For so many of us, though the rest of the day is full to brimming with busy-ness, there is one hour we carve out just for ourselves—to exercise. And for anyone interested in skin health, this is an hour when some powerful natural magic can happen. Each week I mix up my morning workout routine, incorporating either yoga, stretching, Pilates or ballroom dancing. Over the years I’ve discovered several aspects of working out that are especially beneficial to the skin.
Whenever we perspire, the body rids itself of impurities, including cell-damaging free radicals, while clearing the pores and flushing out the system. Heightened circulation brings an abundance of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells while supercharging our interior life force, the chi, dissolving energetic tension.
In yoga, handstands, headstands and poses like fish that arch back through the neck all help clarify the skin and purify the complexion by increasing circulation and flushing out the system by reversing the effects of gravity.
Rapid, repetitive twists, bounces and shakes activate the lymphatic system, massively detoxifying the skin. Lymphatic fluids carry away toxins, and bouncing on the balls of the feet or shaking the arms from the wrist overhead gets that flow moving. Another advice: dance to the music that makes you happy. Whenever your workout makes you smile, it provides great support for the underlying face muscles—lifting and training them—and buoys your mood. And when the feel-good hormones (endorphins) surge, levels of collagen-damaging stress hormones (cortisol) are lowered. I so often have a smile on my face when I dance, and nothing compares to the way it reinvigorates the body and spirit on every level.
Taking time to stretch before and after a workout keeps circulation fluid, but it also removes energy blockages that can build up over time.
Before and After a Workout
Of course, all these effects are optimized with a skin care protocol designed to burnish your active glow. Before exercise, I gently spritz the face, neck and décolletage with re-energizing Essential C Tonic, which is bursting with 100% botanical remedies to awaken the skin, including green tea and lemongrass. Increased circulation during exercise boosts the formula’s detoxifying effects.
After working out, I cleanse the skin with Purifying Cleansing Gel, a bright blend of rosemary and spearmint. I indulge in another replenishing spritz of Essential C Tonic, and follow with an application of vitamin-packed Antioxidant Crème, blending rebalancing lavender with protective sweet orange. Radiance is renewed, and the body’s natural system supports this so beautifully.
It’s incredible to realize that our skin is perfectly designed to renew itself through exercise. But no matter what discipline you choose—from aikido to ultimate frisbee—the great thing is that if it moves your body and puts joy in your heart, you can be sure that it will also bring that shining natural radiance to your complexion.