At Okana we’re up to our eyebrows in natural skincare development every day, so we rub up against a lot of excellent information related to skin health. We’ve distilled some of these facts into 10 dos and don’ts that will help you to stay gorgeous.
Do cleanse your skin before bed
Chances are your mother told you never to go to bed with makeup on, even if you’re so exhausted you can’t drag yourself to the bathroom basin. She’s right of course. Sleeping with a face clogged with makeup, sweat, dead skin cells and sebum is asking for blemishes blackheads and a complexion that looks dull and grey. Choose an oil-based cleanser that’s a joy to use, like our Mango + Apricot Sorbet Cleanser, and your skin will be ready for bed in no time. After massaging the cleanser into your skin, being really gentle around the eye area, remove it with a face cloth and warm water. A quick tone and some night cream, then let the sleeping begin. For more see this article on Double Cleansing.
Don’t exercise in full makeup
As sweat and heat gets to work, foundations, powders and concealers dissolve and clog up your pores. They are also inclined to come off on your gym towel; gruesome if your towel is a light colour. Let your skin breathe while you’re working out, with just moisturiser and some lip balm. If you go to a gym or workout centre where appearances really matter, a flick of bronzer and a dash of mascara will do the trick.
Do invert yourself with yoga
Going upside down increases blood flow to your facial skin. Good poses for inversion include shoulder stand, headstand (if you’re up to it), plough pose (lying on your back with your feet touching the ground behind your head) and legs-up-the-wall (lying on your back with your feet directly up the wall to make the letter L). Reversing gravity like this stimulates the facial capillaries to give you a natural glow. It also boosts your brain activity.
Don’t skimp on sleep
Modern life often seems incompatible with a decent night’s sleep, but our bodies and brains still need sleep as much today as they did in the Stone Age. For healthy skin, good mental health and a general feeling of wellbeing, you need to get seven to eight hours sleep a night. Avoid using digital gadgets or watching TV for an hour before turning out the light. Calm yourself and prepare for sleep by reading a book. Listening to an audio book or music is another good option.
Do drink hot water and lemon when you wake up
Before you have tea, coffee or breakfast, wake up your digestive system with a cup of hot water flavoured with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Natural health experts say that drinking lemon water first thing helps wake up your liver and boost your immune system.
Don’t eat sugar
‘Sugar face’ is what you get when you continuously include sugar in your diet. Sugar breaks down collagen, which is essential for keeping your skin plump and youthful. So if you’re wrinkling up prematurely, you need to ditch the sugar. They reckon giving up sugar could make you look 10 year younger.  However you don’t have to give up natural sugars eaten as whole fruits, which are full of essential nutrients and fibre.
Do eat foods rich in good fats
Your skin will love you for eating good fats, like the omega-3s in salmon, avocado and walnuts. While these foods are relatively high in calories, they make up for it by being nutrient dense. Even a small portion comes with big benefits.
Every skin cell in your body is surrounded by two layers of fat; this is known as the ‘phospholipid bilayer’. The healthy fats you eat contribute to the quality of this bilayer. But don’t expect results overnight. The skin visible on your face was created deep in the dermis, then pushed to the surface layer by layer. This process takes about four weeks, which means diet improvements will start to show on your face after a month.
When you feel how smooth and silky your skin feels after exfoliation with a gorgeous product like our Bamboo Beads Face Scrub, it’s easy to get carried away and decide to exfoliate every day. But you can have too much of a good thing. Over-exfoliating will literally grind your skin barrier away, creating redness, dryness, irritation and sensitivity. Two or three times a week is the limit for exfoliation.
Do massage your face
Facial massage encourages blood flow to your skin. It also helps to work beneficial skincare products into your pores. French women are fond of giving themselves a daily facial massage, with an emphasis on upward strokes that counteract the effects of gravity. Before bed is the logical time to give yourself a facial massage, because it will aid the penetration of your night moisturiser.
Don’t drink too much alcohol
Alcohol dehydrates your body and your skin, and long-term drinking deprives your skin of important vitamins and nutrients. Rosacea, which can make your nose and cheeks unattractively red, is also linked to alcohol. A New York nutritionist is fond of giving her clients this advice: “If you want to get older, go ahead and drink!”.