11 tips to clear, glowing skin
Let’s cut to the chase: nobody wants to break out. Problem skin is never a welcomed experience. And yet, many of us continue the struggle we hoped we’d outgrow along with our love of boy bands and having our Mom drive us to the mall. Personally, I’ve struggled with breakouts since my teen-hood. I’ve tried every three step cleanser on the market, and no gimmick did the trick. After years of trial and error, I’ve unlocked the tricks for the best skin I’ve ever had. Here’s are my secrets to clear, glowing skin:
1) Exfoliate. Clear and bright skin is made possible by cell turnover via regular exfoliation. I recommend manually decongesting your skin using a dry brush. Upon waking: gently rub the face in circular motions for 1-2 mins. Avoid eyes and lips (unless you’re a masochist). It’s also a great way to wake yourself up! If you don’t have a dry crush, you can use a wash cloth.
2) Raw honey. Pure, raw honey is naturally antibacterial and moisturizing. It’s what Native Americans used on wounds! After exfoliating, squeeze a little honey into your palm, add a few drops of water to thin it out, and then rub all over yo’ face! Leave on for whatever you’ve got (I vary from 2 mins to 2 hours, depending on my day). Rinse off with a wash cloth. I follow with a few drops of a light facial oil, and go about my day. No morning “cleanser”, the sugars in the honey are cleansing enough.
3) Smart soap. I only use an actual sudsing cleanser at night, if I’ve been wearing makeup. I’m a huge fan of grapeseed oil for face cleansing, without stripping the natural oils. If you are going to use a cleanser, make sure it’s extra gentle and doesn’t contain SLS, or other harsh detergents. These just assault your skin and cause an increased oil production, and redness. There is this fallacy that if we break out, we need INTENSE products. Wrong. Ditch your Clearasil, honey. Like I said, we’re adults now. Reach for the gentle stuff – especially if you have difficult acne.
4) Fish oil. Fat is your skin-friend. Especially DHA + EPA (the fancy components of Omega-3’s). Taking fish oil daily can also help curb fat cravings, and assist in balancing our diet. Aim for at least 500 mg a day. All fish oils are not created equal. Buy from a reputable source (use code, “MIL14″ to get 15% off your first order + free shipping), look for wild caught fish oil, to avoid ingesting toxins from farmed fish.
5) Bye bye gluten. Gluten sensitivity, was once thought to be a rarity and is now believed to affect one third of the population (perhaps more on a subclinical level). The shitty thing is that we often do not detect the sensitivity, because it’s generally “silent inflammation”, and creeps up all sneaky like. Over time, people dealing with gluten intolerance can develop an un-fun array of medical conditions, acne and other skin rashes among the most common contenders. Quitting gluten was one of the biggest factors in clearing up my skin.
6) Probiotics. Probiotics are great for general gastrointestinal tract health and thus your overall bacterial balance. Probiotics are also great for hormonal health because imbalances in the gut bacteria can lead to the reabsorption of estrogen from your gut back into your blood, even after you liver has tried to get rid of it. Aka: healthy GI flora = happier hormones. Happy hormones = less breakouts. Aim for at least 5-10 billions live organisms/day. Again, I love Life Equals probiotics, and you can save 15% when you subscribe with the code, “MIL14”.
7) Cut the crap. Ooooh gurl: It’s fun to wear makeup and feel adorned. However, some of the ingredients in beauty products aren’t that pretty. In fact, they are hideous. One in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. 450 ingredients that are used in the US are banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union by the industry! What you put on your skin, is absorbed into your body. Your sweet face doesn’t need all that gunk! Choose healthy clean products. As an actress, I used to be a total MAC junkie, and wore thick foundation everyday. When I switched to RMS and other organic brands, my skin immediately cleared up. An easy way to learn how toxic or clean your current products are is to download a free app called ‘ThinkDirty’, follow green beauty bloggers such as Organic Bunny and learn about how to swap out your toxic goods for good-goods. Or, read the brilliant book “Skin Cleanse” to learn simple tricks to having the best skin of your life. Check out Thrive Market, Skin KC, or Wild Washfor amazing Organic facial care!
8) Beauty sleep. It’s such a cliche’, but sleep truly is the best medicine. It is the time the skin renews itself, and when regenerative healing occurs. Sleep is also a dear friend of our immune system. Aim for at least 8 hours, 9 is ideal for most of us. We are so obsessed with DOING in our culture, that it can feel “lazy”to BE. Permit yourself rest, prioritize it and you will see and feel the difference.
9) Sugar shake-off. Did you know sugar is 4x more addictive than cocaine and heroin? Eeek! This sneaky bugger will seriously disrupt our inner ecosystem. We can aid our healthy GI bacteria balance by cutting out sugar, refined flours and processed foods. These all lead to a cycle of cravings and inflammation in the body (read: breakouts!). Sugar feeds the candida bacteria. So, (for those of us with lady-parts) by starving “bad” bacteria’s food source, we are also less likely to get yeast infections!
10) Happy hormones. I recommend avoiding soy and dairy if you experience breakouts. Soy contains phytoestrogens that can intercept our body’s own hormonal production, and dairy is truly a hormonal cocktail. We hear about “Non-Hormone” or “No RBgH added” dairy products. But the truth is, this is a magic elixir that grows a newborn calf into a 1,300 lb beast in just 2 years. Even the most Organic, Raw, Non-homogenized, grass-fed cows produce milk that is laden in hormones. This in turn, affects our own balance. Dairy should also be omitted or greatly reduced if PMS is severe.
11) Hydrate! One word: Water. Getcha H20, babes. It will rock your world, help flush toxins, and keep your body systems running fluidly (Get it? Fluidly? I know, I’m soooo punny!). Aim for fresh spring water and avoid silly bottled water (BPA’s are brats). I keep a water bottle with me at all times, it’s become a habit to just drink whenever I’m sitting, it’s an easy way to keep your water intake constant. Toss in a few lemon slices for an added detox.
Abbi Miller runs her own Holistic Nutrition and Yoga brand, sharing yoga and nutrition via one-on one sessions, retreats and workshops. She is obsessed with kale, juicy adventure and nerding out on all things healthy. She wants everyone to make friends with food, love their bodies and feel foxy. She can be found standing on her head, getting her passport stamped, or sniffing candles somewhere. She loves a good e-high five: www.AbbiMiller.com. Instagram (@abbimillerholistic), Facebook.