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Is Yoga the Secret to Clear, Healthy Skin?

By Kristin McGee ; Updated September 22, 2017

Your skin is your largest organ, and yoga is one of the best ways to keep it healthy and glowing. Why? When you move your body on a daily basis you oxygenate it, and this directly affects the health of your skin. And yoga increases circulation and helps your body eliminate toxins. Certain poses, such as Forward Fold, Fish and Downward-Facing Dog, bring increased blood flow directly to your face.

In addition, meditation and deep diaphragmatic yogic breathing decreases your stress levels. Stress is one of the main causes of skin problems like acne, rosacea and eczema.

When you start practicing yoga on a daily basis, you become more connected and aware of how everything is related. What you eat, how you move, how you sleep and what you think all contribute to your health. When you eat well and supplement with the right antioxidants, it really shows on your skin.

Best Yoga Poses for Glowing Skin

If you’ve been having skin problems or simply want to see a healthier complexion, try these yoga moves for improved skin health. These four poses increase circulation to your face, helping to rejuvenate your skin and give you a radiant glow.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog: This is a gentle inversion that works the entire body. To hold yourself in this pose, you have to engage your arms, legs and core. The body gets stronger and blood flows to the skin and the face. 
  2. Shoulderstand: Shoulderstand is the queen of the asanas and known for supporting the thyroid gland and stimulating the lymphatic system. When your metabolism and immune system are running smoothly and efficiently, your skin glows.
  3. Standing Forward Fold: This one can be done anywhere and anytime. You can take a forward bend before a meeting to give your face a beauty boost and bring some blood flow to the cheeks. Forward hangs also help drain the brain of any negative thinking, which definitely shows on your skin. 
  4. Fish: Fish is the anti-aging pose that has you lie on your back and prop the top of your head on the mat. You stretch open the throat and neck, and it helps to prevent facial wrinkles.

You can also add some strengthening moves into your yoga practice for skin elasticity and stress relief. Try one of these three (or all of them)!

  1. Plank: Any move that works the entire body at once like the plank is a great one. Plank is a huge core-strengthening move that supports the elasticity of your skin. 
  2. Eagle: Eagle is a standing balance pose that’s used for focus and helps you hone in on what’s important in life and let go of stress. Eagle is also used to massage the skin of your upper thighs and combat cellulite. Eagle can help with the skin on your upper arms and is also great to do at your desk during the day. 
  3. Headstand: Headstand is the king of the asanas and requires a reserve of core, arm and shoulder strength. Holding a headstand can help bring increased blood flow to the face, aid with overall circulation and even help prevent hair loss.

The Best Foods for Healthy Skin

Along with a daily yoga practice, it’s important to eat the right foods for radiant skin. Go with fruits and vegetables loaded with lycopene. Lycopene is what gives red fruits and vegetables — think tomatoes, guava, pink grapefruit and watermelon — their healthy color.

It’s been shown to reduce the damage to skin caused by sun exposure. Lycopene is converted to vitamin A (retinol) by the body, and retinol is one of the best ways to reduce the affects of skin aging by producing collagen and melatonin. Lycopene can reduce skin redness and reduce age spots. You can also supplement with Lycoderm to maximize all of the benefits and get the right amounts.

Finally, make sure you get good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water and a keep positive outlook on life to help your skin continue to look and feel its best.

About the Author

Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City and brand ambassador for international wellness company Lycored. She’s also a new mom to her son Timothy, a contributing editor at Health magazine, a brand ambassador for C9 by Target and has appeared frequently on television, including on the “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “The Early Show” and CNN and Fox News. Kristin aims to make her programs fun and accessible to all — beginner yogis included! Download her free 30-minute Beginners Yoga Video at

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