Health & Fitness

By Yelena Moroz

Jena la Flamme’s radiant look

Compare how your skin looks during the week filled with grueling deadlines to how it looks on vacation. Chances are your complexion reflects late nights and stressful days.

We enlisted Erica Mather and Jena la Flamme of Jena Wellness, a nutrition and holistic health group, to create a daily health plan that sends your skin on vacation every day.

10 p.m.
Sleep. We’ve all heard of beauty sleep, but a good shuteye will not only rest your bones, but also provide an opportunity to repair the body. While you’re off in la-la-land, your cells busy themselves with cleaning and regenerating – deny this maintenance and forget about radiance in the morning.

6 a.m.
Take the stillness of the morning to meditate and it will help reduce stress that can take a toll on your skin. A tranquil state of mind goes hand in hand with a clear complexion.

Scrub away dead skin

7 a.m.
Shower and exfoliate to remove dead cells that stand between you and polished skin. We like Liz Earle Energising Body Scrub because it contains ground olive stones that buff away dead skin. Best of all, the scrub does not contain harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.

Eat your way to naturally beautiful skin

8 a.m.
Many people skip breakfast, but your body and your skin need that initial dose of real nutrients to prevent junk food filled snack attacks later. Swap Fruit Loops for smoked salmon on wheat pita, the omega-3 fats from the fish will help keep your skin hydrated. Also make sure to load up on cell-renewing Vitamin A, which can be found in milk and eggs. You already know that dead skin cells dull the complexion, so fight back with a glass of milk for a smooth appearance. Bonus points if you like whole-grain cereal – it contains Vitamin E that helps protect cell membranes. Finally, eating fruits is an essential all-natural way to keep your skin smooth, vibrant, and young. For example, the Vitamin C in a juicy orange can help to build collagen, while the sweet cantaloupe banishes dry skin.

9 a.m.
Once at work, drink two 8 oz. glasses of water. Make it a habit to hydrate after any traveling, even if it’s a 15-minute commute. Sounds like a no-brainer but water can actually add moisture to your skin, giving you the coveted dewy look.

10 a.m.
Take a breath break. Oxygenating the blood does wonders for your skin. “Most people only fill about 20 percent their lung capacity with oxygen”, says Mather. You’re suffocating and don’t even know it! Take 5 minutes to just breathe. Bonus points if you can leave the office.

11 a.m.
“Do a little dance…get down, get down, get down,” sings K.C. & The Sunshine and you should too. Stand up, stretch, twist, bend over, take a walk around the office – keep that body movin’ to boost blood flow and circulation. Try seated spinal twists and forward fold to unwind a stiff back. Move enough and you might even get a rose blush, making you irresistible to the copy boy.

Drink H²O for a dewy complexion

12 p.m.
You are ready for lunch but your inbox is overflowing with urgent messages. Drink two more glasses of water to flush out toxins from the body. You’ll be half way to the eight glasses a day.

1 p.m.
Skipping lunch for a thinner waistline will do more damage than good because you’ll be stuffing your face at dinner. Like your breakfast menu, lunch should include whole foods, not processed entrees. Enjoy a leafy green salad with antioxidant sprouting spinach that will fight inflammation a.k.a. pimples.

3 p.m.
Instead of heading for the vending machine to calm those afternoon cravings, pour a cup of green tea. Studies have shown that topical application of green tea reduces sun damage and helps keep the skin looking youthful. That said, you might have to drink cup after cup to get the same benefits. However, if you’re home during the day, freeze freshly brewed tea as ice cubes, once they thaw a bit (you don’t want it sticking to your skin) apply on face as toner – we guarantee that you’ll feel refreshed instantly.

4 p.m.
Call a loved one. A daily dose of an emotional or spiritual connection will nourish your spirit, and in turn, nourish your face because any frowning will be substituted by calm and smiles.

5 p.m.
Drink two more glasses of water, especially if you’re getting ready for a commute home.

Show your serene face

6 p.m.
Stop by a yoga class. Annelise Hagen, author of The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift, starts her book by saying, “The face of a yogic sage is marvelous to behold: beaming, joyful, bright-eyed, full of love and compassion…and noticeably unlined.” She believes that facial exercises can stretch and tone facial muscles, while deep breathing transforms energy — providing a remedy for aging.

Go Green for your skin

7 p.m.
At dinner make sure to include a second serving of dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli rabe, collards, mustard greens or chard to help detoxify the blood.

A mini-spa treatment goes a long way

8 p.m.
Take 20 minutes to unwind with Ole Henriksen Blemish Attack Purifying Mask. Perfect for minimizing breakouts and reducing excess surface oil. Armed with salicylic acid, which removes dry skin, and antiseptic eucalyptus extract, the mask works wonders to boost your skin’s immune system.

9 p.m.
Drink two more glasses of water. You’ve imbibed the recommended eight. Congratulations!

10 p.m.
As you’re getting ready for bed, relax with a hot towel rub. Wet a washcloth with warm water, wring out and lightly rub your face, neck, and body. This gentle mini-spa treatment feels great, allowing you to bask in a quality touch that’s often missing from our lives.

For more information on the Jena Wellness program – check out: http://www.jenawellness.com

Editor’s Note: In addition to toning your behind, exercise also tones skin by increasing circulation, which rids the body of toxins and delivers nutrients to skin cells, reports WebMD. Research also shows that exercise boosts collagen production to KO wrinkles.

Originally published April 2008
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