With a new year upon us, we get a fresh slate to create the habits we want to continue throughout the year. While a lot of my self-care habits focus more on how I want to feel, rather than how I look, skin care is the exception. Plus, you just feel better about yourself when your skin looks, and feels, soft and pretty. I’m fortunate to have always had clear skin, with few breakouts, but at the same time struggle with dry, very sensitive, reactive skin. Hormonal changes in my 40’s exacerbated this, and brought me the gift of mild rosacea. So much fun!
While I am no skincare expert, I do have a fair amount of experience with my own skin, and have always taken a holistic approach to caring for it. For me, that means using the purest products possible on my skin, and also nourishing it from within, with the right foods and supplements. Nourished, cared-for skin has a luminous quality that looks beautiful at any age and seems to glow from the inside out.
Here are my tips for keeping skin healthy and glowing at any age:
Nothing new here – at least 8 glasses of water daily, more when you are exercising, or in hot weather to mitigate sweat loss. You can substitute herbal tea (hot or cold), lemon water, or add any of our Niyama powders to your H2O if you find plain water unappealing. Keep a refillable water bottle with you when you are out, or on your desk to keep hydration top of mind.
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! Lack of sleep can make even the healthiest skin look drawn and sallow. Most of us need 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. If you aren’t getting this, you aren’t alone, and if you’d like to improve your sleep naturally, check out my Sleep Hacks in my New Year, Same Me blog.
- Nourish Your Skin from Within
For me, this is a combination of both eating, and supplementing. Ensuring you are eating mostly plants, and including lots of leafy greens and antioxidant-rich veggies and berries is key. Minimal sugars and processed foods. And then supplementing with an omega oil – fish oil if you are not vegan, or Borage oil if you are helps moisturize further from the inside out and has proven skin benefits. Collagen, taken orally, can also benefit both skin and joints, as our own collagen production diminishes after the age of 30. But if you follow a plant-based diet, or just don’t love the sourcing of collagen powder (usually from cow hides, bones and connective tissue, or in the case of marine collagen, from fish skin) it is a bit trickier to get those benefits. But not impossible. Niyama’s Glow & Flow is a plant-based, vegan-friendly collagen booster for glowy skin and healthy joints. It provides the amino acid building blocks (glycine, proline as well as leucine) your skin needs to make more of its own collagen, in addition to vitamin C and marine trace minerals to help support the synthesis of new collagen. And because skin tends to become more dehydrated after 30, we’ve also added vegan sourced hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture from the inside out. Best of all, you just mix a scoop of this sugar-free natural berry powder in cold water, stir well, and it deliciously helps with your water consumption.
- Cleanse with the right cleanser for your skin type
My dry, sensitive skin prefers a cream or oil cleanser, but if you have oilier skin you may prefer a water or gel-based cleanser. My two faves are: Sahajan Essential Cleansing Oil and Province Apothecary Moisturizing Oil Cleanser. Happy to say that both products cleanse and remove make-up, and are Canadian, Female-owned and Founded brands.
Exfoliating removes dead and dry skin cells and allows all your products to penetrate better and do their job. Best practice seems to be exfoliating 1-3 times per week, depending on how sensitive your skin is. I’m a once a week woman, and like to do this Sunday while I take a bath. I’m hooked on the Sahajan Brightening Mask, and every now and then I splurge on the GoopGlow 55 Glycolic Acid Overnight Peel Light which they carry at The Detox Market Canada, my fave shop for clean beauty – they have an amazing team of product experts who can help you find the right products for your skin, both online and in-store.
- Moisturize Morning and Night
So important. Maybe the most important step. Two years ago I connected with Elaine, the founder of Iremia Skincare, an extremely clean & natural line created especially for sensitive, reactive skin. Super clean and minimal, with an oil, a toner, a moisturizer and a balm. I cannot say enough about the Iremia Soothing Lotion which I use religiously twice a day, and then in the winter months I top with the a thin layer of the Protective Cream, especially if I’m spending time outside in the cold, dry air. Underneath my moisturizer I also apply a Vitamin C serum, and a pump of pure Moroccan Argan oil that is brought to Canada directly from the Women’s Co-operative outside Marrakech in Morocco. It’s super light and can be used as a facial oil, a body oil, and a hair oil. Nezik, the beautiful soul who brings in the oil, is a Moroccan Canadian who specializes in creating authentic trips to Morocco, and who realized how impacted the women of Morocco were when travel practically ceased during Covid. Nezik is importing the oil herself, directly from the cooperative, in small batches to help keep their co-op going.
Last step in the topical routine – even in the winter if you are going outside. 30 SPF at minimum. Choose a clean, mineral-based one.
What are your most effective skincare habits?
What are you favourite habits for taking care of your skin?