Sun protection is essential for healthy skin and natural beauty. While some sun may give you a sun-kissed glow, we know that too much damages your skin and predisposes you to premature aging, uneven skin tone, and other chronic diseases. When it comes to sunscreen – avoid those with chemicals linked to hormone disrupting effects and opt instead for one that’s mineral based. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients — two natural minerals. And instead of absorbing into your skin, these minerals sit on top of your skin; protecting it by reflecting UV rays away. Here’s one of my favorites. For added protection you can nourish and protect your skin from the sun’s damaging effects by using skin care with natural ingredients such as chlorella and resveratrol. Due to its high levels of chlorophyll, green algae extract (or Chlorella Vulgaris) helps to shield your body from UV radiation. Being an antioxidant, green algae protects your skin against free radicals too. Because cell damage is at the root of most aging disorders, protecting the skin from free-radical activity is a significant preventative measure for healthy, younger-looking skin. The high amount of essential amino acids and vitamins such as A, B, C and E also work to protect your skin and prevent premature aging. And green algae helps to instantly hydrate and condition your skin, leaving it more supple and moisturized.
Stress can both cause and trigger premature aging, acne, eczema, rosacea, and vitiligo. Your skin and mood are so closely interconnected that when you experience intense negative emotions, your skin will show it. When stressed out, your adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol. A surge in cortisol causes increased sebum production, which triggers acne. Anxiety about stress at work, school, and home can make eczema flare up. Dealing with visible symptoms of stress can trigger more issues, which can lead to even more stress. And stress negatively impacts your immune system. Being anxious or stressed can aggravate autoimmune conditions (including vitiligo and psoriasis). To relieve stress – and keep your skin naturally glowing – use sleep, meditation, exercise and touch. A good night’s sleep gives your skin time to rejuvenate. Optimally, you should get about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Meditation and moderate exercise are known to help you manage stress. Meditation helps boost your mood, decrease inflammation, and even lower yearly doctor visits! If you exercise every morning (without overdoing it), it can help balance your adrenal function to help you better cope with stressful situations. And, touch causes the release of hormones in your body that make you feel happy and connected. Check out these tips on sleep, meditation, and exercise for more.
The primary cause of dry, oily skin (aka combination skin) is simply genetics. And balancing a dry and oily complexion – whether you have an oily T-zone, large pores, or dry spots – can be frustrating and challenging. While hydrating, cutting out sugars from your diet, and using natural skin care products will help… sometimes your skin needs a little extra help balancing the amount of oil it produces and where. For combination skin, Ylang Ylang oil helps balance sebum levels for both dry and oily complexions. And, in addition to having soothing and smoothing effect, it has a lovely smell. Ylang Ylang oil helps balance and regulate oil production in your skin and hair to prevent excessive dryness and oiliness, while also soothing inflammation and irritation. It helps address acne by enhancing circulation, encouraging the growth of new skin, hydrating your skin, and helps prevent infections with its anti-microbial properties. To maintain a youthful skin and healthy looking complexion – just add a few drops to your favorite oil blend. It’s also one of the essential oils in my favorite skin care line.
The appearance of dark circles under your eyes is often due to a lack of sleep, but they can also be caused by food and environmental allergies, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, and aging. Dark circles caused by food and environmental allergies are called “allergic shiners” and are best treated by identifying possible allergens you’ve come in contact with – and then avoiding them for 10 days to see if the skin tone under your eyes returns to normal. If that doesn’t work, start by increasing the amount of water you drink each day. Dehydration can lead to the appearance of dark circles because the skin around your eyes is very close to the underlying bone, and a lack of fluids can cause blood vessels to become more visible. In addition to drinking more water try using arnica gel or skin care products containing arnica. Arnica is a flowering plant in the sunflower family. Its yellow petals are collected and dried for use in herbal remedies and medications. Arnica helps boost the circulation of white blood cells which helps accelerate healing. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate swelling and reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles. Most natural arnica gels will help with periodic dark circles, but to keep those dark circles away its best to use a natural skin care product that contains arnica daily.
A good cleanser should clear your skin of debris, sweat, and makeup. Your skin should feel clean without being stripped of its natural oils or its natural skin microbiome – those microorganisms that live on your skin helping to protect it and keep it healthy. To look it’s best, your skin needs its natural oils and a healthy skin microbiome. A lot of cleansers though make your skin feel like it’s really clean – perhaps even squeaky clean – but they’re actually removing some important lipids from your skin and disrupting the pH of your skin. Instead of stripping your skin with foamy cleansers you can use oils such as argan and almond oil to cleanse your skin naturally, or use a natural cleanser. The natural actives in argon oil and almond oil are fantastic at cleansing your skin thoroughly while also helping to replace lost lipids. Yes, they can remove makeup, but they also hydrate your skin – being absorbed into your skin without blocking your skin pores. And they have a high amount of vitamins A, B and E that feed your skin and leave it supple and glowing. Pure almond oil also keeps your skin properly moisturized for a longer period of time. So instead of using soap that lathers and strips your skin, try using argon or almond oils as a cleanser to nourish your skin while you cleanse for a healthy clean glow. You can learn more about cleansing in this video.
Collagen helps give your skin its tone and is crucial for healthy, younger looking skin. As a structural protein, collagen supports your skin’s elasticity, as you age though the collagen production in your body will naturally start depleting – which is why you’ll want to consider taking a high-quality collagen supplement from a clean source. Since the loss of collagen leads to the appearance of lines, wrinkles and even thinning of the skin, the more you’re able to maintain higher levels of collagen the more youthful your skin will appear. To help with collagen production eat foods rich in Vitamin C, but for a more direct approach – try bone broth and gelatin. They both contain collagen your body can quickly absorb. Bone broth is rich in collagen, and helps support tissue regeneration by feeding your body proteins that encourage the appearance of new cells. It also acts as a detoxifier, which makes your skin look healthier since it helps diminish the appearance of blackhead and pimples. Bone broth is also rich in glycine and proline. These amino acids are responsible for the correct production of collagen to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and promote healthy digestion too. My colleague Dr. KellyAnn Petrucci loves bone broth. She has a delicious beef bone both recipe you can try.
Sugar is the biggest contributor to inflammation that shows up on your skin as acne, dry itchy skin, and wrinkles. Sugar is highly acidic – and sure, all acidic foods cause inflammation to some degree, but sugar is one of the worst. Sugar causes significant, rapid changes in blood sugar. Whenever you eat foods with a high sugar content, your blood sugar rises rapidly. Then, once the hormone that regulates blood sugar is released into your cells, it falls again. When you experience this sugar crash, you often feel hungry, shaky, and moody. Every time this happens, your body experiences internal stress, which often leads to breakouts and dull-looking skin. The inflammatory properties of sugar can also cause red, irritated skin. Many people who suffer from rashes or are prone to yeast imbalances can trace their issues back to a diet loaded with sugar. To protect yourself and maintain balanced blood sugar levels, eat meals that contain plenty of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. And to clear your skin, eliminate refined sugars and foods with added sweeteners, including white and brown sugar, agave syrup, molasses, maple syrup, and honey… and focus instead on beautifying green veggies. Try cutting sugar from your diet for 10 days, especially if you have an important day coming up and want to look your best. If you want a touch of sweetness, opt for fresh fruit or the natural sweetener Stevia instead.
The skin on your lips is soft, delicate, and sensitive. Which is why kissing feels so good! But it’s also why sudden temperature changes, dry air, and wind exposure can cause your lips to become chapped, crack and even split. The skin that covers your lips is some of the thinnest found on your body. While certain parts of your face — like your cheeks — have as many as 16 layers of skin, your lips only have four or five layers. That’s why it’s so easy for your lips to become irritated almost any time of the year. Your lips are also prone to flaking and peeling since they’re unable to produce their own moisture, and they don’t have the same protection from the elements as the rest of your skin. Using a lip balm is a great way to hydrate and nourish your lips. Unfortunately, many traditional lip balms contain petrolatum, mineral oil, and hormone-disrupting oxybenzone that only further perpetuate the problem. A better approach is to use a lip balm made from nourishing natural ingredients such as shea butter (or cocoa butter) and coconut oil. Shea butter is fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids — combined with its easy-to-spread consistency — make it great for smoothing, soothing, and conditioning your lips. And coconut oil is a fantastic natural skin moisturizer that melts on your lips as soon as you apply it. You can make your own lip balm for sexy, soft lips using equal parts of these ingredients or simply follow my friend Katie’s (Wellness Mama) DIY recipe here.
It’s no secret that prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays leads to sunburns and an increased risk of skin cancer. Which is why it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen year round. Because sunscreen helps your skin look healthier and younger. Many sunscreens contain chemical ingredients though – that can do more harm to your skin and health than they do to protect your skin from UV rays. So when choosing a sunscreen avoid those with chemicals and opt instead for one that’s mineral based. Mineral sunscreens use two natural minerals — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — as active ingredients. And instead of absorbing into your skin, these minerals sit on top of your skin; protecting it by reflecting UV rays away. But when applied to your skin, mineral sunscreens can sometimes appear white and pasty. Not exactly the look you’re probably going for. However, you can protect your skin from sun damage AND avoid a white, pasty look by combining mineral powder makeup with your mineral sunscreen. It’s the best of both worlds. You can use a tinted mineral sunscree instead of foundation, or mix your favorite mineral makeup powder with a sunscreen like this one for a natural makeup that is light and protects your skin from the sun’s damaging effects. Helping keep your skin healthy and protected. For more tips on how to combine mineral powder makeup and sunscreen, watch this video.
Every day your skin sheds millions of dead skin cells. The natural life cycle of skin is for these dead skin cells – which originate in each layer of skin – to move from the lower (hypodermic and dermis) layers through the surface (epidermis) layer where they can fall off. But when dead skin cells get stuck on their way to the surface of your skin blackheads, whiteheads or pimples appear. By helping remove the upper layers of dead skin, you can diminish the risk of blocked pores and keep your skin healthy. Using an exfoliant is a great way to remove dead skin and revitalize your face. Many exfoliants though contain abrasive ingredients that scratch, which may damage your skin and speed up signs of aging. So it’s best to use an enzymatic exfoliant that contains fruit like papaya and pineapple. Papaya contains the natural enzyme papain, and pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain. These two protein-dissolving agents help naturally exfoliate and lift away dry, dead skin cells. And when dead skin cells are removed, the risk of developing blackheads and pimples diminishes. Leaving your skin healthy, smooth, and soft. How to make an organic papaya mask: Greener (unripe) papayas have higher amounts of papain, so opt for these to get the best benefit. If you have sensitive skin, use ripe papayas as they are less likely to trigger an inflammatory reaction. Scoop out a ¼ cup raw papaya flesh and mash or blend with 1 Tablespoon fresh pineapple until smooth. Apply to dry skin and leave on for 5 to 15 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. If you have sensitive skin, do a patch test on your arm before applying to face. The alpha hydroxy acids and the enzymes in this recipe dissolve dry, dead skin. You only need to do this once or twice per week.