We all want glowing, radiant, and luminous skin! Good genes and effective skincare products only go so far to give us clear complexion. What you put into your body, on your body, and how you move your body all play a part in your skin’s health. The skin is actually the body’s largest vital organ - and should be treated like one! The skin is made up of several layers, with the exterior cells constantly growing outward and flaking off. It takes roughly five weeks for new cells to regenerate in the skin. So everything you are eating, drinking, and doing affects the composition of the new cells that make up your skin. Something to think about for healthy skin!
Greece is a country with it’s people known for their physical beauty and their dewy, clear skin. The Greeks have a long history of improving their physical appearance through nutrition, athletics, and homemade treatments, while still being in tune with the natural aging process. The people of Greece tend to use local and natural ingredients as skincare remedies. The country’s residents, who live by crystal-blue waters, white buildings, and constant sunshine, have uncovered their natural beauty secrets and practices. Below are the top 10 secrets for healthy skin as influenced by the country of Greece:
Honey is a staple food in Greece because of it’s local production through Greek beehives. Honey has anti-inflammatory actions that help shed dead skin cells as well as nourish dry skin areas. Try making a homemade honey mask by mixing honey with a small amount of warm water (to make it spreadable). Apply to face for 10 minutes and remove with a washcloth to get glowing skin!
2) Exfoliate with Sea Salt
Mediterranean sea salt is also a huge staple in Greece. The residents use sea salt to scrub and exfoliate dry skin. Sea salt also increases circulation of skin and reduces fluid retention. This is a great remedy to use, especially if you are exposed to the sun frequently! Try mixing equal parts of epsom salt with coconut oil to rub on dry body parts.
3) Stay Away From Sugar
Low sugar diets have been shown to beneficial to the skin, especially those that are acne-prone. The people of Greece generally eat the “Mediterranean diet” which sticks to nutrient-dense, fresh, seasonal, real foods. Make a conscious effort to reduce refined sugary foods and aim for whole fruits and vegetables.
4) Stay Hydrated
Signs of dehydration are commonly seen in our skin through flakiness and elasticity. Drinking water will of course keep you hydrated, but you can also try including more hydrating food in your diet! Many fruits and veggies are loaded with hydration such as melons, tomatoes, berries, sweet peppers, stone fruits, and cucumbers. These are the main foods that are a part of the Mediterranean diet.
Eating or drinking dairy is controversial in regards to causing breakouts on some people’s skin. Few studies show associations between dairy and acne, but it depends on the individual. While some people may not be able to intake dairy, it can still be applied to your skin for nourishment and anti-aging properties. Greeks often uses milk and yogurt on skin for its soothing, softening properties. Next time you have a sunburn, apply Greek yogurt to the area to soothe and shed dead skin cells.
6) Eat The Rainbow
The Greeks love to use fresh, seasonal produce in their cooking to have a bright and colorful meal. The best skin diet involves eating fruits and vegetables of different colors. These contain antioxidants and nutrients that fight free radicals that cause aging in your skin. Next time you are grocery shopping, look for a fruit or vegetable with the darkest and brightest colors for great skin.
7) Protect with SPF
Greece is always seemingly bright and sunny, but the residents of the country are always sure to protect themselves from UV rays. Sunscreen is your best friend and your first line of defense against the sun’s harsh rays. Avoid pre-mature aging and sunburns by applying SPF everyday if possible.
8) Get Those Omega-3s
Greece is next to bright, blue water full of fresh fish. Cold water fish is full of Omega-3s that are anti-inflammatory fatty acids and beneficial against harmful toxins. They create the structure of our cell membranes to create supple, smooth skin. Don’t like fish? Omega-3s are also found in nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens.
A major secret of the Greek’s natural beauty is, believe it or not, sweating. With Greece being in a humid climate, they are able to open up their skin pores and get rid of toxins naturally. Taking hot baths or sitting in saunas is another way to do this without the use of weather. Also getting in some exercise that makes you sweat will benefit your skin as well as your overall health. Movement will also increase blood flow throughout the body and relieve stress, which ultimately improves your skin.
10) Olive Oil
Finally, the secret ingredient that is used for everything by the Greeks is olive oil. Greeks use olive oil for their hair, face, and body of it’s natural antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It locks in moisture, prevents water loss, and restores elasticity in the skin. Try pressing a small amount of olive oil on your face to maintain youthful, nourished skin.