Some people may think that improving the quality of your skin involves buying some expensive creams or having a luxury facial now and again. Whilst these can help, they cannot make an overall difference individually. If what you want is naturally glowing skin without the extra layers and at a fraction of the price, read on.
This one has been out since the dinosaurs, but the most important step towards improving your skin is increasing your water intake. Water is literally like medicine for the body and although many people find the taste boring, it does wonders for your skin. According to physicians at The University of Wisconsin Hospitals; water will reach your other organs first so it’s important to drink plenty. I’m not a skin doctor but from years of opting for water instead of artificially flavoured drinks, I can truly recommend it. You will undoubtedly see the difference within a week if you are committed, and if you find this hard then start by drinking 1 litre of water a day. You can jazz it up by adding a couple slices of lemon to it or a few sprigs of mint, or even a strawberry or two; find what suits you and make it work.
I would personally recommend no less than 7 hours every night and if you sleep any less than that, you are not giving your body a chance to restore itself. A good place to start is to remind yourself that your skin is the body’s largest organ which also needs down time to renew itself. This may sound awkward but if you have trouble sleeping you need to make your bed/place of rest inviting; somewhere which is comfortable and allows you to switch off. Buy new bedding, a nice candle or a light room mist to help you relax if you need to, but sleep is paramount and essential for mental clarity, brighter complexion and overall sound health.
The next thing to monitor is your diet. Cut back on the processed and packaged foods and make a conscious effort to consume foods that are closest to their natural, raw state. For example, if you are a fan of tinned fruit; opt for fresh fruit and even organic if your budget permits. You can add a bag of stir fry vegetables to your chicken or some spinach to your morning smoothie, it can be as easy as you want it to be. Alhamdulilah we are spoilt when it comes to convenience and variety, so all it takes is some planning on your part and thinking a little in advance. You can plan your meals for the next couple of days for convenience or even meal prep on a Sunday for the coming week; which has been a popular option recently. If you’re not quite a master chef in the kitchen or don’t enjoy cooking, its okay, there is an option for you as well; if you are committed to making improvements for yourself, there is a way. My personal diet recommendations are to add a daily cup of nettle tea and choose foods which are higher in vitamin C – as this helps to increase the collagen levels in your body and keeps your skin looking young and fresh. Examples are broccoli, oranges, strawberries and chilli peppers. You may be surprised to note that chilli peppers are higher in vitamin C content than oranges or broccoli! According to an article published by Healthline “One green chili pepper contains 109 mg of vitamin C” whereas one-half cup of cooked broccoli only provides 51 mg.” Try to include these into your diet wherever you can.
I’m not suggesting that you spend ages in the mirror at the beginning at the end of the day but what I do suggest is taking some time according to your schedule to freshen up your skin. A simple routine would be to cleanse, tone and moisturise before going to sleep and in the morning when you wake from dreamland. If you regularly make ablution in readiness for prayer then you can argue that your skin is already fresh, however, some areas with hard water can leave the skin feeling dry and dull. An example for a super speedy cleansing routine would be to use a cleanser whilst in the shower, perhaps a foam one followed up by a spritzy toner and thereafter a moisturiser with a minimum of SPF 30. If you are feeling creative, you can make your own products. For example, you can make a quick and easy toner by filling a spray bottle with purified water and a couple of slices of cucumber. Let it sit overnight so the cucumber can release its nutrients into the water and voila, your toner is ready! Some cleansers can dry out the skin because they are designed to remove excess oils from the skin’s surface so by using cucumber water you can rehydrate and boost the skin’s moisture whilst tightening and toning it at the same time. Bonus! An SPF in your moisturiser is important as the sun is well known for cooking our fruit and veg, making it ripe and ready to eat – don’t allow your skin to overripen in the meantime – although some exposure to the sun is healthy. You don’t need to spend loads of money or focus on luxury skincare brands, just choose products that suit your budget and skin type. What matters the most here is the consistency of your regime.
Alhamdulilah we have been given 5 opportunities each day to take time out and talk to our Lord. Although to some this might seem like a burden, it is arguably a great opportunity to leave the burdens of our work schedule for a quiet few minutes with The Owner of our rizq and The Bestower of nur. When you’re under stress it tends to show on your skin, whether it’s an unsightly spot or dark circles. Your skin is an essential indicator of what is going on inside. So if you feel good on the inside then it will undeniably show on the outside and when you are in good standing with your Lord, there is peace within your heart and a glow on your face; a type of glow that no manufacturer can duplicate.
A minimalist who enjoys writing and coconut milk lattes. Her greatest discovery was Islam. You can find her on Instagram @TheHalalHippie, InShaAllah.