Sometimes I’m told that I’m “lucky” to be “blessed” with great skin. While this is a nice sentiment, I’d like to make it clear that I work hella hard to maintain this complexion. It’s not just a matter of chance.

Although I have the occasional minor blemish, my skin is largely clear, smooth, and healthy. No facial makeup has ever touched it (eye makeup only). Here are some of the lifestyle habits which, along with many other benefits, give me my glow.

1. Sleep


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If I don’t sleep enough, my skin becomes translucent. Hello, eye bags. There is no hack to get around this, just get your 7-9 hours per night.

2. Hydrate


Photo by Caroline Liu

Hydration is key. Our bodies use it for so many things, and when I haven’t been drinking enough water, it shows. From my experience, the first two victims are energy levels and skin. Looks like it’s time to drink up!

3. Get Outside


Photo by Tina Liu

Whether you tan, freckle, or both (like me), fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your skin. Just make sure you don’t get burned!

4. Sweat


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Yes, I’m talkin’ cardio. My number one motivation for going on a run is never the fit of my pants, but the condition of my skin. If I’m looking sickly and pathetic, I know that I need to go out and get my heart pumping. Cardio, which literally moves the blood through your veins at an increased rate, always makes my skin look and feel refreshed.

5. Eat Your Vegetables


Photo by Lynden Orr

Vegetables make you sexy. This is a verified fact, and it’s all about pigments. The carotenoids found in many vegetables are, upon consumption, stored in a thin layer of fat just below your skin. These pigments can change your complexion, giving you a warm, golden glow.

6. Unprocess Your Diet


Photo by Katherine Baker

It’s not enough to simply add something (veggies!) to your diet. There are subtractions that should be made as well.

Your skin is a major detoxification pathway. If you constantly put things in your body that are not supposed to be in your body (preservatives, artificial additives, pesticide residue, etc.), your body will constantly be excreting them — through your skin.

Processed foods are major sources of the previously mentioned non-food substances. Minimizing your processed food intake will minimize the amount of junk that your body has to push out through your skin.

7. Make Your Own Face Masks


Photo by Rebecca Sather Jenkins

Instead of buying expensive facial products with questionable ingredients, head to the kitchen and be creative. You really don’t need a recipe, just toss together some ingredients that smell and/or feel nice. I like using oatmeal, raw honey, cinnamon, tumeric, and non-foodie ingredients like bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and rosewater.