“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” – 1 Corinthians 6:19. The above excerpt from Corinthians is often cited to remind us of the importance of treating our body respectfully. That is, since life is given to us by our Savior, we owe it to Him and to ourselves to lead a lifestyle that enables our body, mind, and spirit to achieve their full potential. It could be argued, however, that the passage is also a powerful argument for the importance of approaching beauty from an integrated perspective; one that is based on feeding our skin with the fuel it needs to glow with authentic health and wellbeing. Life is a gift from the Lord and we owe it to Him to sustain it in every way possible.
The food we eat affects the state of our skin
Studies have shown that one of the biggest culprits in the modern diet, is sugar. Not only does a high glucose diet contribute to the likelihood heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer, but it also impairs our cognitive abilities, and ages our skin. High-sugar diets shunt enormous quantities of glucose into our bloodstream, which in turn leads to insulin resistance. In this unhealthy, inflammatory state, collagen fibers (the building blocks of skin) bundle up and tangle, which results in wrinkles, sagging, and dullness. For beautiful skin and a healthy body, feed your body a Mediterranean diet, comprising lean protein sources, healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Go organic if possible, since studies have shown that pesticide-free produce has higher levels of antioxidants (and lower levels of the metal cadmium) than those which are conventionally grown.
Commitment to a skincare routine
Health and beauty also require commitment. All skin types need daily cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, even oily skin. You don’t need to break the bank; there are a plethora of effective yet affordable creams and serums that can target your specific needs – whether these be wrinkles, puffiness, or oiliness. It’s not good to visit a spa once a month if you neglect your skin on a daily basis. The skin is actually the body’s largest organ and also one that is subject to irritation, allergies, and infection. Keep your home clean and let hygiene be a priority. When working out or sharing public spaces, be aware of the importance of habits such as hand washing and carrying bacterial gel and wipes, ideal for bacteria-rich environments such gyms.
Powering up with antioxidants
An antioxidant-rich diet is an important component of a natural approach to beauty because antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that cause the skin to age prematurely. Different foods have different types of antioxidants. Tomatoes, for instance, are rich in lycopene, which prevents damage to our DNA. Resveratrol, found in red wine, is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Carotenoids, meanwhile, found in carrots, plays an important role in cell signaling. This is why it is important to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Other foods have a variety of individual benefits for our skin. Top choices include chia seeds (which help keep skin hydrated), pumpkin (which stimulates collagen production), açaí berry (which scavenges free radicals) and pomegranate (which guards the skin against the sun’s UV rays). Sprouts like soya beans, meanwhile, contain up to three times as much Vitamin C as beans in their unsprouted form.
Having beautiful skin involves treating the skin as well as any other organ of the body. Proper fuel, a good night’s sleep, and stress reduction are important ways to prevent lines and flaccidity and to encourage skin to glow with health. Make sure to steer clear of sugar, stock up on an array of fruits and veggies, and pay particular attention to superfoods, which are nutritional powerhouses that will benefit your health in many ways.