Monday Must: Healthy skin tips outside of skincare
Hi I’m Emily - a naturopathic medical student in Toronto. I have a passion for women’s health, fertility and skin health! I truly love what naturopathic medicine has to offer patients in this area and the focus on holistic healthcare.
As a full time student my life mostly consists of studying, reading, and attending courses but I love to take a break for yoga to destress or drawing as creative outlet. If I’ve learned anything in school, it’s the importance of managing stress and taking time to focus on yourself.
I was originally drawn to the field as it can offer natural alternatives to treatments; however, the more I learned the more I loved. Offering longer appointment times, individualized care, focus on disease prevention and education to patients are just some of my favourite aspects of the career. Just a reminder that you don’t need to be sick to reach out to a naturopathic doctor. In fact, many people may just be interested in learning more about reaching their optimal health or for some help when they’re feeling “off”.
Skin health is so important and something so many of us spend tons of money on to get rid of pimples, wrinkles and prevent the dreaded side effects of aging. However, many of us neglect to nourish our skin through other methods outside of topical skincare products. Skin is the body’s biggest organ and changes are not only aesthetic, it may be reflecting what’s going on in other areas.
Get your beauty sleep in
There’s a reason they call it beauty sleep! Sleep is so important for our overall health but also the health of our skin. While we sleep, our cells repair and grow (including our skin cells) and cortisol levels decrease. Without sleep, cortisol levels may remain high causing collagen to decrease and preventing cell turnover.
Consider a silk or satin pillowcase instead of cotton to prevent your nighttime skincare from absorbing into your pillowcase.
Time to relax
Taking time to just chill out is important, whether it's finding time to meditate, journal or doing a 30 minute yoga workout. When we experience stress our bodies switch systems into fight-or-flight which has a number of changes. Our stress hormones like cortisol increase, breaking down collagen, and inflammation and oxidation can occur. Over time this can have an unfortunate impact on our skin and even make conditions such as acne or eczema worse. So take that 20 minutes for some R&R!
Don’t neglect the rest of your body!
When it comes to skincare, focus often lies on our face (I’m guilty of this too). But we can’t forget to take care of the rest of our body! My favourite way to benefit my skin is by dry brushing my body before showering. Dry brushing can be great for exfoliating the skin, helping to prevent cellulite, and even help debloat.
Can’t forget about diet
The gut-skin connection is a real thing and a really important factor in the health of our skin for MANY reasons. Some people experiencing acne can remove dairy, excessive sugar or wheat and notice a large difference if they have an underlying sensitivity. Antioxidants found in veggies can slow aging or even have anti-aging effects on skin and eating a variety of coloured produce can help brighten skin from the polyphenols. Don’t forget to consume fruits with Vitamin C as its required for collagen synthesis in the body.
Introducing skin tools
I’m sure many of you have heard of jade rollers or Gua Sha tools which have recently gained popularity in skincare and for good reason. Jade rollers can be used by lightly rolling on the skin away from the center to drain lymph and depuff-a great addition for early morning routines! Gua Sha on the other hand is more a massage tool which can be used to relax the muscles and create a lift in the face.