When we boycott all the pop and sugary drinks from our diet-including sugar-laden caffeine beverages like Starbucks or TimHortons cappuccinos, frappes or IceCapes, you might end up feeling like you don’t have any cool or fun drinks to replace it with. Worry not, there are plenty of beverage options and superfood add-ins to make your next drink not only tasty but also health and beauty boosting.
Coconut Water & Salt Sole
Coconut water is a great hydrator due to containing high levels of the electrolyte potassium. It also contains many other mineral, vitamins and phytochemicals. One way to boost the nutrient power of this tropical drink is to add 1 tsp of salt sole.
A salt sole is made by combining high quality mineral salts with purified water in a glass jar with a plastic, not metal, covering. Over time the water absorbs more and more of the salt, until it is saturated. Thus, taking a teaspoon of this solution everyday gives you minerals from the salt as well as sodium, another electrolyte. However, salt sole may be harder to consume for some due to it’s extreme saltiness, thus making it a good idea to mix in with the sweetness of coconut water.
Matcha Green Tea powder
If you have ever heard of green tea then you probably have heard of matcha green tea powder. Essentially, matcha is the entire leaf used in green tea in powdered form. This way, you are consuming way more of the powerful antioxidant, catechins than with the steeped version.
Secondly, matcha’s high content of chlorophyll helps the body detoxify itself of things like heavy metals, unwanted chemicals and toxins at a cellular level.
Grassfed Collagen Hydrolysate
Bone broth has become more wide-known thanks to exposure from well known health enthusiasts and celebrities. This source of dietary collagen and minerals is something that our ancestors used to consume often as they weren’t so wasteful in throwing away a vital part of the animal.
In our modern diet however, we mostly just consume muscle meats and don’t get cuts that still have the skin and bone. Even then, it would be best to consume bone broth daily for the gelatin and mineral benefits. However, as this is not always possible with our busy lifestyles, grassfed collagen makes a wonderful substitute.
Collagen hydrolysate can be easily mixed into either hot or cold beverages, does not gel like gelatin, and is better to take if you have digestive problems as, not everyone can tolerate gelatin right away.
Probiotics are great for your gut health, and good gut health is necessary for great skin and your health as a whole. One of the most economical, and yummy, ways to intake probiotics on a daily basis is by consuming home-brewed Kombucha.
If you like slightly fizzy drinks with great flavour and you want to avoid the costly store-bought version of Kombucha, opt instead to start making your own. Check out this site https://www.kombuchakamp.com/what-is-kombucha for info on making your own batch or continuous brew with either coconut sugar or quality pure maple syrup.
Chaga Mushroom Tea
Chaga tea is really an amazing wonder drink. It has been noted for it’s benefits in regards to cancer, as well as it’s high antioxidant content, being an immune booster, and working to reduce inflammation.
I have several personal testimonials from people in my life who consume it regularly and testify to it’s health benefits from mood boosting to increasing energy to lessening the appearance of wrinkles and more.
Quality Greens mix
A great way to get a big dose of daily veggies is to consume a quality greens drink. A green drink also gives you a bigger variety of different greens than a regular DIY smoothie and isn’t thick and chunky.
Some good quality brands to choose from include: Biotics NitroGreens, Vital Proteins Collagen Veggie Blend, Vitamineral Green, Green Vibrance, Garden of Life, Amazing Grass, pHresh Greens and Essante Organics.
Note: A smoothie or health drink of any kind is not a meal replacement. Meals should always include a source of quality fat and protein, especially breakfast, which needs to be higher on the fat side, e.g. free-range eggs with grassfed butter.
It is very possible to not only consume health-boosting beverages on a daily basis but to also thoroughly enjoy it. The flavour and yumminess was not lost when you stopped drinking commercial sodas and high sugar beverages but rather, a whole new world of delicious possibilities has opened up. From cool coconut water to iced Kombucha to hot chaga and the other nutrient mix-ins, there are many ways to Sip Your Nutrients.
Intro: What is Beauty Sleep? Does this term sound like a marketing ad to you for some skincare product? Or, does it simply refer to sleep itself? Fact: A proper amount of good, restful sleep is essential for not only beauty but, true health. We have all seen various articles over recent years, commenting on how important sleep is for virtually every area of our body http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/15/why-you-need-sleep.aspx. However, people miss out on the fact that sleep is an important part of the beauty routine. The reason for this is two-fold. First, your skin works on repairing and regenerating itself during sleep. Second, both your mood and your overall physical appearance are affected by how tired you are and how much sleep you got e.g. puffy eyes, dark bags, etc.This affects not only how people are seeing you in a physical aspect but, more importantly, whether they are getting to see the vibrant, happy and more relaxed you which is much more attractive than stressed or glum. Below is a list of 4 methods for improving your sleep-and they are both portable and affordable.
What is Earthing? No, it isn’t an umbrella term encompassing all things related to “greener living”. Earthing refers to walking barefoot on the ground to gain the benefits of grounding and connecting to the Earth. The Earth’s surface is negatively charged and, when you walk barefoot on it, there is a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body. However, as it isn’t always possible for us to walk around barefoot on a daily basis, there are some products out there designed to give you the benefits of Earthing, no matter where you are. The most popular of these is an earthing mat.
An Earthing mat connects to the grounding part of the outlet in your home, to the grounding rod outside. This allows you to engage in Earthing, even on a rainy day.
What kind of benefits can be experienced due to Earthing? Many people report sleeping better, deeper and even falling asleep faster due to the regular use of an earthing mat. A common method of using the earthing mat is to sleep on it at night-which leaves you with no excuse to not use it daily.
Continuing with the theme of using mats to improve your sleep quality, the Spoonk mat makes use of acupressure points to ease back pain, muscle tension, and improve blood circulation. This is due to the 6,200 small stimulation points that the mat contains. The amount of pressure you feel can be adjusted by placing it on a softer surface, like a bed, or a harder surface, like the floor. You can also start off with wearing thin clothing to use the mat, and then try it out with bare skin once you’ve become used to using it regularly.
The Spoonk mat is an easy and simple addition to your bedtime routine. Simply place the mat on the bed, lie down, adjust it to your liking, and read a book or listen to soothing music while reaping the relaxing benefits of acupressure at home.
Essential oils have many uses from wound healing, to headache relief, easing muscle pain and eliminating odors. However, essential oils can also be an amazing addition to your pre-bed routine due to their relaxation potential-both in topical and airborne use. Dilute a calming or grounding essential oil like lavender, cedar wood, or vetiver with a quality carrier oil and apply to the soles of your feet. Be sure to hold your hands up to your nose and deeply inhale the scent of the oils to further the calming experience.
Another method of embracing essential oils at bedtime is to invest in a diffuser and use a combination of oils to infuse the air in your bedroom, while you practise deep breathing exercises.
Magnesium Salt Flakes
Magnesium is used in many functions of the body including the heart, digestion and the structural development of bones. But perhaps the most widely known health benefit of magnesium is stress relief and sleep support. However, most of us are lacking in adequate magnesium due to soil depletion and stressful modern lifestyles. This is where supplementation through transdermal absorption comes in. Topical magnesium oil is a great way to absorb magnesium through the skin daily and promote a calmer, less stressed approach to the day.
The second method kills two birds with one stone by both supplementing your body with readily available magnesium, and involving a super-relaxing, spa-like experience. The routine? A hot bath filled with magnesium salt flakes. Better yet, enhance your ritual with a few candles, soft music and a face mask. Taking the time for a magnesium bath even a few times a week is an act of self-care that helps calm your mind and allows you some precious “me time” to just unwind from the day. So the next time that you try and talk yourself out of some special self-love bath time, remember that it is both good for your health, and supports a restful night’s sleep.
In our modern age, sleep often takes the backseat to whatever else we deem more important in our life at the time, including more time on Instagram or Facebook. However, we must recognize that sleep needs to take a primary place in our lives, and always focus on getting a full restful 8 hours..every..single..night. Sleep impacts not only our health but also our skin, our attitude and outlook on the day, and sometimes, even our posture-all of which affects how we look and our perceived by others. To get more quality, restorative slumber, we need to take time out of our lives to incorporate pre-bedtime routines that include methods designed to calm and relax us. This may include Earthing, using a Spoonk mat, usage of essential oils, or a magnesium salt bath. Learning to appreciate good sleep can have a big impact on our overall health and beauty, and a pre-bedtime routine is an act of self care that benefits both our mental and emotional health.
I am happy to share with you a guest post from my friend and fellow nutritionist, Marie Olson.
Marie Olson, RWP, NTP is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate), and owner of NutriSimplicity: Bio-Individual Nutrition Made Simple. She is an essential oil enthusiast who has received aromatherapy training in addition to advanced training in nutrition and restorative wellness. She teaches holistic nutrition and wellness classes in person and online. You can find her at www.NutriSimplicity.com.
Dealing with Skin Issues and Allergies? Start with these simple steps.
By Marie Olson, RWP, NTP
This blog post contains affiliate links. Only products I have direct experience with and love are recommended or linked here. You are under no obligation to purchase through these links. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, the compensation I receive helps support the cost of maintaining this website. Thank you!
As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I see clients for many different reasons.
Oftentimes, clients come to me seeking help with allergies or food sensitivities. Many times, these allergies and sensitivities can manifest themselves on the skin in the form of hives or rashes, and they aren’t sure what the root cause is. Sometimes, other issues that they’re experiencing are actually being caused by unknown sensitivities! I always start by addressing digestion, and this is how these sensitivities are often uncovered. I am providing my three-step program here for you to eliminate food sensitivities and allergies and help your body heal from the inside out!
First, you have to identify what’s causing the problem. The top 8 food allergens are Milk, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, Wheat and Eggs. That’s a good place to start, as many of the products are in many different foods! You have to be a food label detective, as oftentimes these ingredients can be found under other terms! If you suspect a specific product or ingredient, start with that.
After identifying your triggers, I suggest eliminating them for a period of time, at least two weeks, to see if your symptoms resolve or improve. After that, chances are since you’re feeling better without it, you may want to permanently eliminate that item, or you can try a small amount of it and see if your symptoms return. If so,there’s your culprit! Eliminate it for 3-6 months while you do some gut healing, and then you can re-introduce it to your diet and see if you experience any further symptoms or discomfort. A really easy test you can do if you’re not sure what food is causing you issues is the Coca Pulse test. This is a simple and free test that you can do at home. You can read instructions and download a log for keeping track of your results here.
Finally, you will re-evaluate your digestion, skin, and any other body systems that previously experienced symptoms or issues. If your symptoms have cleared up after eliminating your food triggers, then continue working on healing your body and reintroduce those items after a period of time and see if you still experience discomfort. Chances are, after healing your body from the inside out, you will be able to eat most foods again. There are some exceptions to this rule. I recommend if you have any type of autoimmune disease, that you permanently eliminate wheat and gluten from your diet. It is one of the hardest to digest proteins, and it contributes to inflammation in the body. It is best avoided. Healing your body entails eating and digesting properly – enough protein, fat and carbohydrates in the proper ratios, as well as from good sources, is key to recovery. You can read more about this on my blog here.
No matter how good your diet, if you’re not properly digesting your food, you will not be getting the nutrients you need to thrive! If you have impaired digestion, work with a Certified Nutritional
Therapist that can evaluate you, identify specific areas of need and make recommendations for supporting your body and helping you heal from the inside out.
Intro: You’ve tried cutting out processed foods, refined sugar and refrain from eating out, yet, despite your real food diet, your breakouts remain stubbornly stuck to your face. You may have even tried adding in a few random supplements or gone green-smoothie crazy like your friends but, your skin doesn’t seem to acknowledge your hard efforts, as you still see many pimples and red spots in the mirror each morning. What am I doing wrong you ask? I’ve cut out all the “bad stuff” so, shouldn’t my skin automatically clear up? What am I still missing?
While clean diets are a great start to a healthy lifestyle and an important foundation to good skincare, the average person is unaware that a “real food” lifestyle is not generic and the same for everyone. The term bio-individuality means that everyone has different nutritional problems and needs and therefore, the solution for curing your breakouts for good, is based on your own person needs. Let’s take a look at a couple of important areas that are not usually mentioned when “clean-eating” is discussed.
Food sensitivities: Even in clean, whole-food diets, people will sometimes encounter food sensitivities. This is why not all foods work well for everyone. And this is why breakouts can sometimes occur in relation to food sensitivities, as inflammation is a reaction to the undesirable substance in the body.
In more serious cases, some people may have lots of food sensitivities due to leaky gut or other digestive problems and therefore, need to work on healing their gut, while keeping on a strict dietary protocol.
Internal major systems needing support: The body has certain major processes which are really foundational in how they affect us so much in symptoms, overall quality of life, and especially, skincare. For many people, one or more of these systems needs nutritional support, usually due to either a history of eating processed foods, or the affects of our toxin and stress-filled lifestyles. Some of these major processes include:
Digestion includes not just the stomach but also the small and large intestines. Various problems in the small and/or large intestines due to flora imbalance and bacterial overgrowth, like h.pylori, affect the proper digestion process and assimilation of nutrients in to the body. Low stomach acid is another common digestive problem that causes symptoms such as heartburn and acid reflux-this is because strong stomach acid is needed to breakdown all our foods so our body can access the nutrients. It doesn’t matter how nutritious the food you’re eating is, you still won’t get all the benefits from it if you can’t digest it properly.
The liver/gallbladder is the detox system of the body, meaning that it plays an important role in healthy skin. Breakouts around a woman’s period are usually a result of the liver not being able to properly detox the excess hormones. Lastly, the gallbladder also plays a role in digestion as it breaks down and metabolizes fats.
Blood Sugar Balance
Blood Sugar Balance is often tied to the adrenals which can also affect our moods and sleep as two of their major functions are reacting to stress and releasing the hormone cortisol.
A clean diet should include plenty of quality fats which help keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day as well as contributing to healthy hormones. A clean diet should alsofrom containing too many “natural sweetners and excessive fruit intake to help balance blood sugar. However, if diet is not enough then your hormones may still need additional nutritional support. Since our hormones not only affect our moods but also our skin, it is important to delve deeper to find the root of the cause.
Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances:
Due to soil-depletion and the affects of our modern lifestyles, diet is often not enough to give us all the important vitamins and minerals that we need. Take zinc and magnesium for example. Zinc is important for stomach acid production and for healing in the body. However, if a person is already low in zinc, it will take a while for them to get enough to through foods alone to be sufficient, and it is also more expensive-meaning that using quality supplements is generally the better option. Magnesium on the other hand is something that is used by the body whenever we encounter stress, making it important to use topical methods such as magnesium gel, lotion, or magnesium flake baths often to supplement the body.
A “clean eating” or even Paleo lifestyle is a great start to getting clear, beautiful skin and getting health for life. However, people make the mistake of thinking that just eating whole foods will give them all the nutrients that they need. They also miss the subtle yet important aspect of bio-individuality, aka, everyone is a separate individual with different nutritional needs. Three ways bio-individuality affects us are:
Food sensitivities, which cause an inflammatory response in the body
– Internal problems that play major roles in how our skin looks and how we feel and that need specific nutritional support, e.g. hormones, blood sugar balance, liver/gallbladder (detoxing), and digestion.
– Nutritional deficiencies, which are difficult to address solely through diet alone.
Addressing these factors with proper assessment will give you a targeted approach to curing your breakouts for good and give you the healthy skin you deserve.
Suncare is a big topic. With stores filling their seasonal shelves with chemically-smelling, thick, white sunblocks that can make you feel like a grease pot, to SPF moisturizers that can leave your face looking shinier than your new pair of sunglasses, it’s easy to see why the topic of sun protection is cringe-inducing for many people. Make no mistake though, protecting your skin from the sun is essential however, most people don’t understand that this is a 2-part equation. Since your skin is a 2-sided organ, you must not only use topical protection but also give your body the internal support to mount some of it’s own sun-defense.
Internal sunscreen. Have you ever heard the saying “eat your sunscreen”? If you haven’t then, please hear me out. Getting enough quality animal fats in your diet is not only essential for hormone health, and many other functions, but it also influences the strength of the cell itself. Esthetician Cassandra Lanning describes this cell mechanism in further detail:
The fatty acids make up the cell membrane plus are used inside the cells. When skin cells move up through their life cycle and flatten and pop, they disperse their contents to create the lipid layer (or lamellar layer) which is the protective layer, and the remaining “envelope” becomes the corneocyte. So the more healthy the cell membrane is, the stronger the corneocyte and stratum corneum will be. Understanding this is essential to creating a healthy lipid/lamellar layer.
Now, to get enough dietary fats to support your healthy skin, you need to be consuming enough quality animal fats on a daily basis. Great food sources include: grassfed meats, liver, free-range eggs and poultry and grassfed dairy, grassfed butter or ghee, grassfed, nitrate-free pork or bacon fat, and duck fat.
Antioxidants: The second step in consuming your suncare, is through antioxidant rich food sources. Now, we all know of the regular antioxidant fruits and powders like raw cocoa, blueberries, goji berries, green matcha tea, etc. But, did you know that the most impressive and powerful antioxidant actually comes from seafood-who get it from sea greens? Astaxanthin is found in the largest quantity in Green Algae, then krill oil, then Wild Sockeye salmon. However, before you start eating a bunch of salmon, you need to consider why this is a serious health no-no. When eating seafood, we have no idea how much mercury it contains-and we have no control over this fact, making it a very unwise choice to consume too much. Secondly, neither krill oil or green algae sounds very appetizing or palatable for any regular human. The solution? Source a quality astaxanthin supplement and take it regularly. Antioxidants are so important as they protect skin cells from environmental assault-mainly the Sun, pollutants, and free-radicals.
External protection. The skin really is a 2-sided organ, meaning that it not only needs the building blocks of nutrition but also, quality botanical ingredients to protect it topically. Our skin is bombarded by environmental assault daily in the form of free-radicals and air-pollution. It is also rained down upon constantly by the sun’s rays, which often leads to sunspots and premature ageing. Considering that our skin is something we have to live with for our entire lives, it really is our responsibility to take care of it the best that we can. To do this, choose a quality botanical moisturizer with a high SPF and use it daily throughout the year. This cream should be suitable for the age of your skin, aka, acne prone and youthful vs mature and dehydrated. Using an SPF daily is mandatory as the sun’s rays still come out in fall and winter, not just summer.
Boost the power: Using an antioxidant serum, like Vitamin C, underneath your SPF botanical moisturizer has 2 major uses.
It increases the effectiveness of the SPF.
It provides your skin with wonderful topical antioxidant nutrients.
Conclusion: Suncare is mandatory for good skincare but, it needs to be approached both topically and internally. Having a proper balance of fatty acids ensures that you are creating a strong cell membrane for your skin cells. Antioxidants are an important part of helping your body fight free-radicals and should be sourced from whole food sources, as well as a quality astaxanthin supplement. Lastly, protect your skin topically with a botanical SPF moisturizer. This should be layered over a Vitamin C serum as the antioxidants both increase the effectiveness of the SPF and help protect against sun damage.
We all want beautiful skin, and unfortunetly, big marketing has convinced us that the way to get that is through purchasing a plethora of beauty products, full of chemicals. And even after doing that, people can’t seem to get the naturally supple, well-nourished, lovely skin that they have worked so hard for. Treating your skin is a process of 80% internal and 20% external. Here I have comprised a list of the Top 7 Best steps for feeding your skin from the inside and treating it on the outside.
1. The Importance of eating Real Food. Take the saying “You are what you eat” literally because you cannot have beautiful skin while eating processed and refined foods. Your body is built up of and run on nutrients, meaning that it needs to have the proper nutritional blocks for building beautiful skin daily. If your body has to constantly work on processing out the junk from what your diet, and it isn’t getting enough nutrients, then this will show up in your skin. Omit all refined foods and processed foods, and soy from your diet. Make sure that your diet is also rich in quality fat-soluble vitamins which are great for hormone-balancing and supporting beautiful skin. Sources include such grassfed meats, free-range eggs, non-farmed fish, free-range poultry, grassfed organ meats, and grassfed butter. I recommend adding grassfed dairy to your diet if you can tolerate it. If you are dairy-free, you should add ghee into your diet. Ghee from grassfed cows is clarified butter that has no milk solids but still retains the important fat-soluble vitamins found in grassfed butter. I also recommend consuming grassfed liver or organs meats at least once per week, as they are packed with nutrients. Liver is one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin A.
2. Being nutritionally assessed to identify nutritional deficiencies and internal problems. Even eating a nutrient dense diet, the sad truth is that many of us already have deficiencies, like zinc, due our previous poor way of eating and because of soil depletion. That’s why getting nutritionally assessed by a certified Nutritional Therapist is important, as these deficiencies can show up in the skin. Digestive problems are a big deal because your body won’t be able to properly digest and access the nutrients you are giving it-therefore, your skin won’t be getting as many nutrients.
3. Supplementing wisely. I choose quality supplements that I know others have used to better their skin or just for overall body health. Oral hyaluronic acid, Biotics Optimal EFAs for a complete blend of Omega 3s, 6s, and 9s, grassfed gelatin powder and trace mineral drops (homemade bone broth is also a great source of minerals and gelatin).
4. Change up your skincare routine.
- Replace your regular moisturizer. Consider using a botanical moisturizer that is designed for your skin’s needs, is formulated to be more akin to your skin and contains quality ingredients. You want a product that contains fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides as these are all necessary for maintaining the skin’s barrier. This means that using topical oils is a no-go since they only contain fatty acids. Note: Enjoy the benefits of essential oils like frankincense, rose, and rosewood by purchasing a moisturizer that is formulated with the proper concentration of these potent ingredients.
- Choose a better face mask: Analyze your face masks. Most face masks contain many preservatives, even when the packaging proudly proclaims that it is “natural” “organic”, or “botanical”. Go through the ingredient’s list of your product and see whether or not those preservatives are truly natural and “safe”. Do some thorough research to find quality, effective and botanical masks that you can use a couple times a week as a luxury and to give your skin a boost.
5. External detoxing Consider using a sauna a few times per week. Saunas are very helpful in aiding the natural detox process. The treatment is also like having a spa face steam, only for your whole body. Enjoy a natural healthy glow. The testimony of various sauna users is that the treatment resulted in a noticeable improvement in their skin. This is mostly due to the sweating out of toxins, the opening and cleansing of the pores, and the increased blood flow. Important note: it’s a good idea to do some gentle exfoliation, like dry brushing, before using a sauna as it removes the dead skin cells.
Conclusion: Achieving beautiful skin is a multi-pronged approach. The primary factors involve what’s going into your body remember, 90%. The remaining steps are all about taking care of your skin with natural solutions, that really make a difference. Make these steps a lifelong routine, and your skin will thank you for the rest of your life!
Are you ready to achieve Beautiful Skin? Which step did you find the most interesting? Were there some that you hadn’t heard of before? Share in the comments below!
If you go over to France you will find that women there have a very different approach to skincare than in North America. They believe that taking care of their skin is a process that is continual over all the years of their life. They start as a young teenager and proceed to nourish their skin with consistent care far into their elderly years. Now on a side note, there is no reason to use the commercial chemical products that a typical French women uses. One of the biggest areas for chemical exposure for a women is her face as her skin products contain preservatives and man-made chemicals which are then absorbed into the blood-stream. Using chemicals can often be very un-balancing for the skin as the body isn’t designed for such un-natural and often drying ingredients.
Whenever you see French women they are tres chic. They embody confidence. This confidence comes from two sources.
They believe that they “are worth it”. In other words, they are worth taking care of themselves and they feel good about themselves because of that. This confidence is something they are creating within themselves and thus, giving them an trait which is an attractive quality in any human being.
They embrace their “flaws”. Now hear me out. I’m not talking about acne and scars-which are actual skin problems that need to be cured over time with real nutrition from a Paleo-type diet and all-natural topical skin treatments. I am talking about the natural differences we each have which make us unique. Have you ever seen a person with a light dusting of freckles on their nose? Have you ever seen a person with a cute little nose or a person with a pointy nose? Have you ever seen a person with very light eyebrows or thin lips? Are these all flaws. The answer, no. These are all differences that are perfectly natural and contribute to our unique look. A French woman knows that she shouldn’t obsess over trying to correct what she is given by birth just to fit the standard of beauty at the time. This is why French women don’t wear a lot of makeup, they aren’t interested in covering their skin up with tons of product to try and change their face. They just highlight a few things like eyes and maybe lips.
They embrace ageing. French women embrace their ageing just like they embrace their unique face, with confidence. They believe that getting older just means that you mature and change, but, you can still be chic and happy with yourself. Some even believe that the crinkles under the eye are beautiful, and, who are we to say they aren’t.
The Final Thought: French women show us that confidence should be more than just a wish, it should be a way of life. A french woman is a living example of how confidence can change not only how we think about ourselves, but even our outside-because we confidence beauty from the inside out and in doing so, we are comfortable being beautiful the way we are.
We are bombarded by the cosmetics industry with a plethora of exfoliating products, and society has garnered a mindset that we need to exfoliate often for beautiful skin. The problem: we are exfoliating WAY too much, and with the wrong products. How many times have you seen a facial scrub when browsing the skincare isles? How many times has a Youtuber or beauty blogger mentioned an exfoliating product that they love? This all helps influence people to buy exfoliators that are harming their skin and not helping. Here’s why:
The common methods of exfoliation:
The majority of facial exfoliators are scrubs of varying harshness, or even chemical peels. Let’s take a look at scrubs first. If you look at a sugar crystal under a microscope, you will see jagged edges. These create little tears in the skin and lead to water loss, meaning your skin is less plump and hydrate. Exactly the opposite of what we want to achieve. Yet sugar scrubs are everywhere, even in DIY remedies. Some products even go so far as to use walnut shells, and encourage people into the belief that this is all for “smooth skin” http://www.today.com/health/st-ives-apricot-scrub-lawsuit-here-s-what-know-t106572 Remember, scrubs are meant for the bathtub, not the face. Our face is what people see the most of, and the skin is more delicate there, so, we need to be gentle with our skin, even in exfoliation.
Chemical peels: Chemical peels can be bought on amazon, and applied by any too eager individual who doesn’t know what they are doing and burns their skin. Some people do say that they help improve the skin by speeding up cell turnover. But, should this strong product be used at all, even by professionals? Is it actually healthy to be putting your skin through that kind of abuse? Turns out, chemical peels aren’t just doing more harm than good, they are aging you faster. Master Esthetician Cassandra Lanning explains:
There is no question that exfoliating the epidermis does speed turnover but it is not because it is a healthy event, it is because the skin is rushing to fix the damage, to the detriment of the dermis. when the dermis is forced to fix the damaged epidermis, it must divert nutrients and repair activity that it would have used to maintain itself. This leads us to the possible conclusion that chronic exfoliation speeds aging.
When we look at the research on what chronic exfoliation does, the mild, temporary improvements that result seem meaningless in the face of the long term damage that results:
- the skin has less melanin protection
- it has more damage to repair from the acids being used
- there is loss of moisture from the loss of protective lipids which often leads to oil/oily T-zone
- most importantly, there is a significant increase in the amount of free radical damage to our skin cells and their DNA.
We are better off not second-guessing the skin’s decision to slow down but rather work with it to restore its normal activities. There is no logical reason why adding inflammation could make our skin younger or healthier. Even when we look at research on the body’s ability to repair itself, it almost universally has shown us that it never recovers 100% (and it certainly does not recover 110%) when damaged.
DIY Skincare Do it Yourself skincare is another area where many people are mislead on what is and what is not proper exfoliation. Pinterest is chalk-full of recipes and pictures promising “super-smooth” skin with exfoliation treatments. Problem is, almost all of these methods are very bad ideas that should not be used on your skin at all. Common methods involve using sugar granules, lemon juice,and even baking soda. As I’ve already discussed why sugar granules are so harmful, I’d like to look at the other two most frequent DIY ingredients. Lemon juice is a strong fruit acid that produces a burning sensation and drying affect on the skin-definetly not a good idea. And baking soda? Let’s just say that if a substance is used for cleaning your kitchen, then it should be a no-brainer why it doesn’t belong on your face.
2. The Amount of Exfoliation:
People are encouraged to exfoliate their skin a couple times per week-to even daily. There are a variety of face washes that are labeled “multi-taskers” by including scrubbing ingredients so that you can exfoliate daily. Who ever came up with the idea that this is even necessary? I chalk it up to marketing, rather than actual knowledge from skincare professionals. So how often should you exfoliate, and with what? This is where we bring in plant enzymes. It’s always important to use skincare products that are quality, are as natural as possible, and avoid harsh man-made chemicals. You can safely exfoliate 1-2x per month, allowing the skin to recover in-between but, this is optional. Lanning further describes the proper role of exfoliation:
Over-exfoliation inhibits cell to cell communication, leading to impaired immune function and early aging”. The primary function of exfoliating 1-2x per month is to get rid of the build up of environmental effects, cells that might be stuck, and sebum.
Now, if you have really bad clogged pores and enzymes don’t do the trick, consult a licensed esthetician and have them measure out the appropriate usage for fruit acids-a more potent treatment only to be used under professional guidance.
Proper exfoliation can be part of a healthy, skincare regimen, if it is done properly and only occasionally. The common product mistakes that the general public make are in using exfoliating substances that harm their skin in the long run: DIY recipes, facial scrubs, and chemical exfoliators. The common application mistake most people make is in exfoliating way too frequently-weekly or even daily. We only need to exfoliate our face 1-2 per month. Lastly, it’s important to source a botanical, fruit enzyme exfoliator which contains quality ingredients and will ensure a safe and gentle exfoliation treatment.
The reason for dry skin? A lack of enough fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids in the diet. This can be an even bigger problem for people that have digestion problems, as their body cannot properly breakdown and assimilate these fats. Instead of slathering on another thick layer of lotion on your dry skin, try these following steps to naturally cure this problem for good.
- A Paleo diet. The Paleo diet is not only free of grains, gluten, refined/processed foods and soy, it also contains many quality sources of fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are essential for nourished, hydrated, supple skin. Note: while the Paleo diet suggests omitting dairy, many people in North America do well on grassfed dairy products so there is no need to automatically remove them. Remember, not all milk is alike so, how you may be reacting to commercial dairy could be completely different from grassfed dairy. Grassfed butter is an especially good source of fat-soluble nutrients. Check out this Paleo infographic from paleomagazine.com to help you better visualize the dos and donts of the Paleo diet.
All credit for this infographic goes to the makers at http://paleomagazine.com/paleo-diet-food-list
Source: Paleo Flourish Magazine
2. Supplementing with a quality blend of essential fatty acids. Why do I need to supplement you ask? If I am already eating a Paleo diet, shouldn’t I be getting a proper balance? The answer is yes, sometimes. However, the questions to ask are, are you getting a good balance of Omega-3s and Omega-6s? If you are able to eat grassfed meat, and another Paleo fat source daily, then you will probably be getting more Omega-3s. This is very good as our modern civilization already has too much Omega-6s in our diet from over-consumption of grains and seed oils. However, if you eating very little Omega-6s, over time, your body will become unbalanced again with not having enough Omega-6s to the Omega-3s. The body needs essential fatty acids for proper digestion & elimination and several other areas that affect skin health: healthy liver function, absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins and managing the inflammatory process. Therefore, a proper balance of Omega-3s and -6s is primary.
3. Proper Digestion. Your body won’t be able to breakdown the quality fats and use them for your skin if you have digestion problems. Strong stomach acid is needed to break down the fats and nutrients we consume so the body can use them. Unfortunetly, inadequate stomach acid is very common in North America, as well as digestive issues like h.pylori and candida overgrowth. This poses a problem as all the fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids in the world won’t be able to cure your dry skin if you have poor digestion. Proper nutrition supplementation protocols can affectively heal the issues in the intestines and the bacteria imbalance. Next, treat low stomach acid by increasing it with an HCl supplement, Swedish bitters or Apple Cider Vinegar.
Conclusion: The cosmetic industry teaches us that dry skin is a skin type, aka a condition that some people have and others don’t. They constantly come up with new “super” or “ultra” moisturizing creams, body butters, and lotions to “solve” this problem. But, topical treatments don’t actually treat the dry skin, it just brings temporary relief. However, if you give your body the proper balance of fatty acids, and ensure that your digestion is functioning optimally to break down and assimilate those fats, your body will have the tools to cure dry skin itself.
Yay, for green desserts; a perfect idea for either a summer gathering or a certain Irish-inspired holiday (hint, hint). Sometimes, the best inspiration comes from other people. Such is the case when I check out other real food bloggers, they have such great ideas. I have always wanted to try a lime dessert as I am a citrus fan, so, when I found myself with a surplus of limes on hand, I knew that I had to do some experimenting. Imagine my joy when I found this Paleo Key Lime Pie recipe http://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-key-lime-pie/ by paleorunningmomma. Being a lover of custards and pots de creme, I decided to put a theory of mine to the test. Would this recipe work in pots de creme form? With a little tweaking, eureka! Success!! By omitting the crust and subbing heavy whipping cream for the coconut cream, these little lime pots turned into the perfect St. Patrick’s Day-inspired dessert. Michele from Paleo Running Momma has graciously allowed me to share this concoction with you, so onto the recipe!
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp raw honey
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp finely grated lime zest
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your ramekins in an oven-safe pan-we are going to be using this for a water bath to bake the pots de creme.
- In a large bowl, (or in the bowl of a mixer) whisk or blend together the eggs and yolk with the raw honey.
- Then, whisk in the heavy whipping cream, lime juice and zest, and tapioca and mix well until very smooth.
- Pour the filling into the ramekins. Place your pan into the oven and then pour water into the pan itself, until the water comes quite close to the tops of the ramekins.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until set.
- Remove from oven and cool completely at room temp, then refrigerate for at least 40 minutes before serving.