Healthy skin is amazing
Healthy skin really is amazing. It protects us from the elements, keeps us warm and has the potential to prevent toxins from entering the body. It also helps that having healthy, glowing skin can make you look years younger! However, with everything that skin does for us, can we honestly say that we love our skin in return?
Unfortunately, our skin can get quite neglected which, in turn, can lead to dullness and a lacklustre, tired-looking complexion. That’s why, today, I’m going to be exploring how you can bring some vitality back to dull skin and what you can do in the future to prevent it from occurring again.
1. Work it out!
If exercise is not on your radar then your skin will eventually suffer as your tissues will not receive enough of the nutrients it needs to thrive, such as iron, vitamin C or beta-carotene. While a lack of these nutrients can be enough to cause dullness, you also have to consider that, if the blood flow to your skin is sluggish, this will affect your lymphatic system.
What is your lymphatic system? You can think of it as your body’s drainage system. It is composed of a complex network of tissues and organs and just happens to be located beneath your skin. Your lymphatic system works to transport toxins and impurities away from skin, but it also transports white blood cells to this area. This is important as white bloods cells can help to fight off infections and pathogens.
So, if your lymphatic system isn’t working properly, a plethora of nasty toxins and impurities could build up in your skin. Not only can this lead to dullness, if you happen to suffer from a pre-existing skin condition like acne or eczema, you may experience some flare-ups!
Fortunately, just a little bit of exercise each day will get the blood pumping again, naturally bringing back a healthy complexion, as I discuss in my blog, ‘6 fantastic ways exercise benefits your skin’. If you do suffer from poor circulation, though, you might need an extra helping hand here. This is where Ginkgo biloba could be of use. This herb has been traditionally used for centuries to help improve healthy blood flow, giving your circulation a nice little lift.
2. Quit smoking
We all know that tobacco damages organs, but it also worsens circulation and depletes the body of vitamin C. In fact, it’s thought that smokers, or those exposed to second-hand smoke, could need up to 35mg more vitamin C than non-smokers.1 This can be problematic as your skin needs vitamin C: it helps to support your production of collagen, plus it works as an antioxidant, fighting off the free-radical molecules responsible for premature ageing.
Quitting smoking can be a difficult process, though, which is why I would always recommend seeking help. The NHS can be a good resource here as they offer plenty of information and guidance to help you reach your goal. In the meantime, try to make sure that your skin is getting plenty of antioxidant nutrients. Focus on eating more nutritious foods, such as leafy green vegetables, brightly coloured fruits and lean sources of protein.
If you want to learn more about the foods that can help your skin, I’d recommend checking out our Nutritionist Emma’s blog, ‘Eat your way to healthy skin’, for more tips and advice.
3. Drink more water
This is one that I’m constantly trying to promote, but hydration really does make for happier skin. If you’re not drinking enough fluids (and by fluids, I mean good old-fashioned plain water!) then your skin is going to suffer very quickly. In my blog, ‘How can I keep my skin hydrated in summer?’ I go into a bit more depth about the consequences of dehydration, so here I’ll just summarise by saying that your skin can become drier, more irritable and more prone to premature ageing.
If your diet consists of fizzy juice, coffee or alcohol then this can also contribute to the problem. These drinks don’t help you to stay hydrated and they can leech your store of essential nutrients like vitamin C or iron. Instead, try to drink at least 1.5-2 litres of water a day – this can help to clear up blemishes and leave your skin with a dewier, healthier complexion.
Stress, as I’ve mentioned so many times, can take a real toll on your skin. This is because adrenaline is released during times of stress, causing the blood to be drained away from the smaller blood vessels in your skin and rush to the major organs, leaving you looking pale. Stress can also encourage inflammation which, over time, can lead to problems such as skin blemishes or encourage eczema flare-ups.
Tackling the source of your stress head on is always the best option. Talk to someone about how you’re feeling, don’t bottle up your emotions. Our Stress Advisor Marianna also offers some top tips for fighting stress here: ‘Your top 10 stress busting tips’. Her tips are definitely worth reading just to develop some habits that could potentially help you in the future.
The greatest favour you can do for your skin is incorporating a proper skin care regime into your daily routine. To help bring back your skin’s natural glow, it first needs moisture. Moisturise before you go to bed to aid your skin’s repair work. The best types of moisturisers are the ones which use natural ingredients to ensure optimum results.
When it comes to restoring vitality to tired skin, we usually recommend our amazing Comfrey Cream. Our comfrey is sourced from our organic farm in Roggwil, Switzerland and is processed onsite within hours of harvesting. This ensures the freshest ingredients are put into A.Vogel Comfrey Cream so it can revive your skin and help in the process of bringing back your natural, youthful glow.
6. Try natural remedies
Your kitchen can be your secret weapon when it comes to banishing dull skin. Natural homemade remedies are inexpensive, safe to use, will help to reduce the appearance of dull skin and give your skin a natural, dewy glow. Here are my top 4 homemade beauty tips using ingredients which you can find in your fridge to help combat your skin’s dull days.
For those who can use bee products, honey has lots of antibacterial properties which can help to banish blemishes. Honey is a natural humectant, meaning it helps to moisturise and draw water to the skin. Make your own honey facemask to help bring back the moisture and glow to your skin.
What you’ll need:
- 5 tbsp of honey
- ¼ cup of lukewarm water
- ½ avocado
- 1 egg white
Spoon the honey into a bowl and mix with the lukewarm water. Peel and core the avocado and blend in a food processor, then add the avocado pulp and egg white to your bowl.
Mix all of the ingredients and apply to your face once the mixture is cool. Leave your honey face mask on for 10 minutes and then wash off.
Alternatively, you can directly apply just the honey to your face as it will be just as moisturising. However, I just prefer to add the water to dilute the sticky consistency. The egg whites are added for extra brightening and the avocado is added due to its high levels of antioxidants. As avocado is full of vitamin E, this will help to banish dull skin.
2. Natural yoghurt
You can use natural yoghurt as a cleansing face mask which has a lot of moisturising goodness, helping to bring back your skin’s natural brightness.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup natural Greek yoghurt
- Handful of fresh green grapes, mashed
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 1 herbal tea bag
Cut open a tea bag; choose your favourite kind of herbal tea. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and massage onto the skin. Leave for 10-15 minutes then rinse off. The grapes and tea tree oil will help to cleanse and clear the skin of bacteria. The tea will help with exfoliation and the natural Greek yoghurt will help to moisturise, leaving a youthful, dewy complexion.
Blackcurrants contain vitamin C, four times more so than oranges. They are also antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin C helps to cement your skin cells making it more difficult for wrinkles to deepen and leaving better looking, healthier skin.
What you’ll need:
- Handful of blackcurrants
- 200g Papaya
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp of oats
- Food processor
Scoop out the papaya flesh and add the blackcurrants to a food processor and blend. Pour the pulp into a bowl, add the water and oats, and mix until you have a slightly runny consistency. Apply to your face, making sure to thoroughly massage into all areas of the face, then rinse off after two minutes.
4. Parsley and peppermint
A good way to brighten the skin is to have a deep steam clean.
Stick the kettle on, pour some hot water into a bowl and then add some nice chopped herbs. I like to use parsley and peppermint. Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes until you can comfortably hold your hand over it. Put a towel over your head and lean over the steamy goodness for a few minutes; this will help to cleanse your pores and leave a beautiful, bright complexion.
(Originally published 23/08/2015, updated 07/05/2019)