Tag Archives: skin-care

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

5 Ways to Look and Feel Better Than You Did in High School!

Spa Treatment at Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort - MauritiusIt’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. When we’re in our teens we can get away with bad habits because we have that natural, youthful energy anyway. As we get older, we find that energy is a commodity that we prize and need to be more diligent in our self-care so that we have plenty of it!

Luckily for us, Ayurveda, India’s 5,000 year old “Science of Life,” has some easy guidelines we can follow to look and feel healthier, sexier, and more energetic than we did in high school!

Here are 5 tips from Ayurveda on how to look and feel better:

1. Know your body type.

THEN: In high school you probably coveted the body types of the women in Charlie’s Angels, or wanted to look like Cheryl Tiegs. Now we know better! YOU are the best you, don’t try to be someone else.

NOW: Know your body type – Are you Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. This way you know what “normal” is for you. That way you don’t have unrealistic expectations of yourself. Every dosha is beautiful! Be your best self.

2. Eat for energy.

THEN: In high school you probably lived on pizza and leftovers, and ran through the drive-through after school.

NOW: Eat energizing foods. Fresh vegetables should constitute 40% of the meal. Green, leafy vegetables are especially high in minerals and fiber, so should be eaten often. Raisins are among the best of fruits because they enhance purity, pacify the mind and heart and increase the coordination between them. They are also a rich source of iron and vitamin B6, and provide magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Raisins aid digestion and elimination when they are soaked in water overnight. One handful per person is a good amount.

A date-milk energy shake is a nourishing way to end the day because it promotes sleep and calms both Pitta and Vata sleep imbalances.

Date-Milk Energy Shake

  • 4-5 whole dates
  • 1 cup whole organic milk (may substitute soy or rice or almond milk)
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • Boil the milk until it creates a foam. Turn off the heat and cool until the temperature is comfortable for drinking. Combine the milk with the other ingredients and blend until the dates are ground up. Drink it warm in winter and at room temperature in summer.

By the way, the warm frothy milk can also be used as a face mask – wonderfully hydrating and leaves the skin super soft!

Herbs and spices are your friends! Cumin helps digestion, freshly crushed black pepper helps you assimilate food better, cilantro cools and nutmeg soothes. There are spice blends, or CHURNAS, specifically to pacify each dosha – you can buy them ready made or make them at home.

Also, avoid energy-draining foods. Any fast foods, canned, frozen, packaged, leftover, or old foods, or foods with preservatives, chemicals and additives, are difficult to digest and contain little nutritional content. They actually drain the body of energy. If you do have some of these foods and feel heavy afterwards, drink half a glass of warm water with ¼ of a lime squeezed into it.

3. Keep skincare simple.

THEN: In high school, you probably spent a ton of money on grooming products, soaps, perfumes, lotions, hairspray.

NOW: Keep it simple. Nourish the body with natural oils. Abhyanga is a daily self massage which is good for keeping all the doshas in balance. It helps moisturize the skin, helps to release toxins, helps to tone the muscles, and it soothes the nerves. Sesame oil is usually recommended in general and is very good for Vatas specifically. Almond oil is also good for Vata. Coconut and sunflower both work well for Pitta. Corn and olive oils are beneficial for balancing Kapha.

The massage can be done in the morning before your shower, or in the evening before bed. Start by warming the oil to skin temperature, and drizzle a small amount of oil into the palms of your hands. Massage the top of your scalp (on days when you wash your hair), pay particular attention to the circumference of your ears, and the soles of your feet. Massage with long strokes on your limbs, and round strokes on your joints. It’s best to leave the oil on the body for 20 minutes before washing it off in a warm shower or bath. This 20 minutes is a good time to do your morning meditation!

4. Maintain a regular routine.

THEN: In high school, you probably kept late nights studying and partying with friends, up early for school, activities – on the go all the time.

NOW: Regular routine can help prevent stress. Ayurveda says there are 3 types of fatigue. Mental fatigue is a Vata imbalance, emotional fatigue is a Pitta imbalance, and physical fatigue is a Kapha imbalance. For all three:

  • Meditation – Twice daily
  • Good sleep habits.
  • Regular meal times.
  • Regular exercise, morning walk in the sun, yoga.
  • Dosha balancing routines – and teas.

5. Support fertility naturally.

THEN: In high school, energy probably came easily. You were always ready for a date!

NOW: Some grains, such as quinoa, enhance estrogenic activity and support the hormonal activity of both men and women. Cook it with a little ghee, salt, and spices such as cumin. Fruits such as papaya and pineapple are also helpful in strengthening the ovum. Turmeric helps enhance the binding of estrogen and progesterone.

Take the Dosha Quiz to determine your Dosha and learn more about Ayurveda with my free 6 week e-course here.

 

Originally published April 2012

Fun in the Sun: 4 Natural Oils to Add to Your Skin Care Regimen

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Summer just wouldn’t be summer without plenty of fun in the sun. This is the season of picnics, parades, barbeques, and beach days, when most people are wearing the least amount of clothing they’ve been in all year. Everyone knows that too much sun exposure can lead to not only sun burns, but skin damage, wrinkles, sun spots, and even cancer – but does that stop us?

There is only one way you’re going to make it through this sunny season – as well as the many summers to come – and that’s by adequately protecting and caring for your fragile skin. The most exposed areas of your body (the face, ear, neck, lips, etc) are also at the highest risk of developing skin cancer from over-exposure to ultraviolet rays. So it is particularly important to take precautionary measures to protect these areas.

These 4 naturally occurring oils, though not enough sun protection on their own, provide amazing skin benefits to bolster your skin care regimen this summer season:

1. Dilo oil: The nut of the Dilo tree, native to the island of Fiji, produces an oil known for its healing properties. Dilo oil contains calophyllic acid, which is scientifically proven to stimulate healing, reduce inflammation and promote the growth of healthy new skin cells. Wakaya Perfection (the same people who produce that amazing, natural ginger powder we’re always raving about) sell a Dilo Cream that restores and regenerates skin, contains antioxidant vitamins and is a natural sun protector.

2. Argan oil: Naturally harvested in Morocco since ancient times, Argan oil contains high levels of fatty acids, anti-oxidants, and vitamin E, all known to help protect and repair skin cells. Nowadays the oil is harvested largely by all-female collectives, providing a major source of income to many Moroccan women. Healthy and socially responsible!

3. Coconut oil: Similar to Argan oil, coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. And even better, you can put it on your skin and eat it! Just be sure to get virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, as opposed to the hydrogenated variety, which is much higher in saturated oil.

4. Acai oil: You’ve probably seen this berry all over the place recently – it’s the health fad of the last few years. What you might not know is that the oil extracted from these super-berries provides for a natural, nutrient-rich skin care product high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and essential fatty acids.

What sunshine activities are you enjoying most this summer? Are you making sure to protect your skin against sun damage?

 

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mailing_diloWakaya Perfection Ginger Powder has been featured in the LA Times, New York Times Gift GuideOprah’s favorite things and many more!

Summer is finally here, and now is the perfect time to stock up on Wakaya Perfection’s 100% organic dilo cream to use in your skin care regime! Visit WakayaPerfection.com to find more healthy recipes (like the Ginger Lime Creme Brulee or Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Chops) and stock up on Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger to use in your kitchen. 

Use the promo code THRIVE and receive 15% off your next purchase!

6 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

There are a lot of fancy products on the market that people will try to sell you to make your skin look healthier. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) newsletter, Americans use an average of 10 personal care products daily.

While there are several helpful skin creams and even skin powders, for the most part, your skin is a direct reflection of what you put in your body and not just what you put on it. So in many cases, if you don’t eat right and instead solely rely on skin care products, your skin won’t improve at all. Instead, pair your favorite skin care products with a natural diet – one that your skin will thank you for.

The following are some great foods that will help make your skin look better naturally.

1. Citrus Fruits: Vitamin C

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Image via Flickr by wyguri

Oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit and their ilk are great for your skin because of their high vitamin C and antioxidant levels. Vitamin C helps your skin to produce more collagen, which keeps it smooth. When you want your skin to be healthy, you want it to resist damage, and antioxidants do this by removing harmful and skin damaging chemicals called free radicals that your body produces. With a healthy load of fresh citrus fruits in your diet, you will start to both look and feel better in a hurry.

2. Tomatoes: Natural Antioxidants

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Image via Flickr by ryoryozo

Tomatoes are also great for their extreme antioxidant levels, which help your skin to repair the oxidative damage done by the free radicals in your blood. But this is just the beginning. Another great component of the tomato is lycopene, the chemical that makes tomatoes red. Lycopene is great for keeping down cancers such as melanoma, which can be horrendous looking even in its benign forms and can be very dangerous in its malignant ones.

3. Almonds – Super Food

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Image via Flickr by nutsinbulk

Almonds are an all-around super food. Not only are they the best non-fish source of omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your heart, your muscles and your skin. Not only are they a generally solid source of antioxidants that prevent free radical damage. Almonds are also packed with vitamin E, which helps to keep moisture in your skin and repel the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. Adding a handful of almonds to any snack is a satisfying crunchy way to buttress your skin health.

4. Fish: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Image via Flickr by blueiscoool

Fish contains the largest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids of any type of food on the planet. Omega-3 acids keep your circulation good by removing arterial deposits, and good circulation makes for better skin. In addition to this, fish also have large amounts of zinc, which help your body to metabolize testosterone. Eating fish won’t turn you into a bodybuilder, but it will help your body to regulate its production of an oil called sebum, which can contribute to acne if it’s overly abundant.

5. Eggs: Selenium

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Image via Flickr by ycon801

Eggs contain a lot of protein, which is essential for keeping your skin cells working properly. In addition to this, eggs contain the mineral selenium, which helps reduce the damage done to your skin by the sun’s UV rays. Selenium has even been shown to reduce the incidence of cancers in your skin.

6. Water: The Most Essential Nutrient

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Image via Flickr by humantripod

Water is the most essential nutrient. While it isn’t strictly a food, it is so important that it outranks any normal drink to become the capstone of a successful healthy skin diet. While washing your face can help take care of your acne, drinking a 16 ounce glass of water every hour will help even more.

The foods you eat can play a huge role in how great your skin looks. After all, you are what you eat.

*****

References:

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Non-food/Lifestyle/cosmetics_or_personal_care_products_0426110639.html

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/nutrition/5-foods-for-beautiful-skin.htm

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/good_skin_foods_healthy_recipes_for_glowing_skin

DIY Beauty: 5 Natural Recipes for Skin Care

beauty-shutterstock-11-B_-1The skin is our largest and most sensitive organ.  Each square inch contains 1,300 nerve endings.  It is an extension of our nervous system, and it can be directly affected by our thoughts and emotions.  Rashes, hives and eczema can occur during times of emotional distress.

Our skin is so sensitive that when we apply creams, lotions and skin products alike, they get absorbed by the pores and take a little voyage into the blood stream. We wouldn’t want any uninvited toxic substances entering our bodies, would we?

More label reading?  For sure.  But if you want to play it safe, here are five natural recipes for skin care.

1.  Turmeric & Cream: Mix one teaspoon of turmeric and two ounces of heavy cream (borrow from a neighbor, surely you don’t have heavy cream in your refrigerator!).  Apply to the skin with a facial sponge, rinse off. (Turmeric has natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties, so this recipe works against blemishes as well.)

2.  Almond-Honey Scrub:  Mix two tablespoons crushed almonds and one tablespoon honey.  Gently rub on face.  Leave on for five minutes.  Rinse with warm water.

3.  Cucumber Mask: Blend together one cubed cucumber and 3 ounces milk (whole, skim or otherwise).  Gently apply onto face.  Leave on for five minutes.  Rinse with warm water.

4.  Yogurt Mud Pack:  Mix together 3 tablespoons fuller’s earth and 3 tablespoons plain yogurt into a paste.  Pat onto face with gentle, upward strokes.  Let dry for approx. 15 to 20 minutes . Rinse off with warm water.

5. Peel-Off Masque: Heat together 1 packet of unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup natural apple juice. Let cool until almost set and then apply to face.  Let dry completely.  Then peel off!

For healthy skin, be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink tons of water, get some sleep, smile and steer clear of direct sunlight.

Spread the word (NOT the icing!),
Janice

For more information about Janice’s 4 week program, write her!

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Required Reading:Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal an OPRAH BOOK CLUB pick: Summer 2009 – Buy NOW!

The Secret to Beauty and Healthy Skin Starts Within

woman-washing-face

Skin is the largest organ in – or on – the human body. That means there’s a lot of it to enjoy, but also a lot of it that can be harmed and impacted by life. Such common conditions as wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots and moles are usually nothing more than symptoms of age, but there are other ways your skin can suffer over time, too. Sun, for instance, is a big one. As are toxins, makeup, and lack of cleanliness.

With such a premium placed on “beauty” in our culture – which, by the way, is so relative and often arbitrary – many people feel dissatisfied with the skin they inhabit. Too rough, too curvy, too hairy, too many freckles, too many wrinkles. If we spent as much time practicing self love as we do worrying about our skin and our bodies, we’d undoubtedly have a very happy society on our hands. The sad irony of this, though, is that many of the things that plague us about our appearances are within our control to mitigate.

Our weight, for instance. If we could learn to love wholesome food, enjoy moving around in physical activity, and end troubled cycles of dieting, binging, and fasting, we might also learn to love the bodies that serve us so well.

Our skin, too. If you love the sun, wear makeup, exercise, travel the world – more power to you. But follow the simple advice of skin care expert Alison Thurston, of Sports Club/LA, who soberly advises, “Going to bed without cleaning your face is the same as not brushing your teeth. The best thing for your skin is to clean it, even if it’s just a hot terry cloth towel at the end of the day.”

Wear sunscreen, wash your face, and give your skin the time and space it needs to recover from the wear and tear of daily life. Pretty simple, eh? “Skin is an organ, it needs to breathe.”

Now, how do we possibly handle aging? Is that the one chink in this self-positive wellness scheme? Obviously there is no way to “escape” aging, and there shouldn’t need to be. Growing older is a rite of passage, a natural development of maturation and wisdom-gathering. The lines on the face of a 90-year-old tell the story of thousands of tears shed, smiles cracked, kisses given and received, and thoughts contemplated.

As Alison reflects, “Aging is inevitable and how a person’s skin ages, i.e. wrinkles, is based a lot on their genetics.” That said, healthy skin care practices over a lifetime can at least protect your from skin cancer and sun spots, which “should be a very real concern for anyone at any age.”

One thing to do as you get older, in particular, is to let go of appearance-based fears by looking closely at yourself in the mirror. Really take a good look. “A healthy lifestyle should always include a little daily close attention to your skin,” Alison suggests. “A great way to pay attention to your skin is to clean it and examine it on a regular basis.” This can be especially difficult to do when we feel any amount of shame regarding our appearance, but the practice is both essential for our physical health and potentially tranformative for our emotional health.

Ultimately, our happiness and sense of self are often wrapped up in our appearances, for better or for worse. If it is beauty or a perceived lack of it that troubles you, then find the courage to take a good look at yourself today and notice all the beautiful things looking back at you in the reflection. If it is health and wellness you are concerned about, then take action! Wash your face, let your skin breathe and recover, and set the intent for healthy living NOW. The power is in your hands.

Try the mirror exercise Alison suggests and tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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SPortsClubLA2012Sports Club/LA has been recognized as an urban lifestyle brand that serves as the ultimate health and wellness destination. Visit a Sports Club/LA location in Boston, Chestnut Hill, Miami, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New York Upper East Side as well as their sister club, Reebok Sports Club/NY. For more information visit www.SportsClubLA.com.

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