I saw my best friend after almost a year. One of the first things she did was compliment me on my vibrant skin. After that, we sat down together over dinner trying to figure out what I’ve been doing for it to look so much better.

It was about this time last year where I decided to make some lifestyle choices – nothing too drastic, expensive or difficult. We all have too little time and far too many goals. I get that. At the moment I am a full-time PhD student, living on my own. I also write and blog, volunteer and make time for reading. On top of that, I’m a firm believer in experiencing the world. That means making sure I set aside the time and money to explore and travel. Like most of you out there, I’m looking to simplify my life – not to make it more complicated or expensive. So when I tell people I have been moving towards a more minimalist, vegan and zero-waste lifestyle, they assume I dedicate my days and nights to it. In truth, the lifestyle changes I have made are making my life less expensive, less hectic, and as a result allowing me to have the luxury of space and time. The transition, like anything else can be challenging. But, as you delve into it, I promise you’ll begin to see the positive impact of a simplified and natural lifestyle.

Vibrant Skin Reflects a Healthy YOU

But what does skin have to do with any of this? The choices I made were purely for ethical and environmental reasons. Naturally though, when you cut out most packaged food, and make a switch to natural and organic personal care products, your skin is going to be happy too! I learned that the food we give our bodies, the products we protect ourselves from, transcend into healthy and vibrant skin. If you’ve ever done a detox, you’ll remember that the first thing that happens is your skin breaks out. Your body releases toxins through your skin. So vibrant skin reflects a healthy and balanced you.

Let’s get down to business. I’m here to share the THREE main changes I made in my life that I know have made me healthier and happier. I’ve realized in the past year that I have gradually lost weight, my mind has been cleared, and my hair and skin are the healthiest they’ve been. Let’s not forget, I’ve also been living a much more conscious and ethical life. The point is, these things are connected. Just like our internal and physical health links to vibrant skin, rest assured that a healthy planet also means a better you.

My THREE Main Changes

Package-Free Foods: food packaging contributes to a lot of our waste. More often than not, the packaging isn’t even recyclable, ending up in landfill. In addition, we pay a lot more for some of these foods, because they’re branded. This means we’re paying more for unhealthier food choices that expose us to seriously harmful toxins such as BPA and preservatives. It doesn’t make any sense. A switch to whole foods and unpackaged goods can really impact your overall health. One of the many benefits is vibrant skin. We spend a lot of our time and money eating. And as the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” So if you want to be healthy, then eat healthy foods.

Vegan & ECO Cosmetics: The cosmetic industry is evil. There I said it. Whether it’s the cruel testing on animals, the crap they insert in the products that come into close contact with our skin, eyes, nose, mouth etc. or their empty promises of “flawless” skin. Let’s be real for a moment: wearing makeup doesn’t serve our skin well. Now, I’m not suggesting you never ever wear it. I still wear a bit of makeup, but I have made it a point to read labels and to support brands that are conscious. This means ones that are Vegan, Eco, Natural and Organic. If they’re kind to the planet, they’ll be kind to your skin.

All-Natural Skin Care Routine: I’m not just going to put anything packaged on my face. We absorb a lot through our skin, and I’m not really into taking in toxins. I’m not suggesting you avoid a skin routine all together. I think cleansing, nourishing and moisturizing are key in having vibrant skin. But off-the-counter stuff isn’t going to give you the vibrant skin you’re looking for. The health of your skin is important, so don’t let those labels and images fool you. A simple all-natural bar soap can go a long way. The past year, I’ve relied on African Black Soap as my facial cleanser. It exfoliates, cleanses and clears my skin. I use organic coconut oil to moisturize, and even use it as an under-eye cream. And when I suspect a pimple coming up, a dab of Tea Tree Oil is all I use – simple, inexpensive, natural and effective.

These are some of the lifestyle choices I have made. What we consume and the daily choices we make impact our health, our home, and most definitely our skin. Eat whole foods, avoid toxins and chemicals and read those labels.

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