Let’s start off by pointing out that your skin is simply a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. If your skin looks messed up, it’s most likely due to the fact that there is something seriously wrong going on inside your body. Most people in America make the mistake of taking care of their skin from the outside in. This is a foolish strategy that will only make you look more weathered and old.
Here are the steps I take to have great looking skin all year round. If you consistently employ all of them, you’ll have great looking skin, too.
Step 1: Take about 40,000 IU of vitamin A daily
Most people naturally have fairly oily skin. The more oil your skin produces, the more breakouts you’ll experience. Supplementing your diet with vitamin A decreases oil production by a tremendous amount, and you’ll see a noticeable decrease in breakouts immediately. Most acne drugs requiring a prescription are actually derivatives of vitamin A. The famous acne drug Accutane is basically an extremely high dose of vitamin A. Once I started taking vitamin A supplements, I noticed a huge decrease in breakouts.
Warning: Vitamin A, used in large dosages, can cause some problems. I take a 40,000 IU daily dose and have seen great results with that dosage. I also try to eat a lot of carrots throughout the week, since carrots are a natural source of vitamin A.
Step 2: Take about 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily
This is another important step for maintaining healthy, youthful looking skin. Taking vitamin D3 supplements can boost your immune system through the roof. The stronger your immune system is, the better you’ll look and feel overall. I use 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. A natural source of vitamin D3 is the sun. However, the sun is a double-edged sword. Short term, the sun makes your skin look better because of the tan. However, everyone knows the damaging effects the sun has on skin in the long term.
Warning: I get my blood work done three times a year. I ask the doctors to run a serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D measurement. This test will determine if you’re getting in too much vitamin D3.
Step 3: Take about 5 grams of Omega-3 daily
I mainly try to get Omega-3 from actual fish, not Omega-3 supplements. Atlantic salmon has 2 grams of Omega-3 per every 3 oz. When I do use a supplement, I use Nordic Natural’s Omega-3. I noticed the best results when taking 5 grams of Omega-3 daily.
Step 4: Stay away from face washes and creams
These creams and face washes actually destroy your skin and have a huge aging effect. Not only do these products age your skin, they also increase the toxic load your body has to endure. Salicylic acid, a popular ingredient in the majority of face/body washes, actually makes your skin produce more oil. What salicylic acid is meant to do is cause your skin to produce less oil. Less oil equals fewer breakouts. However, when you use these products on a daily basis, your skin will actually produce more oil to try to counterbalance the drying effect of the products. In return, you’ll have more breakouts.
Plus, remember that the pores on your skin are highly absorbent. That means whatever you put on your face is easily absorbed into your blood stream. Most face washes today have a frightening number of deadly chemicals in them. These chemicals are absorbed into your body whenever you apply them on your face, increasing your body’s total toxic load. When the toxic load becomes heavy enough, your immune system will be compromised. When the immune system is compromised, your skin will looked all fucked up and old.
Here’s a list of the products I use:
· Burt’s Bee Sensitive Facial Cleanser – used only once a week
· Burt’s Bee Very Volumizing Pomegranate & Soy Shampoo – used every day
If you want to know more about the toxicity of today’s world, and how to make yourself look younger by decreasing your exposure to hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals, read the second half of the book Achieving Victory over a Toxic World by Mark Schauss.
Step 5: Cut out alcohol, drugs, and energy drinks
This is a big one, especially for women. Women are more susceptible than men to the effects of drugs and alcohol. Women who consistently drink and who use even the smallest amounts of drugs look far more weathered than do women who abstain from these substances. I avoid drugs and energy drinks at all costs. In particular, I really try to avoid stimulants. Stimulants have the biggest impact on the central nervous system.
Step 6: Keep mental stress levels as low as possible
This is one of the biggest factors that determines how fast your skin ages. Mental stress, especially mental stress sustained over long periods of times, has a huge negative impact on the appearance of your skin. Mental stress will age your skin faster than any other factor.
What I do: I try to keep stress levels extremely low by only doing activities I enjoy. It’s a simply concept that’s tough to implement. I work hard at being consistent with this strategy of doing only what I love to do.
What you need to do: Determine what’s stressing you out and take action to eliminate those things as a source of stress. Life is too short to deal with stress that you don’t absolutely have to deal with. Eliminating stress is an active process, not a passive one, so it is going to take work on your part.
Step 7: Keep sugar intake below 10 grams per day
Another important determinant of how fast your skin ages is the amount of a hormone called insulin released into your bloodstream during your life span. The higher your level of insulin, the older you’ll look. Here is a list of foods that spike insulin levels. If you’re really serious about having picture-perfect skin, it is especially important to avoid “large-spike category foods”.
Large-spike category foods (the worst for your skin):
1. Sweets. This includes candy, cake, and just about anything else with sugar.
2. Fruit juice. Even if it’s organic, it’s in your (and your skin’s) best interest to avoid fruit juice.
3. Energy drinks and sodas. These will really age your skin. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are probably the worst
4. Fruits. Fruit is good, but you want to how much you consume in a day. Although generally healthy, at the end of the day, fruit is a simple sugar. Simple sugars result in the largest insulin spikes.
Moderate Spike Category Foods (not as bad as the above group, but still can still make you look older):
1. White rice, brown rice, and generally any complex carbohydrate. Processed foods are far worse than organic, at all times. White rice is processed, while brown rice is organic.
2. Pasta. Stay especially far away from white pasta. It destroys your skin and can cause you to gain a lot of weight.
Step 8: Eat 8-10 cups of organic, raw vegetables daily (do not cook)
This step alone will not only improve your quality of life, but it will also make your skin look amazing. Having quality vitamins and minerals (found in vegetables) on a regular basis lays the foundation for a stronger immune system. When your immune system is strong, your body is better at fighting off all sorts of viruses and environmental factors that make your skin look aged and beat. Make sure the vegetables are organic. Nonorganic vegetables typically have 30% fewer vitamins and minerals compared to their organic counterparts. Also, make sure you don’t boil or heat your vegetables in any way. A typical vegetable is about 85% water. Once heated, the vegetable loses its nutrient quality almost immediately. There is no point to eating them at that point.
Step 9: Prepare an antioxidant mix twice a week
Oxidants are harmful byproducts created by your body when you’re under mental or physical stress. If the level of oxidants exceeds the level of antioxidants in your body by a very large amount, you will not only look older, but you could also die. The best strategy for maintaining your best-looking skin is to have a weekly dosage of antioxidants from a natural source. Don’t rely on antioxidant supplements. Antioxidant supplements have actually been shown to have a negative effect on your health.
Here’s what I do: Every Wednesday and Sunday morning, I make a drink by blending 1 scoop of whey protein isolate with a handful of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, some crushed ice, and water. The berries provide your body with more than enough antioxidants. Once again, don’t rely on supplements. Get all your antioxidants from actual, organic food, such as the blended drink mentioned above.