Who doesn’t want to look more beautiful? Good skin, healthy hair, nice body, a vibrant aura and vitality—beauty is one of everyone’s innate desires. We are wired to seek out beauty, and naturally desire to be more beautiful ourselves.
In general, this is a good goal, as beauty is also associated with health, so in theory, the healthier we are, the more beautiful we will naturally be. There is a downside to this desire for beauty, however. Desiring to be more beautiful or obsessing over looks can cause us to compare ourselves with others, to feel inadequate about our own bodies, or to judge others based on their appearance—all of which can have some very negative consequences.
If we are too obsessed with appearances, we run the risk of becoming too superficial or vain, and overlooking the truly important things in life. Beauty isn’t everything, and “beauty” is also something that is rather subjective. What is beautiful to one person may not be beautiful to another. Our ideas of beauty are largely influenced by the culture we were raised in.
Unfortunately for us modern people, we were raised in a culture that markets beauty to us as often unattainable, or even unhealthy, physical characteristics. Many of us have been conditioned to seek unrealistic standards of “beauty” and, in turn, overlook and fail to appreciate the natural beauty in and around us.
That being said, there is no denying that there are certain physical characteristics that most of us feel to be “beautiful.” These are typically a fit body, clear skin, a positive expression, and a sense of energy and vitality. In other words, what we innately see as beautiful are signs of good health. This makes sense, as we are biologically wired to seek out healthy partners for reproduction. The continuation of our species very much relies on our sense of attraction and beauty, as it does for every other species in their own unique ways.
In this article, we are going to explore some of the most essential ways that you can tap inner beauty by improving your health and allowing for your most beautiful expression to come forth.
7 Tips to Cultivate Beauty From Within
The term “beauty sleep” holds an important truth in it—we need to get proper rest to be healthy and fresh. Sleep is so vitally important for the body that even a little bit of sleep deprivation can make a major difference in our quality of life—and in our physical appearance.
Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Good sleep quality also helps the body remain healthy and fight off diseases. Also, without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly.
According to Michael Breus, PhD, a board-certified sleep specialist, “if you’re getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep each night, it’s likely affecting your appearance.” Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. “Within 2 to 3 weeks, people will notice that you’re sleeping better by the way you look,” says Breus.
During sleep, your body boosts blood flow to the skin, which can help you get rid of those dark circles under your eyes. Hair loss, breakage, damage, and growth can all be affected by lack of sleep too. Overall, sleeping enough each night makes you look healthier and happier. When it comes to your beauty routine, there is nothing that comes as close to the fountain of youth as a good night’s sleep.
If you want to improve your physical appearance, the next best thing to good quality sleep is regular exercise. Like sleep, regular exercise is vital to health. Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. It can improve your memory and brain function. It protects you against disease by improving your immune system. It can help to reduce and manage your weight. It can even reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
When you exercise regularly, all of your body’s systems function more efficiently. Your mood is also improved. An active lifestyle is a key to both physical and mental health, and therefore, to your physical appearance and beauty as well.
Gut health is extremely important for our total health and wellness. The health of our gut determines how well we digest the food we eat, and therefore, how efficient our body is at absorbing the essential nutrients from this food. Gut health is also largely connected to skin health.
One of the biggest factors in gut health is the state of our gut microbiome. Within our gut, there are trillions of microorganisms—collectively referred to as the gut microbiome or gut microbiota. They carry out numerous functions and are essential for digestive, immune, nervous system, and skin health.
Ideally, we have a balance of 90% good bacteria and 10% bacteria in the gut. Good gut flora stave away pathogens, help your body break down fiber and complex sugars, help your body produce essential vitamin K, folic acid, and vitamin B, regulate bowel movements, decrease inflammation, moderate immune health, and of course support a healthy metabolism. However, when you look at the gut of the average person today, you’ll find just the opposite combination, 10% good bacteria and 90% bad bacteria. This is largely due to the over-processed diet many Americans consume that tends to starve the good bacteria while feeding the bad, as well as a result of the unhealthy lifestyle habits that many people have such as drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or taking antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria.
Adding fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt is a great first step to take to begin to correct this imbalance. At the same time, slowly increase your intake of fiber, plants, and complex carbohydrates such as honey, leeks, cabbage, and beans to feed the good bacteria.
Probiotic supplements can also work quickly and efficiently to help correct gut flora imbalance. When it comes to choosing a probiotic, look for a supplement that contains a variety of species, with more than 1 billion live bacteria per capsule. It’s also important that the supplement you choose has a coating to ensure the capsule bypasses your stomach acid and is released in the intestine to restore proper balance.
Our Zuma Nutrition Multi-Strain Probiotic (link product) is the ideal gut health supplement. It was created with these key factors in mind, containing 30 billion colony forming units per capsule as well as a coating to help these bacteria survive stomach acid. Our probiotic formula serves to re-colonize the good bacteria. It works to re-instill the balance of good vs. bad bacteria in the body and can lead not only to improved digestion, but an increase in many areas of our health—including skin health and appearance.
Diet is absolutely essential for health. The food we eat can either be the greatest medicine or the greatest source of disease depending on what we consume. Every single day we are eating food that is digested and turned into the tissues that make up our bodies. If we want quality tissues, we need to eat quality food.
Aim to eat a nutrient-rich, whole-foods diet. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and aim to eat a balanced diet that also includes plenty of high quality protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbohydrates.
Many people underestimate the power of drinking water and the positive affects it can have on your skin and your overall health. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, protecting you, storing lipids and water, preventing fluid loss and regulating your body temperature. Drinking more water is the most natural way to get that beaming, glowing and healthy skin we all want.
By drinking ample amounts of water each day, you can slowly tighten your skin and maintain a healthy glow. Drinking enough water also ensures that your pH value is balanced, giving you healthy skin. Drinking water will also flush out the toxins in your body, especially the harmful toxins that can take a toll on your health.
Water keeps your body hydrated and refreshed and helps maintain your skin’s elasticity. People who drink large amounts of water are less likely to suffer from scars, wrinkles, and soft lines and they won’t show as many signs of aging as those who drink little amounts of water. Not to mention, the more hydrated your skin, the less your pores will clog, and the less likely you are to develop acne.
There really isn’t anything that determines the quality of your skin quite like collagen. Collagens are a family of extracellular proteins that are a key constituent in skin, and give skin its ability to move, stretch and rebound into shape—we call this skin elasticity. Collagens aren’t just in skin, but are in our glands, organs, bones, heart valves, brain, liver and lungs as well. It’s the most prevalent protein type in our body, and is crucial for healthy skin, organ function, athletic performance and so much more. After the age of 30, our body’s natural collagen production begins to slow down.
Your body has the natural ability to create collagen in a process called collagen synthesis, but this is a delicate process that needs key building blocks and the perfect environment, otherwise this process gets stopped in its tracks.
Most of the collagen supplements you see on the shelves today come from ground up animal parts. One of the biggest red flags with animal-based collagen is the presence of contaminants like antibiotics, steroids, prescription drug metabolites, and insecticides that are still present in the tissue of the animal at slaughter. Once these contaminants enter your body, they increase oxidative stress. In addition, many of the powdered collagen supplements on the market are oxidized after sitting on shelves for months.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, most collagen supplements are largely ineffective. To understand why, you need to know a bit about the collagen molecule. Collagen is a finished molecule—meaning that collagen is a molecule the body produces. Unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as eating collagen supplements and having this collagen absorb directly into your skin. The body cannot utilize finished molecules, so eating collagen supplements that contain finished molecules (animal-based collagen supplements) do not really work.
For optimal collagen synthesis, one should feed their body the 3 key building blocks that help the body produce its own collagen in the dosages required to do so. These nutrients are L-Lysine, L-Proline, and Vitamin C. We have included these nutrients in the right dosages in pre-sorted daily packs (link product) that you can take each day to help your body produce its own collagen.
Within just a week or two, most people begin to see a significant increase in their skin quality. But this isn’t all collagen does. Collagen makes up most of our tissues, so it can improve many other areas of health as well including joint health, nail health, hair health, muscle health, and more.
Develop A Positive Attitude
The above-mentioned tips can help to improve your physical health, which will certainly be expressed in your appearance. In this way, they help you cultivate beauty from within. It is equally important, however, that your inner beauty is not just physical, but is mental and emotional too.
When you are a happy person with a positive attitude, are kind to those around you, relaxed and not easily stressed, you radiate a natural beauty that shines through you regardless of your physical appearance. People with inner beauty like this have dynamic personalities and embody qualities that are just as beautiful, if not more beautiful, than any physical characteristics.
The thing about physical beauty is, it will naturally decline as we age. With the right diet and lifestyle, we can look healthy well into our later years. But nothing is permanent, and sooner or later our physical beauty will leave us.
This is why it is so important not to seek physical beauty exclusively, but to also find beauty within your heart and mind. This is the beauty that will be with us until our final days. There is nothing more beautiful than a smile, a kind heart, and a friendly and caring personality. If you truly wish to cultivate beauty from within, be sure not to leave out these important factors.
We are beautiful because we are alive, and life itself is beautiful. While it is great to strive for health, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve our physical appearance, we should learn to see the beauty in ourselves just as we are, as unique individuals.
As the Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh said:
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don't try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.”
Beauty is something that we naturally value, but what each one of us sees as beautiful is also something that is subjective and subject to change. In this article, we discussed some of the practical ways that you can improve your physical health, as naturally, when we are the healthiest versions of ourselves we are also the most beautiful.
To summarize, the most important factors for improving health from within are:
- Sleep quality
- Gut health
- Collagen health
- Positive attitude
These inner beauty tips can help you drastically improve your health, as they are foundational for our wellness. Remember however, that true beauty comes from within. This is one of the unique things about human beings—we are able to really see and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Our ability to see this beauty, however, differs from person to person based on their outlook and perspective. Sometimes all we need to do to see the beauty in life, and ourselves, is to slow down and stop chasing so incessantly for things outside of us to make us more beautiful or more happy.
When we can see our own natural beauty, it becomes easier to see it in others too, and in the world. So, perhaps the best place to start is within ourselves. Acknowledge what a beautiful thing it is to exist at all! You are already beautiful. Sure, there are things that can improve your beauty by improving your health, and you should certainly aim for these improvements in health, but not at the expense of overlooking the beauty you already have within.
To cultivate beauty from within, we simply need to recognize it by shifting our perspective and looking at ourselves in a new light. As the author, philosopher and speaker Alan Watts once said:
“If you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”