6 Floral Waters That Can Totally Replace Your Skin Toner

Toners have, for a while now, been touted as a necessary step in our skin-care rituals. And that’s because they’re made to balance your skin’s pH levels while brightening, cleansing, and toning it. A little flower water, however, can provide all of that, while also offering up the unique properties of natural ingredients.

Floral waters are made from various types of plants and flowers that are generally used to make essential oils—such as chamomile, rose, or lavender. The flower is boiled in distilled water, and the resulting steam (once it has cooled off) becomes the floral water. The water carries the same properties of an essential oil, but because the plant or flower is diluted in water (rather than concentrated like essential oils are) they are safe to use directly on the skin. Plus, floral waters smell like a dream!

Here, six of our favorites—and the beauty benefits of each.

roseRose Water

According to a study in Current Microbiology, the essential oil of rose and hydrosol boast both antioxidant and cleansing properties when applied topically. And, rose water is known to be gentle on skin that tends to be sensitive to other ingredients.

Try: Organic Bulgarian Rose Water


mintMint Water

If you’re looking to finish your cleansing routine feeling invigorated and uplifted, mint water is your go-to. According to Toxicological Research, mint can be used to condition the skin, leaving it hydrated and refreshed. Also, a cool splash of mint is a great no-caffeine-needed way to wake up during those early mornings.

Try: Moroccan Menthe Beauty Water


tea treeTea Tree Water

Tea Tree oil has been used in dozens of ways, from helping to keep bugs away to cleansing the home. But it’s also great for the skin (especially sensitive skin), due to its mega-cleansing properties, according to Europe PMC.  With its fresh cooling properties, it can also be used to awaken dull or tired skin.

Try: South African Tea Tree Beauty Oil

chamomileChamomile Water

Chamomile is beloved for its super-soothing properties. Whether in the form of a relaxing tea or as a calming floral water, this gentle giant of an herb can be helpful to having good health. According to The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, chamomile also shows some antioxidant properties, which the skin loves. Win! Beware ragweed allergy sufferers, however: Chamomile can occasionally trigger reactions in people with ragweed allergies, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

                                                       Try: South African Cape Chamomile Beauty Water

lavenderLavender Water

Lavender has an incredibly relaxing scent, which makes it an ideal nighttime skin toner. As a floral water it’s both cleansing and soothing to the skin, making it ideal for sensitive skin that can’t handle other heavier facial skin products.

Try: South African Lavender Soothing Facial Water

 

witch hazelWitch Hazel Water

Many people don’t even realize that witch hazel, which, as a toner can be made with lavender or rose, is actually a flower! Without the alcohol and other potential ingredients, you’re left with an astringent floral water that is soft and gentle on the skin. Not only can it tone and cleanse your skin, it can also protect it with its antioxidant properties, according to Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Try: Certified Organic Witch Hazel Astringent  

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You Had No Idea Epsom Salt Could Do All Of These Things

Chances are, you’ve got a bag of Epsom salt hidden in the back of your sink cabinet, ready to pull out when your muscles are sore. But have you ever wondered why this simple salt is so soothing—and if there are any other ways you can reap the benefits?

Epsom salt (also called magnesium sulfate) is essentially a form of the vital nutrient magnesium. Bruce Roberts, MD, an integrative medicine physician, explains: “Epsom salts are a magnesium salt. Magnesium is a co-factor in over 300 different metabolic processes in the body including energy production, detoxification, muscle, and nerve function.”

So, when you soak in a bath filled with Epsom salt, you are essentially replenishing your magnesium stores—and that’s why it’s so ahhh-worthy.

Here are some solid benefits found in this special salt.

1. Promotes Relaxation

“[Magnesium] tends to be one of the first minerals to be used up during times of stress,” says Roberts. And we’ve all experienced its dreadful symptoms: “When people are under stress they tend to get depleted in magnesium resulting in tight, sore muscles, irritable nerves, insomnia, high blood pressure, and constipation,” says Roberts. That’s where Epsom salt comes in. The calming effect of the magnesium can make a big difference in times of stress or upheaval, too.

2. Supports Regularity

Having trouble going number two? Epsom salt is a proven gentle laxative. A small amount of salt, mixed with water, can be taken internally (check the directions on your box and speak with your doc). Dr. Roberts warns that some people cannot tolerate magnesium orally because of the bowel effect, though. Not to fear! “Epsom salt baths are a good alternative way to get magnesium into the body without going through the GI tract,” says Roberts. (But don’t think a bath has the same effect as taking it internally).

Related: 8 Foods And Drinks For When You Just Can’t Poop

3. Exfoliates Dry Skin

Rub a little Epsom salt on your body (combined with an oil, like coconut or jojoba), to moisturize cracked, scaly skin on knees, elbows, and elsewhere!

4. Aids Healthy Sleep Patterns

Magnesium is also a powerful sleep aid (no)—a study in the Journal of Research in Medical Science found that magnesium supplementation helped support sleep in elderly people. But you don’t have to pop a pill to feel its effects, as an Epsom salt soak before bed can calm you down and prep your body for a solid night of slumber.

5. Soothes Bruises & Aches

Soaking in an Epsom salt solution can help relieve sore muscles, minor strains, general aches and pains, and post-workout pulls.

Related: Shop our Epsom salt products and get your relaxation on.

6. Helps Plants Grow

Epsom salt can be applied to the soil in your garden or houseplants, as it helps to promote a healthy soil composition (after all, magnesium is a mineral!). An Epsom salt solution can also help keep bugs away, when sprayed on plants.

7. Cleans Your Home

As a cleaning aid, Epsom salt works wonders on dirty tile and grout (just combine with a liquid soap). They’re also useful for scrubbing gunk (think caked-on food on your plates and pans). Another bonus? If you find that your washing machine is in need of a clean, a quick cycle with a healthy scoop of Epsom salt can also remove detergent buildup.

15 Beautifying Ingredients That Are Sitting In Your Kitchen Pantry

Natural beauty products and practices are growing in popularity—and for good reason. Plenty of drugstore products are filled with unpronounceable chemicals, fillers, and irritants, which is why from-the-earth ingredients are so valued, especially ones for the skin and hair.

And guess what? You probably have a good deal of beautifying ingredients sitting right under your nose. Like, right in your sandwich.

Here, 15 items you can find in your kitchen pantry that have serious beauty benefits.

1. Olive Oil: It totally makes sense that this do-everything kitchen favorite has serious skin benefits, as well. Extra virgin olive oil is an amazing moisturizer, makeup remover, and overall skin protector, according to the journal Clinics in Dermatology . Add it to masks or scrubs (you can even make your own scrub with a two tablespoons of olive oil and honey and a half cup of sugar) or just plain slather it on when you’re skin is feeling parched (and no, it’s not true that oil will block your pours).

2. Coffee grinds: You may have seen coffee scrubs in upscale skin-care stores, but they’re just as easy to use in your own DIY exfoliating blends. Make sure you use fresh, unused grounds, and combine them with an oil or other emollient. Then, scrub away! This is terrific to use on dry or rough body parts, like elbows, knees, or even lips. A word to the wise: You better enjoy the smell of coffee, because it’s strong!

3. Honey: As good as honey tastes, you should know it’s just as good for your skin. The sweet treat has been used for centuries for skincare, in scrubs, as a bath soak, and even to wash your face. Organic manuka honey is a terrific variety to try, prized for its purity.

Related: Why Has Manuka Honey Become So Popular–And What Do You Actually Do With It?

4. Avocado: Avocado is full of healthy fats (like monounsaturated fatty acids) and Vitamin C, both of which help your skin stay healthy-looking and supple. Mash it up and pop it on your face. (And make sure to save some for guacamole—the best time to snack is as your mask dries!)

5. Egg whites: Sticky, goopy egg whites are actually a bit of a miracle worker for your face, helping to pull gunk from your pores while toning, and tightening the skin. In fact, egg whites are a craze in the Korean beauty world! They contain both collagen and protein, two powerhouse ingredients for skin-care.

Related: Is Matcha Really A Miracle Worker?

6. Mayonnaise: Women have been using mayo hair masks for decades to get enviable super-shiny hair. Ask your grandma—she might have slathered some Hellman’s on her tresses back in the day, too! Yes, you may smell like a potato salad while you’re doing it, but the healthy fats and moisture in the condiment are super-nourishing for hair. Leave in for at least 20 minutes and then shampoo it out.

7. Coconut oil: Coconut oil is the workhorse of the natural world, and for good reason. This incredibly healthy oil is great for baking, cooking, and even oil pulling. It’s also a powerful moisturizer for both hair and skin, and can be used in a variety of treatments. Buy a big tub of organic coconut oil and keep it in your bathroom to use when skin is dry, makeup is stubborn, or hair needs a little oomph.

8. Yogurt: The lactic acid in this kitchen staple (also a super-healthy treat) is an amazing exfoliator, helping to slough off the blah skin and reveal the bright skin underneath. If you want to try a yogurt facial, be sure to use an unflavored option, though! Then, rub in a few teaspoons and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes.

9. Apple cider vinegar: It’s easy to find apple cider vinegar, which is good news for your skin and hair. ACV (as it’s often abbreviated) makes a terrific natural skin toner and it promotes a healthy scalp. This type of vinegar also helps clarify hair, especially when you’ve got a lot of product buildup. It’s also not uncommon to use it as a shampoo!

10. Cornstarch: Cornstarch, frequently used as a thickener in soups and stews, can do double-duty on both your face and your body. It can be used as a setting powder after makeup application (or just to mop up oil) and its super-absorbency makes it a quick, easy fix for other areas where you find yourself getting damp, like inner thighs or armpits.

11. Cucumber: Most people have seen this crunchy veggie used as an eye de-puffer, but did you know it can tone the skin and help to relieve the sting of sunburn? According to the journal Fitoterapia, the jury is still out on how the particular compounds in cucumber help the skin, but they do contain high water content (while boasting a soothing scent), which can help to moisturize the skin.

Related: We Tried 5 DIY Body Scrubs—Here’s What Happened

12. Turmeric: Turmeric is a star these days, adored for its digestive and immune systems support. Some evidence, according to Phytotherapy Research, points to skin health benefits, and it makes a great addition to a facial mask or scrub.

13. Mustard powder: Mustard is much revered in the Indian Ayurvedic health (considered the world’s oldest holistic healing system), both for its culinary and medicinal properties. The powder, made from the mustard seed, can be a great exfoliator for the skin.

14. Banana: DIY hair devotees swear by banana hair masks, and studies in Phytojournal have shown that the fruit favorite can add to the endurance, shine and softness of your hair. Blend the fruit up with an oil of your choice, plus some honey, and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse out and enjoy the tropical vibe left behind.

15. Green tea: You already know that green tea is great for your insides (hello antioxidants!) but its benefits can be reaped on the outside, too. Try it as a toner, mix it with other ingredients to make a mask, or put it into action as a hair rinse. According to the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, green tea has shown remarkable efficacy in skin-care.

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What You Should Change About Your Beauty Routine If You’re Pregnant

Most women know that certain foods become off limits once you’re pregnant. Soft cheeses, lunch meats, and sprouts are all on the “do not eat” list, largely due to the risk of food poisoning.

But many women don’t realize that their beauty routines may be rocked, too. Not only do pregnant women have to look out for a number of ingredients in popular cosmetic products, but they also have to deal with a host of brand-new skin issues.

I spazzed during my first pregnancy when I discovered three months in that salicylic acid face wash is on the “no go” list—and promptly tossed the wash I’d been using since I was a teen in favor of an all-natural scrub.

To keep other expectant moms from having the same freak-outs, we’re breaking down the products you may want to stop using when you’re with child, as well as ones you may want to consider adding in order to deal with the many body changes that hit.

Take A Closer Look At Your Face Wash

“Most women that are pregnant may think that they need to avoid certain foods, and don’t realize that topical products can be absorbed and cause harm to their growing baby,” says Susan G. Murrmann, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., co-founder of the McDonald Murrmann Women’s Clinic.

Common acne-fighting ingredients like tetracycline, salicylic acid, and any retinoid product should be avoided because they may be associated with birth defects, she says. Instead, opt for washes that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), glycolic acid, and lactic acid, which are considered safe alternatives.

Related: This Reviva Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser is soap and oil-free.  

Rethink Your Mani/Pedi

Manicures and pedicures can feel amazing—especially when you’re pregnant and have crazy-sore feet—but Murrmann urges caution. Many nail polish formulas include a chemical known as TPHP, which is commonly used as a flame retardant, that can be absorbed into the body through the nail, according to a study published in Environmental International

That doesn’t mean you need to avoid nail polish altogether—just look for polishes labeled “all natural” or “TPHP-free.”

“I felt lousy during the first two trimesters of my pregnancy, and getting a monthly pedicure really helped me feel pampered,” says Amy L. “The salon near me didn’t have nail polishes I felt good about, so I just brought my own.”

Related: Mineral Fusion’s nail polishes are 100 percent vegan.

Combat Skin Changes

Skin discoloration, or melasma, a common condition in which people get dark patches on their skin, can occur during pregnancy and is triggered both by hormonal changes and sun exposure. That’s why Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., F.A.A.D., board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at the University of Southern California, says it’s especially important to wear sunscreen when you’re pregnant.

If you do develop melasma patches and they bother you, talk to your dermatologist. Kojic acid and soy are two ingredients that can lighten the patches and are considered safe to use during pregnancy, Shainhouse says, but there are other treatments that can be used after your pregnancy and when you’re done breastfeeding.

Related: Try Reviva’s Brown Spot Night Gel

Have A Razor Handy

When Laura P. was pregnant, she noticed something unusual with her body hair: “I suddenly had to shave my legs every day. I used to shave every two days.”

That’s not uncommon, Shainhouse says. “Pregnancy hormones can make hair darker and boost both its thickness and speed of growth,” she says. “This can occur not only in the pubic area, but on your legs, underarms, face, abdomen, and legs.” Laser hair removal isn’t FDA-approved during pregnancy, she says, so you’ll have to stick to shaving or waxing.

Up Your Moisturizer Game

Pregnant women often suffer from dry, itchy skin, which is why Murrmann recommends increasing your water intake during pregnancy. This can be due to either hormones or dehydration—pregnant women are drinking for two, after all. (According to the Mayo Clinic, women who are pregnant should aim to drink 10 cups of water a day.)

Since expectant moms are also at a risk for stretch marks, Murrmann recommends hopping on the cocoa butter train as early as possible. That, and gaining weight at a slow, steady pace, can help keep stretch marks at bay. Some marks may be unavoidable, but regularly spreading cocoa butter across your belly, hips, and thighs can help to minimize the stretches.

Related: 15 Parents Name The Products That Saved Them When Their Children Were Newborns

10 Ways You’re Drying Out Your Skin Without Even Realizing It

You’re not the only one going through moisturizer by the gallon throughout the winter months. And while you have no control over dry air or the drop in temps, little things you do (or don’t do) every day could actually be drying out your skin even more.

Look out for these 10 skin-sabotaging habits, and consider making a few tiny changes to relieve your itchy outer layer.

  1. Your Showers Are Hot, Hot, Hot

A steamy shower after a long day can help you relax—it’s just not so great for your skin. “We may like how long, hot showers feel, but they wreak havoc on our skin,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. “Hot water can strip oil from the skin’s surface and disrupt the skin barrier. This is made even worse when you have a long exposure.

Your shower temp should be warm but comfortable, says Zeichner. You should be able to walk right into the shower without having to react or adjust to the water temperature.

Woman drinking a glass of water.
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  1. You Don’t Drink Enough H2O

Inadequate agua equals sad skin. “Not drinking enough water or fluids can lead to crepey-looking skin,” says Michelle Dudash, R.D.N., dietitian and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. Your skin cells, like all cells, are made up largely of water, and need that water to function properly, according to the University of Wisconsin.

Make sure you’re well-hydrated throughout the day by taking a good look at the color of your pee. “A pale lemonade color is the goal, says Dudash. “Dark yellow means you’re dehydrated.” If you feel thirsty at any point, that’s a sign that you’re already mildly dehydrated and need to drink up.

If you’re not a fan of plain ol’ water, try tea or high-water content foods like watermelon, cucumbers, grapes, or oranges. (Soup counts, too!)

Related: What The Color Of Your Pee Says About Your Health

  1. You Skimp On Lotion

Some of us slather on lotion every single day without fail, while others just can’t commit. The surprising truth is that not everyone truly needs moisturizer, says Zeichner. “If your skin is visibly dry, peeling, or itchy, though, your skin may need extra attention,” he says.

Zeichner recommends looking for one or more of the following buzz-worthy ingredients the next time you’re hunting for a new bottle of lotion:  petroleum jelly (which creates a seal over the skin to prevent water loss, called an ‘occlusive’), humectants like hyaluronic acid (which help draw water to the skin surface from its deeper layers), and emollients like oils (which smooth the cracks between cells on the skin surface). Ceramides (a type of ingredient which help to repair the skin barrier) are also becoming increasingly popular in moisturizer formulas.

Related: Shop a wide variety of skin-care products, from face wash to moisturizer.

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photo credit: iStock
  1. You Use Body Lotion On Your Face—Or Vice Versa

We get it, desperate times call for desperate measures. But the words ‘face lotion’ or ‘body lotion’ are on that bottle for a reason: because products for the face and body are typically formulated differently. “Facial products tend to have a lighter consistency and may be specially designed as not to break you out in pimples,” Zeichner explains. Sure, you could slather your face cream all over your body, but since facial products are designed to target specific facial concerns—and are more expensive—your wallet won’t thank you. Meanwhile, body lotions are more easily spread over large areas without losing effectiveness.

To get the most bang for your buck, follow those labels and use the right products on the right parts.

Related: Douse yourself in one of these body lotions.

  1. Your Diet Is Lame

Not getting enough vitamin C or omega-3 fatty acids may leave you with drier skin. “Omega-3 fatty acids support the health of cell membranes, which provides moisture to and protects the skin cells,” explains Dudash. Meanwhile, vitamin C plays a role in the production of collagen, a protein involved in skin cell structure, which is also important for maintaining moisture, Dudash says.

Omega-3-rich foods include salmon, cod, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds. For vitamin C, turn to fruits and vegetables like grapefruit, kiwi, and bell pepper—a serving of each packs a full daily dose of the must-have antioxidant, says Dudash.

Dead skin removal
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  1. Your Soap Is Too Harsh

That old school bar soap isn’t doing your skin any favors. Traditional soaps often contain harsh ingredients known as alkaline surfactants, says Zeichner. “These substances can disrupt the pH of the skin and affect its moisture barrier,” he adds.

Look for bar soaps and body washes with moisturizing formulas that don’t contain any harsh ingredients, such as sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), suggests Zeichner. To avoid scanning the ingredient list for complicated chemical names, go for products labeled “gentle skin cleanser,” “hydrating skin cleanser” or “soap free.”

  1. You Go Too Heavy On The Booze

Who knew that throwing back a drink or two could take a toll on your skin? “Alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to lose more water,” Dudash says. As you now know, dehydration is no bueno for your skin.

Consider your complexion yet another reason to alternate drinks with water when you’re out on the town.

Related: Your All-Natural Guide To Surviving A Hangover With A Smile

feet warming and tea time
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  1. You Crank Up The Heat At Home

Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you sit around shivering during the nightly news. Take note, though, that the dry air from your heater can put additional stress on your skin barrier and even further the loss of hydration and dryness, says Zeichner.

The fix here is simple: Power up your humidifier and put it in your bedroom to pump some moisture back into the air.

  1. You Don’t Get Enough Shuteye

Night cream or not, sleep is an important part of maintaining healthy skin. “Don’t underestimate the power of sleep,” Dudash says. “It’s your body’s time to repair and rejuvenate, which can directly affect your skin.”

We know it’s easier said than done, but shoot for seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night.

Woman cleaning her face with scrub in bathroom.
photo credit: iStock
  1. You Exfoliate Too Often

When you notice peeling or flaking, it’s natural to want to reach for a scrub. But hold up. “Instead of exfoliating, first try to recognize that your skin is lacking hydration,” says Zeichner. Exfoliating may actually further irritation and dryness. “Rather than exfoliating, which can dry out your skin layer and lead to small cracks and further loss of hydration, apply extra moisturizer to address the dryness,” he says. More often than not, that peeling or flakiness will improve and you won’t even need to exfoliate.

To avoid unnecessary irritation, limit exfoliation to no more than twice a week.

Related: For your two weekly exfoliations, try one of these scrubs.

15 Natural Ways To Hang On To That Youthful Glow

Our skin says a lot about us—it can reflect everything from our heritage to our diet to how old we are. Confession: We’re not always too happy about that last one.

“As we age, skin cell turnover slows down, moisture is lost, and the outer layer of skin (epidermis) becomes thinner and frailer,” says Paula Simpson, holistic nutrition and beauty expert, and co-founder of ZSS Skincare. Hence the dull, dry skin we all try desperately to avoid.

Before you start researching Botox in a moment of panic, check out these all-natural, needle-free ways to keep your skin looking as youthful as possible. Hello, plump and glow!

Olive oil bottle and a spoon with olives
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  1. Olive Oil

Pass the Greek food, please. Look at the people who live in the Mediterranean, and you’ll notice that their skin ages really well, says Gabrielle Francis, naturopathic doctor and author of The Rockstar Remedy. Their graceful aging may just have something to do with the olive oil in their diets. “Extra-virgin olive oil contains antioxidants, which help control oxidative stress in your cells, a factor that may contribute to skin aging,” says Simpson.

Consider ditching your store-bought salad dressing for a quick and easy combo of EVOO and vinegar—or toss veggies in olive oil before roasting.

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You’ve heard of taking omega-3s to promote heart health, but how about for skin health? Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce puffiness and redness in your skin, says Brooke Alpert, R.D., founder of B-Nutritious Dietetics and Nutrition.

Salmon and walnuts are both good sources of omega-3s.

Oil for skin and beauty
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  1. Argan Oil

This oil is an all-star in the beauty world for good reason. Often referred to as ‘liquid gold,’ argan oil contains fatty acids and antioxidants that help nourish the connective tissue of the skin, says Francis.

While almost every skin product out there seems to be infused with argan oil right now, Francis suggests to sticking with the pure oil because it absorbs into the skin more effectively.

  1. Vitamin C

Just in case you don’t already bow down to the power-antioxidant that is vitamin C, it may help your skin ward off environmental damage. “Vitamin C also encourages collagen production, which helps keep the skin looking healthy and youthful,” says Alpert.

Vitamin C is found in tons of fruits and veggies, like blueberries, broccoli, oranges, and sweet potatoes.

Paprika
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  1. Paprika

This spice does more than kick up the flavor in your famous barbecue rub. According to Simpson, paprika contains antioxidants, including vitamin C and zeaxanthin. “Zeaxanthin is of particular interest for skin health because it’s readily absorbed into the skin tissue,” she explains. You may even experience a boost in skin radiance.

If you’re unsure how to use paprika, Simpson recommends sprinkling it on popcorn, into soups, and even on salads for an extra punch of flavor.

  1. Leafy Greens

There’s a reason why Mom and Dad always encouraged you to eat your greens. Leafy green veggies, like spinach and kale, are a great source of fiber and vitamin K, says Alpert. Vitamin K supports the production of a protein called MGP (Matrix-GLA protein), which helps to prevent the calcification of skin elastic fibers, according to Oregon State University.

If you’re not consuming leafy greens on the daily, try adding them to smoothies, serving burgers on a bed of salad instead of a bun, or scrambling them into your eggs.

Almonds
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  1. Magnesium

The greatest favor magnesium can do for your skin is potentially help you snooze. “The body repairs itself and recovers from the day’s damage while you sleep,” says Alpert. The mineral acts as a natural relaxant, and may help you manage stress and score more solid shuteye, she says.

Related: Browse a large selection of supplements that promote a good night’s sleep.

If you get hungry after dinner, try snacking on magnesium-rich foods like nuts and dark chocolate. (Yum!)

  1. Collagen

“Located below the outermost layer of our skin, collagen is the foundation of the connective tissue that supports our skin’s structure,” says Simpson. “As we age, the natural weakening in cellular activity and exposure to environmental stressors can break down this structural framework, resulting in skin that looks and feels frail, thin, and loose.”

Adding protein-rich foods like bone broth, meat, and eggs to your diet promotes a healthy rate of collagen renewal, and may help protect your skin from premature aging, Simpson says. Since collagen itself is difficult to get from foods, you might also consider a supplement, like Reserveage Collagen Replenish Powder.

Curcumin, Kurkuma, Turmeric
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  1. Turmeric

The bright yellow spice is trendy because of its antioxidant compound, curcumin. When you sprinkle it on eggs or roasted cauliflower, or add it to soup, turmeric’s antioxidants can help to combat free radicals in the body, says Simpson. You can also use it topically on the skin in DIY face masks and scrubs.

Related: We Tried 5 DIY Scrubs—Here’s What Happened

  1. Phytoceramides

Ceramides are a type of lipid that help to form the barrier property of the skin. These lipids help to lock in moisture and promote a dewy complexion, but decrease as we age, says Simpson.

You can add phytoceramides (plant-based ceramides) to your diet via whole grains, like brown rice and wheat germ, or a supplement.

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  1. Gotu Kola Seed

Gotu kola has been used in Eastern medicines for thousands of years to support the skin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

This seed contains a substance called asiaticoside that may promote dermal blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the skin tissue, says Simpson. Chemicals called triterpenoids have also been found to strengthen the skin in lab and animal studies, says the UMMC.

You can find gotu kola seed in capsule form.

  1. Chlorella

Here’s another green superfood to add to your list. Green micro-algae are rich in proteins, which help support the strength and structure of the skin, says Simpson.

Try chlorella in capsule form, or by adding a powder supplement to your next smoothie.

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  1. Flax Oil

Adding flax oil to your diet may just be a game-changer for your skin. The omega-3s in this oil can help your skin to maintain moisture, says Francis. Added bonus—They also support healthy hair, so don’t be surprised if you notice an extra-shiny mane, too.

Just a head’s up: According to Francis, flax oil doesn’t have the most pleasant of tastes, so try adding it to a smoothie or using it in salad dressing.

  1. Water

Water keeps us hydrated and helps our bodily systems—including our heart, brain, and muscles—run smoothly. That goes for our skin, too.

If you’re dealing with a dull, dry complexion, making sure you drink eight to ten glasses of water per day should improve your skin, Francis says.

Sunrise over Adam's peak, Sri Lanka
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  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps to regulate a process in which the cells that make up layers of the skin turn over and replenish, according to Oregon State University.

The easiest way to get your fill of vitamin D is to spend 20 to 30 minutes outside sans sunscreen. That may sound counter-intuitive considering we’re always told to slather ourselves with sunscreen before heading outdoors, but when you wear sunscreen you actually block the vitamin D from entering your skin, says Francis. Just make sure not to linger for too long—sunburns are not a good look.

Related: Fill your vanity with natural skin-care products for every need.

 

Pin this handy graphic to keep your skincare game going strong:

youthful-glow