What's the secret to beautiful skin?

What's the secret to beautiful skin?


Do you ever find yourself on a never-ending journey to find that one solution for all your skin troubles? Trust me, I’ve tried almost everything, any kind of product there is and I had come to a point where I would have done anything. I’ve even taken medical pills, tried Chinese herbal medicine, and had things injected into my face!


Through years of trial and error, I will share five of my top ‘secrets’ on how I transformed my skin forever. Spoiler: the tips I am sharing are not just short term solutions. When you incorporate these secrets, you’ll see everlasting results!

Healthy Blood Circulation

 This year my mum turned 50 and I'm not lying when I tell you she looks 20 years younger. She’s the first person I go to for skincare advice. I wanted to know what her secret is so that I could age as well as she did.


She first advised me to go see a Chinese doctor. Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on the holistic perspective of skincare, taking into consideration your overall health, which directly affects your skin.


Chinese herbal tea is definitely not the most appealing. It's often a blend of ingredients that are combined into a black, pungent beverage. The fact that I was open to trying it, proves I was willing to try anything to clear my skin.  


So I went for my first consultation and I got a lot more than just tea. He examined my tongue, felt my wrist but also gave me some dietary advice: avoid oily foods, spicy foods, cold drinks and alcohol.  


The foundation of this advice is due to a big factor that people often do not consider: your blood circulation.


The circulatory system carries nutrients and oxygenated blood around your body. It works directly with your cardiovascular system to transport the waste and toxins out of your body. The goal is to keep these blood and lymphatic fluid levels in balance, as well as regulating your internal body temperature.


To translate : you want your skin to dispose of all harmful toxins, and in order to do so - the most important thing is to ensure a healthy blood flow.


To promote blood circulation, I went for a couple more consultations to do acupuncture treatment. Although it slightly helped, I knew it was not a sustainable - long-term solution. There are other ways to improve your circulation. For instance by drinking a lot of water, exercising (even light exercising will do!), managing your stress and consuming foods rich in omega 3 such as salmon, avocado, and leafy greens.


You see, the state of your skin is so dependent on your overall health. Which brings me to my next tip - another bodily system that contributes to your skin’s appearance!  

Importance of Gut Health

Another way your body gets rid of toxins is via your gut. It is another surprising aspect related to skin health.


A majority of your immune system is situated in the gut, meaning that it functions to protect your body from diseases. Bacteria aren't all bad for you. Your body needs good bacteria called ‘the microbiome’ which helps to improve your digestion. If there is an imbalance of the microbiome, it causes inflammation, which also becomes apparent on your skin.


That is where probiotics come in - the ‘good’ bacteria your body needs. You can take these in supplements, or foods that have been fermented such as kefir, pickles, kimchi, etc.


When it comes to gut health It is also very important to have a balanced diet. Try to minimize processed foods and alcohol intake. Instead replace it with whole foods and plant-based foods that are rich in fiber which can help to improve your digestion.


Now we know how important the connection between your body and skin is. Let me tell you how your mind is equally as important to your skin.

Mental Health

Managing stress is a huge factor related to skin health. Stress releases adrenaline and cortisol hormones into your bloodstream, which causes your skin to be more sensitive and reactive. This can cause an overproduction of sebum - which equally clogs pores, making your skin break out.


There can be a lot that goes on in your daily life. It is important to find ways to cope with stress. Not only for the sake of your skin, but for the sake of your overall wellbeing too.


What I find most effective is exercising. It really is an all-rounder: it improves circulation, improves gut health, and helps to release stress!


If you’re new to exercising and are looking for something less high-impact, I would highly recommend yoga. It’s an amazing way to slow down after a stressful day, whilst getting your blood flowing even more.


I’ve also recently started using other methods in order to help me reduce stress and sleep better. I tried guided meditation from my phone to take my mind off the thousands of thoughts that occur before I go to bed. I’m either very inspired before I sleep, or I think about all the different aspects of my life such as my career or relationships. Therefore, I also take ten minutes before bed to journal these thoughts. This helps me to comprehend everything, which also reduces stress  


After covering the internal factors, let’s move on to the important external factors to take into account.  

Hygienic Environment

Maintaining a hygienic environment for your skin is also super important as you want to avoid getting bacteria on the surface of your skin as it can cause breakouts. Take into consideration the surfaces that your face is in touch with every day.


First off, your phone: I've heard that it contains more bacteria than the toilet seat! Make sure that you sanitize your phone regularly with alcohol before you put it next to your face or try calling with headphones or speakerphone instead!


Second, make sure that your towels and bedsheets are changed often. Bed sheets easily collect dust as well as collect your facial oils and dirt. The same goes for towels, it is recommended to change these once or twice a week to avoid skin irritation or breakouts.


Lastly and most importantly, don't touch your face! Most of the time you don’t even realize how many things you touch. Whether it's the keyboard of your computer or the handrail of the escalator. There are bacteria everywhere and your face is ultra-sensitive to it.


Because you never know what's on your face after a long day on-the-go, it is important that you have a good routine to ensure your face is clean and fresh.


Only thinking about the amount of products I've tried is already giving me stress! I'm sure my skin is also stressed out by trying all these different products. The variety of formulas and ingredients is not what my skin needs.


What I've learned is that there is absolutely no need to have a 10-step skincare routine. Keeping it simple is the way to go. Stick to the essentials: cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and sunblock!


I know you’ve probably heard this before but I can’t even stress the importance of SPF SPF SPF! As much as I love getting bronzed in the summertime, the sun is the worst for aging skin and scarring. Vitamin D indeed is still essential, but make sure to get it in the correct dose.


When choosing skincare products, make sure to avoid products that have lots of chemicals and parfum in them, try to opt for the most natural ingredients possible. Include a serum in your skincare routine that includes antioxidants. This brings an added bonus to spoil your skin with extra nutrients.


Ofcourse, my personal favourites are Chatelier’s serums. The formulas contain only organic, natural ingredients packed with antioxidant rich fruits and plants, leaving my skin so smooth and radiant.  


It seems there’s a lot that goes into getting beautiful skin. But in the end, it's pretty simple. There are two factors to consider - external and internal.


Internally, it boils down to a lifestyle choice - taking care of your overall health and wellbeing can go a long way for the road of your skin recovery.


Externally, creating a clean and hygienic environment for your face, and keeping your skincare routine as simple as possible!

Written by Simone Hoogendoorn

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