The race to obtain and create smooth, ageless skin is one of the cosmetic industries biggest money makers. While the skincare aisles are lined with products claiming to reduce fine lines, smooth wrinkles and create a youthful glow, some of the best skin supporters are things you may not have even considered. Here are five daily skincare habits you can try to create flawless skin without spending your hard-earned dollars on chemical-filled skin creams or invasive surgeries.

Major Hydration

As your largest organ, skin requires water to function properly. Without enough water, it becomes dry, flaky, and prone to breakouts, acne and wrinkles. Hydration is not just about drinking lots of water — it has to be quality water. Tap water destroys your skin because the chlorine added to city water kills your gut flora on contact! The probiotic strains of bacteria in your gut are crucial to beautifying metabolic functions such as extracting nutrients from your food that make their way to your skin. Drinking plenty of natural spring water, or glass bottled water, is one of the best ways to keep your skin glowing.

Sleep Away Cortisol

In the age of technology, proper sleep is getting harder and harder to achieve. Falling asleep while watching TV prevents your body from releasing sufficient melatonin and getting the restorative rest your body needs to repair damaged cells and wipe away fine lines and wrinkles. Working around the clock may seem like a badge of honor, but elevating your cortisol hormone will age you quickly and tax your adrenal glands. Nothing is worse for beauty then prolonged levels of cortisol (the fight or flight hormone) flowing through your body. Don’t worry about how many hours you sleep, focus on sleeping in a quiet, dark room; leave the computer outside your sleep sanctuary and grab a book instead.

Eat Stress Superfoods

Stress is a response to challenges in your environment. Occasionally stress can be helpful (like when you’re working out) but prolonged, continuous stress has devastating effects on your appearance and overall health. Stress causes a breakdown in your immune system resulting in acne breakouts and skin rashes. Eating superfoods that have grown in a stressful and challenging environment will help you adapt more easily to stress. These ‘adaptogenic foods’ include maca, a root that grows at very high altitudes, and astragalus, a bush that can thrive in extreme environments. Add these secret weapons to your daily smoothies and watch your skin start to shine.

…And Superherbs

Superherbs are a lesser known way to support the health of your entire body, including your skin. They nourish you at a deeper level than regular fruits and vegetables can and in a different way than superfoods. Superherbs like reishi, chaga and schizandra contain unique photo-chemicals that feed your immune system and tonify vital beauty organs like your kidneys and liver, directly influencing the appearance of your skin. The great thing about these herbs is you can consume them every day without your body developing a resistance to them. A simple one to start with is goji, an amino-acid superstar revered in Chinese medicine for thousands of years as a power hitter for beauty. Try adding gojis to trail mixes, as an oatmeal garnish or eating them straight out of the bag.

Swap In The Right Fats

Fats and oils get a bad rap, but more and more research is showing that high quality fats are essential for beautiful skin and a radiant glow. Commercial oils like canola are highly oxidized, bleached and deodorized, making them instant beauty killers. They cause serious cardiovascular health problems and severe acne breakouts. Good fats, like avocado, coconut, cacao (chocolate) and black sesame oil, are loaded with vitamins and minerals that lubricate your skin making it shiny, rich and moist. Don’t fall for the fat-free myth that has you turning your back on the most important part of a healthy diet. Remember that these fats can be used topically to nourish your skin as well. Cacao butter not only softens and hydrates your skin when applied topically, but the aroma is nothing short of heavenly!

Cut Down On Sugary Foods

The real beauty killer is sugar not fat. Sugar spikes your insulin levels, wreaks havoc on your metabolism and causes your skin to become leathery and rough. This ‘cross linking’ of sugar and protein is difficult to reverse and gives your skin a coarse, wrinkled look. Excess carbs cause weight gain faster than anything else, especially carbs that flood our body with glucose quickly. Stay away from white carbs like pasta and breads, because they can spike your blood sugar more than refined sugar can, turning your body into a fat storing machine. To satisfy those sugar cravings eat fresh organic fruits and try calorie-dense foods like chia seeds, nuts and avocados.

ACCORDING TO WELLNESS celeb and former TCM Guest Editor, David Avocado Wolfe, a glowy complexion comes to those who keep it simple. Excellent skin requires simple daily skincare habits – and most of them are internal.

Read our Skincare Buying Guide for more information!