Let’s get a few things straight right off the bat. We love our skin care routines dearly. Nourishing our skin with aloe-rich serums and herb-infused oils keeps our skin glowing. Finish off with some natural mineral powder to perfect, and we're feeling pretty good.
But when we wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, we want to look refreshed and beautiful before we even start our beauty rituals. Does this make us lazy?
Your health shows on your skin, so the healthier you are internally, the more beautiful the exterior. It’s a win-win. And when we talk about health, we also mean stress levels and happiness. Our skin shows those, too.
So while we will never cease to slather ourselves with lovely oils and use natural minerals to perfect our complexions, there are more ways to enhance beauty naturally. Here are some favorites:
1. Drink Water
Don’t roll your eyes. Maybe you knew this was coming, but it has to be said. Dehydration makes wrinkles more apparent and keeps your body from doing the things it needs to do.
Drink water slowly throughout the day, every day. If you try to compensate by chugging a gallon of water after dinner, you won’t absorb it all (and you'll have to get up to go pee while you should be getting your beauty sleep!).
If you drink beverages that make you dehydrated, such as coffee and alcohol, hydrate before and after to negate the effects. If you love your morning coffee, I'm not saying you should give it up. You brew you! But challenge yourself to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, then reward yourself with your joe.
The body uses water to cleanse. If we can’t flush them out that way, they build up in other places or show up on our skin.
2. Sweat It Out
About 20% of the body’s elimination occurs through perspiration. Keep things circulating by sweating. Sit in a sauna, exercise, or do both!
Bikram yoga, cycling, or going for a jog are great ways to work up a sweat. Do whichever suits you! Make sure to wash your face before working out, especially if you wear makeup. When you sweat, your pores open up and invite whatever’s around to come hang out. A.k.a., your makeup, dirt, and the other remnants of your day. Shower right after you work out to avoid reabsorbing everything you just sweat out.
Exercising also releases endorphins, and we know being happy makes you that much more beautiful! Plus, getting your heart rate up will give your cheeks some color, while keeping your heart healthy.
3. Brew Yourself a Bath
We’re pretty water-themed so far. But that’s how we earthlings do it!
Taking a bath is uber relaxing, relieving the stress that wears on your whole being, including your skin.
Take your bath to the next level by brewing a big, strong (I like where this is going) pot of tea and adding it to the water. Of course, make sure the water isn't too hot before you jump in (is this a necessary disclaimer?).
This way, you can enjoy the benefits of herbs from head to toe! Try the following teas in your bath:
4. Beauty Minerals
Overall, eating a nutritious diet promotes good health and good skin, but there are some nutrients that are especially beautifying.
Sulfur, though not usually included on nutrition labels or thought of as an essential nutrient, is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is vital to many of its processes. Having enough sulfur in your body keeps your hair and skin soft and smooth. Eggs, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, and radishes are healthy sources of sulfur.
Zinc is another mineral that will make you glow. Get your zinc from seeds such as pumpkin, poppy, or sunflower seeds, spirulina, or mussels.
5. Get Naked
Our good pal Kris Carr recommends going makeup-less one day a week. This will give your pores a chance to breathe.
If going without makeup doesn’t sound fun to you, make sure you use mineral makeup so your skin doesn't absorb toxic chemicals.
6. Orange You Glad You Read This?
Dark orange foods high in beta carotene can actually warm your complexion. Winter is a great time for sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Peaches, apricots, and carrots are also good options.
Vitamin A is fat soluble, so eat some healthy fat around the same time to ensure maximum absorption. Eat a slice of avocado after your carrot juice or drizzle some olive oil on a roasted sweet potato.
7. Whiten Teeth with… Charcoal?
You can use this black powder as a teeth whitening treatment. Add it to your toothpaste or put it directly on your toothbrush (do this over the sink to avoid a mess). This treatment, a couple times a week, will draw out impurities from your mouth and lift stains off your teeth for a whiter smile!
If this totally freaks you out, try oil pulling.
8. Tone Your Tresses
If you're looking for ways to naturally lighten your hair or add a little color, hair rinses are easy to make and can be used regularly to nourish your scalp, soften, and add subtle color to your hair. Brew a large pot of tea, let it cool, then rinse your hair with it after you shampoo. Leave on for 20 minutes and condition as usual. Try these:
- Black tea or coffee to deepen color and add subtle reddish tones.
- Chamomile lightens hair and soothes the scalp.
- Rosemary cleans the hair.
Maybe adding an extra step to your shower routine doesn't sound too appealing. Another option is to simply add some ingredients to your shampoo. If you have brown hair, add cocoa powder and cinnamon to your shampoo to deepen your color. You can add honey to your shampoo to lighten hair, but make sure to wash it out thoroughly!
9. The Other Hair
We religiously condition our hair but mercilessly ignore our eyelashes. What’s up with that? We’re here to promote equality for all hair.
Swipe a gentle oil or organic eye cream on the tips of your eyelashes and over your eyebrows at night to keep them silky soft. This is especially important if you haven’t yet switched to a natural mascara!
Make sure to keep your brows well shaped to frame your face. If plucking isn't your specialty, try waxing or threading to stay looking gorgeously groomed.
10. Lady Lumps
According to Beauty by Nature, one of our favorites by Brigitte Mars, French women have long used hydrotherapy to promote perky breasts. End showers with 30 seconds of cold water to stimulate circulation. Increased circulation can help keep breasts firm. You can also alternate between hot and cold, in 30 second increments, ending with cold, for extra circulation.
11. Think Pretty
Just kidding… kind of. Thinking good thoughts and maintaining positive thoughts and intentions will truly make you more beautiful. Sadness wears on us, physically as well as emotionally.
Delight yourself by surrounding yourself with beautiful things. Keep a vase of flowers in your room, diffuse delicious and relaxing scents like neroli throughout your house, and adorn your house in decorations that inspire and please you. Wear comfortable clothing that makes you feel confident, keep your spaces clean to prevent confusion and distress, and pay attention to how the foods you eat make you feel.
What do you do to enhance your beauty naturally? Tell us in the comments below!
by Hope Freije
Beauty by Nature by Brigitte Mars
Natural Skin Care by Joni Loughran
Wellness Mama – How to Whiten Teeth with Activated Charcoal