Tag Archives: Beautiful Skin

11 Simple Tips For Healthy, Beautiful Skin

skin treatment applyingYour skin, the biggest organ you have. Keeping it healthy and youthful is not so hard! Here are 11 simple tips to get and maintain beautiful, healthy skin:

1. Lemon water
When you wake up in the morning, drink a room temperature glass of water with organic lemon juice. This cleansing process is a great life practice, helps with great skin and great health.

2. Drink Water
Drink enough water very day, avoid sodas and sugary juices.

3. Wash your face
Don’t just wash your face before bed, suds up when you get home, even if it is early afternoon. Bacteria can irritate skin, clog pores, and trigger breakouts and long term damage can cause scarring.

4. Disinfect your reading and sun glasses
Great practice to implement every few days with rubbing alcohol. Think of all the surfaces glasses touch from desks, kitchen tables, bathroom counters to the counter at your local coffee shop, then they get placed back over the face. Keeping skin clean is important. 

5. Take nutrients
Remember to take your vitamins, minerals, fats and antioxidants even if you are eating a great diet. Fats are especially important to keep skin supple and firm. You can increase your good fats naturally by consuming more salmon, flaxseed, and almonds. Just understand that good fats are not saturated fat such as those found in dairy products and meats, which increase free-radical damage that makes skin more susceptible to aging.

6. Eat great food
8-10 cups of vegetables per day, 2 cups of fruit per day and high quality lean proteins is a good startEat vegetables from all possible colors of the rainbow weekly to ensure a variety of nutrients in your diet.

7. Go organic
Use organic skin care products. There are loads of chemical free products to choose from that don’t break the bank.

8. Sun Protection
Protect your skin from the sun. Ideally, SPF 30 with moisturizing and of course make sure it is organic. Every 10 minutes of daily exposure to UVA ‘the aging rays”can cause changes that  lead to sun spots and wrinkles in a matter of three short months, so don’t skip this step! Studies are now showing using a lower SPF but applying frequently is the way to go for optimal sun protection.

9. Let it go
If something is bothering you, talk about it and work it out – don’t wear it on your skin. Stress and unbalanced emotions can age you fast. You can increase the stress hormone “cortisol” quickly with constant anxiety which can trigger acne and facial redness.

10. Regular exercise
Studies show those who work out on consistently have firmer skin than non exercisers, so get your exercise on, once approved by your doctor. Exercise infuses skin with oxygen and nutrients that you need for collagen production!

11. Get to sleep
Maintaining a healthy sleep routine is critical for long term skin health. If you are in the habit of staying up late in front of the television, break it and get to sleep at a decent time every night. Your skin and overall health will be improved.

Bonus Tips!

How about a little retinoid?

The vitamin-A in retinoid derivatives speed cell turnover and collagen growth to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and fade brown spots. With a version now available over the counter called retinol, we can all use this product easily. Retinol may take up to 3 months to see noticeable  results, so be patient.

Fall in love with your looks/yourself just the way you are

The truth is we will never be at or feel our best until we can fall in love with exactly the way we are right now. It is our inner beauty that shines through our skin. All the practices, products and magical potions in the world can’t improve our looks if the insides are not appreciated, cared for, loved and nourished. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if you see yourself as beautiful, so will everyone else.

Renay Matthews is a nutritionist practicing in Agoura Hills California and can be reached at www.elitewellnesspath.com & www.greatgrubforkids.com

Originally published July 2010

What is Under Your Beautiful Skin?

Beautiful skin begins from within, and what I am writing about is from as within as is you can get!

Yoga philosophy says that we are like an onion (I like to imagine a Walla Walla sweet oninon) with many layers.

The outermost layer of our onion is the Annamaya Kosha, or physical self.  This is the layer we hydrate, stretch, strengthen, and worry about.  The Annamaya Kosha is what at first glance, makes us very unique.

In from the Annamaya Kosha is the Pranamaya Kosha, or energetic sheath.  This layer is compromised of breath and energy.  It gives us life, power, the ability to do.

Next is the Manomaya Kosha, or the mind layer.  This layer is what makes us interesting and causes many problems.  It jumps around like a monkey, having fun and exhausting us all at once.  When we meditate, this is the layer we try to let go of attachment to, since it pulls us around so much.

The layer of wisdom comes next, the Vijnamaya Kosha.  When we meditate and study and look inward, we nourish this layer.  This is the layer of “I am”.  When this layer grows clear, we come very close to the truth of who we are.

The final layer moving inward is the Anandamaya Kosha, or the blissful sheath.  This is where joy and love reside, without any doing or trying, just being.

At the very center of our onion – self,  is our true Self, called Atman.  Atman is light.  Atman is at the very basis of understanding and being.  Atman is indescribable because its light changes quality as it shines through all 5 layers.

Atman leads us back to our quest for beautiful skin.  Atman is beyond your cells, beyond your actions, beyond your worries, beyond your studies, and beyond your happiness.  And when all of your layers become clear through practice, study, and meditation, the true light of Atman will shine through so that you really do glow, and not just like in the lotion ads!

Eva Barash


Originally published April 2010

photo by: Silentmind8

Meet the New Supreme in Antioxidants: Coffee Berries

If you’re seeking for an antioxidant that out-ranks white tea, blueberries, pomegranates and even raspberries then now is the perfect time to welcome coffee berries into your life.  

Say hello to a new antioxidant that uses the entire fruit of the coffee plant.

According to research studies coffee berries have been noted as one of the best and most powerful antioxidants to recently step out into the limelight.  We are talking about the first and only all-natural anti-aging skin care brand to deliver "cosmeceutical" results.  

Now that I have your attention here’s a little CoffeeBerry History 101:  Coffee berries are the fruit from the Coffea arabica plant and the seeds are the coffee beans.  The fruit of the coffee plant are cherry-like in appearance and highly perishable.

Questions & Answers:

Q:  Why are coffee berries believed to be exceptionally rich in antioxidants?

A:  Coffee berries grow at high altitudes near the earth’s equator where the sun’s oxidizing rays are strongest.

Q:  Who do we have to thank for this incredible discovery?

A:  Coffee cherry handlers in the worlds tropical coffee growing regions.

Despite the sun drenched area these handlers have hands that are unusually smooth and youthful. Considering these findings scientists were led to examine the components of the whole coffee berry and bring into fruition a product that delivers superior anti-aging skin care benefits. 

The Benefits:  Soaking up oxidizing radicals in your skin can help minimize damage to the collagen.

  • Prevention of wrinkles and other sun damage
  • Smoother texture of your skin
  • Visible reduction in fine lines
  • Dramatic reduction and evening of irregular skin tones
  • Enhanced skin moisture
  • Firm, tighter and brighter skin

CoffeeBerry extract is available under the proprietary name CoffeeBerry®.  The extract is the most potent form of natural antioxidants of any fruit, vegetable or tea.  

CoffeeBerry is also available in a powder and as an extract.  It can be taken as a dietary supplement or added to products like smoothies or health bars.  When consumed the product can neutralize toxic free radicals throughout your body.

P.S. Live forever young!



8 Cheap, Easy and Natural Remedies For Reducing Acne and Pimples

Adult acne is never fun. If you still suffer from this common skin condition, there are many specific steps you can take in your personal health and everyday living to increases your chances of having clearer skin. 

Here are some general lifestyle tips that are good for your health and also good for your skin: 

  • Drink a lot of water. Longterm dehydration makes your skin look dull–and also zaps your energy, too.
  • Reduce your intake of processed food, sugar, and dairy. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and natural foods.
  • Wash your pillow case every other day. Dead skin cells, oil, make-up and other external elements not good for your face can build-up on your pillow, which can mean more break-outs in the morning after you wake up.
  • Keep your hair off your face as much as possible. Hair products, oil and dust from the air can accumulate on your hair– and when it gets on your face, it can really aggravate your skin.
  • Be minimal with your make-up. Too much make-up every day can really put a stress on your skin. Have no make-up days, or apply light concealer on trouble spots instead of applying thick foundation over your entire face.
  • Keep your hands off your face. If you are prone to propping up your chin on your hands when you are sitting down, that can aggravate your skin. Be sure to wash your hands before you touch your face, such as for tweezing your eyebrows, applying make-up or exfoliating your face with your fingers.

And now onto the natural remedies for your acne and pimples. Using common kitchen ingredients for your acne has many benefits. You are not putting any harsh chemicals on your skin and going completely DIY is usually a lot cheaper than buying prepackaged acne medication from the store.

Here are 8 different natural remedies that may work wonders for your skin. Results will certainly vary on a case-by-case basis–it may take several trials and errors before you find the natural remedy treatment that works best for your skin.

1. Egg white facial. Many acne sufferers swear by separating the egg yolk from the egg white, and applying the white stuff onto skin for 20 minutes to an hour before washing off with a gentle cleanser. Not convinced? Check out the rave reviews from this acne discussion forum and you just may be inspired to try this classic household remedy yourself.

2. Tea Tree Oil. Found in Trader Joe’s, The Body Shop and natural health food stores, tea tree oil is a popular natural ingredient for on-the-spot acne treatment.

3. Lemon juice. Apply lemon juice to face, leave on for about 20 minutes and wash off.

4. Garlic. Some acne sufferers swear by eating two raw and crushed cloves of garlic every night. Other acne sufferers rub crushed raw garlic diluted with water on the skin, wash off after a few minutes and notice tangible results. If you are using topically, use with caution–as some people with sensitive skin experience unpleasant burning.

5. Aloe vera. If you have aloe vera plants, you can apply the gel from the plant directly onto an inflammed pimple overnight to help reduce the size and redness.

6. Honey. Though honey can get drippy and sticky compared to other natural remedies, applying a honey mask for 20 minutes on a regular basis can work wonders for your skin.

7. Milk of magnesia. Great if you have bad acne and super-oily skin. You can use this as a facial mask or if you have super-oily skin, apply underneath your moisturizer and foundation.

8. Baking soda. Use as a gentle exfoliater or as a mask (mix with water to create paste to apply on face).

What are your favorite natural remedies for reducing acne and pimples? Share your personal favorite remedies with the community by commenting below! 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / tessawatson

DIY Beautiful Skin: How To Give Yourself A Steam Facial

With warmer temperatures and more reasons to lounge by the pool, the summer season is an opportunity to really clean out your face and beautify your skin for cheap.

How about indulging in a DIY steam facial?  Your summer skin can get easily clogged with sunscreen, sweat from outdoor activity, make-up and other external elements. A DIY steam facial on a regular basis is a fun and cheap way to maintain your summer beauty.

Here is how it works:

1.Heatl a pot of hot water infused with your favorite herbs, tea bag or essential oil until it is heated enough to produce steam for at least 10 minutes.

2. Set the pot on a table with a towel underneath or pour the water into a bowl. Stand over the steaming pot or bowl with a large towel over your head to trap the heat for five to seven minutes, and sweat your facial impurities out with your eyes closed.

3. Rinse your face with cold water afterwards and apply light moisturizer.

When you give yourself a steam facial, you are letting the hot air loosen debris in your skin, unclog your pores and give your face a deep cleaning. Whether you want to make this a weekly ritual (limit to 1 – 2 times a week) or a once-in-a-blue-moon DIY spa treatment, you will notice healthier, softer and more glowing skin with regular use.

Here are some general tips to remember: 

  • Make sure your face is cleansed with your usual gentle cleanser before you steam your face.
  • The water should be gently steaming and not too hot. Hot steam will hurt your face, and you shouldn’t be uncomfortable. If you are feeling too hot, wait a few minutes for the water to cool down and try putting the towel over your head again.
  • Make sure your face is at least a foot away from the hot water.
  • Apply moisturizer to your face after your steaming session to seal in the moisture.

You can give yourself a steam facial with just heated water, but for an extra sensory delight you can steep herbs, tea and other ingredients in the water so that you can give yourself aromatherapy with soothing scents as well. Here are some ideas for what you can boil in the water for your next steam facial session: 

  • Peppermint tea
  • Green tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Lemon slices
  • Orange slices
  • Rose petals
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Mint leaves
  • Basil
  • Dried lavendar blossoms
  • Vanilla
  • Cinammon

Feel free to mix and match to your preference! 


How to Get Rid of Acne Pimples and Other Skin Problems

 "Patients are deluded into thinking that their health can somehow be mysteriously harmed by something in their diet."

This is a quote from an article published in 1971 in American Family Physician.

That’s not all.

The major textbook of dermatology for acne published in 1975 claimed that parents and doctors used the threat of depriving teens of "tempting delights" like candy and junk food only as a way to "keep these imminent sinners in check," not because diet had any connection to acne.

In fact, most of us tend to believe that pimples are for kids! Not true. The average age of acne patients has now increased from 20 to 26 years old. Millions of adults are experiencing acne for the first time. And acne rates are rising — contradicting the belief that this condition is caused by genes.

Eight million people see the dermatologist every year for acne and millions more rely on infomercial products hawked by celebrities or over-the-counter products that total $100 million in sales every year.

And healthcare costs for prescription acne treatment exceed $1 billion a year. Clearly, this problem, like so many chronic diseases in the 21st century, is increasing. Why? Let me tell you about a book that I just finished reading. 

It’s called The Clear Skin Diet. It’s written by renowned dermatologist Val Trelor, MD and Alan Logan, ND, a naturopath. This book gives us real answers to why pimples are popping up all over! For the first time, this book links many of the imbalances in the underlying keys to health (The 7 Keys of UltraWellness) to the real causes of acne — including your nutritional status, stress, toxicity, inflammation, and hormonal and gut imbalances.

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know by now what I’m going to say next.

No matter what condition, disease, or health problem you face, the root causes can be traced back to the same underlying factors, because the body is one whole integrated system.

This includes your skin.

Healthy skin isn’t just dealing with the symptoms — like lathering on potions and lotions, popping and pricking pimples, or taking antibiotics or strong liver-damaging medication. There’s a better way.

Good Skin Comes from the Inside Out, Not the Outside In!

Before I explain these connections in more detail, and what you can do about it, I want to tell you my own experience with acne.

I never had it. That is, until I got sick with chronic fatigue syndrome. This is a disease of toxicity, gut damage, inflammation, hormonal imbalances and stress, among other things. I have told the story of my illness and recovery many times, but I don’t usually talk about the skin problems I had.  The trigger that tipped me over the edge — on a load of mercury and stress — was a severe intestinal infection. Right away, my skin changed.  My skin color turned gray and I developed dark circles under my eyes.  I started getting pimples all over my face (a new adventure for me at age 36), and strange rashes around my eyes whenever I ate certain foods. I even developed itchy red patches on different parts of my body. The skin symptoms completely correlated with a worsening of my gut symptoms and the irritable bowel syndrome that I had developed. 


So what did I do?

Well, I didn’t need creams, gels, or lotions such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoid acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid peels, or topical antibiotics (all of which might help symptoms a little bit). 

I certainly didn’t need oral antibiotics (which can cause long-term gut complications, immune problems, and yeast overgrowth) or Accutane (which can cause liver damage and increase the risk of depression and suicide), or oral contraceptives (which I would have been offered had I been a woman).

These are the tools of modern dermatology — but they overlook the role of overall health in the health of your skin. I didn’t need any of these things. Instead, what I needed was to heal my leaky gut, correct my food allergies and nutritional deficiencies, detoxify from mercury, reduce inflammation, and rebalance my stress hormones. 

That’s just what I did. And my pimples vanished, my eyes cleared up, and my rashes went away (along with my chronic diarrhea, disabling fatigue, brain fog, mouth sores, muscle pain, and more).

A miracle? Hardly! I have seen this happen in so many of my patients.  Beauty and vibrant, clear, healthy skin come from the inside out, not from the outside in.  The only partial exceptions to this are wrinkles and skin cancers, which come from sun damage. But even these, too, are worsened by internal inflammation and oxidative stress caused by things like smoking and poor diet.

Now let’s look a little at the problem of acne (many other skin problems also respond to this approach, which I will cover in later blogs).

Here are some things that I have learned over the years and that have been very well reviewed and summarized in The Clear Skin Diet.

A Poor Diet is Bad for Your Skin

  • Skin health, and acne in particular, are tied strongly to diet.
  • Acne is caused by inflammation and oxidative stress (two keys of UltraWellness).
  • Traditional indigenous cultures have little acne, but as soon as they adopt a Western diet or SAD (standard American diet), they see increasing levels of acne.
  • insulin levels, which promotes the production of testosterone in women, and inflammation in general, causing acne.
  • Saturated and processed fats increase arachidonic acid levels and compete with omega-3 fats in the body, leading to more inflammation and acne.
  • Milk and dairy consumption is closely linked with acne (and many other skin and health problems) in part because of the hormones (including growth hormone) in dairy and because of the saturated fats. 

Nutritional Deficiencies Promote Acne

  • Widespread nutritional deficiencies of zinc, omega-3 fats, and some anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats like evening-primrose oil promote acne, while supplementing with them can help boost immunity and reduce inflammation and acne.

  • Antioxidant levels are low in acne patients — especially vitamins A and E, which are critical for skin health.
  • People who eat more fruits and vegetables (containing more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds) have less acne.
  • Certain foods have been linked to improvements in many of the underlying causes of acne and can help correct it, including fish oil, turmeric, ginger, green tea, nuts, dark purple and red foods such as berries, green foods like dark green leafy vegetables, and eggs. 



Hormonal Imbalances Cause Skin Problems 


  • Hormonal imbalances trigger acne — and diet influences hormones like testosterone, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth hormone), and insulin, which promote acne. 
  • The biggest factor affecting your hormones is the glycemic load of your diet (how quickly the food increases your blood sugar and insulin levels) 

  • Eating omega-3 fats and fiber (to reduce testosterone in women), cutting out sugar (to reduce insulin), and using soy foods (to reduce toxic testosterone levels) help balance hormones.  Exercise also helps improve insulin function.

Leaky Gut and Food Allergies Cause Acne

  • Delayed food allergies are among the most common causes of acne. Foods like gluten, dairy, yeast, and eggs can be problems if you have a leaky gut.
  • Taking probiotics (such as lactobacillus) can improve acne.
  • Good bacteria from probiotics also take up residence on the skin, helping with acne.

Your Brain Can Cause Acne

  • Stress causes acne flare-ups.
  • Stress does this by causing increased inflammation and oxidative stress, raising cortisol, and depleting zinc, magnesium, and selenium, which help control acne.
  • Stress causes poor dietary choices.
  • You can manage stress through meditation, yoga, saunas, massage, biofeedback, aromatherapy, and more.

So getting healthy skin and clearing up acne truly depend on the optimal function of many of the core systems of the body — your nutritional status, your immune system, your gut, your hormones and your mind-body health.  I may seem like a broken record, but it’s true — Biology is biology.

I hope you’ve learned more today about how getting to the roots of illness via the 7 Keys to UltraWellness can help you uncover the source of your health problem, wherever you may find it — even in a pimple on your nose!!

Now I’d like to hear from you… Do you suffer from acne? Have you noticed if your skin looks better or worse when you eat certain foods? What steps have you taken to keep your skin healthy?

Please let me know your thoughts by adding a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

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