A lot of things happen to us around this time of the year. Some of us are planning cookie bake-offs, some of us are making the final arrangements for the office or a get-together at home. In the end, we all have a social event (of any kind) to attend, and look our best.
Shopping for clothes aside, nothing spells confidence like the perfect complexion. It somehow becomes a confidence booster, an accessory that you add to your party spirit (and to your outfit, of course). So we scoured the Web for the perfect plan that can help show off your irresistible attributes.
- Hot water lemonade: Start your day with a glass of warm water and fresh lemon juice. The lemon neutralizes the contents of the gut, balances your body’s pH and is able to draw out all of the toxins from your body. So while you’re enjoying this wintry cocktail, your body is ridding itself from all things bad (like those chocolate treats we all sneak in before going to bed). You can also make this a year-round habit, if your New Year resolution is to be healthy and beautiful on the inside, and the outside.
- Think green: Not just to decorate your place, but also try to eat your greens as much as you can during this season. And why? Because the main cause for dull-looking skin lies in the layers, and layers of old skin cells that need to be replaced by new ones. The benefits of leafy greens (think, kale, spinach, arugula, watercress) is in their concentration of antioxidants . They help with the cell turnover, so the more we eat them, the faster our bodies can make new cells. As a rule of thumb, the darker the greens, the more potent they are. Make them into a delicious smoothie , side dish or a salad (the simplest is arugula, yogurt, salt and pepper), and reap their benefits. One thing to note: if you are wearing a formfitting outfit to the next party, try to avoid the cruciferous vegetables (think of cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and their cousins) up to three days before attending. They tend to make you feel bloated. Just switch them with avocados: they are still green, but very lean.
- Take your multivitamins and probiotics: Busy people have busy lifestyles, so we know that around this time our immune system works in overdrive. Multivitamins contain the suggested dose of vitamins and minerals that we need to be able to drive and survive the pre-holiday momentum. Probiotics contain good gut bacteria that have anti-inflammatory properties. They will protect your body from various microorganisms (so you will be healthy when the time comes), and will alleviate symptoms related to skin distress. Naturally fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt with live cultures have probiotics in abundance, so make them part of your daily menu.
- The Omegas and Vitamin E: Both contribute to the suppleness of the skin, so naturally we’re putting them on the list. They are found in fish, avocado, nuts and seeds. Make sure you eat these foods on a more regular basis nowadays, to moisturize your skin from within. Three days before a big party, eat your salmon and avocados. They contain lean protein, so you’ll look your best, and will not feel bloated at all.
- Eat fruits: mostly kiwis and papayas. They have a natural way of toning your skin (from the inside) and contain antioxidants that can help you fight skin inflammation. If you’re pressed for time try this soothing mask on your face. If you are allergic to kiwi, swap it for pomegranate or any berry or just yogurt (in this case, omit the gelatin).
- Drink water: Even though we are making sure that our skin is well hydrated, we have to remember that our bodies need the water to flush themselves. Aim for 6 to 8 glasses each day. It is not a strict rule-obviously you can have more if you’re really thirsty (for example, we drink more than 10 glasses each day). The main purpose for adopting this habit is to bring enough water molecules to the skin capillaries (the tiniest blood vessels), where it would help eliminate the skin’s waste (old skin cells, toxins, etc).
- Take regular walks and breathe deeply: Even if it’s for 10-15 minutes, this habit will reset your mental state back to “normal”. What it really does is it reduces stress, revs up your metabolism (which in turn produces more red blood cells ), and helps in the elimination of dead cells from the body. The best way to do this is to walk so fast that you can hum a song, but you can’t sing it. To help you even more, try focusing on your breathing when you go for a walk. One way that really helps is to count your breaths while walking. Count to a set number (for example, we count to 30) and then backwards until you’re done with your walking. This way we promote an overall calmness that we all need to deal with what comes next (the shopping, the cooking, the parties). If you’re really very busy, then try to sneak in short walks, either on your way to work, or when you’re on your break: short walks are equally beneficial.
Bottom line is that we should be enjoying the holidays, no matter how crazy our schedules are. And if we can look our best at the same time, it will be an added bonus.