Top tips for glowing, radiant skin

Skin deep.

There’s nothing quite like a gorgeous, natural glow that comes from within. Alexandra McManus investigates the secrets for seriously radiant skin.

While organic beauty products have been on the radar of wellness devotees for years, in recent times, they’ve hit the mainstream with a force stronger than your bulletproof coffee. A new report from Grand View Research has predicted the global organic personal care market is estimated to be worth $US25.11 billion by 2025, as the growing demand for organic hair, skin and cosmetic products continues to grow at a rapid rate.

It seems that everyone is jumping on the feel-good beauty train, but what exactly does natural beauty look like, and how can we be on our way to getting more of it? To answer this age-old question, we got the low-down from five experts in nutrition, yoga, kinesiology and make-up artistry to uncover the daily practices and recommended products to promote that lit-from-within look.

THAT GUT FEELING
Despite our skin being our largest organ, beauty starts far beneath the surface layers. According to a study published in The Journal of Translational Immunology, approximately 70 per cent of our immune system is located in the gut. We know that a healthy gut is pivotal to healthy skin, so if you want a glowing complexion, looking after the state of your gut microbiome is a non-negotiable.

According to Saimaa Miller, naturopath and author of The Aussie Body Diet ($35, Penguin), drinking bone broth and eating fermented vegies are two sure-fire ways to look after your gut. “I really believe in the gut-skin axis [relationship],” says Miller. “Care for your digestive system and your skin will respond with a glow that no amount of botox can buy. Our skin is our largest detoxification organ and glowing skin has a direct relationship with how well our food intake is being processed and nutrients being assimilated by our digestive system, as well as the health of [our] liver and kidneys.”

While many of us are just beginning to play with bone broth, the beverage has been around for centuries in traditional cultures. It is made from slow-cooking bones (ideally from organic, grass-fed sources) for 24 to 48 hours, while the nutrients from the connective tissue, skin and bones leach into the broth. And the benefits boast more than your regular beef or chicken stock. The wellness tonic is loaded with protein, amino acids and minerals, which all promote youthful-looking skin and lustrous locks, as well as strong nails and teeth.

BEAUTY FOOD
We all know the link between high-nutrient foods and clear skin, but knowing which beauty foods to select from your local farmers’ market can be a little overwhelming. Sally O’Neil, health blogger at The Fit Foodie (the-fit-foodie.com), reveals the glow-getting goodies that should widely feature in your culinary repertoire. “Anything with good-quality fats: think avocado, flax seeds, almond butter, nuts, eggs, salmon, coconut and virgin olive oil,” says O’Neil. “Think of them as your internal moisturiser; they keep skin supple and soft from the inside.”

And aside from our skin-loving leafy greens, O’Neil’s most surprising beauty food is the humble tomato. “The antioxidant lycopene – which is found in abundance in tomatoes – is known to improve our skin’s natural SPF and even stimulates circulation,” she says. O’Neil is also a big advocate for the avocado, as it’s the only fruit that contains a high amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, almost 20 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, which help to remove toxins from the body; and heaps of vitamin E, which stimulates the skin’s collagen production.

When it comes to glow-giving foods, Miller begins with antioxidants and highly suggests silica. “Dose up on foods rich in beta-carotene, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E. [Also] include foods rich in silica which has the benefit of minimising wrinkles by making collagen. Silica-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, cucumber, millet, oats, onions, rice, whole grains, alfalfa, barley and beetroot.”

PAINT ME PRETTY
Repeat after me: enhance, not cover. “When it comes to natural make-up it’s all about highlighting, rather than hiding your natural beauty,” says Emmily Banks, natural make-up artist and founder of Depths of Beauty (depthsofbeauty.com.au). “So, it should come as no surprise that my favourite beauty tip for a natural, radiant look is highlight, highlight, highlight! Try adding some natural highlighter or your favourite natural oil to the cheekbones, tip of nose, cupid’s bow and beneath the brow bone for a beautiful, healthy glow,”

“If you truly want to radiate, I can’t stress enough the importance of nourishing your skin from the inside out and the outside in. Use beautiful natural oils like rosehip, jojoba, coconut, argan and sweet almond, it’s all about putting the good stuff in!”
When a natural beauty aficionado like Banks shares the best advice she’s ever received, we tune in and listen up: “My two favourite pieces of beauty advice are ‘beauty is an inside job’ and ‘less is more’. These have always rung very true for me. If you truly want to radiate beauty you need to begin from the inside, physically, mentally and spiritually. And ‘less is more’ works on a variety of levels, you don’t want to hide your natural beauty under layers of product and you also don’t need to mindlessly consume – a few beautiful, natural products will go a long way for you and the environment.”

THAT YOGA GLOW
Devoted yogis understand the importance of their regular practice for health and spiritual alignment, but it’s vital for its beauty benefits, too. “Beauty radiates from within and yoga contributes to that by gently cleansing and rinsing your organs and eliminating toxins from your body, giving you a natural detox. Skin being the largest organ of the body benefits greatly from yoga,” explains Tamara Siekman, owner of Yoga Junction (yogajunction.com.au). “You rarely see a yoga teacher or anyone who has a regular practice that doesn’t radiate goodness. If you want quick results, practise in a heated room. Once the initial redness goes down you will have that holiday glow in no time,” says Siekman.

But for those who aren’t fans of heat, Siekman suggests a more gentle approach. “Life is all about balance and if you are after a long-term solution I say yin all the way. We lead such yang lives now, even popular yoga styles in Western culture have taken a yang approach and our bodies are constantly in fight or flight mode which releases the hormone called cortisol that can cause disease and [premature] ageing. Yin yoga, a slower-paced style that holds postures longer, does the opposite [by] kicking into our parasympathetic nervous system which conserves energy and slows the heart rate, [and] helps lower anxiety and stress.”

In terms of an immediate glow, Siekman has a tip for when you next hit the mat: “Any sort of inversion pose (where your heart is higher than your head) is like an instant facial. Some of the simpler ones being downward dog and wide-legged forward fold or for the more advanced shoulder stand, handstand or headstand.” But much like any beauty advice, the magic begins when you tune inwards. “Yoga is a science of ‘right living’ not just about asanas. Patañjali's eightfold approach acts as guidelines to live a meaningful life with purpose. If you follow a yogic path using Patañjali's techniques you will, without [a] doubt, be beaming with radiance.”

LOVE THYSELF
If we look beyond the aforementioned nutrition and health tips, there’s a plethora of opportunities to cultivate natural radiance from – yep, you guessed it – within. “[Natural beauty] on a mental, emotional and spiritual level might look like deep self-care, yoga, journaling, meditation, healthy boundaries and a deep devotion to self-love,” says Cassie Mendoza-Jones, kinesiologist, naturopath and author of You Are Enough (cassiemendozajones.com).

As the saying goes, become your own best friend. “[The relationship you have with yourself] is the most important relationship you’ll ever have, and the beautiful thing is that your devotion and commitment to your self-love will open doors in so many other areas of your life. It’s your foundation for a healthy, balanced, grounded life. Self-love keeps you centred, in your integrity, and in harmony with yourself, your life and with those you love,” she continues.

“Be yourself, and really, deeply care for yourself. There is nothing more radiant than someone who cares for themselves, loves themselves and honours themselves. Smile, be happy, grateful and grounded in being 100 per cent yourself. You are radiant!"

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.