It’s one of those things we say but don’t explain much. When a woman looks great, we say she’s glowing. Even magical things in movies glow.
So what is this magic effect?
Here’s the first good news: The glow is real. When your skin is healthy, it develops a bright shade that we instinctively know means a person is ready to keep everyone else in their tribe healthy make mighty children who’ll survive and become leaders. That glow is evolution saying nothing can keep you down.
If you picture someone who’s sick, you see odd skin. It’s pale, green, a bit too loose. When you picture someone healthy, there’s colour in their face — even if they’re so pale their smartphone gives them sunburn.
Glowing skin isn’t a gimmick, it’s been around as long as humans. So if it’s a real thing that follows physical laws, it must have a cause, and you must be able to get it on it.
What causes the glow?
Your whole body causes it. The glow is a heightened amount of blood in the skin, which is why pregnant women and people who’ve recently exercised have it. This comes from good circulation, which means all the vessels in your body are keeping you nourished. And healthy nutrients come from a healthy environment.
You can fake it … for a short while. Kind of. Bronzers, oils and other cosmetics out there put a little shine on top of your skin. They’re not cheap, but they can turn unhealthy skin into an unhealthy bronze coloured skin for a day.
Or you can be good to yourself. This is the only way to truly glow, and it’s easier than it sounds because it’s all about habit. When you’re treating yourself right, you don’t have to reapply tanner or cover up the sickly looking parts, you just have to exist.
To get the glow, start doing these things:
Get your nutrition on point. It all starts with a balanced diet and plenty of water (remember, the glow comes from fluids in your skin). Check out the food pyramid and follow it. You can get supplements to supercharge your new skin, like SkinB5 Acne Control Extra Strength Tablets or the new Clear Skin Superfood Booster with Hemp. Your body builds itself out of nutrients.
Get some rest. Quality sleep, where you’re dead to the world and your body has time to really remake its cells. If you sleep well, you’re reborn every morning — and you’ll feel it. Stress can do similar things to sleep deprivation including inflame the skin and damage the heart (where good circulation gets moving), so think about taking the chance to chill in general. It can seem hard, life is busy and maybe you can’t slow down, but imagine yourself taking it easy. Relaxing can be as simple as imagining you’re calm, then just acting calmly a bit longer.
Keep clean. Shower, wash your face gently a few times a day with warm water. If you want a shortcut, and you’re a bit insane, I’ve blogged about how cold showers increase the blood flow in your skin. To keep away acne, you want plenty of fluid inside and out.
Exercise. Raising your heart rate and working up a sweat is another handy shortcut that gets blood into your skin. And if you can do it the same time every day, your body will know to glow. Just remember to keep your skin clean before and after.
Get some sun. You can follow any of these steps in the sun, and you might even save some money doing it if you run outside, choose a picnic over lunch at a restaurant, or relax outside instead of in a bar. Just remember your sunscreen. The sun showers us in vitamins like D and E that help the skin … but if you’re in the sun unprotected too long, your skin will burn and turn into something unhealthy or even toxic. But you can stop this happening by rubbing in a lotion with SPF 50+ protection.
Look out for the other vitamins and minerals that keep your skin healthy, such as A and B vitamins, amino acids, zinc, iron and collagen. Fibre helps too. You’ll find them all in a good balanced diet.
Take your time (remember relaxing make this whole process better) and get to know your skin, what makes it tick, what it reacts to. When you know what’s good for you, you can enjoy it for a lifetime.
Peter Matthews is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. His favourite season is Spring. If you jog past him while he enjoys a Springtime run, he’ll probably give you a nod.