images by kristen kilpatrick
I’m naturally a creature of habit: it makes me genuinely happy to make my go-to green smoothie for breakfast, take the same route on our family’s neighborhood walk each day, and go to bed around the same time every night. And don’t even get me started on my morning coffee and meditation routine. Turns out, there’s scientific backing for why sticking to the same healthy daily routine has powerful effects on our health, mood, and yes – even skin. For this month’s story with our friends at Botanics, I got inspired by a fascinating new book I’m reading called Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life, by Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar. In it, the author taps into ancient Ayurvedic wisdom backed up with scientific evidence revealing that following our body’s circadian rhythms is a major key to looking and feeling our best. Keep reading for my recent journey to discovering how my own daily routine has a major skin-clearing benefits.
Recently I arrived home from several days of travel, and the first morning I woke up in my own bed, I was greeted by a large pimple that had popped up out of nowhere. What was even more annoying is that, in the days and weeks to follow, several other pimples randomly appeared on my chin, my cheeks, and my jawline. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, and tried to treat the issue with salicylic acid gel, sulphur masks, and clay spot treatments. Nothing seemed to help, so I tried another tactic: instead of harsh medications, I adopted a simple, clean skincare routine that was gentle on my skin and that I stuck to daily, morning and night. After about a week, my skin was totally clear.
For me, it was a major reminder of the importance of keeping it simple and being consistent, and that’s true for skincare and all of the healthy habits we cultivate in our lives. Sure, life gets in the way of sticking to our routines every day, and flexibility is a key component of happiness. But in general, I’m trying to stick to the schedule that I’ve found makes me feel calm and energized, and it centers on four key habits I’ve been practicing daily.
1 – Go to bed at the same time every night.
Is it weird to say that sleep is trendy? I feel like everyone’s been talking about the power of getting your 7-8 hours as the key to healing from disease, losing weight, sharpening your focus, and having clear skin. I’ve become a bit of a sleep nazi, myself: most evenings around 9 pm you’ll find me powering down my electronics and brewing a cup of chamomile tea in preparation for my 10 o’clock bedtime. Especially since recent findings have shown that our most rejuvenating sleep happens in the hours before midnight. It may not sound sexy, but the energized vibes and glowing skin I get as a result sure are.
2 – Stick to the simple skincare regiment that works for you.
Every morning, I start with my skincare before I do anything else. It helps wake me up and sets the stage for a healthy routine that follows. I’ve been using the Organic line from Botanics: my lineup is the Softening Cleanser, Toning Spritz, and Facial Oil.
Since I’m trying to keep it simple when it comes to skincare, I am obsessed with the organic, nourishing ingredients and natural botanicals included in the Botanics Organic line. The oil contains rosehip, which is rich in omegas and essential fatty acids, giving so much hydration that lasts for hours.
I’ve become a true believer that cleanser matters way more than I used to give it credit. I used to use cleansers that were way too harsh for my skin, which was actually dehydrating and causing dead skin build-up… which means acne. This one is gentle and sulfate-free, which is nourishing to skin and preps for the application of the next two steps.
The Toning Spritz then removes any last traces of makeup, with a purifying organic rose-water formula, leaving skin so clean and nourished.
3 – Bring mindfulness to the morning.
For me, this is spending a few minutes meditating (I use Headspace) and writing in my prayer journal, which helps me get focused and remember what’s really important to me that day. On mornings where I skip this part of my routine, I’ve noticed that I have much less patience and my mind seems to wander uncontrollably instead of being present in the moment. Your mindfulness routine may look completely different from mine, and that’s totally cool. Whether it’s paying attention to your breathing, doing some yoga poses, or going outside to enjoy nature, the key is to be intentional with how you start the morning in order to bring intention to the rest of the day ahead.
4 – Start the day with good fats and full of vitamins for energy and beauty.
Lately I’ve been making a major effort to incorporate a little fat into each meal. Healthy fats like avocados, salmon, and coconut oil have rich stores of omega-3 fatty acids that not only keep your skin healthy and glowing, but also reduce inflammation. The biggest change has been with my breakfast, where I typically wasn’t consuming any fat. Now, I’ll usually just add a teaspoon or two of peanut butter to my green smoothie, or pair a soft-boiled egg and avocado with veggies from the night before. I’ve noticed way more energy through the entire day and the ability to make better food choices since I’m not so out-of-control starving when I sit down to lunch and dinner. And the added bonus is that I know I’m doing my skin and hair a major favor, too.
This spring salmon and veggie grain bowl is my current way to load up on the good stuff – we’ve been having it for dinner at least once a week lately!