Better Skin: 5 Easy & Free Steps

It seems we’re bombarded each day with skin-perfecting lotions, serums and treatments. What is sometimes forgotten is that the skin, the largest organ of our body, is natural and thus affected by natural circumstances.

Although wearing sunscreen and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes do help, there’s simple day-to-day things one can do to greatly improve skin in the most natural and cost-effective ways.

Get skin-deep with these five easy and free skincare tips:

1. Practice Deep Breathing

The benefits of deep breathing techniques are myriad; they work rapidly, can be done anywhere and do not need special talent or skill. Stress is one of the main contributors to dull, uneven and problem skin. Energizing oxygen throughout the body, deep breathing practices aim to return the body to a more balanced state to remove stress, at least temporarily.

2. Get Active

You know that healthy post-workout glow? Getting active boosts the activity of white blood cells, increasing levels of beta-endorphins, improving your mood and circulation, which is good for your skin. Beta-endorphins have immense anti-inflammatory benefits that fight your stress hormone cortisol.

3. Eat Right

When stress hits, cortisol levels rise, telling our brains that we are hungry for all the wrong food types: sugary and fatty. Instead, eating lots of lean protein will give you more energy and fight hunger pangs. Protein is key to mood stability, due to its effect on maintaining a healthy blood-sugar balance, which in turn keeps certain hormones like insulin in check. Writing down the top five guilty treats you tend to reach for when you’re stressed, also helps. Being aware of your guilty pleasures and cutting them down gradually will help eliminate them from your diet for good.

4. Be Positive

Raise your happiness quotient to reduce stress and inspire yourself and others around you. As recommended by Martin Seligman, Ph.D., the scientist who inspired psychologists to investigate happiness and positive emotions: Find a notebook or journal you particularly like. Every night, write down three things that went well that day and why. It also may help to keep a gratitude list — things for which you are truly grateful. The point is to focus on the positive — on the events, people and experiences that you appreciate and that bring you joy. The exercise may even inspire you to turn a negative into a positive just by reshaping your attitude.

5. Sleep More

That dreaded statement: “You look tired” is never taken well. A haggard appearance is the tell-tale of personal stress and exhaustion. In turn, sleep deprivation can make you overeat, over-caffeinated and cause you to ditch workouts because you’re too tired. Just about every system in the body is affected by the quality and amount of sleep you get each night, so be sure to catch some Z’s!


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