If you are a woman living in a first world, Western country, you are constantly bombarded with messages about the way you look. Cosmetics is a multi-billion dollar industry with company after company marketing product after product that promises to tighten, clear, de-age and de-wrinkle our skin.
But, if you’re like me (and most women I’ve talked to) you’ve tried a lot of products that don’t do what they promise. In fact, you may have never found a skin care regimen that really works for you in the way that you want it to.
With all of the options out there, why is it so hard to get the results that we want to see with our skin? I think the first problem is this: it’s our mentality.
Since we’ve all seen advertising from such a young age, we have to make a conscious effort to de-program the messages that we’ve been given. If we don’t, we will continue to go in circles, doing the same thing but expecting different results – or even giving up on having beautiful skin altogether.
The reality is this:
There is not one product (or products) that work as a magic bullet for gorgeous skin. They do not exist and therefore, we all need to stop looking for them.
As long as you’re looking for one magic product, you’re being duped by the cosmetics industry and you’re missing out on the REAL keys to radiance.
If you truly want to have gorgeous, radiant skin you have to STOP telling yourself that there’s one magic product out there that will fix all of your skin issues. This is a LIE.
I cannot tell you how much money I have
spent wasted over the years trying product after product because I used to think that if I found the right one with the right chemistry that it would cure all of my skin issues for good.
After years and years of searching I never found that magic product.
But I did accumulate lots of lotions and cleansers and everything in between that got shoved underneath my sink or in a drawer never to be used again.
Beautiful skin never starts with products. It always start with the internal terrain.
This is the mental shift that you have to make if you truly want to get the results that you want to see.
Otherwise, you’ll just spend your time secretly hoping that there’s a cure-all product out there for you and you won’t invest the time and effort that you need to in order to get the results that you truly want. Make sense?
If so, keep reading because I’m going to share with you the Non-Negotaiable Foundation for Beautiful Skin. This is a critical step that you have to be willing to start with in order to get the results that you deeply desire.
The Most Essential Building Block to Radiant Skin: Hydration
Hydration is the beginning of beautiful skin. You want that dewy glow that some women seem to effortlessly have? Unless you are just blessed with good skin genes (and let’s be honest—most of us aren’t) you have to make hydration a priority.
Even if you do have amazing genes and your skin is flawless with little to no effort, you can still benefit immensely from drinking water. It’s vital for your health.
Did you know that water makes up most of the fluid in your body?
Water is so critical to looking and feeling your best that it shocks me that years ago I used to “hydrate” myself on processed juice and Sprite on a regular basis.
Here are just a few insights into the importance of water in the body:
- Your muscles are 75% water
- Your blood transports nutrients and is 82% water
- Your blood plasma is 98% water
- Your lungs are 90% water
- Your brain is 76% water
- Even your bones are 25% water
Given that your body relies on water to such a huge degree, don’t you think that your skin—your body’s largest organ—also needs to be replenished daily with the right amount of water? It does!
You also need water to flush toxins from your system that could later show up as blemishes on your skin – and who wants that?
The reality is that your body loses half of its weight in ounces of water every day through normal breathing, sweating and elimination. That isn’t even addressing the climate you live in or level of activity you have. You must replace what you lose each day at a bare minimum if you ever want to have radiant, glowing skin.
And this is exactly what most people are doing wrong. They are not drinking enough water each day. How much water should you be drinking?
Half your body weight in ounces of water per day is the minimum that you should drink to look and feel your best.
So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to be drinking 75 ounces of water daily. The standard glass is about 8 ounces or 1 cup. That’s 9 to 10 cups of water each day—minimum!
Now, take into consideration that most people are using stimulants like coffee and energy drinks to get through the day. And let me just say this: I am totally not judging because that used to be me!
Coffees, teas, soda—all of these are dehydrating beverages and count as -1 glasses—yes, you read that right—negative 1 glasses of water.
So, if the first thing you do in the morning is wake up and go to the coffee maker to get your morning brew going, you’re already starting the day at -1—this is also after sleeping for the entire night without drinking any water.
Your body is already in a dehydrated state. If you have a soda with your lunch and then need another soda later in the day to beat the “lunch slump” you’re at -3 glasses of water for the day if you haven’t had any.
I know what you may be thinking at this point: “But, I need my coffee/diet drink/energy drink to get through the day!”
I get it and I’m also telling you that the fact that you need it is pointing to another problem—and that’s the problem of not being able to sustain energy throughout the day without a caffeine jolt. If there are enough people in your life dealing with the same thing, it may seem normal. But, it’s not.
If you’re highly motivated, you can try cutting your drinks out cold turkey and replacing them with water. If you’re like most people and most of the clients that my husband and I have worked with in our health consulting company, you’ll need to do this gradually.
Once you’ve done that for a few days, increase it to two drinks. Keep going until you get to the right amount of water that you need to be drinking daily. You’ll probably need to add glasses of water on top of this to get to the right amount.
Yes, you will have to pee. That’s part of it until your body gets used to drinking water regularly. Add a pinch of sea salt to each quart of water to help hydrate your cells and reduce the need to go to the bathroom constantly. You can do it, I know it!
If you’re not someone that drinks caffeine or sodas, you may prefer sweet drinks instead.
Juices, sweet teas and specialty drinks that are loaded with sugar are not only poor sources for hydration, they also add so many empty calories to your diet.
When I was studying for my Masters in Health Science, I came across a piece of research that said that sugar sweetened drinks are one of the primary culprits for overweight and obesity in the United States (Ventura, 2011) .
I can hear the juice drinking mantra right now: “But, I don’t like the taste of water!” I completely understand. I was a Sprite drinking, water hating, dehydrated mess before I changed my lifestyle. And I could not stand the taste of water. I literally had to force myself to drink it in the beginning.
But, you know what? Eventually, I got used to it. And eventually, I thought to myself: “Water’s not that bad!” And you know what’s even crazier? Now, I crave water. When I haven’t had enough water—these days, my body lets me know.
If you’re suffering from headaches or fatigue or trouble concentrating water may be exactly the cure your body needs. The added benefits of all this is that your skin will love it!
This is especially true if you’re dealing with eczema, rashes, psoriasis, dry skin or wrinkles. You need a good amount of water on a regular basis to deeply hydrate your skin from the inside out.
You cannot do without this step if you want to have beautiful skin. It’s absolutely critical.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION
Get out a pen and a piece of paper and figure out how much water you need each day in order to properly hydrate your skin and body. Use the formula below if you need to. Once you figure out how much water you need, make this EASY for yourself. See below for tips.
The Water Formula
Divide your weight in half. This is the number of ounces of water that you need each day. If you want to know how many cups this converts to divide this number by 8. There’s 8 ounces in a cup.
MAKING HYDRATION A CINCH
Find a thermos, a jar, a stainless steel canteen – some kind of bottle to store your water in throughout the day so that you are not constantly having to refill cup after cup. That’s a deterrent to drinking the right amount and an open cup is just not mobile-friendly.
You need something with a cap on it, that won’t leak which you can throw into a bag or into the car when you’re on the go. This way, you can have your bottle of water at all times so you can make sure that you’re properly hydrated.
Here’s the kind of bottle that I carry around by Klean Canteen: click here. It’s big and holds a lot of ounces so I’m not having to refill it over and over again during the day. I also like that I know exactly how many ounces is in each bottle.
If you’re using a thermos or bottle from home, fill it up first and measure the amount of water inside in a measuring cup so you know exactly how much water it holds. Then, you can easily calculate how many full bottles you need to drink each day to stay hydrated.
In terms of water quality, filtered water is best but don’t let that be a hang up for you if you don’t have a water filter. Tap water is better than no water and personally I wouldn’t spend the money on bottled water (Michael San Clements (author of Plastic Purge) stated that nearly 50% of bottled water comes straight from the tap).
So, I want to hear from you. Have you found it challenging to drink water throughout the day? If so, what’s your biggest hang up? Mine was getting past the taste. If you’re already drinking lots of water each day, what tips can you share?