What is natural beauty? Some people might say it’s that no-makeup-makeup look done just right. Or that perfect glow you get when you leave your facial appointment. Natural beauty can mean looking good au naturale, sure. But sometimes, it’s as plain and simple as loving the skin you’re in.
Look Good, Feel Good
The way we look on the outside tends to reflect what’s happening on the inside. When we’re sick, depressed, or sleep-deprived, we often wear those things right on our faces. On the flip side, you may have noticed that when you take the time to give yourself a little skincare, nourishment, or exercise, it boosts your confidence and enhances your mood. It’s so easy to fall into a slump and let self-care go by the wayside, but trust us, it pays to pause and give yourself some love: a face mask, your favorite t-shirt, a double coat of mascara -- whatever it means to you!
10 Steps to Enhance Your Natural Beauty (and Fight the Signs of Aging Skin!)
If you think natural beauty is only for those under the age of 25, think again! Here are our top ten beauty tips for enhancing your natural look.
1. Catch Up On That Beauty Sleep
You may not consider sleep a part of your beauty routine, but this is a biggie. Not getting enough sleep is a surefire way to develop bags under your eyes and even breakouts, but it’s also unhealthy for just about every system of the body. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults between the ages of 26-64 years old. Getting less than that for long stretches of time can affect our mental health, immune system, and even our skin. Needless to say, none of those are conducive to “natural beauty.” Making sleep a priority is number one. But, for extra credit, try sleeping on your back, which prevents wrinkles from forming -- or use a silk pillowcase to reduce friction against your hair and face.
2. Hydrate, And Hydrate Some More
When we say hydrate, we mean from the inside and the outside. You may be tired of hearing it, but the truth is, you should be drinking more water. Research suggests that drinking more water positively influences the physiology of our skin. But that’s not the whole picture! You should also be hydrating from the outside in with products that support your skin’s natural moisture levels, such as SiO’s Energy Serum. This diamagnetic cooling serum contains hyaluronic acid, which improves moisture retention and visibly plumps skin. You’ll see an instant glow with just one use, and over time, those results will stick.
3. Buff It Out
For a soft, bright, beaming complexion, you need to exfoliate regularly. Dead, dry skin cells leave the skin looking drab and tired -- and as we age, our skin cells don’t turn over on their own as quickly as they used to. Exfoliating stimulates cell turnover, softening fine lines, and leaving behind a bright new layer of skin. So, make sure you’re using a gentle scrub once or twice a week -- or as an alternative, invest in a face acid serum for a milder chemical exfoliation. Lactic acid, salicylic acid, and malic acid, when used on the regular, promote that fresh-as-new baby skin, without so much as a drop of makeup.
4. A Patch A Day Keeps the Derm Away
Okay, fine, you should still see your dermatologist for severe skin issues (or Botox, if that’s your preference) But if you haven’t tried the latest in “notox” treatments, you’ll be amazed by the power of a little sheet of silicone. While Botox weakens the muscle’s ability to contract and create wrinkles, silicone patches hug the skin, compressing existing lines and preventing the kind of movements that cause future lines. The patches are medical-grade and doctor-approved, so it’s really like you’re visiting the derm from the comfort of your own home. In fact, NYC dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman acknowledges, “after using the SiO SkinPad for just one day, participants said that their skin looked smoother, softer, more youthful, and hydrated.” Wear the patches overnight (or for a few hours whenever you feel inspired) and you’ll be well on your way to supple skin. For the full experience, try the SiO Wrinkle Rescue Pack, which covers wrinkle-prone spots from the forehead to the bust.
5. Tread Lightly
Just because it works for your friend, or your sister, or that one Instagram blogger you follow doesn’t mean it’s right for you. But one thing that does ring true for everyone: Take it easy. What does that mean? It means using a mild cleanser -- no harsh soaps or overly rough scrubs. It means washing your face and showering with warm -- not blazing hot -- water. It means patting your skin dry rather than rubbing it with a towel. It means, for the love of all things skincare, moisturize twice a day -- at least! Be nice to your skin, and it will be nice to you.
7. Eat for Your Skin
Turns out there’s something to that whole “you are what you eat” idea. Maintaining a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is essential to fighting signs of aging in all the organs of the body, and the skin is no exception. For your best face forward, make sure you fill your plate with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies (especially those high in antioxidants, like berries and leafy greens), foods containing omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon, almonds, and avocado), and probiotic-rich choices (like yogurt and sauerkraut). These skin foods fight free radicals, deliver nutrients to the skin, and produce that unmistakable youthful radiance.
8. Say No to the Sun
Wearing that SPF moisturizer every day (...you better be!) is a non-negotiable. But truthfully, even that wears off eventually. So, better to be safe than sorry: Just limit that sunshine whenever you can, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when cancer-causing, skin-aging UV rays are at peak intensity. See, the sun is the number one external contributor to skin damage and signs of aging, and you’re probably already getting more than you think. Even a quick walk to and from the car is enough to trigger the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which results in skin thinning, wrinkles, and even sunspots.
9. Stress Less
If only it were that simple, right? Staying on top of your emotional wellbeing is easier said than done, but trust us, the pay-off is huge. When our stress levels are high, our bodies produce a surplus of cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Excess cortisol can have a negative impact on our nails, hair, and skin. It also wreaks all kinds of havoc on the body, making it harder to ward off disease, get much-needed rest, and protect against external damage like that caused by UV rays or pollution. Stressing less not only makes you feel better (which is number one!), but for what it’s worth, multiple studies (like this one and this one) have also shown that humans find those with lower levels of cortisol more attractive. So, meditate, do yoga, take breaks, and seek therapy if you need it. Don’t forget, your mind and body work together to keep us both pretty and well!
10. Move It, Shake It
The beauty benefits of exercise are twofold. For one, it reduces tension and anxiety by prompting the release of “happy hormones” like endorphins and serotonin -- and when you radiate happiness, you’re bound to look and feel like your best self. For another, it offers skincare perks as a result of improved circulation -- which translates to vibrant skin tone and even anti-aging effects. Just make sure to shower and wash your face shortly after exercising, as warm, sweaty skin can also serve as a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.
What It All Means
Gone are the days when we’d eat junk food all day, spend hours on end in the sunshine, and stay up until the crack of dawn -- yet still look fresh-faced and angelic. But just because we all have to grow up at one point or another doesn’t mean we have to work that hard to maintain our natural beauty or highlight our best features. In truth, eating right, exercising, keeping up with your skincare routine, and sleeping well make up just about the full recipe. What you’ll get from those steps goes far beyond “skin deep,” affecting your psyche, your immune health, your circulatory system, and just about everything in between. Remember, the way you feel directly correlates to the way you look -- and vice versa. Mother Nature gave you something special; make the most of it!