In this week’s blog we wish to discuss 5 easy steps towards enhancing your natural beauty that you can take that won't cost you more than a bit of commitment.
If you have downloaded our ebook, you probably already know that one of the first steps you can take to enhance your natural beauty is to examine your diet and ensure that it is providing all the essential vitamins and minerals your skin, hair and nails require to look their best. It is such an important step that we have written many previous blogs to provide you with more specific information that can help you achieve this goal. Examples include the benefits of introducing nuts and seeds into your diet and for snacks, tips on maintaining a healthy diet given our busy lifestyles, the best foods for supple and glowing skin and the detrimental effects that sugar and alcohol can have on your natural beauty.
As a second step, ensure that you get sufficient quality sleep each evening. So how much sleep should you be getting? Well, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it depends quite a bit on your age. Teenagers between 13-18 years of age require the most, 8-10 hours per 24-hour period is recommended. For adults between 18-60 years of age, at least 7 hours per night is recommended. Statistics indicate that about a third of us fail to achieve these recommendations. But there are steps we can take to help put us on the right path to sufficient sleep. The first is consistency. Try to maintain a consistent time as to when you go to bed at night and when you get up in the morning and keep to that schedule on weekends or days you do not need to keep to your regular work schedule. Furthermore, proper sleep and electronic devices are not compatible, so don’t bring your phone, laptop or tablet to bed with you and don’t install a TV in your bedroom, but do make it a pleasurable, dark, comfortable and relaxing room in which to sleep. Finally, avoid caffeine, alcohol and large meals prior to going to bed and try exercising during the day – it can help you fall asleep faster. But though you may admit that your lifestyle prevents you from getting enough sleep, you may still be a little sceptical as to how it can enhance your natural beauty. However, a clinical study of a group of over 200 women placed in either an early or late to bed group demonstrated that those in the late to bed group exhibited a significant decrease in the hydration, firmness and elasticity of the skin, while significant increases were observed in transepidermal water loss, sebum and wrinkles.
Refraining from alcohol consumption is another fantastic way to enhance your natural beauty. The biggest effect from alcohol consumption is related to dehydration (this is why you are so thirsty the morning after that big party where you consumed a modest amount of alcohol) and dehydration of course promotes premature wrinkle formation. Another problem with alcohol is that it causes your body to initiate an inflammatory response to the toxin it is. Constant inflammation to the skin induced by alcohol can lead to redness of the skin which can become a permanent skin feature. Another point to recognize is the length of time a unit of alcohol remains in your body. If you are in your twenties, the alcohol will be out of your body in about 3 hours. However, if you are in your 40’s, that time increases to over 30 hours where it can continue to damage your skin. With all this in mind, it is not surprising that a multinational study with over 3000 participants divided into heavy drinkers (greater than 8 drinks/week), moderate and non-drinkers showed that heavy drinkers exhibited an increase in upper facial lines and lines at the corners of the mouth where the upper and lower lips meet (oral commissures), increased puffiness under the eyes, more visible blood vessels and a midface volume loss compared to their moderate and non-drinker counterparts.
This study not only included alcohol consumers, but also smokers as well. And again, the damaging effects of smoking were even more numerous. It was associated with an increased severity of crow’s feet, forehead and glabellar lines (vertical lines that appear between your eyebrows), under-eye puffiness; tear-trough hollowing/sunken eyes; nasolabial folds (lines that extend from your nose to the corners of your mouth); oral commissures; perioral lines (lines extending outward from your mouth and lips); and reduced lip fullness. Unlike the heavy drinkers, no midface volume loss or an increase in visible blood vessels was noted. It should also come as no surprise that smoking is also detrimental to your hair health, with a review summarizing the results of 32 different clinical studies indicating that hair loss and premature greying was more prevalent in smokers compared to non-smokers.
Finally, we have already mentioned that introducing exercise to your daily routine will help you get a good night’s sleep. But there are obviously more benefits. First and foremost, as your heart rate increases, the flow of blood to your skin also increases, providing the largest organ in your body with oxygen and nutrients, stimulating collagen production while removing those harmful free radical molecules. These effects help boost the appearance of your skin and can even improve skin hydration as recently observed in a study trial. Just beware that you should take some extra precautions if you suffer from pre-existing skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema that are triggered by body temperature. If this is the case, try to maintain as cool as possible during your workouts. If you have sensitive skin, acne or eczema, you should also shower quickly after working out to remove the buildup of grime and sweat before they have a chance to clog your pores (just be sure to admire your naturally rosy complexion in the mirror on the way to the shower).
This week we discussed 5 easy steps towards enhancing your natural beauty that you can take, that won't cost you more than some dedication and commitment. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting a good night’s sleep, eliminating smoking and alcohol consumption and adding some form of exercise to your daily routine can all help your hair, skin and nails look their best, while also providing huge benefits to your physical and mental health at the same time.