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Skincare

A Holistic Approach to Glowing Skin

A Holistic Approach to Glowing Skin

Holistic Skincare

Holistic and natural skincare is the new beauty trend. But it means more than simply putting healthy topicals on your skin. A better definition of holistic skincare is that it harnesses your skin and body’s own ability to heal and repair. 

The truth is, it takes more than applying serums and moisturizers to have healthy and glowing skin. Holistic skincare is actually a lifestyle and a very comprehensive approach to achieving health and balance for glowing skin.

To make it easy for you, I’ve developed a roadmap of simple steps to take to transform your current skincare routine into one that is holistic and natural. Start by discovering what your skin needs, then nourish it from the inside out, choose the right products with the right ingredients, and include healthy rituals in your everyday life.

Know your skin

It’s time to get familiar with your own skin. Everyone’s skin is unique and there are a lot of factors that influence its attributes. Determining your skin type is the first step. You are probably already familiar with the main types: ‘dry’, ‘oily’, ‘normal’, or ‘combination’. But I like to mention a couple more skin types that don’t always fit the main categories. ‘Reactive skin’ is one that is highly sensitive to factors such as stress, sleep, poor diet, hormones. You might notice that it gets red, blotchy, and might break out often. ‘Mature skin’ is another type that has specific needs as it is thinner and lacks moisture and elasticity. Knowing your skin type will help you choose topicals that suit your unique needs.

Nourish your skin with good ingredients

A Holistic Approach to Glowing Skin

Skincare isn’t a one size fits all, but we do know that harsh products that strip away the healthy acid mantle aren’t good for anyone. So try a good oil cleanser! Use clean and safe skincare products that include antioxidants to nourish the skin and SPF to protect it. I don’t think you need me to go into the importance of SPF because this is common knowledge. Agreed? Good. 

Change your skincare products during seasonal changes

Do you adjust your skincare routine during seasonal changes? This might be a brand-new concept for you, but one that makes all the difference. 

Hydration during summer is so different than during the winter months. Humidity is at opposite ends of the scale. Look for moisturizers that use light oils such as jojoba, rosehip, or kukui oil during the summer. For the winter, steer clear of intense cleansers that strip oil and bacteria. Instead, look for an oil-based cleanser. The less lather, the better for dry winter months. 

Be sure to change your products a few weeks before the start of a new season. You’ll have a better chance of staying ahead of the game and preventing common skin issues that come with summer or winter weather. 

Beauty foods for skin

How and what you eat is just as important, if not more important than what you put on your skin. It’s quite fascinating how much research there is about food and its impact on our skin. My key takeaways to a truly holistic approach to healthy skin include the following:

  • Eat your healthy fats

Consuming foods rich in healthy fats allows you to moisturize your skin from the inside out, keeping it supple and improving elasticity. Omega 3s found in fish, reduce inflammation and can even make you less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

  • Opt for foods high in Vitamin E

This vitamin is an important antioxidant that helps protect the skin from oxidative damage. Avocados, nuts and seeds, and vegetable oils are good dietary sources. It seems that Vitamin E is more effective when combined with Vitamin C, so eating whole foods rich in nutrients is definitely the way to go!

  • Select carbs that have a low glycemic index 

The glycemic index is a system that ranks carbs based on how slowly or quickly they are absorbed. Choose the ones that are low and slow-releasing, like beans, sweet potato, oatmeal, peas, and legumes. 

  • Eat plenty of antioxidants 

When it comes to healthy skin, the research is clear. Antioxidants are essential and the more fruits and vegetables you consume, the better! They protect your skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage the skin. Aim to eat the rainbow and get a variety of colours in your diet from fruits and veggies. 

  • Don’t forget your minerals! 

Especially zinc and selenium, as they are great at helping your skin heal. Minerals carry out important reactions in the body such as providing structural support and regulating tissue growth. Nuts and seeds, whole grains, legumes, and meats all provide the most minerals. 

Ingredients to avoid

The list is so extensive for this section that I’d have an entire book if I even attempted going over all of them. Be skeptical of marketing claims on packages that say “gentle”, “hypoallergenic”, “natural”, “scent-free”. These tend to be meaningless and are not regulated words. Your skin is your largest organ and deserves the very best. It absorbs most of what you put on it and a lot of skincare products contain endocrine disruptors. These can wreak havoc on your hormones, let alone your skin.

What should you avoid? A lot! Especially triclosan, fragrance, parabens, phthalates, polyethylene, sodium lauryl sulfate, and oxybenzone to name a few.

Holistic skincare rituals

Do you want more deets on all things that should be part of your skincare ritual? These aren’t secrets that only the top skincare specialists know about. They are simple steps that should be happening at your bathroom sink too!  

  • Give yourself a two-minute facial, especially in the morning before applying makeup. All you need are 2 washcloths, one that is hot and one that is cold. Alternate between them for two minutes, holding each on your face for about 30 seconds. Make sure you finish with cold! It will make your skin feel fresh and be ready for the day.

A Holistic Approach to Glowing Skin

  • Move your lymphatics using a jade roller or a gua sha tool. Not only does it provide a relaxing massage to reduce muscle tension in the face, but it stimulates circulation to feed the skin and encourages lymphatic flow to calm the look of skin and decrease the appearance of puffiness and under-eye bags.
  • Mask twice weekly. I am not talking about any masks or treatments here. It’s not all about the pretty smells and colours. Ask your facialist to recommend a product that can be used as a treatment specifically for your skin concerns. You can also learn to multi-mask because it can be really beneficial. You can use 2 different masks at the same time, especially if you have an oily T-zone but dry and sensitive cheeks. In this case, you can attack your pores and oil using a charcoal mask on your T-zone and use a brightening and hydrating mask on your cheeks. Or choose one and follow it with another. The most important element is to make sure the masks complement each other – there’s no point in doing two hydration masks!

As you can see, treating your skin holistically is going to go a long way for its health and appearance. By knowing your skin, avoiding harmful ingredients, developing a simply skin-loving ritual and nourishing from the inside out, you’ll be well on your way to glow.

Dr. Lynne Racette
Dr. Lynne is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor currently practicing in Ontario. She has a clinical focus and strong background in hormonal balance, pelvic floor, and holistic skin care. She is passionate about evidence-based medicine and helping her patients simplify their health and get the results that they want and need. When she is not seeing patients, you can find her with power tools working on renovating her house and walking her giant Newfoundland dog.