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The World’s Most Underrated Miracle Skincare Boost (And A Fun 10-Day Challenge To Get Visibly Hydrated Skin FOR FREE)

quench dry skin

So you may be wondering – what is this miracle product that can help your dull, tired-looking skin? You’ve tried loads of products already, how is this one any different?

Here’s a dead giveaway hint: it comes right out of your tap, at home.

Yes, we’re talking about plain old WATER. In urban settings, most people don’t consume enough of water in its plain form on a daily basis. Sure, we may be getting it in the form of our coffees, teas, fruit juices, as well as from our food. But drinking enough plain water is probably best for making sure the body functions as it should.

Best of all, it costs practically NOTHING.

So today, I’d like to quickly share how water plays a huge role in our body’s overall wellbeing, its effect on our skin health, and finally, throw you a super easy challenge that shows how you can visibly improve your skin’s appearance in just 10 days, from the inside out.

All without you spending a penny.

…you can visibly improve your skin’s appearance in just 10 days, from the inside out. All without you spending a penny.


(Read: 4 Supplements That Gave Me Better Skin And Overall Health)

What does water do for our body as a whole?

I’m sure you’re probably quite well-versed with the benefits of being sufficiently hydrated. Before I get into the effect it has on skin, let me highlight just a few things that this precious, but seriously overlooked resource does in your body:

  1. Water enables cell functions to be carried out normally, because the exchange of nutrients and toxins happen efficiently, with water as the metabolite.
  2. Improves cognitive performance (translation: helps you think more clearly)
  3. Allows the liver and kidneys to function optimally to cleanse the blood
  4. Makes it easier to clear the bowels, and regularly.
  5. Prevents bad breath (goodbye halitosis!) – a dry mouth is almost guaranteed to smell bad.
  6. Keeps your body from overheating on a hot day.
  7. Your muscles are less likely to cramp, especially during workouts.
  8. Could possibly reduce water retention around your body, by helping prevent a build-up of excess sodium from the food that you eat.
  9. Could potentially reduce your weight! There is a school of thought that your body retains water if it senses it doesn’t get replenished regularly, which means you carry added water weight if you’re dehydrated. I can’t find any scientific research to back this up, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there may be some truth in this notion.

How does water influence our skin’s wellbeing?

  1. When toxins are routinely flushed out of the body, it helps to prevent inflammation, to a large extent. With regards to the digestive system, inflammation in the gut tends to show up on the skin in the form of eczema.
  2. When skin cells are properly hydrated, they give the skin a plumper, more luminescent (brighter, fairer) appearance.
  3. Plumper skin means less visible wrinkles!
  4. If you have oily skin, dehydration tends to make this even worse, because the skin tries to compensate for the lack of moisture by producing even more sebum to coat the skin. Getting your ideal level of hydration for the skin will cause sebum production to normalise.

Can you imagine – the water that you drink, that you get mostly out of your tap at virtually ZERO cost – does ALL that for you and your wellbeing. No expensive skincare / weight-loss products required!

How Much Water Should We Consume?

The quick answer is – it depends. For most adults, it is recommended that we take 3-4 litres of water daily – that’s roughly 12 cups (1 cup = 250ml) for women, and 16 cups for men. If you’re more active or live in a dry, or hot and humid climate, you’d need to have a slightly higher water intake.

Personally I go for 4 litres a day, which for me seems to be the “magic” tipping point where it makes a remarkable difference in my overall sense of comfort and wellbeing during the day. I tend to move around quite a bit, and live in a warm, humid climate.

Okay, Now What?

All that head knowledge is all well and good to know. Now, let’s just say you have a nagging thought that you aren’t getting enough water, and you KNOW you should do something about it. You’ve tried and failed to sustain this practice in the past, for whatever reason.

That’s okay, you don’t have to feel badly about it. It’s never too late to flip the proverbial switch in mindset, and try again.

So instead of beating yourself up about not sticking to yet another new year’s resolution, how about you try this little 10-day challenge so you can see for yourself just how quickly your skin can change, just by consuming enough plain water regularly.

We’re going to get you started on building a new (good) habit, and give you tips to set yourself up for success. πŸ™‚

Are you ready?

The 10-Day Water Challenge For Visibly Better Skin

I did this for myself over a year ago, and it easily turned into a habit – something I don’t have to even think about, and yet it’s yielding benefits ALL the time – because I could SEE, and FEEL the difference it made in just over a week.

I’m sure you’ll be delighted with its results too (and perhaps even get some unexpected side benefits). πŸ™‚

Things You’ll Need

  • A notebook / your journal / whatever tool you normally use to record things on a daily basis
  • A refillable water bottle (optional, but highly recommended)

What To Do

Step 1: Establish Your Baseline

  1. In your notebook, write down how you currently feel about your skin’s appearance, and your overall health. (E.g. “My skin is dry and requires constant moisturization; I feel groggy in the mornings and it takes a while to become fully alert” etc)
  2. How many cups / bottles of water do you currently consume? Write that down.
  3. Optional: note down your weight.

Step 2: Set Your Target Daily Water Intake

  1. I’d recommend 12 cups for ladies, and 15 for men, for best results. But in the end you just decide on a reasonable number to stick to.
  2. For example, my target is to drink a minimum of 4 x 750ml bottles of water every day.
  3. To kickstart your day, keep a cup of water next to your bed, so that you can drink it first thing in the morning when you wake up. That’s one cup accounted for already, without you even trying! πŸ™‚

Step 3: Track Your Progress Daily

Work journal page with to-do items and hand-drawn water droplets to track water consumption.

To borrow a quote from the father of management thinking Peter Drucker:

What gets measured gets done.

  1. Find a way to mark your progress though the day
  2. For example: In my journal, I draw 4 little water droplets for each day of the week, and every time I finish one bottle of water, I colour one water droplet in. I get a sense of satisfaction every time I colour one in, and even more so when all four are filled!
  3. Repeat daily. Don’t worry if you missed your target for a day or two – the idea is to aim for overall improvement, not perfection.
  4. See how good you are at reaching your daily water target. πŸ™‚ If you’re falling behind in a day, it’s easy to catch up!

Step 4: Evaluate

  1. At the end of the 10 days, look back at your Baseline and observe any changes you notice since then.
  2. Some questions you can ask:
    • How do I feel in the mornings now?
    • How is my mood throughout the day?
    • Has my skin condition changed at all? If so, in what way?
    • Has my weight changed at all?
  3. Most importantly: Was this challenge worth my time and effort?

Step 5: Celebrate!

You completed the 10-day streak of increasing your daily water intake, congratulations! πŸ˜€ Your skin’s appearance should have improved noticeably by now – how’s that for a reason to celebrate? Then again, feel free to find other fun ways to mark your accomplishment (and tell us about it!)

Tips To Help You Stay On Track

We understand – sometimes the wheels fall off for even the most enthusiastic and well-intentioned attempts to hit certain goals. Life happens. That’s okay. Here are some ideas to help you get back up:

  1. Do you keep forgetting to reach for a cup of water throughout the day? Set up reminders for yourself – use your phone’s alarm, set calendar notifications, find an exercise app that has this built in (I noticed the Fitbit app on my Android phone had a water tracking function too, that was quite fun to use – but that was over a year ago)
  2. If you’re the kind of person who gets antsy if you can’t keep a promise to someone, consider getting an accountability partner – tell a friend that you’re doing this challenge, and ask them to check up on you about it. Or better yet, ask them to do this water challenge along with you too! πŸ™‚
  3. Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Glass or stainless steel is best, so that it doesn’t get affected by the sun if you happen to leave it in your car.

“…but drinking plain water is so BORING…”

Ideally, swap out your sweet fruit juices and carbonated drinks for plain water, just for these 10 days. Remind yourself that you can go back to taking them after this challenge in done – but for now, just stick to plain water.

If you really find plain water a chore to drink because it’s tasteless, you can steep fresh fruits in them overnight, and keep them in the fridge if you prefer something cold and tasty (but I personally prefer, and recommend room temperature water. I tend to cough and feel tight-chested if I drink something that’s cold). Common and easy to find ingredients include lemons, mint leaves, cucumber and apple slices.

Notes and Precautions

Be prepared to go to the bathroom more frequently than usual. This is fine, and it’s normal – especially in the first few days of your challenge. Your body is actively flushing out excess water (remember what we mentioned about water retention earlier?). You will find that the frequency of bathroom visits will normalise after the first 3-5 days.

Oh, and imagine all the waste and toxins being carted out of your body so efficiently in those few days… isn’t that a great feeling? πŸ˜‰

Also, the irony is that your lips may seem drier than usual, because more water is passing over that skin over the course of each day. If this is the case, just apply a little of your favourite lip balm or lip gloss to keep your lips moisturized and protected. We have our own Double Duty Balm, if you’d like to consider an unscented option.

Although the general recommendation is to drink more water on average, please don’t go overboard – there is such a thing as water poisoning! Fatal cases involved people drinking too much, too quickly – one girl died from supposedly drinking 7.5 litres of water, just to win a game console. πŸ™ Talk about first world problems…

Are You Excited To Start? Because We’re Excited FOR YOU!

Sometimes the path to lasting improvement starts with the simplest little tweak in our daily lives. I do believe that taking this water challenge can only do you good (as well whoever else you encourage to join in!) – not just for your skin, but your overall wellbeing.

And I hope this will be the start of a lifelong healthy habit that you will find effortless to maintain.

We’re looking forward to hearing how this water challenge impacted your skin! Tell us your stories in the comments below.

Now get started on the challenge and –

Go Claim Your Healthier, Happier Skin For Yourself! πŸ™‚

With all my best wishes for your journey to better skin.

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Founder and resident soap artisan

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4 Supplements That Gave Me Better Skin (And Overall Health)

pills and multivitamins on a black background

(Disclaimer: the following article is not to be treated as medical advice, and observations are based on personal experience. Always consult your physician for your specific condition. I’m not getting paid for any product recommendations in this post.)

Walk into any pharmacy and one of the first things you notice shelves that are almost overflowing with health supplements for practically every kind of health concern. You want better eyesight? Try bilberry extract. Menopause? Check out the herbal blend over there. Improved sleep, better concentration during the day, liver detoxing… everything.

So what kind of supplements would be helpful for supporting skin health?

I’m sure you’ve come across some articles about all sorts of them, but perhaps have not yet found the chance to experiment with them for yourself.

Here, I’ll offer some of my personal suggestions and observations, plus some actionable steps for you to consider. Please note that these are supplements I am actually taking myself, so I do have first-hand experience with them.

I read research papers so you don’t have to (but you’re most welcome to follow the links to some of them if you’re curious to know more). As someone who grew up with eczema as a child, grew out of it as an adult, and then despaired when it returned – I was also desperate to find a cure. Now that I have figured out what helped to get my skin back to normal, I’m hoping that sharing my experience will benefit you too.

Fish oil

mackerel fish with lemon and parsley on white background

I’ll start with my favourite, because it practically erased my dishydrotic eczema on my left hand once I started taking it religiously for 15 days. You can see how bad it was and how it transformed, in my original blogpost.

Fish oil contains two types of Omega-3 fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is linked to supporting healthy brain function, and together with EPA, have shown promise as therapeutic agents in a number of inflammatory skin conditions, by helping the skin form a robust and healthy lipid barrier to prevent moisture loss (translation: your skin becomes better at staying moisturized on its own).

The recommended daily dosage for fish oil is 3,000mg, according to the American Heart Association. Personally I tripled the dosage during those 15 days, and then tapered off to the 3,000mg dosage once my skin went back to normal.

Be aware though, that fish oil was found to have some possible unintended side effects, including compromising chemotherapy drug treatments (no kidding).

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Extract

This one is a very recent discovery (on my part, anyway). I began taking it about 5 weeks prior to writing this article, and it seems to have fixed my dry skin issue.

Horsetail extract contains a high concentration of plant-based silica, which the body can absorb easily. Silica is essential to the formation of collagen in the skin, which in turn ensures that the skin’s barrier functions run optimally. What I noticed was that I don’t need to rely so heavily on moisturizers, especially for my legs, which used to be dry, and sometimes flaky in the past. Now I can actually forget about applying any oils on my legs on a daily basis, because they still feel comfortable, and don’t have that powdery white surface from being dehydrated.

Poking around the web, I also found a research paper where a double-blind clinical trial in Iran showed that a 3% horsetail extract ointment was effective in speeding up wound healing as well as offered pain relief after episiotomy procedures. That was interesting to know.

Right now I am taking 3 x 500mg tablets a day, one with each meal.

Be aware that there are some concerns about the side effects of taking too much of horsetail extract orally, over an extended period of time. You can read more about that here.

Vitamin C (time released) with rutin and rosehip (rosa canina) fruit extract

All these are potent antioxidants, which among a myriad of other actions, help scavange free radicals from around the body. In the context of the skin, this helps to mitigate premature ageing from the destruction of collagen and elastic fibres in dermal tissue, usually from over-exposure to UV light (i.e. sun damage).

As with most antioxidants, vitamin C and rutin curb inflammation around the body too, which is generally a good thing.

I usually take 3 x 500mg tablets a day, together with the horsetail extract. It is a water soluble vitamin, so any excess that the body doesn’t need is easily flushed out (so long as you drink plenty of water).

B-Complex and Zinc

Red Vitamin B capsules on white background

I have found that B-Complex supplements make a real difference in my day-to-day mental functioning, and to keep me in a generally buoyant mood. Apart from that, numerous B vitamins play critical roles in promoting optimal skin health. For example, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and pantothenic acid (B5) all help to reduce redness in the skin and strengthen its barrier function. Some even have proven effects in reducing acne breakouts.

(However, it is worth noting that there was a study that looked into acneiform eruptions caused by vitamin B12 , also known as cobalamin. Although the breakouts were pretty gruesome, the patients made a full recovery between 3-5 weeks of stopping the oral B12 supplements.)

The B-Complex supplement that I take is also combined with zinc, which is said to contribute to regulating the body’s immune responses, by activating T lymphocytes. And here’s something I’m quite proud of – I am rarely ill, even though I may occasionally be surrounded by coughing, sneezing children (schoolyards are fantastic bacterial breeding grounds, aren’t they?). Prior to taking B-Complex supplements, although I would generally consider myself as healthy (I exercise and eat moderately), I would still succumb to coughs and colds that my kids bring home from school. Now, no longer.

All in all, it’s a good combination of vitamins that work in tandem to enhance the body’s natural resistance to infections, with a pleasant additional effect of giving your skin a healthy glow.

I’m taking 1 tablet a day, as recommended on the product label.

What You Can Do Right Now

1. Do your own research

You must want to understand how and why a particular supplement works, what its recommended dosage is, its side effects and safety considerations. You might find that it may not suit you, or you may stumble upon something else that makes more sense to try, in your particular situation.

2. See your physician and seek his or her advice

This is especially important if you have underlying medical conditions, or are taking any medications routinely. If you can’t make a trip there personally, even a phone call would be better than no communication at all. Even though these supplements are very common, and may be very familiar to you, it would be best to consult your doctor if you intend to start taking these to help with your skin condition. You never know if any of these seemingly harmless things could interfere with the efficacy of your other medications, or even bodily functions.

3. Be observant, and be patient.

Once you get the go ahead to start taking a supplement, always observe for any unwanted side-effects, especially within the first 1-3 days. Then if you choose to continue, you will need to allow for several weeks, or even months to pass before you assess its efficacy for you. Don’t give up after just 2-3 weeks. Some effects take longer to develop than others. Be patient.

4. Avoid taking a whole slew of new supplements all at once

You won’t be able to tell which one is yielding what effect! Instead, try one at a time for 3-4 weeks and observe any changes to your body or skin in that period, and make a judgement call about whether you would want to continue taking it.

Conclusion

Balanced nutrition and some supplementation of essential vitamins and minerals is going to give your skin its best shot at getting into its healthiest possible state. Regardless of your skincare regime, no matter how much money you spend on expensive cosmetics, it will all be for nought if you don’t look into the fundamental conditions needed for healthy skin, through nutrition.

…no matter how much money you spend on expensive cosmetics, it will all be for nought if you don’t look into the fundamental conditions needed for healthy skin, through nutrition.

It may take time for the effects to kick in, but I can personally vouch for the notion that the long-term benefits of nourishing your body well, will be worth the wait.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I am no medical expert and I am not making explicit recommendations for you to take these supplements to fix your skin issues. This list is by no means exhaustive. Please consult your general physician or dermatologist to get his or her advice that is tailored to your specific condition.

What I do hope is to at least offer you some insights into the possible routes you can consider in taking charge of your own skin’s wellbeing, based on my own experiences.

Was this article helpful for you? Please share it with your friends and family! You can also leave a comment below, or write to me anytime at michelle@kindersoaps.com. I’d love to hear from you. πŸ™‚

Wishing you all the best on your journey to better skin!

Michelle's signature
Founder and resident soap artisan

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Customer Feedback: Clarity (#2)

Clarity seems to be getting pretty popular! πŸ˜€ Here’s another email I received out of the blue from Zhafa Rini about her experience with it:

Hi Michelle, I bought Soap Sampler last month. Clarity was included in the package. As I have an oily complexion, I have problems with pimples. Especially in the area near my ears (sorry I don’t know what should I call it). My mum wasn’t convinced about this soap at first but recently she complimented my about the reducing pimples on my face. Also,my skin become smooth and less oily. Now my sister,cousin and mother are using it(we cut it into few pieces) and I have to tell you that I will need a new one soon πŸ˜€ I love the scent too! Thanks a lot Michelle!

Zhafa Rini, I’m really glad that the soap seems to be helping your skin. πŸ™‚

And although I know this next bit of advice is something you probably hear all the time (from your mom, especially!), do continue to drink a LOT of water to help your body and skin stay well-hydrated. It’s supposed to also keep our bodies able to carry off waste matter that could otherwise contribute to our skin looking congested and breaking out in zits.