The skin is the largest organ of the body, and truly can be a mirror for our internal health. This is where a large portion of detoxification occurs, through oil secretion, sweating, and dead skin sloughing. While there are certain skin diseases that require special attention from your physician, there are many things that you can do at home that use time tested, natural means to keep your skin looking good and doing its job.
I am not a big proponent of expensive cosmetics and creams. There is plenty of information out there about such things, and I am not the expert. I do prefer simple, clean and ancient means of maintaining health whenever possible. In India, where I am from, women take very good care of their skin and hair, often with very little.
The first and most important way to get skin glowing is to work from the inside out. You need to eat well for your skin to get what it needs to look good and do its job protecting you from the elements. Lots of salty and sugary foods are sure ways to make skin appear puffy and tired, which is how most people feel after eating those foods as well. Foods that contain vitamin C are key, as this vitamin is a key building block of collagen, the major structural protein of the skin.
Vitamin C is found in great plant foods like spinach, blueberries, tomatoes and citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, parsley, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Drinking water is another really important and relatively simple way to support the skin. While many experts recommend drinking 8 glasses a day, I suggest that you drink enough water so that you when you go to the bathroom your urine is clear. That is a sign that you are meeting your own needs. Skin that is dehydrated is dry, can crack and looks tired.
Another old world way of keeping skin lovely is through dry brushing. A dry brush can purchased at most stores that carry bath supplies, or online. Just look for a natural bristle brush, a long handle will help you reach your back.
Using a dry brush is pretty simple:
- Start on dry skin before bathing, and work in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer, smoother strokes.
- Always begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart - the lymphatic fluid (lymph) flows through the body towards the heart and lungs, so it's important that you brush in the same direction to help detoxification
- After you've finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be careful of the softer skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, open sores, sunburns or skin cancer.
- Brush from the neck down to the lower back.
- shower afterwards to wash away the dead skin cells , using a plain olive oil soap is always a good bet. I like one made by Kiss My Face.
- Once out of the shower, massage your newly exfoliated skin with almond oil or coconut oil. Giving yourself a massage with these oils daily is a wonderful way to self care, and promotes health in so many ways.