Happy Friday Guys! Who here is SUPER pumped about the weekend!? I really do enjoy blogging, but I do it 7 days a week and honestly don’t take much time off. Tomorrow my family is coming over to celebrate my birthday, so I’m really excited to unplug for a bit and spend some time with them!
It’s really hard to believe that another whole year has almost passed – but more on that in another post! This year, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin, and it’s looking the best it has in a really long time. It actually looks like it aged backwards, and I even got confirmation it DID when doing an age scan of my skin at a spa! Just between last April and June, the ‘age of my skin’ went from 28 to 27, and it looks sooo much better now than it did in June. To the point where friends have commented! I can’t wait to do another age scan and see what it is now!
Sooo, I’m excited to not only sharing 5 things I did this year that I found to make a big difference in my skin, but to be partnering with one of my favorite skincare brands, Clarins, to do it!:
1) Eat Well!
This seems like a no-brainer, but it seriously makes a difference! I found my skin looking dull and breaking out towards the end of our Europe trip. Part of it was due to the next point, but part of it was definitely diet related. I find when I eat my greens and limit/avoid cards, dairy, and sugar, my skin looks best! And there’s actually scientific proof to back this up…
To quickly summarize, dairy, especially liquid dairy like milk, is highly inflammatory for most people, as it is acidic and our bodies weren’t meant to break down lactose, the primary sugar found in milk and dairy products. (After all, it was designed by nature to make calves gain weight quickly, not for humans to digest… ) Then on top of that, many dairy products are full of antibiotics and hormones. Inflammation can cause acne and a slew of other problems, and I find my skin the clearest when I am consuming less dairy.
Sugar also has negative results on skin: it damages and destroys good proteins in your body like Elastin and Collagen, the proteins which keep skin firm and plump… Essentially promoting aging! Our bodies break down most carbs into sugar, which is why I try to avoid them too!
2) Get Enough Sleep, and Get it Early!
This is still a work in progress, but I have been improving this year, especially on being earlier to bed and earlier to rise. I see a big difference when I have weeks where I get at least 7 hours of sleep a night and am in bed before midnight! My parents used to tell me sleep before midnight is worth 4x sleep after midnight… While that isn’t necessarily true, there is some truth behind the saying. There are two types of sleep: REM and non-REM. Non-REM is what you want a lot of, as it’s the deep sleep that is most restorative. It tends to happen most earlier in the night, where as the later it gets, the more REM sleep tends to dominate. After a certain point, around 2am/3am, almost all of your sleep will be REM, meaning less skin restoration happening!
3) Hydrate, Hydrated Hydrate!!!
Hydrating is SO essential for good skin! Drink lots of water and use lots of products that will moisturize and lock in that hydration. Use a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid – it’s a super-strength moisturizer that holds 1,000 times it’s weight in water (and also boosts collagen production!). Our body already naturally produces hyaluronic acid, so it works great with our skin, but it produces it less as we get older. I also like to end my skincare routine with an oil, which has a plethora of benefits. First and foremost, it’s a great moisturizer; it also acts as barrier – locking in moisture the products you put on before it and keeping out pollutants and toxins, and can minimize wrinkles and pores!
4) Use Products with Vitamin C & Retinol
I started using a lot more products packed with vitamin C (especially) and retinol this year, and have seen such difference in the brightness and smoothness of my skin. I’ve also seen a lot of dark spots and scars fade, and some even disappear! Vitamin C not only stimulates collagen production, but it acts as an antioxidant, so it protects what collagen your skin is already producing. And retinol is amazing for skin cell turnover!
5) Use SPF!
This was something I neverrrr did until about a year and a half ago. I have a back full of freckles because of it and really wish I’d treated my skin better. The number one reason why protecting your skin from these is so important is of course to try to prevent skin cancer. Sun exposure over time can damage your skin’s DNA which can cause mutations when regenerating, which if you have enough of lead to cancer. But sun damage is also responsible for visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots and negatively affects collagen production. So protecting you skin from the sun can also make huge difference in keeping your skin young and smooth!
I recently started using Clarins UV Plus Sunscreen, as it has SPF 50 and protects against pollution and free radicals as well. I mentioned earlier that one of the reasons I love using an oil as the last step in my skincare routines is because it locks everything in and provides a barrier against pollutants and toxins. While I use an oil year-round to finish off my nighttime skincare routine, I often don’t feel like using an oil at the end of my morning routine during the summer. Clarins UV Plus is the perfect solution to keeping that protection while lightening things up for summer. It’s very lightweight, sheer, and doesn’t feel greasy or sticky.
I hope these tips are helpful for you guys and leave you with better skin as well! Let me know in the comments below if you follow any of these or plan to try them!
This post was sponsored by Clarins, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!