Back to Basics
The failproof trick to glowing skin is living well. By Ashley Huntsberry-Lett
We all get ahead of ourselves; iPhones seem to buzz before an email comes in, and speaking of technology, we’re always in a rush to buy the hottest, newest, latest. But with caring for our skin, a return to the simpler things is often the best approach. Reminding us of this is Susan Watts, esthetician and owner of Simply Faces (simplyfacesbeauty.com). She has a refreshingly straightforward philosophy when it comes to achieving radiant skin that starts and ends with the way you live your life, not necessarily what products you slather on your pores (although those do count, which is why she is known around Naples for her gentle treatments that help fragile, medically compromised skin). Here she shares her top 10 tips for anyone to achieve a great complexion. 1. Sleep! Whether it’s a 20-minute nap or a 12-hour slumber, every bit of shut-eye helps your skin repair, heal and nourish itself. 2. Make a point to hydrate. In addition to drinking plenty of water, consider the water content of fruits, veggies, unsweetened juices and green and black teas. 3. Balanced nutrition is essential. If you’re unsure what to grab at the grocery store, a good rule of thumb is that brightly colored foods—such as yellow peppers, blueberries and kale—are high in natural compounds like carotenoids and flavonoids that protect and heal by seeking out damaged cells and releasing enzymes to reverse the effects of aging. 4. Indulge in the za-za-zou. The uplifting combination of endorphins, increased energy, enhanced metabolism, and circulation places lovemaking high on the list of things to improve your skin. 5. Soak up some sun. We have been taught to avoid its rays, but a large portion of the population is actually deficient in vitamin D. Rather than taking artificial supplements, spend 15 minutes basking in its warmth every couple of days to get the job done for free. 6. Be clean! Simple tips such as washing your hands more frequently, avoiding touching your face, changing your pillowcase, and regularly cleansing with organic products containing kind, healing ingredients can prevent irritation. 7. Calm your mind with meditation. In today’s fast-paced world, stress and anxiety take a tremendous toll on our skin, making it look tired, dull and flat. Spend a chunk of each day to decompress and unwind. 8. Get plenty of vitamin C. Research shows it helps with collagen synthesis, which heals scar tissue and develops cartilage. You’ll be covered if you eat right, but it’s also bottled in supplements and serums. 9. Exercise, exercise, exercise. The benefits of physical activity are incredibly important—this is almost a no-brainer but it must be said because people time and again don’t prioritize it. 10. Oxygenize your skin and body. Have a regular facial massage to stimulate O2 content, circulation and optimal cell renewal. Do not smoke! It takes away the oxygen supply from your bloodstream—not to mention the wrinkles it causes and other awful damage there’s not enough space to go into here.
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EXTRA, EXTRA: Learn How to Create Healthy Meals at Home. A little-known secret at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, is its spa’s stellar restaurant, =H2O+. Offering a slate of good-for-you foods, it will also host themed cooking classes open to the general public (that is, nonguests and nonmembers) beginning January with a rotating cast of chefs from the hotel’s other eateries. Each Wednesday session until April will cost $45, and some recipes covered are more healthful than others, like infused vinegars and preserved lemons—as opposed to handmade pasta and risotto— so call in advance for a full schedule and to reserve a spot (239514-6100). But we like to think learning to cook anything with wholesome and fresh ingredients can’t be too bad for us.