Tips for healthy & clear skin

Unless you are genetically blessed with a flawless, beautiful skin (in which case, we envy you), you probably know how frustrating it can be to deal with acne. There are all kinds of products on the market that give you the promise of clear skin, but you may still struggle to see any sign of  improvement. We get how frustrating that can be, so we reached out to one of our fav skin specialists to dish out on all of the best tips to help you get one step closer to clear, healthy skin! Before you spend more money on acne products that may or may not work, consider taking a trip to see a skin specialist so they can do a personalized assessment, and help you determine what about your lifestyle may be causing your breakouts. “Understanding the root cause of what is triggering your acne is important”, says Nicole Longstaff, a skin specialist and acupuncturist based in Kelowna. According to Longstaff, there are three main causes of acne: hormone imbalance, gut issues, or stress. Depending on what causes your acne, you might want to opt for different treatments.

Once you figure out the root cause of your acne, you can start treating it, so isolating the cause of your breakouts is important! However, getting clear skin isn’t only about treating your existing acne, it’s about prevention. It’s important to take steps to understand how to treat your acne so you aren’t subjecting yourself (or your skin!) to potentially permanent acne scars. Prevention is key, and making some lifestyle changes can help prevent breakouts and get your acne under control. Check out our tips below for healthy and clear skin!

Eliminate Dairy

We have bad news for all of you milk tea lovers: research has shown that a diet with high milk consumption triggers inflammation and contributes to the formation of acne. Dairy products - especially skim milk - contain high level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and IGF-1 has been shown to increase sebum production, which plays a big role in the development of acne. For better looking skin, you might want to cut dairy and swap that milk in your fridge with a fortified vitamin D nut-based milk instead!

Catch Some Z’s

The term “beauty sleep” exists for a reason! Our bodies switch into recovery mode when we snooze, and it is the time for them to repair the damage that occurs daily. A variety of studies have shown that our skin rejuvenates and produces collagen (the protein responsible to give your skin that supple look) when we sleep, while lack of sleep alters the integrity of collagen fibers. Lack of sleep could also increase cortisol (stress hormone) level, which prompts your skin to produce more oil, causing a breakout. In summary, sleep loss leads to skin damage, so make 7 - 8 hours of beauty sleep a priority each night!

Wear Sunscreen Religiously

You’re probably tired of hearing this one, but we will never stop preaching the importance of sunscreen! It is the one product that you should always wear, no matter what your skin type is. You might think that it’s not a big deal because you don’t get sunburnt easily, but sunburn is just the immediate reaction of too much sun, whereas sun damage develops over time. Did you know that other than skin cancer, too much UV rays exposure is also the main cause of premature aging? So don’t forget to apply sunscreen, and reapply often!

Exercise Regularly

It’s no secret that exercise is good for your physical and mental health. If those are not enough reasons to convince you to start moving, research has shown that regular exercise is also key to healthy, youthful skin. According to a study conducted by McMaster University, previously sedentary participants who started exercising regularly (at least 3 hours of moderate activities a week) experienced a reversal in skin aging. Not only that, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins and serotonin which reduce stress level (therefore reducing the chance you’ll get a breakout!). However, keep in mind that sweat could irritate your skin and clog your pores, so make sure that you rinse off after each sweat session and try to avoid touching your face!

Lay off sugar

Sugar isn’t only bad for your waistline, it’s also bad for your skin. Consuming foods with high glycemic index (sugar, white rice, white bread) cause your insulin levels to spike, which increases skin’s oil production. Too much sugar can also accelerate signs of aging! Create beautiful skin from the inside out by limiting sugar and saturated fat from your diet. You should opt for more fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and fish! You can also check out our post here for foods that are great for your skin.

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