Diving into SKINCARE

Hello, and happy Monday y'all. As promised, I will be talking all things ~s k i n c a r e~

First things first, I need to address that we are all ~different~ and each have different needs, including our skincare. Some people are born with effortlessly beautiful skin, and others have to put in work to maintain a blemish-free face. I can empathize with those who were not born with naturally clear skin. For years I struggled with acne, and it was something that created deep insecurity for me until it was finally cleared. I will be talking about what works for me, and principles that (generally) ring true.

Repeat after me: “good skin starts from within.” My skin health is a pretty accurate representation of how I’m treating my body at any given moment. While I do not suffer from massive breakouts, I may get a blemish once in a while, and based on where it is, I know which area of my inner health I need to address.

In general the five things to consider when you’re addressing your skin health are:

1. Diet

2. Water

3. Sleep

4. Stress

5. Hygiene

Before you reach for the next expensive serum, think about what you are putting into your body, and how you are treating it… Are you getting enough sleep? Are you practicing self care? Are you nourishing it?

Methods that I swear by

"HYDRATE OR DIEDRATE" aka DRINK LOTS OF WATER. I personally drink anywhere between 3-6 L per day. Yes, you’ll have to pee all day, but hydration is vital.

Sweating = glowing aka REGULAR EXERCISE: Increases blood flow, which carries oxygen and nutrients to our cells throughout the body. Think about it, skin is our biggest organ.

Eat to glow. A BALANCED DIET consisting of whole unadulterated foods, and limiting the processed foods and refined sugars which have been linked to all kinds of skin problems, especially acne.

Don't skip out on the SPF. Make sure to wear a MINERAL BASED SPF

Beauty sleep. Prioritize your SLEEP. I aim for an average of 8 hours/night to rebalance my body. Cell turnover occurs, our bodies experience increased blood flow, lower levels of cortisol are produced, and our bodies are rehydrated.

DE-STRESSING. When stress shifts from being acute to chronic, cortisol is constantly being produced by the adrenals, flooding our system. This results in hormonal imbalances. Make it a ritual to practice stillness, do breathing exercise, meditate, take 5 minutes to just bring yourself back down from the stress of life.

“Meditation is a vital way to purify and quiet the mind, thus rejuvenating the body.” Deepak Chopra

Eat more foods rich in ANTIOXIDANTS & POLYPHENOLS which can help gut bacteria and are packed with antioxidants which fight cell damage.

As Sherry Rodgers would say, “The road to health is paved with good intestines!” sooo... EAT MORE PREBIOTICS & PROBIOTICS: they maintain our gut health which is proven to be directly linked to our skin health.

Let your face breathe. Let's make a promise to each other and to ourselves that we will NEVER EVER GO TO BED WITH MAKEUP ON. Always wash your face right after working out. Do NOT workout wearing make up. Your skin will thank you.

Eating raw foods. Why? Raw foods have more enzymes than their cooked counterparts. They lighten the load on our livers--the head honcho in the detoxification our bodies. They have high water content, and they are rich in fiber (hello again PREBIOTICS).

CELERY JUICE: I have talked about this before… look to the Medical Medium for more on why this juice has such incredible healing properties. Hint hint... it starts with mineral salts and something called COUMARIN (which is contained in a multitude of other veggies).

Products I swear by:

1. Everything Glossier, especially their serums, milk jelly cleanser, and solution (if you’re acne prone), and both of their face masks

2. Heritage Store's Rosewater & Glycerin facial spray & Rosewater & Apple cider vinegar toner

3. Caudalie's vinoperfect radiance serum

4. Kiehl’s midnight recover concentrate & rare earth deep pore cleanser and face mask

Our Skin as a Map

Now when it comes to face mapping, the "problem regions" of your face can tell you which areas of your health need deeper healing. The most common problem areas I have experienced/seen in others are the forehead, chin, and around the mouth (especially for women). So what does that mean for you?

Forehead: related to the health of your small intestine, colon, and bladder

Around the mouth: related to colon health

Notice something in common between the two regions?

The connection between our gut and the rest of our body is SO real. Our gut health depends on our microbiota… "what’s that?" you ask. They’re the ~10 trillion good bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that live in our digestive tract. This bacteria strengthens our immune systems, and they work hard to keep us all healthy from the inside out as they are the first line of defense for our bodies to the outside world. So what can we do to help them? Eat a diet rich in PRObiotic and equally important PREbiotic foods.

Probiotics are a type of fermented food/supplement that contain a wide variety of live cultures of good bacteria. Think yogurt/kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, some cheeses, miso, tempeh—all of which should be refrigerated to ensure that the bacteria are still living.

Prebiotics are foods that FEED and promote gut bacteria health and growth. They are high in fiber, so think fibrous fruits, cruciferous veggies, bran, chia and flax seeds, beans, sweet potatoes, avocados, almonds, bananas, etc. Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans. Not only will these foods help you maintain a healthy gut, but they’ll keep you satiated for longer.

Chin issues: hormonal imbalances/reproductive organs

Hormonal imbalances can occur when our endocrine glands--which make, store, and release our hormones--are not functioning optimally. What causes these hormonal imbalances? For my ladies, say hello to Aunt Flow among other things. The most common of those being sleep, chronic stress, poor nutrition, exposure to endocrine disrupting toxins (pesticides and herbicides).

If the quality or frequency of your sleep are diminished, I suggest taking on meditation, having magnesium or chamomile tea before bed, and putting away all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. Another helpful tool is to put all screened devices on night time mode to reduce blue light emissions if you have the option.

Chronic stress is another big culprit. And that doesn’t just mean emotional/mental stress, but physical as well. I used to overwork my self day in and day out. This is when my acne was at its worst-- coincidence...? I think not. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I exercised every single day, I was eating the cleanest I ever, completely cut out refined sugars and grains, but my skin was only getting worse. This is where the A-HA moment happened: I was not taking even 5 minutes out of my day, just letting my body and mind be STILL. Try taking a moment out of each day to find this stillness. Make time for SELF CARE. It can quite literally be simply sitting in your car without any sound for a solid minute.

Fasting and Cleansing

I have participated and will continue to practice extended (1-3 day) juice/water fasts to give my body the chance to experience the deepest level of healing possible. Water fasting involves exclusively consuming water (or juice), and water only. While on water fasts i consume on average 6 L of water per day which equates to about 16 oz. of water every single hour. With water fasts, our body and its cells undergo a phenomenon known as autophagy. Because we are not consuming food, our digestive systems are given a break, allowing the rest of our bodies to undergo clean-up, expelling toxins that have built up in our bodies that come with everyday exposure to pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, chemicals, etc.

This practice is highly controversial, but it has been used since ancient times. Extensive research has been done on the topic, and I suggest you do your own if you consider trying it. It is not suitable for everyone, and you should always consult with a medical professional before starting.

If you have addressed all of these issues, done the work recommended to clean up your inner health, and nothing has worked, then I would recommend taking your efforts to a dermatologist.

Have a beautiful week you guys. Let me know what other topics you’d like me to touch on, and I’d be happy to!