Time and time again, I've ditched expensive skin care products and returned to the power of nature in order to nourish my skin.
The skin is our largest organ, acting as both a barrier and a waste removal system. It's porous and permeable, which allows it to aid in our bodies’ elimination processes, but also allows absorption of much of what we put on it.
Despite lofty claims from cosmetics companies that promise that you can “get rid of your acne in just a few weeks” or have “flawless skin in 14 days," many of these products contain allergens, hormone disrupting chemicals, and irritants that can aggravate skin conditions instead of healing them. Studies have shown that over 60 percent of the total cosmetic chemicals that we put on our skin end up in our blood stream!
A good rule to adopt is: read the labels on your skin care products! If you wouldn't eat it, don’t put it on your skin!
Here are some of my favorite ways to promote naturally beautiful skin from the inside out.
Drink more water!
If you do nothing else, staying hydrated is the best thing you can do for your skin. Start each day by sipping warm, purified water. If you like, add a little fresh lemon juice. Make sure to drink plenty of water between meals.
Eat those veggies!
Raw fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that support skin health. Focus on leafy green vegetables, avoid overly sweet fruits and minimize starchy vegetables like potatoes.
Ditch the dairy, wheat and sugar.
Often cravings for foods that contain dairy, wheat, and/or sugar indicate an overgrowth of candida, which can be an acne trigger.
Cultured and fermented foods like raw sauerkraut and kimchi are packed with probiotics which strengthen the immune system and help beautify the skin. In addition, they can help control sugar cravings.
Rinse with water.
Keeping your skin clean is really important. (Just don’t overdo it! Too much scrubbing can irritate your skin and trigger breakouts.) Steam baths are absolutely wonderful for opening up the pores and giving them a deep clean.
Clean and exfoliate with raw honey.
Raw honey is hands down my favorite skin care product. It gently cleans, exfoliates, and softens the skin, nourishing it with trace minerals and enzymes. Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, it's perfect for acne prone skin.
Give yourself facials with fruit and vegetable scraps.
Before you compost those scraps, treat yourself to a mini facial! The fruit acids (AHAs) in fruits like papayas and pineapples help loosen the bond between dead skin cells and living skin. Sloughing off dead skin cells exposes healthy ones, unclogs pores, and can reduce the appearance of fine lines and scars. AHAs can help even out skin tone, age spots, and blotchiness over time. Apply cucumber peels to reduce inflammation and to cool sunburn, and try avocado for dry skin.
Exfoliate with sugar.
Sugar wreaks havoc in the body, but is lovely for external use. I save the sugar packets that I get on airplanes and cafes for when I need a little extra exfoliating action. Sugar scrubs are gentler than salt scrubs, as the crystals have rounder edges and dissolve more quickly than salt.
Massage with sesame or coconut oil.
Giving yourself a daily full body massage with sesame or coconut oil nourishes the skin and stimulates lymph glands, which assist in detoxification. Oil pulling, as strange as it sounds, is also one of my favorite practices for clear and glowing skin.
Use sea salt.
Sea salt is an excellent exfoliant for the body and contains minerals that nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Its antiseptic properties help cleanse the skin. Add a cup or two to your bath to increase mineral absorption and aid in detoxification. Or, mix a cup of sea salt with olive, almond, or sesame oil and add a few drops of essential oil for an easy DIY scrub.
Scrub with coffee grounds.
Coffee drinkers, take your used coffee grounds to the shower and use them as a body scrub! After scrubbing, simply rinse off (without soap), as the oils in the grounds will moisturize and nourish your skin. If you don’t have time for a full body scrub, simply rub your hands with warm coffee grounds to soften and defoliate.
If you are dealing with frustrating skin issues, remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Self-love promotes self-healing.
Honey Mask for Acne Prone Skin
Crush an uncoated aspirin tablet in a bowl with a few drops of water or green tea. Mix in 1 tsp. of raw honey.
Apply to clean skin and relax for 15 minutes. If you wish, place cucumber slices on your eyes to reduce puffiness. To remove, moisten hands with warm water and gently scrub and rinse.