kale and turmeric (I know, if one more blogger says to eat these two foods, you’ll go crazy, but please just listen!). Turmeric is rich in curcumin which helps reduce inflammation. If you do want an easy way to get more turmeric into your world, check out my Golden Gut Blend. Other great examples of anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, berries, fatty fish and extra virgin olive oil. Or try my Turmeric Seeded Loaf - it’s amazing and wonderful for breakfast with your favourite spreads.
9. When it comes to skin health, sometimes it’s not about what we ingest but about what we don’t. Alcohol, excess caffeine, refined sugar and dairy can all impact the skin and dull your glow. While I won’t say to cut your intake completely, consider reducing these and having them moderately from time to time. Or, try this delicious energy promoting mocha and banana smoothie bowl and swap out the coffee for dandelion tea if coffee isn't on the agenda for you!
- While stress plays a common role in our daily lives, it can impact the health of our gut, liver and hormones, which can all impact the skin. One of the best ways to combat stress is by doing activities that help calm you down. You may like to try meditating, walking in nature, reading a book or spending time with your family. One of my favourite ways to unwind is by baking so, I’ve shared a recipe down below that’s sure to calm you down and make your skin glow!
Beauty is an inside job, so get ready to glow things up for 2020!
Collagen & Flax Bars
The most abundant protein in our bodies, collagen is found in our muscles, skin, bones, blood vessels and digestive tract, and is incredibly important for nourishing a leaky gut back to a healthy state. These chocolate bars are a super healthy and indulgent way to benefit from the blessing of collagen and are also an excellent post-workout snack to help repair muscles.
You can buy collagen online or from health food stores; look for collagen derived from grass-fed sources.
- 3 tablespoons organic coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds (linseeds)
- 3 tablespoons powdered collagen
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
- pinch of Celtic sea salt
- 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup or raw honey, or sweetener of your choice
Line a very small square cake tin, loaf (bar) tin or dish with baking paper. In a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan of simmering water, gently melt the coconut butter and coconut oil, stirring until combined. Place the flaxseeds, collagen, cacao powder, vanilla and salt in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until combined.
Add the melted oil mixture and your chosen sweetener and whiz again, adding more flaxseeds if needed; the consistency should be like a paste. Spoon the mixture into your lined tin or dish and refrigerate for 1–2 hours, until set.
Cut into 3 x 10 cm (1 1/4x 4 inch) bars to serve.
The bars will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4–5 days.