There’s more to getting glowing skin than the swipe of a really great highlighter palette. Flawless and radiant skin might be all-natural for the lucky ones, but for most, the coveted look of healthy skin requires a little time, love, and perhaps a gentle vegan skincare product or two. The good news is there are simple and easy ways you can maintain healthy skin (no animal cruelty required). Even if you don’t have time for an intensive skincare routine, pamper yourself by acing the basics. These five tips will have you shining like the vegan god or goddess you are in no time.

1. Load up on vegetables.
The types of food you put into your body play a large role in your skin’s ability to maintain itself. If you’ve been living the vegan lifestyle for a while, you’re probably already aware of the benefits of vegetables and fruit on your skin and overall health. Some of the foods your skin loves include flaxseeds and walnuts—which contain omega-3-fatty acids that work to keep your skin hydrated—antioxidant-rich vegan dark chocolate, carenoid-containing tomatoes, and even strawberries and spinach which are high in Vitamins C. In addition to good food, drinking plenty of water is also one of the best ways to prevent dehydrated skin and help maintain your glow. 

2. Supplement if you need to.
Even if you can’t always eat right, you don’t have to give up on the dream of having healthy skin. Using vegan vitamins, such as Healthmins Healthy Skin Supplement, is another way to go about supplementing your diet and working to improve the appearance of your skin. While it’s still important to try to consume a healthy diet, a little bit of assistance doesn’t hurt if you feel you need it from time to time. 

3. Slather on SPF.
Taking the time to exercise and enjoy the outdoors has many health benefits, but watch out for the sun’s rays. Ultraviolet light exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer, and being in the sun can give you a nasty sunburn that can cause peeling and age your skin. It’s important to apply sunscreen every day—don’t forget to slather some on your hands, earlobes, neck, chest, and eyelids—even if you’re staying inside, as you can still be exposed to UV rays through windows. Some sunscreens are tested on animals though, so it’s important to try to find vegan sunscreens that contain helpful minerals and biodegradable ingredients. Many cruelty-free sunscreens contain aloe, green tea, shea butter, zinc, or coconut oil.

4. Try a facial scrub.
While it’s important to focus on the inside of your body in order to achieve lasting results, the outside is also important. A good facial scrub should exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog your pores without drying your skin, leading to a smooth and radiant complexion. For example, avocado and seaweed facial masks are popular because they can help to lock moisture into your skin. You can make your own scrub at home with ingredients such as sugar, lemon juice, and coconut oil, but if you don’t have time, opt for store-bought products that are gentle and natural, such as the Angels on Bare Skin cleansing scrub by LUSH. You may need to experiment until you can find your favorite one. 

5. Be gentle.
As important as it is to find options that avoid cruelty to animals, it’s also important to be gentle with yourself. Your skin reacts best when you treat it kindly. Avoid strong soaps and detergents, as these can strip oil from your skin in damaging ways. Opt for mild cleansers and moisturizers instead. Take shorter baths and showers, too—not only does this cut your water usage but it also keeps your daily cleaning from removing necessary and healthy natural oils from your skin. Use warm water instead of hot, if you can, and pat yourself dry gently so that you retain moisture. If you shave, be sure to do it carefully with a sharp, clean razor, following the natural direction your hair grows. By being mindful and gentle with your body, you will improve your skin health in the most natural way possible.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger who lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. 

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