Put Your Best Face Forward: How to get beautiful, healthy, glowing skin in hijab!
Posted on March 25, 2013
With just our faces showing in hijab, it's important to make sure we're taking care of our skin and putting our best face forward. Here are my tips to achieve beautiful, healthy, glowing skin in hijab!
1) Cleanse, tone, moisturize, repeat.
Make cleansing and moisturizing part of your morning and bedtime routine. I love gentle cleansers like Cetaphil. The point is to clean your skin - not completely strip it of all its oils. If your skin is left feeling dry and tight after cleansing, you're using something too strong. Toners are essential. Not only does it rid your face of impurities left after cleansing, it closes your pores and balances your skin's pH levels.
Choose a separate moisturizer for morning and night. Make sure your morning moisturizer has built in SPF. I love Olay Complete with SPF 15. For night, focus on your concerns. Whether it's acne, uneven skin tone, fine lines, or wrinkles, there's a product for you. Just make sure you find the correct one for your skin type.
2) Exfoliate once a week!
Exfoliation once a week coupled with a daily cleanse/tone/moisturize regimen is the recipe for healthy, glowing skin. Exfoliation helps with blemished skin, post-breakout red/dark spots, clogged pores, hyper-pigmentation and dry skin as it removes surface dry skin cells. There are some really great exfoliators out there, but they can get pretty pricey. I've been using this home-made exfoliator for a few years and absolutely love it! I make a big jar of it and use it weekly. You can also add a few drops of vanilla extract for a little something extra!
3) SPF all day everyday.
Studies have shown that the #1 cause of damage and aging to the skin is sun exposure. Excessive exposure to the sun's rays can cause wrinkling, a leathery skin appearance, and in worst cases - skin cancer. In hijab, our face and hands are the only areas exposed to the sun so it's important to apply SPF to the face daily. Be sure to reapply throughout the day after excess sweating or extended exposure to the sun. A minimum of SPF 30 daily is recommended by dermatologists.
4) Hydrate: Water & Green Tea
The number one thing you can put in your body for radiant, healthy skin, is water. The more water you drink, the more you flush all the toxins and waste out of your body and the healthier your skin is going to look! Water also helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity.
Green tea is a great supplement to water. Not only is it good for your heart, it has been proven to lower the risk of hypertension, reduce belly fat, help with digestion, and boost your immune system. (Whew!) It is extremely high in antioxidants, especially catechin which has been shown to be more powerful than Vitamin C and E in stopping damage to cells. Avoid sugar if you want the best results for your skin.
5) Diet - Beauty from the inside-out!
I'm a firm believer that what you put in your body is much more important than what you apply on your skin. You can spend hundreds on facial creams and treatments, but if your diet is chock-full of greasy food, sugars and processed foods, the results will be bismal. A healthy, well-balanced diet is important for so many reasons beyond beautiful skin, but there are certain foods known to help with glowing skin.
Vegetables - Red bell peppers are my go-to for glowing skin. The carotenoids in red peppers, tomatoes, mangoes and some green veggies help improve tone. Carrots, broccoli and spinach are rich in Vitamin A, which help improve the turnover of cells in the skin, which means your skin gets renewed quicker.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - These essential fatty acids help put the brakes on inflammation that accelerates fine lines, sagging and blotchiness. Walnuts have more omega-3 fats than any other nut. Salmon, tuna and other fish are good sources - or you can take an Omega-3 fish oil supplement daily.
Fruits - Almost all fruits have some benefit that can be linked to healthy skin, but the antioxidants in cantaloupe have shown to increase your ability to absorb free radicals which in turn reduce skin problems. Berries, plums and pomegranate are also rich in antioxidants and citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C help delay and even reduce wrinkles. Apples are rich in pectin, the starch that helps with acne, and bananas are natural emollients which help smooth and soften your skin.
Things to Avoid - Sugar and salt! Too much sugar damages collagen and elastin in your skin, the protein fibers that keep your skin firm. Excess salt can make your skin puffy, especially around your eyes.
6) Get Your Prayer On
We all know how our 5 daily prayers affect our mind and soul, but did you know it can help with skin too? The poses involved in prayer including bowing and prostrasting, repeat, repeat, repeat - improve circulation. The flow of blood to the face bring with it a boost of oxygen and other helpful nutrients that fight free radicals, encourage skin cell renewal and give the face a rosy glow. Additionally, we all know that prayer is the time we shut out the world and focus on a clear connection with Allah (S). Doing this five times a day helps reduce stress that speed skin aging. Of course our intention when praying should not be to get beautiful skin, rather to obey and please Allah (S) - but what an awesome added bonus!
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