A Beauty Editor’s Guide to Achieving Healthy, Beautiful Skin

The award-winning Lisa Oxenham reveals her expert lifestyle tips on nutrition, exercise, self-care, and a nourishing skincare regime

An ageing revolution is in full swing, prompting a re-evaluation of our beauty standards. We've come to recognise that the pursuit of eternal youth isn't the ideal. Instead, the aspiration is to look and feel healthy, vibrant, and genuinely content. At the heart of this revolution lies the idea that beauty and wellness originate from within, rooted in the nurturing of our bodies and spirits. This understanding doesn't detract from the appeal of luxurious skincare products, but it absolutely highlights that exterior applications only form part of the narrative. 

In my tenure as a Beauty Director spanning over two decades, I've observed the profound influence of lifestyle choices have on skin's health and appearance. Adopting a nutrient-rich alkaline diet, integrating stress-relief techniques like yoga, ensuring restorative sleep, and cultivating a resilient mental state can dramatically enhance skin quality. Here are the rules I live by: 

Embrace nutrition with a plant-based alkaline diet 

Central to my skincare philosophy is the food I consume daily. I stick to a nutrient-dense diet rich with plant-based alkaline foods. Minimising alcohol was transformative for my skin health, too. 

Our reliance on comfort foods, often high in sugar and processed ingredients, establishes a detrimental cycle. Overconsumption of processed food, sugar, caffeine, meat, and alcohol can instigate an acidic gut. This condition can manifest as inflammation, weight issues,

heightened illness susceptibility, fatigue, and even chronic headaches, and insomnia, with ramifications for our skin's health. 

I also prioritise gut health overall, starting my day with probiotics and water infused with apple cider vinegar. The merits of an alkaline diet comprising leafy greens, certain fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and oily fish are manifold, particularly in balancing the body's pH. This equilibrium augments our overall well-being and can manifest in a clearer complexion. To optimise my health, I incorporate vital nutrients, including vitamin D, protein, calcium, and B vitamins, into my diet, prioritising fresh vegetables, a judicious amount of fruits, and omega-3 rich foods. 

Discover the healing power of nature

Nature acts as a sanctuary for me, a place where I attain mental and physical equilibrium. Activities like jogging, hiking, and immersing in lakes invigorate me. Beyond enhancing circulation, outdoor activities have been universally lauded for bolstering mental health, reducing stress, and fostering joy—all crucial for a radiant complexion. Persistently elevated stress has deleterious effects on our skin, with consistent cortisol elevation, a stress indicator, disruptingthe skin's natural barrier, leading to inflammation and reduced lipid content. Consequently, skin loses its moisture-retention capability. To counteract stress, activities that engender relaxation are indispensable. Nature immersion stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system, facilitating recovery from intense states. 

Introduce a yoga practice into your daily routine

Physical exercise is pivotal for skin health, ensuring circulation and cellular rejuvenation. My weekly runs, combined with bi-weekly yoga sessions under the tutelage of expert Victoria Woodhall not only bolster my physique but also enhance my mental state. Yoga can also offer techniques to offset the sagging effect of gravity, rejuvenating and energising the body, inside and out. 

Harness the benefits of effective breathwork 

Breath work can be the key to radiant skin. Engaging in deep-breathing practices has been correlated with improved digestion, lymph flow, and stress reduction. By inducing the parasympathetic nervous system, mindful breathing fosters a serene state, inhibiting stress-induced inflammation. Engaging in dedicated 5-minute deep-breathing exercises can markedly rejuvenate our system, and I wholeheartedly endorse this simple yet potent ritual. 

Embrace self-care with a nourishing skincare regime

I have always stuck to a nightly ritual, carving out an hour solely for self-care. This routine, involving calming beauty products, acts as an oasis amidst my frenetic daily life. The therapeutic magic of these products, combined with the sensory indulgence of a luxurious bath, offers a profound respite. My skincare routine using Almora Botanica’s Radiance Day Face Oil and Nourishing Night Face Oil, combined with facial yoga and massage, serves as a sanctuary. In our beauty rituals, presence is paramount. I savour each moment—the sensations, the aromas, the textures, and let fleeting worries dissipate, returning always to celebrating the art of self-care. 

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