Biohacking is a new practice of do-it-your-self biology. It is the concept that you can hack your own biology, to gain control of systems in your body and optimise your health. The aim is to alter health parameters such as brain function, sleep-cycle or weight, to be the absolute best version of yourself. In practice this involves making lifestyle changes in combination with monitoring aspects of your health with the help of technology. For example, there are various apps and devices that monitor sleep patterns and in response we can make changes to optimise our sleep cycle.
Top Biohacking Apps
Clue Period Tracker
This app is a great way of tracking your menstrual cycle and is rated the top free period tracker by the highly regarded scientific journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. The app uses the data you enter and scientific information to help you discover patterns in your cycle. For example it can tell you when you are fertile and when to expect PMS symptoms. Hormonal fluctuations of course affect our skin, so monitoring these changes over the month can help us adjust our skin care regime accordingly. For example, if you are prone to pre-menstrual breakouts, you may wish to use deep cleansing masks and adjust your diet at this time. The founder of the App, Ida Tin says the app can “build a comprehensive view of how menstruation affects a user’s life, including their skin, mood, sex drive and hairstyle.”
One of the best fitness trackers on the market, fitbit does way more than counting your steps, also measuring heart rate, sleep patterns, food and water intakes and weight. One great feature is the sleep tracker, which helps you get your beauty sleep. It gives insights into your sleep cycle and stages of sleep, sets reminders for bedtime and wakes you up at the optimum time to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. The health benefits of a fitness tracker can have secondary benefits for your skin health. Improved circulation through exercise, better quality sleep, a healthy diet and reduced stress can all impact the appearance and health of our skin.
Headspace is an app to help you cultivate the habit of daily meditation. It takes a minimum of just 10 minutes per day and the benefits include more focus, better sleep, less stress and worry, eating more mindfully and improved overall wellbeing and happiness. The developers describe it as a personal trainer for your mind and say that 90% of people experience reductions in anxiety when they meditate. Stress is known to have damaging effects to the skin, leading to accelerated ageing and collagen breakdown. Meditation is one of the best ways to manage stress and therefore reduce these negative effects on your skin. For more information on the link between stress and skin health, click here.
There are thousands of diet and recipe apps to choose from, two of my favourites are Deliciously Ella and Honestly Healthy. They include mainly plant-based recipes (Honestly Healthy uses eggs), full of skin-feeding foods such as avocados, sweet potatoes, pulses, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Both include a range of breakfasts, main meals, sweet treats and drinks packed full of goodness to feed your skin from the inside out. The recipes include plenty of skin nourishing vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats and avoid the use of refined sugars and animal products, which can contribute to inflammation and skin damage.