Wellbeing practises that are good for the skin? What on earth am I talking about? Surely wellbeing is about the beauty within? Well, of course, it is but it’s also a case of looking after the inside and the outside will benefit.
Yes, we all know at least one of those exceptions to the rules - the Diet Coke addict with great teeth, the greasy spoon regular with flawless skin. Perhaps there’s a scientific explanation, or maybe they signed a contract with the devil, who knows? What we do know is that these rare specimens are the exception to the rule and the rule is this - a holistic approach to health will improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
So, let’s explore some of the most popular wellbeing practises and how they can benefit the feel and appearance of your skin.
Can Meditation Make Your Skin Beautiful?
Oh, what a lovely idea! Sit, relax, think of mountains and rivers and wait to be beautiful. It sounds too good to be true. Yet, it’s far from the instant results many beauty brands are claiming to be in possession of and it’s far less expensive.
You’re not likely to see noticeable results within one week, as some magical creams promise, nor will you ever really know whether meditation has slowed down the appearance of ageing since meditation cannot be applied only to one side of your face. If you’re lucky enough to have a twin then perhaps you could commence a ten-year study? Let us know how it goes! Yet, unlike much of what we choose to blindly trust in to ward off ageing and give us that lusted-after glow, no financial investment or empire is swelling at the expense of shaming women into pursuing impossible beauty standards.
Regular meditation can reduce stress and tension. Doing so makes everything easier for your body - digestion, movement, respiration and even blood circulation. In short, if meditation works in favour of your mental wellbeing the holistic health benefits are vast. As the largest organ in your body, your skin is always going to enjoy the fruits you leading a health-conscious lifestyle. Stress shows. It can prompt dark circles, particularly around the eyes, and it can dull the skin. With all the will, expensive creams, exfoliating and spa treatments in the world, the only sure way to combat the effects of stress on our skin is by dealing with the stress itself.
In addition, our facial muscles get a major workout when we frown, tense and worry. This is not the kind of workout that’s doing us good. Rather it encourages wrinkles and even deep creases to form in the face. In meditation, we are encouraged to relax our facial muscles and give skin a much-needed rest. Deep breathing during meditation also helps to circulate and increase the oxygen being delivered to our skin tissues.
What’s more, these are not simply effects that happen only during meditation but rather habits we form through meditation. Deeper breathing, maintaining a more relaxed state and learning to fend off stress are the results of meditative techniques. Therefore, their impact is sustainable.
Meditation is more effective for some than others. It seems that for every person who swears their allegiance to the practice of meditation, there is one who never feels the benefits. There is no reason why you should persist with meditation if you have given the practice a worthy try and discovered little to be gained. As much as I advocate for meditation, there are other ways to manage stress and it's important to explore and find what works for you.
Meditation must also not be pursued for the benefit of appearance or trend but for the positive impact it can have on mental health, and for generally learning ways in which to navigate through an increasingly demanding, distracting and intense world. Approach meditation with this resolve and, if it is a practice that works for you, you may find yourself illuminating that glow that grows from the inside, out.
Does Sleep Really Improve Your Skin?
I know I bang on about it but it’s only because it’s impossible to talk about skin without coming back to the subject of sleep. Wellbeing experts often focus on sleep too. That’s because so many of us are not getting enough. Or we’re eating too late or drinking alcohol in the evenings which severely impacts the quality of our sleep.
Sleep is when our bodies recover. When our brains process information, store memories and run what very closely represents a software update. Unless we eat late in the evenings, our gut also gets the opportunity to slow down overnight. One of the major processes that takes place during periods of sleep, is tissue repair. It tackles the UV damage of the day and restocks our collagen supply.
How many times have you moistured your skin, studied a spot or patch of dry skin and climbed into bed hoping it will have disappeared in the morning? We do this because it’s very likely that it will have. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason so don’t skimp on it.
Before sleep, wash and cleanse your skin to remove any build-up of dirt, toxins or make-up in the pores. Then apply a super-rich facial moisturiser to act as a barrier for your skin and supply it with a good drink for the night ahead.
Need a little help drifting off? Do it the natural way with our Sleepy Joyce foot cream. Inspired by my grandmother, Joyce, who had a tendency to doze off in her chair, I created this scrumptious soothing foot cream infused with lavender, ylang-ylang and chamomile to soften your tootsies and relax your muscles and senses into rest.
Healthy Eating - Food For Your Skin
Although I’m still using terms like ‘wellness’ and ‘wellbeing’ I do keep a close eye on where it’s all going. Whilst wellness was pitched very much in opposition to the diet industry, not all those claiming to be part of the wellness movement are all that different from the image-obsessed one-size-fits-all approach that brought about a toxic diet culture.
Therefore, when I talk about healthy eating in the company of wellness, I'm talking from a nutritional point of view only. With a nutrition-first approach to eating you can give your body what it needs to thrive and this includes your skin.
My mantra is “If I won’t eat it, it doesn’t go on my skin.” Skincare is about feeding your skin with everything it needs on the outside, which is why all-natural skincare provides you with everything you require. However, we also feed our skin from the inside and for that, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting a share of natural fats. Natural fats are very different from saturated fats which solidify at room temperature (not great for the blood). Natural fats can be found in nuts, avocados, fish, olive oil, seeds and tofu. These include omegas which are the building blocks of healthy cells. They also stimulate the skin’s oil barrier keeping your skin hydrated and supple.
Overall, getting a nutrient-rich diet, preferably with a large share of fruit and vegetables, is going to keep your gut happy. The science on gut health has been overwhelming in the past few years with leading scientists and medics even referring to the gut as our second brain, due to the influence the gut has over our chemical balance and decision making. Especially in terms of our stress levels. Although there is still some disagreement over the exact foods and quantities we should be feeding our gut to keep it happy, the general consensus is that a satisfied gut can reduce stress, which, as we’ve learnt above, has a big impact on the appearance of our skin.
Sexual Pleasure For Youthful Skin?
Yeah, I’m talking about sex, baby. Whether your sexual pleasure is a solo activity or whether you have a partner, a fulfilling sex life can have a very positive effect on your skin. Studies have shown that sexual activity can result in higher levels of estrogen in women which means increased collagen production. A healthy sex life also reduces stress which can help to maintain a more youthful appearance.
The after-sex glow is no myth either - sex is exercise and this is known to release nitric oxide which stimulates blood flow and oxygen, giving you that dewy, hydrated sheen.
It frustrates me no end that in all our talk of self-care, sex, including masturbation, is rarely mentioned. Yet, sexual pleasure is a core part of our make-up. It’s designed not only for us to reproduce but for all sorts of other health benefits, including hormone release that, amongst other things, keeps our skin thick, smooth and hydrated. As far as Wellbeing Practises That Are Good For The Skin go, this is one of our favourites.
Your body goes through a lot and it deserves to experience pleasure. Besides this, sex may well be the earth’s most powerful elixir - the most simple (and fun) of ways to stay young and vibrant both inside, and outside.
May as well start today, eh?