Post by fashion contributor Melody Cooper Jones.
Here we are! 2014. New calendar; clean slate; fresh start. New beginnings make me giddy. I love the excitement of writing on the first page of a new journal, or reading the first paragraph of a new book. I even love the newness that each morning brings me, with opportunities do things a little better than I did them the day before. While reflecting on this past year, I was reminded of some victories, and decided to share them with you.
At the beginning of last year, I took a long, hard look in the mirror and got honest with myself about my skin and complexion. I saw dull, flaky skin where I longed for a vibrant and glowing complexion. I saw fine lines where I refused to look for them before. I saw the spots of time on my forehead, a fun physical reminder of hours in the sun at my first high school job as a lifeguard. Fond memories that I hold dear.
Now, I could go into an entire post about the freedom that comes with appreciating and accepting what you see, and learning to love what you bring to the world. You are unique. No one else was created like you. But ...I have some practical tips to share on well-being and improving your appearance in the process. And hey, vanity can be an awesome catalyst for change, as long as it's real change and not an obsession. I hope you will benefit from my vanity-induced year of trial and error.
10 2014 Beauty Resolutions
Yep. That pesky little word that everyone is throwing around right now. But I found that exercise improves my skin's appearance faster than anything else! Your skin is a living, breathing organ on your body, and it's usually the first real sign of what is happening inside. Exercise gets the blood pumping, flushes the toxins through your pores, and plumps up your skin. Did you know that the number-one thing most celebrities are encouraged to do on award show days (besides getting a spray tan) is to have a vigorous workout that morning? Your skin will welcome and respond to exercise. Start out realistically: Three days a week of walking or running or yoga. Find something you enjoy doing that really gets your blood pumping, and do it with a friend. But be realistic, and be safe.
I know what you're thinking: Who has time for sleep? Life is busy, but I found that this is the second most important weapon in the war with my complexion. Do you know how much sleep your body needs each night? We are all different. There is a simple test you can do to figure it out. Give yourself at least two or three nights of good sleep so that you are well-rested, then take a couple of nights to sleep without an alarm. If nothing woke you up at night, how long did your body sleep? Was it the same each night? I am an eight-hour girl almost to the minute. I have a friend who needs nine hours, while some people only need six hours. Do your best to give your body the sleep it craves each night. If you get to bed late, try to rearrange your morning schedule to sleep in a little if you can. You will be more alert, happier, and more productive -- and I promise that your skin will reflect the results, with more vibrancy, fewer lines and fewer dark circles.
I struggle with this one the most, but I have found that the top three things on this list (exercise, sleep, water) are the most important tools for my skin. ;I found that the following method works for me: Two glasses of water as soon as I get up in the morning, one before each meal, and one before bed. If I stick to this strategy, I get at least six glasses a day. I can add more throughout the day when necessary. You will probably urinate more at first, but you will find that your body will adjust and start using the water as it gets used to getting it. Your body is amazing and smart and it will adapt to what you give it.
We are what we eat. It is a tried-and-true fact. Again, every body is different. What works for one person may not work for you. I am not talking about dieting and weight loss. That is an entirely different topic. Our skin reflects what we are feeding our bodies. Are you eating a lot of salt, which can give you puffier eyes and skin
? Are you eating a lot of sugar, which can lead to poor complexion and breakouts
? Take some time to really pay attention to what is going into your body. Are you eating a lot of processed food and chemicals? Try to eat more natural whole foods, which are generally just foods that don't come in a box or package. Look for foods that may have to be cut up or cooked. Some great foods for your skin are things like salmon, almonds, avocados, and lots of fruits and veggies. I am not necessarily gluten free, but I found that I feel better and have better digestion when I cut back on wheat. How does your body respond to wheat and dairy and meat? Again, it's all about "looking" and paying attention to how your body responds. Think of your skin as a "thermometer" for what is cooking inside.