Few people know more about making skin look naturally beautiful than Tara Foley, the founder of cult-favorite green beauty store, Follain. She personally tests thousands of skin care products and regularly speaks to top industry experts, so we asked her to share what a day in the life of an anti-acne, glowing-skin diet. Read on for all of her food and beauty picks!
Keeping my skin clear is super important because of the work that I do. We're trying to show people that natural ingredients work just as well (better, even) than conventional, toxic ones. It's a hard message to convey if you're broken out!
It never ceases to amaze (and not in a good way), how the bane of our adolescent existences can follow us around—or appear for the first time, for some—in adulthood. Working in nontoxic personal care, I've come to understand the link between food and acne, and I know what I should be making and eating to keep things in balance.
Start the day with a collagen-boosting, hormone-balancing breakfast.
My typical day requires a lot of "grab and go." Making a healthy, veggie-loaded smoothie at home (and then cleaning the Vitamix!) more than likely isn't in the cards. If I'm lucky, I'll have time for a pit stop at the smoothie bar, where I'll go for apples, beets, and carrots for their digestive-healthy fiber, since healthy digestion keeps hormones—and hormonal acne—in check. I'll also choose something with plenty of dark, leafy greens for the vitamin A, which increases collagen for smoother skin.
Sometimes I know that a smoothie stop isn't going to happen (and it also adds up, cost-wise), so I grab a yogurt (probiotics are great for inflammation reduction), ideally with my own added fruit for more antioxidants. And sometimes it's just a Starbucks oatmeal (hold the sugary add-ons) and a cup of hormone-balancing tea, like chamomile.
Stock up on vitamin A and omega-3s.
I rarely (OK, never) have time to pack and prepare a lunch. Luckily there's a sweetgreen blocks away. In my salad, l'll order up everything I might have had in a smoothie, heavy on the leafy greens and other vitamin-A-laden options (dressing on the side is a good way to save half a salad for supper, depending on my appetite, and I might toss in some additional protein then.)
Sometimes the biggest thing I can do during a day at the office is to say no to the expected. When other companies have a fattening-food-laden party, we'll have in-office sushi. In addition to keeping us light (read: productive!), we all get loaded up on anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
Avoid snacking on unrefined sugar.
When 3 p.m. rolls around, I definitely get a sugar craving. By now I know that unrefined sugar will pretty much always show on my face. So I try to keep it as healthy as I can without denying myself. 88 Acres Craft Seednola in Chocolate Sea Salt is a good option. I like that it's upcycled (made from scraps from cutting their bars!), and it's got a lot of inflammation-reducing flax.
Stay away from dairy.
I'm wiped out at night, and I want to spend as much of my time as possible with my family. Luckily, I live in a city where there are lots of options, so that if we find ourselves without the wherewithal to cook, we have options beyond ordering pizza (all that dairy = hormones = surefire path to a breakout).
Eat a vitamin-E-filled, anti-inflammatory dinner.
If we happen to have a sitter, we might feed our son and then head out after he's asleep to a local restaurant/bar where we can get lots of small-plate, nutrient-rich variety (kale salad, grilled carrots, grilled mackerel). More often, it's simply the prepared section of Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I'll load up on guac (that vitamin E is great for cell hydration), and simple stuff like carrot ginger soup (ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory, too).
When breakouts do hit, reach for chocolate (no, really!).
Living the way I do keeps me pretty zit-free, even with the stress of running a young, growing business with a young, growing actual child at home. But when I do have a breakout, it's often food ingredients that I turn to. I'll make a paste of May Lindstrom's The Problem Solver (with antioxidant-rich raw cacao and natural antiseptic clove) and manuka honey (an anti-inflammatory) and apply it to the angry area. It works quickly! And there are a couple of Follain staffers who've been known to sneak a taste!