While the jury is out on whether chocolate really does give you pimples, there is no doubt that your lifestyle impacts your skin. From diet to exercise, here are six easy lifestyle changes to make for a healthier, happier complexion.
Work Out More
For an enviable glow, nothing beats a good old fashioned sweat session. Raising the heart rate improves the body’s circulation, detoxification and renewal processes. It also reduces stress levels and has been shown to improve sleep quality, essentially slowing down the hands of time.
For smooth, radiant skin, it really IS important to get enough beauty sleep (no less than seven hours). As you snooze, cell turnover and repair increases, allowing your skin to restore itself from sun exposure and pollution. Levels of the prematurely ageing stress hormone cortisol decrease, and a warmer body temperature also means skincare ingredients are better absorbed into the skin.
Too much sugar in the diet has dire consequences for the complexion. For starters, it impairs gut health and speeds up glycation, leading to spots and damaged collagen (read: wrinkles). Sweet tooth? Here’s everything you need to know about sugar face.
While low-fat diets used to be all the rage, today we’re piling our plates high with avocados, nuts and oily, omega-3-rich fish. The key is to choose the heart-healthy fats consumed in the Mediterranean diet, rather than saturated fats and nasty trans fats (found in lots of pre-packaged snack foods). Foods high is essential fatty acids keep the skin soft and supple, and reduce inflammation.
While the resveratrol in red wine has been found to reduce the risks of several diseases, too much alcohol puts pressure on the liver and can leave the skin dull, discoloured and dehydrated. The dehydrating effects can be seen as soon as the morning after a big session, and in the longer term wrinkles and redness are more pronounced. Stick to the recommended limit (two standard drinks per day), drink lots of water and enjoy plenty of alcohol-free days, too!
Eating a bright and colourful diet is a delicious way to bag yourself a clear and glowing complexion. Fruit and vegetables are not only low-calorie, they are nutrient-rich, packed with vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants that fight free radical damage. Do your best to include at least five serves of vegetables (including lots of leafy greens) and two serves of fruit every day.