Once you start to feel the warm rays of the sun and it’s hot enough to break out the sandals and shorts, you know it’s officially summer season—which means more time outdoors and in direct sunlight. And while it may be easier to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, having radiant, glowing skin can still prove challenging if you’re not giving your skin what it needs. But before you drop your next paycheck on fancy face creams and pricey moisturizers, consider this: your daily habits and what you put into your body can impact your skin as much as anything you might slather on it. Here are five ways to help ensure glowing skin is your signature look this season.
1. Drink Enough Water
Benefiting your entire body including your skin1, keeping hydrated is a must—especially during warmer months. Your skin contains approximately 30% water and is actually your largest organ.2 It’s also your body’s outermost barrier against the elements—which means dry weather and extended contact with hot water or chlorine can leave it feeling irritated and dry.
However, don’t expect that drinking the recommended amount of water per day will perfect your complexion instantly. Water hasn’t been scientifically proven to give you radiant skin, but it has been shown to increase thickness and density.3 On the flipside, severe dehydration can reduce its elasticity.3 Moral of the story: make sure you stay hydrated by sipping H2O throughout the day.
While getting some summer color might temporarily give you a glow, unfortunately, there’s actually no such thing as a “healthy” tan. Exposing your skin to ultra-violet radiation puts you at risk for both skin cancer and advanced skin aging4—including fine lines, deep wrinkles, age spots, loss of elasticity and more.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every day.5 If you know you will be outside, make sure to apply 30+ SPF sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to exposure—and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.5 SPF clothing, a cute hat and the shade of a beach umbrella are also key sun necessities.
3. Find Your Rhythm
Studies have shown that simply following your body’s natural circadian rhythm—also known as your body’s internal clock—by staying active and eating during daylight hours, sleeping at least 7–9 hours per night and giving your body at least a 12 hour digestion break at night, can have a positive impact on your health.6 In addition to helping prevent obesity, diabetes and a variety of other health challenges6, leveraging your natural circadian cycle can also improve the health of your skin, speeding the healing of several chronic skin ailments.7 Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, was based on this circadian rhythm science. Tuck in early and avoid those late-night snacking temptations.
4. Balance Your Diet
What you put in your mouth may be just as important as the SPF you put on your skin. As the food you eat gets digested, it’s broken down into vital vitamins and minerals that your body can use to foster healthy skin.8
While American culture seems to have different opinions on what constitutes a “healthy diet,” most nutritionists agree that moderation is still the way to go.9 Jenny Craig Nutritionist, Monica Ropar, agrees—there’s no need to eliminate any one food group. Ropar recommends that the majority of your carbohydrates come from vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes and dairy products. She also suggests limiting trans and saturated fats, while healthy fats, (like those found in olive oil and nuts) can be enjoyed in small amounts. Refined sugar should also be limited (but there’s no harm in enjoying a piece of Chocolate Lava Cake once in a while), and sodium intake should stay under 2300 mg per day, per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.10
At Jenny Craig, every meal plan follows these expert guidelines while also taking a balanced approach to healthy eating.
5. Practice Self-Care
Most of us have had the experience of being told we “look tired” at one point or another (thanks Mom!). But your skin can say a lot about how you’re feeling—like dark circles under your eyes after a restless night. And taking the time to give your skin a little TLC may actually provide a soothing routine and contribute to feelings of calmness and a reduction in stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed.11
Try this: find some time each night to wash and moisturize your skin, perhaps even apply a quick face mask. Since you’ll likely be alone when you’re doing this routine, it may help you relax, and you may begin to look forward to the solo time if you make it a nightly ritual.
Another way you can practice self-care? Get your heart pumping. Studies show that exercises such as yoga can help reduce stress and bodily inflammation, which is known to speed up the skin’s natural aging processes.12-13
This summer, enjoy the warmer months while protecting your skin—because taking care of yourself includes every part of your body!
For more information on how Jenny Craig can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle and help you feel radiant this summer, contact your local neighborhood Jenny Craig center.
 Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. “Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan.” Cell Metabolism, vol. 23, no. 6, 14 June 2016, pp. 1048–1059., doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001.
Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig