Be at your most gorgeous!
Wellness and beauty are intricately connected, new research ﬁnds, and when it comes to creating radiance, what you put in your body is as important as what you put on it. Studies show your skin beneﬁts from healthy diet, exercise, and sleep habits plus low stress levels. And on the ﬂip side, looking your best has a positive impact on your well-being. “When you feel great about your looks, you’re happier and you have more self-conﬁdence,” says Dr Jennifer Chwalek, a dermatologist in New York City. After investigating what has been proved to affect health and skin simultaneously, we came away with ﬁve key ﬁndings. This comprehensive guide offers strategies, based on cutting-edge research, to help you foster the beauty-body connection.
NUTRIENTS THAT MAKE YOU VIBRANT
Eating for good skin looks a lot like eating for good health: lots of produce and healthy fats. Antioxidants found in bell peppers, greens, and berries help protect the skin from cellular agers like UV rays and airborne pollution, says Dr Lance H. Brown, a surgical and cosmetic dermatologist in New York and East Hampton. And ﬁsh oil keeps the skin supple and ﬁghts inﬂammation. Dr. Brown advises increasing your intake of fatty ﬁsh like salmon, which contains vitamin E and zinc to prevent skin damage.
Beauty supplements are also growing in popularity. One biggie is collagen, like Holistic Way Marine collagen + Complete Antioxidants ($69, www.jrlifesciences.com), a protein that makes skin look plump and smooth. “Taken orally, collagen may help hydration and potentially promote elasticity,” Dr. Chwalek says. “One study found that taking collagen with hyaluronic acid, a superhydrating ingredient, improved the appearance of wrinkles.” Bonus: Other research found that collagen helped relieve exercise-related joint pain.
THE BELLY-BEAUTY LINK
“Research shows that people with healthier and more diverse gut microbiomes tend to have healthier fatty acids in their skin, meaning it’s more hydrated and plumper,” says Carla Oates, author of The Beauty Chef Gut Guide.
Because of these ﬁndings, we’re starting to see more probiotics and prebiotics (food for your gut bacteria) targeting your skin as well as your stomach. “There is some new evidence that probiotics may help minimise photodamage to the skin,” Dr Chwalek says. Other research shows that the duo may also help treat inﬂammatory issues like acne.
To nourish your gut, remember the two Fs: ﬁbre and fermented, Carla says. “Fibre is good for gut bacteria and the gut lining. And kimchi and keﬁr are rich in live bacteria that help improve digestive function for optimal well-being and generating a glow. ”If you’re looking to supplement, Carla says lactobacillus, biﬁdobacterium, and saccharomyces strains of probiotics all have proven skin beneﬁts.
THE ANTI-AGEING WORKOUT
Cardio can take up to 30 years off your skin. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario found that aerobic exercise prompts your body to produce IL-15, a protein that encourages the growth of mitochondria, structures in skin cells that produce energy to make your complexion smoother. “Increased blood ﬂow also makes you rosier and brings more nutrients to the skin,” Dr Chwalek says. Plus, sweat exfoliates dead layers of dermis. Mark Tarnopolsky, the study’s author, suggests doing cardio for 30 to 45 minutes, three to ﬁve times a week. Just wear SPF30 or above in a sport formula if you exercise outdoors, and reapply it according to the label.
OUR MODEL’S GORGEOUS GLOW
It all comes from a healthy attitude. “When you believe in your worth, you’ll do whatever it takes to be the healthiest version of yourself.”
– KIANA ALEXIS (@MSKIANAALEXIS)
REPAIR WHILE YOU REST
“Lack of sleep can lead to excess levels of cortisol and inﬂammatory compounds. This can accelerate aging,” says Dr Y. Claire Chang, a dermatologist in New York City. “A recent study found that chronic poor sleep was associated with increased ﬁne lines, uneven pigmentation, and reduced elasticity.” Seven hours a night is a good goal.
The zzzs are only part of the story. Skin stem cells go through cycles of rapid growth from 11pm to 4am. “This is when the skin is most susceptible to regenerating ingredients, like antioxidants and retinol,” Dr Chwalek says.
To maximise this window, use a serum like ISDIN Melatonik 3-in-1 Night Serum (USD$160 [S$216], www.isdin.com), which contains vitamin C and bakuchiol, a plant-derived retinol alternative, then ﬁnish with an oil. “At night, skin’s oil production slows. Face oils counteract water loss,” Dr Chwalek says. She likes jojoba and rosehip oils, both in RMS Beauty Oil ($125, www.sephora.sg).
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