You may not think about your skin very often (unless you’re in the middle of a breakout!), but it’s one of the most important organs. It helps regulate body temperature and protects against germs and bacteria. The skin is also our largest organ, so keeping it healthy is critical to overall health. Your skin can be damaged by factors like sun exposure, dryness, and even by aggressive skin care routines. But there are several steps you can take to protect your skin from these things—and help it look and feel its best, especially as the weather cools. In the next two articles, I’m going to dive into my top tips for achieving your healthiest skin.

Hydrate yourself by drinking a lot of water

I know this sounds like basic advice, but it makes such a difference to how your skin feels and looks. Water is the ultimate hydrator and detoxifier, so it’s important that you drink enough of it daily to help your body flush out toxins and help your skin glow. In order to keep yourself hydrated, make sure you’re drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, and yes, herbal tea counts!

Stress less

When you are stressed, your body produces more cortisol, which is your stress hormone. The problem with cortisol is that it can contribute to excess oil production, which means clogged pores. While we can’t really tell ourselves to not be stressed when we’re stressed, we can work on ways to help the stress make less of an impact on our health, for example meditation, light exercise and mindfulness, reading, journaling, as well as any other healthy activity that brings you joy.

Eat for skin health

When it comes to boosting your skin’s health, a healthy diet is key in helping you glow from within. Here are my top tips:

Eat plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants that can help cultivate healthy skin from the inside, out while balancing the harmful effects of free radicals. When it comes to which fruits and veggies to eat, the answer is all of them! A varied diet will provide your body with numerous phytonutrients that can help to support skin tone, hydration and overall skin health.

Eating quality fats can also be beneficial for your complexion. They will help to moisturize your skin from the inside out by improving elasticity and healing blemishes. Some great sources include extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, fish oils and evening primrose oil supplements.

Evening primrose oil is one of the nutritional oils that can be used for promoting skin health and hydration. It’s rich in GLA, which is an omega-6 fatty acid that helps to combat the effects of free radicals (including UV rays from the sun). In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of evening primrose oil’s effects on skin health, the group treated with 1500 mg of the oil showed an increase in skin moisture, water loss, firmness, elasticity, and a decrease in roughness by the end of 12 weeks.

Probiotic-rich foods can help to support healthy skin by supporting optimal digestion (slow or sluggish digestion can contribute to congestion in your skin!). Plus, the connection between your gut and skin goes deeper than you realize. Researchers have found that a damaged microbiome is linked to several skin conditions, from rosacea and psoriasis to blemishes and dandruff. Probiotics and probiotic-rich foods can help to shift your microbial populations (aka your microbiome) in healthy ways, which will show up on your skin. A quality probiotic supplement is a great idea, as is supplementing your diet with fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.

Lastly—don’t underestimate the power of protein! Your body needs protein to build new cells—including ones that make up all parts of your body (like hair or nails). That means it’s just as important for keeping your face looking youthful as it is everywhere else on your body. Aim for some lean protein at each meal.

Filling your plate with these foods will leave less room for sugary desserts that can lead to blemish breakouts or other signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles when consumed regularly.

If you prioritize eating these foods, I can promise you that you will see more than just your skin health shine.

In the next article, I’m going to talk about how to choose the right skin care products for you, as well as share some helpful tips for helping to reduce tension and increase skin glow.