As a woman in my mid-30s, I adore a good skincare shelfie. One look and I can’t help but wonder if a magic concoction in a Millennial pink bottle will finally give me the J.Lo glow we’re all after. But as much as my product-loving heart wants to try all the latest and greatest skincare innovations, I know true beauty is anything but skin deep.
In fact, when it comes to your skin health, some of the best things you can do have nothing to do with adding another (pretty) bottle to your bathroom shelf. Which, in all honesty, is a bit refreshing. Who couldn’t use a little more money in their bank account and space in their lives right now?
So if you’re looking to up your skincare game, grab your water bottle and keep on reading.
1. Take Sleep Seriously
As moms, a good night’s sleep may seem elusive—believe me, I get that! But I think for many of us, there’s probably a little room for improvement here. Quality sleep, ideally seven to nine hours a night, helps your skin produce new collagen, reduces the incidence of dull skin and helps keep puffy, dark eyes at bay. So even if you can’t catch more Zzz’s, try to improve the ones you do get by implementing a relaxing nighttime routine and ditching screens before bed.
2. Eat Healthy Fats and Antioxidants
What you put on your plate directly affects how your skin looks, so make sure you add a dose of healthy fats and antioxidants to your meals. Healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, are needed to keep skin moisturized and flexible. Try foods like salmon, avocados, walnuts and olive oil to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that keep skin damage at bay. They include vitamins A, C and E as well as beta carotene and resveratrol. Foods high in antioxidants include bell peppers, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate, green tea, and berries.
3. Stay Hydrated
Be honest—do you ever fill up your kid’s water bottle for the third time that day only to realize you can’t remember the last time you took a sip of water? It happens. But staying hydrated is so important for your skin. In fact, 64% of your skin is made up of water. Drinking plenty of water helps boost your skin’s overall glow and keeps it from being too dry. Sipping water throughout the day helps to keep you ahead of the hydration game, but you can also get water from water-containing foods such as fruits and vegetables.
4. Manage your Stress
Too much stress shows up throughout the body including via your skin. This happens because stress drives up inflammatory processes in the body and may exacerbate some skin conditions including eczema, hair loss, psoriasis, and acne. Additionally, given it is exposed to the outside world, skin may also bear the impact of environmental stressors. To reduce and manage stress, try meditation, exercise or talking with a family member or friend. As moms, we are juggling a lot, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if it will lighten your load.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is another one of those things that can slip off our schedules as mamas, but you can add healthy skin to the list of reasons why it should be a priority. First of all, sweating helps to release toxins from the skin which helps to improve health overall. Additionally, regular exercise helps to lower stress and inflammation, both which can wreak havoc on your skin. Lastly, being active can help improve your sleep quality, and in turn, give your skin that well-rested look we all covet. There is no “best” type of exercise for skin health, so choose what you love and what you can maintain.