Everyone is looking for more youthful and healthy skin. Americans spend billions of dollars on beauty products every year. Think about how many products you use on your face every day. Do you use a facial wash or cleansing kit? What about a moisturizer or sunscreen? Then there is makeup! Do you use a primer, concealer, powder, blush, etc.? It is only natural for us to seek beauty. Here are my all-natural beauty recommendations that are healthy for your skin and will keep you looking youthful. Next time you get asked for your ID, just giggle to yourself and commend yourself for taking care of your skin the right way!
Yup, you saw it coming! I strongly believe that nutrition is the number one most important factor in having the most amazing youthful skin. If you eat hamburgers and donuts and drink soda than how can you expect to nourish your skin cells? What you eat absolutely effects your skin, and those who say it doesn’t are silly. If you want the most youthful skin possible you must eat fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Here are my top food recommendations for beautiful skin:
· Organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)
· Goji berries
· Flax seeds or flax seed oil
· Chia seeds
· Hemp seeds
· Bell peppers especially red, orange, or yellow
· Red grapes
· Wheat grass
· Also, water! Drink half your weight in ounces of water a day! (Ex: 130 lb person should drink 65 ounces of water every day)
The key is to eat foods with a lot of antioxidants! Specifically you want foods that are high in carotenoids, resveratrol, and astaxanthin. Also foods that are “good” fat such as avocadoes and foods that have omega-3’s like flax seeds. Still confused about antioxidants? Dr. Mercola has a great article on anti-oxidants in which he goes more in depth. http://articles.mercola.com/antioxidants.aspx
Avoidance of chemicals
There are many chemicals and environmental toxins to avoid but specifically avoid exposure to these 3:
1. Cigarette smoke
2. Air pollution,
3. Chemicals from personal products
If you are still smoking cigarettes grab a mirror and look at your face. I want you to write down what damages you already see from smoking. Do you have fine lines around your lips? Do you have acne? What about dark circles or puffy eyes? What do your teeth and tongue look like? Seriously, write this down. I want you to add to the list other negatives from smoking cigarettes such as the cost (they’re so expensive!), the bad breath, the need/ cravings, lung cancer, smoker’s cough, increased illness, heckling from friends, etc. Fold this list into a small square and stick it in the cigarette case. Every time you reach for a cigarette read the whole list slowly before you light the cigarette. Is it worth it? Need help quitting? See a naturopath, herbalist or acupuncturist and they can get you started on a great protocol to quit cigarettes for good. After all, cigarettes don’t need you, so why do you need them?
So now let’s talk about air pollution. We can’t avoid air pollution 100% but we can reduce our exposure. I love running outdoors but with the benefits come the risks. When choosing outdoors activities ask yourself how close to major streets and highways are you? Will you be in an area in which there is a lot of trees? Will you be working out outside during peak traffic hours? If your normal route is off a major street during traffic hours you might want to consider a different route and different time to reduce your risk of inhaling all the toxins emitted from the cars. When you inhale emission from cars not only does it go into your lungs but it gets into your blood system which travels throughout your whole body. Look for trails in your city that are further away from major roads and have plenty of trees and wild life.
You are about to get a real scare now. If you haven’t thought about what is in your personal care products then this is a learning lesson. Most personal products have added color, added fragrance (chemicals), and parabens as well as other preservatives. Essentially you are putting the frosted poptarts of cosmetics on your skin. Here is the shocker, many of the chemicals in our beauty products are banned in Europe! Yup, Europe won’t allow that junk in their beauty products because they know that they are hormone disruptors and carcinogens. Visit this site (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/) to see how your beauty products measure up. My recommendation is that if your product is above a 2 rating, then throw it out! Choosing healthy beauty products is one of the best ways to vote with your dollars.
We have all heard people say “oh my, he/she must have had a hard life” when referring to someone who looks aged or unhealthy. Having excess stress will age you very fast, therefore it is essential you learn techniques to reduce your overall stress load so you can become a meditative zen master beauty! Here are my favorite stress reduction techniques and exercises:
· Working out! Ex: Running, yoga, tai chi, team sports, swimming, etc.
· Breathing- I prefer the square breathing technique but here are some other breathing techniques to help (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html)
· Talking it out! I swear I can let off steam when I get on the phone with a good friend and just vent. That’s what good friends are for! Just make sure you also give them the opportunity to talk so it isn’t all about you.
· Biofeedback-I love that Heart Math has a program that works along with an App called Inner Balance that is the perfect tool to help you learn how to control your breath and heart rate. Check it out! (http://www.heartmathstore.com/item/6415/inner-balance-lightning)
· Prayer, meditation, journaling, etc. Personally, when things get tough I up my communication to God and lean on him for guidance and support. Find what works for you! Every person has their own spiritual connection, find this and honor it.
This is becoming a pet peeve of mine---people are not wearing skin protection and if they are it isn’t good quality. Even if you are not outside you still need to be wearing a facial sunblock every day. Every single model knows this rule! Being out in the sun and not wearing sunscreen overtime will leave your face a leathery mess. I see so many women in their 20s with wrinkles on their forehead and around their eyes because they are always in the sun and are hardly ever wearing a good quality facial sunscreen. This is the one I use and highly recommend (http://devitaskincare.com/store/solar-protective-moisturizer-spf-30-25-oz75ml-p-17534.html). It doesn’t have a scent and it goes on nicely without a greasy feeling. You can use this sunscreen all over your body as long as you are not going in the water. It is the perfect everyday sunscreen in my opinion. In addition to wearing sunscreen, if you are going to be outside this summer you need to be wearing a hat to reduce the amount of direct sunrays hitting your delicate facial skin.
My favorite skin cream
y favorite skin product to date is an all-natural facial cream that is DIY! It is so simple and fun to make and it lasts for months because a little goes a long way. I made this with another doctor and we both noticed a huge improvement in the texture and color of our skin. Before using the cream I had some small acne breakouts as well as some hyperpigmentation. This cream reduced my breakouts drastically and lightened my dark spots.
Perfect Skin Cream
1 cup of coconut oil
10 drops Lemon essential oil
10 drops Tea tree essential oil
10 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Frankincense oil
10 drops Vitamin E oil
10 drops Jojoba oil
Directions: Whip the coconut oil with a hand held electric whisk for about 5-7 minutes. Then add in all the oils and blend well. Store this in a glass jar at room temp in your bathroom. To use, just dip your finger in and smooth out onto clean skin and neck. You can then apply sunblock and makeup on top of this. You can also use this cream on other areas of your body that may need some extra hydration or healing from breakouts.
Beauty is so important to me because it allows our inner light to shine outwards. All-natural beauty is affordable, healthier, and more healing. If you need more specific recommendations for your skin needs contact me for an appointment. Together we can heal your skin and let your beauty radiate so you can feel confident to take on anything!
Dr. Lauren Sanchez, ND