Toni Ann Johnson is a dear friend, fellow author, world traveler and alum of Antioch University Los Angeles, where we first met while pursuing an MFA in creative writing. Not only is Toni Ann an activist who cares about the environment as well as other issues of social justice, she’s also an ageless beauty with flawless skin. Since she always looks stunning and has made it her mission to help other women to look their best, I thought she was the perfect person to guest blog and share her tips for healthy skin.
Hi there! I’m so delighted that our amazing Nicole has invited me to share some information with her fans. I’m a fan, too, of course, and have been following the Escape From Beckyville journey since July 30th, the day of Nicole’s wonderful send-off reading in L.A.
We corresponded in mid-September and she mentioned that since she’d been on the road she wasn’t drinking as much water as usual and her skin wasn’t at its best because of this. Drinking enough water on the road can be problematic, because it leads to frequent stops to use the restroom, which takes up time. And the public restrooms along the way can be unbearable, to say the least. But a diva does have to stay hydrated! So what can she do?
EAT FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Of course it’s not so easy to find fresh fruit and veggies on the road. But you can pack a bag of apples and a bag of oranges before you set out. They travel well and will remain edible for a few days even without refrigeration. If you’re lucky enough to find rest stops with other fresh fruit and raw vegetables along the way, snatch them up and eat them, too.
High water content fruits and veggies give your body the moisture it needs without causing you to have to pull over every hour.
According to Dr. Howard Murad, author of The Water Secret the water we “eat” when we consume fresh fruit and vegetables is water that will provide a slow and steady infusion as we digest it. It’s also water that nourishes our cells even better than the water we drink. He explains that much of our drinking water passes right through our system, but the water in high water content fruits and vegetables stays in our bodies longer. So, eat an apple or an orange, or even better, both, a few times a day and you’ll get the hydration you need, but you won’t have to use the bathroom as often as you would if you were hydrating with water. An added benefit: According to Dr. Murad, the hydration you get from fresh fruit helps your skin look younger!
Speaking of the skin, a road trip can wreak havoc on it. Here are few things you might consider to keep your skin in good condition while you’re on the road.
WEAR A HAT AND SUNSCREEN
If you’re driving during the day, the sun can really abuse your skin. Even when you’re inside the car with the windows closed the rays are penetrating, so be sure to protect any exposed skin. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and wear a hat, preferably one with a wide brim. You’ll help prevent freckles, age spots, and premature aging. Be sure to put some sunscreen on your hands as well. We tend to forget about protecting our hands. As a result, age spots show up there even faster than they appear on the face. Keep a tube of sunscreen in the car where you can reach it easily and apply it often.
USE CLEANSING WIPES MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE FACE
When you’re on the road, naturally you’re going to be off your regular face-care routine. It’s difficult to make caring for your skin a priority when you’re driving eight hours a day or more. But don’t let your regimen slack off so badly that you don’t cleanse your skin at least once or twice daily. Ready-to-use cleansing wipes made specifically for the face are wonderful for times when you’re just too tired to go through the whole washroom routine of washing up and removing your makeup. Be sure to pack these wipes before you set off on your journey. They can be a skin-saver when you stop at a motel after driving all day and into the night and all you want to do is fall onto the bed. It only takes a minute to run the wipes over your face and completely remove dirt and makeup, preparing your skin for a rejuvenating night’s rest. According to Dr. Oz, sleep allows the skin to restore its natural balance. Cleansing and moisturizing before bed assists in this restorative process.
As previously mentioned, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is great during the day. Many excellent daytime moisturizers have this sunscreen protection. Consider using a moisturizing cream overnight, too. Sleep and a good moisturizer will work together to restore your skin, leaving it refreshed in the morning and ready for a new day on the road. Because you’re off your regular routine and not eating and drinking as well as you would when you’re home, moisturizing is even more important while you’re traveling.
TAKE OMEGA 3s
Fish oil capsules, or flaxseed oil capsules, or both will help keep your skin lubricated from inside when you add them to your diet. They’re easy to pack and they travel just fine. Take a couple, twice a day with meals while you’re on the road and this will provide great support for your skin.
DRINK A LITTLE WATER EVERY COUPLE OF HOURS
It’s completely understandable that when you’re trying to get across the country, you don’t want to have to stop to go to the bathroom every hour. But drinking a Dixie-cup sized bit of water, 3 oz, once every couple of hours won’t cause you to stop too frequently. That tiny amount, ingested regularly throughout the day, can be helpful to your skin and it’s much better for you than forgoing water completely for too long. While it would be preferable to drink more, when you can’t, if you take in a little bit throughout the day (and supplement with fruit) you can stave off dehydration and also assist your circulation (water helps the blood flow better) both of with help your skin.
DO FIVE MINUTES OF EXERCISE WHEN YOU STOP FOR GAS
Blood flow is one of the things that keeps your skin healthy. It’s through the blood that nutrients are carried to your connective tissues, including the skin. When you’re sitting in a car all day, your heart rate remains pretty low and so the blood isn’t pumping fast enough to give you good blood flow to the skin. Consider doing at least five minutes of exercise each time you stop. You might do some jumping jacks while you’re filling your gas tank. Jog in place while you wait on line at the bathroom. Or you could take a power walk around the gas station or rest area. A couple of minutes of jumping rope is a great way to get your heart rate up quickly. That blood flow will benefit your skin and your circulation, which will keep you looking and feeling better on your trek.
A diva deserves to look and feel magnificent, even when she’s making an arduous journey across the country, living her dream. Nicole, you’re beautiful inside and out. Hope these tips will help your skin glow and make you even more vibrant than you already are! Thank you for letting me join you here.
Toni Ann Johnson writes about health and beauty and anti-aging. She’s the author of VIBRATING YOUTH and VIBRANT and CLEAR, both available on Amazon.com. She blogs at www.vibratingyouth.com. Follow her on Twitter @vibratingyouth.