7 Essential Beauty Secrets That Are Easy and Accessible
"Beauty and femininity are ageless and can't be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won't like this, cannot be manufactured." – Marilyn Monroe.
Most of us think of makeup, skincare, fashion, and hair when we think of the essentials of beauty.
Some say that beauty is only in the beholder's eye, others that beauty comes from within, and some even claim that there's a price to pay for beauty.
There is some truth in all of those statements. Still, today I'm going to talk about essential beauty that comes without a heavy price tag.
While it is true that there is a price in terms of the sweat-equity we put into self-care and healthy habits, the reality is that there needn't be any substantial monetary investment when it comes to the fundamentals of beauty.
Unless, of course, you want to -- in which case, I say, "Darling, decorate yourself in any way you want to!"
But we aren’t talking about decorating ourselves today. We are talking about the fundamentals of beauty.
Here are my seven essential beauty secrets that come easily and at little to no cost. I hope you'll find them as helpful as I do.
1. Acknowledge That Cultural Beauty Standards Can Be Toxic
In today's world of social media and streaming content, it sometimes feels like there is no escape from an idea of beauty that the world seems to want to heap upon us.
That “ideal beauty” is never constant but rather ever-evolving with the latest fashion trends. For example:
- During the 1960s, it was all about the bombshell fringe; in the 1970s, you needed to have sleek, healthy, natural locks, and in the 80s, when it came to hair, the bigger the better, and you needed five cans of Aquanet to get ready for a date.
- In the 1980s and again since the 2010s, it's been all about the thick, bold eyebrow - in the 1930s and the 2000s, thin was in.
- In the 2000s, Botox became the beauty must, and not long after, fillers became the name of the game.
- Twiggy's body was one to envy in the 60s, and JLo's booty was it in the 90s.
Beauty expert and journalist Jessica DeFino says, "The beauty industry has attempted to take this intangible, philosophical concept of beauty and push it into this narrow understanding of physical beauty. And I think that's why we're never really satisfied with physical beauty. We keep buying more, wanting more, trying new things, and applying new things because we're searching for this satisfaction that cannot come solely from the physical. We're searching for beauty in an industry that is only serving it to us by its definition."
If we can check out of society's expectations (as set by the beauty industry) and check into ourselves, we can grace the world with the true, authentic beauty that is our own.
What are YOUR best features and attributes? There is priceless beauty in celebrating, and supporting, those.
2. Meditate Your Way Into Beautiful Skin
Wait, what? Meditation?
Yep. You read that right.
Science has shown us that meditation can reduce or eliminate scarring, strengthen your skin barrier, and reduce moisture loss.
So, there is that.
But also, meditation creates calm, serenity, self-awareness, and mindfulness - there is little more powerful than a peaceful countenance to allow your beauty to shine through.
3. Water is the Most Natural and Essential Beauty Product
From boosting your skin's elasticity to slowing down the development of wrinkles and fine lines, water does amazing things for your skin and overall health.
Water keeps your body hydrated and refreshed. Women who consume plenty of water (and by that, I mean the amount recommended according to your weight) are less prone to scarring, wrinkles, and soft lines.
Crystal clear, fresh, and delicious, water is maybe one of the most important things you can put into your body.
Are you bored with the taste of water? Try adding a squeeze of lemon along with a basil leaf, or perhaps just a splash of juice.
4. Get Moving - Sweat is Great for Your Skin
Not only does exercise help your body sweat out toxins, but that dewy glow will also help moisturize your skin and keep it taught and wrinkle-free.
Need I even mention what moving your body can do for your spirit, mental well-being, physical strength, health, and fitness?
For an all-around, cost-effective, natural beauty remedy, get your bootie out there and walk, dance, cycle, or swim; really, you can even clean house to work up a healthy, beautiful sweat. Anything will do. Just move.
5. Essential Foods for Healthy, Beautiful Skin and Hair
Your hair, skin, eyes, fingernails, and inner glow reflect what you eat. The following foods are chock full of good stuff for healthy, radiant skin, clear eyes, strong nails, and gorgeous, shiny hair.
Broccoli is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids that are important for healthy skin. The florets also contain sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sunburn.
Eggs are generously filled with protein and biotin, both of which are important for healthy hair. Unfortunately, hair loss (yes, even for women!) can result in a deficiency in either of these nutrients.
Tomatoes have an abundance of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These are the same carotenoids that help protect your skin from sun damage, which of course, helps prevent wrinkles.
Bell peppers boast beta carotene and vitamin C — both of which are essential antioxidants. Vitamin C is also needed to create collagen, the structural protein that keeps your skin firm.
Berries are full of goodness-compounds like antioxidants and vitamins (the big C!) that may promote hair growth.
Sunflower seeds are a delicious source of nutrients, including vitamin E, an essential antioxidant for the skin.
Soy has isoflavones; these little wonders have been shown to improve wrinkles, boost collagen, increase skin elasticity, and ease skin dryness, as well as protect your skin from UV damage.
Cocoa (in addition to making your tastebuds and heart happy) contains antioxidants that may protect your skin against sunburn. These antioxidants may also improve wrinkles, skin thickness, hydration, blood flow, and skin texture.
Avocados are rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, both necessary for healthy skin and hair growth.
Be mindful about what you eat. Let go of those things that don’t serve you and enjoy the delicious options that do.
6. Things To Avoid - Or Enjoy in Moderation
I don't need to be the one to tell you that cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, too much coffee, or hours in the sun without protection can do an unpleasant number on your looks.
Let's face it: there's plenty of information about there about that!
No. What I want to talk about is this: In addition to the damage that excessive indulgence can do to your beautiful skin, there is the damage it can do to your self-image.
Remember, we are kind and loving to the things - and people - that we love. Hurting your body is not an act of self-love; it's a direct message from you to you that love is lacking.
When we take care of our body by staying in moderation or even eliminating some harmful things from our consumption habits, we are loving ourselves. That right there makes a world of difference to how our beauty shines through.
7. Sun Protection - One of the Most Essential Beauty Practices
The main difference between sunscreen and sunblock lies in the way they protect the skin from UV rays. ... Sunblock is so named because it literally blocks UV rays by forming a physical shield, while sunscreen contains chemicals that absorb UV rays before your skin can.
UV photons will damage your DNA. So, don't use sunscreen as a green light to do whatever you want in the sun. Relying on sunscreen lets you overdose on sunlight (UV photon) – essentially enabling you to circumvent your body's natural self-protection, which isn’t a good thing.
Yes, it's beautiful to have sun-kissed skin. These days, however, there are plenty of ways to get that gorgeous glow without letting the sun cook our skin to the point of damaging it.
When you do get out and enjoy the sunshine, keep a few pointers in mind:
- The SPF number on the bottle isn’t a guarantee - the amount you apply partially determines how much you're getting. So, keep applying sunscreen consistently throughout the day.
- Wear a hat and stay in the shade as much as possible.
- Don't overdo it- the fact that you're slathered in sunscreen and wearing a hat and sunglasses doesn't make it ok to stay in the sun for hours on end.
Too much sun causes cancer, but also wrinkles, dry skin, freckles, or dark spots.
The Essentials of Beauty Require Little More Than You
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” – Khalil Gibran
The essentials of beauty don’t come in a bottle, a tube, or a palette – you won’t find them at your favorite salon. The essentials of beauty are built into your daily routines, your mindset, style, and surroundings.
The essentials of beauty can be found in your self-image and how you show up, can care for, your body, mind, and spirit.
Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance
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