Last week, we covered intermittent fasting/cleansing and how to slim down in the days leading up to a wedding, or just for the summer. We got a lot of great feedback and everyone is super excited about this series and looking their best for the summer.
This week we’re going to cover how you’re going to clear up your skin and make it GLOW (who doesn’t want glowing skin, wedding or not, right?)!
Glowing Skin Starts from Within
First, it’s important to realize that glowing skin is more about what you put into your body than what you put outside, on your skin. Your skin care will make a big difference, and yes there are highlighters and shimmer creams that promise you that luminous glow, but if your diet doesn’t support it, you won’t reach your ultimate potential for amazing radiance. And who don’t want that??
Dull, dehydrated, under-nourished skin will still sneakily show through the creams, but with the right nutrients, your skin will look alive and gorgeous, and that will be reflected outwards from through any makeup you decide to put on top. Bonus: you won’t be spending so much on those highlighting products once you master this part—because you won’t need them anymore! How awesome is that? Too much makeup is clogging. I love to see a confident woman with a great diet not wearing a lot of makeup in every day life. I think it’s so incredibly beautiful. Of course, on your wedding day you will (as I did) probably be wearing makeup! But there’s the shower, the engagement party, rehearsal dinner, etc. that you can go more minimal on (what I did too).
There are three things to focus on when you’re working toward getting glowing, gorgeous skin that looks as if it’s lit from within:
- Putting the right nutrients in
- Pulling the toxins out
- Hydration—it’s critical!
That’s an easy enough formula anyone can master!
While your overall diet will affect your skin, I’m going to review a few specific foods that can give your skin an extra boost. (Note: I cover many more in the skin section of The Beauty Detox Foods.)
I love, love, love young Thai coconuts. I’ve been drinking fresh coconut water like crazy in Thailand to stay hydrated and keep my energy levels up! They’re delicious, and they do amazing things for your skin.
The water hydrates you and offers lauric acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It’s one of the best hydrators you can get, and helps the skin to naturally look younger not just due to basic hydration, but it helps boost collagen production, restores elasticity, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and under-eye circles.
The oil (in small quantities) can help normalize blood sugar levels and reduce adrenal work (which will keep you from feeling—and looking—exhausted all the time).
The meat has fiber, potassium, sodium, B vitamins, and fats that are easy for the body to utilize. Plus It’s moisturizing as well. Check them out at your local health or Asian market!
If you’re drinking your Glowing Green Smoothie, you might already be tossing these in (they’re listed as an option in my low-sugar recipe, but you can use them in the regular one too). If you’re not, start adding cucumbers to your smoothies, salads, or just snack on them plain or with some chickpea-less hummus
Cucumbers are water-rich, so they’re hydrating and offer an immediate and obvious benefit. However, that water is also enzyme-charged and has B vitamins, electrolytes, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium to help you feel and look your best. In addition, the silica in cucumbers gives your skin a boost to make it glow (and shiny hair to boot, another fantastic bonus!), and the vitamin C and caffeic acid in the flesh are soothing and brighten your complexion.
It’s no secret that I love cabbage, and its effects on my skin are part of the reason why! This is an especially detoxifying food, and when your body’s toxin-free, your skin shows it. Vitamin C, which cabbage is chock-full of, is incredibly anti-aging, and it helps minimize lines, heal damaged tissues, purify the blood of free radicals, and even clears waste from your internal organs thanks to its fiber content. We’ll talk more about fermenting it a little later, but fermented cabbage is even better for the skin.
You can use green cabbage (pictured here), or purple cabbage, as in my Raw Purple Slaw recipe from The Beauty Detox Foods, which is a big client fave. The purple cabbage has 6-7 times more vitamin C than the green cabbage, so grab it while you can!
Turmeric is well-loved in India for its beautifying benefits. The women there actually mix it up with a little sesame oil and apply it directly to their skin (careful—it stains!). When used internally, though, turmeric cleanses the blood so well that it leads to a brighter, more beautiful complexion. It increases circulation and helps heal the tissues of the body. The curcumin (an antioxidant flavonoid) in turmeric is responsible for most of the amazing benefits.
I’ve been using it in Thailand as well- peeling in and grinding it fresh in the mortar and pestle and adding into different chili pastes, etc.
Lemons are a powerful fruit that can make your complexion look radiant, and they should be part of your morning routine (at least) in the form of liver-cleansing hot water with lemon. Lemons are filled with flavor and provide a blast of vitamin C and enzymes to your diet, which lead to fewer wrinkles, refreshed skin, and improved digestion.
They’ve been associated with boosting liver function, detoxifying the blood, and promoting tissue regeneration, which in turn makes your skin glow. Along with your hot water with lemon regimen, add a splash of fresh lemon juice to your GGS or a homemade salad dressing.
These are just a few of the beauty foods that lead to a glowing, more youthful and radiant complexion. I provide specific recipes that incorporate many of the skin-assisting fruits and veggies in The Beauty Detox Foods and also in recipes we post here on the blog. Be sure to check back here often!
Foods to Eliminate
Just as there are foods to add, there are foods to eliminate in order to get your most beautiful, glowing complexion. Removing these foods from your daily diet will go a long way toward reducing your body’s toxic burden, which most are most often eliminated through the skin.
You knew refined sugar was going to be on the list, right? Sugar and agave (which is no better than high-fructose corn syrup despite some of the claims that have been made over the past few years) are some of the biggest beauty-stealers out there, and they’re ubiquitous, even in so-called “health foods.”
Sugar binds to proteins and fats in the body in a way that accelerates aging, free-radical damage, and the stiffening of collagen (which creates wrinkles). As if that wasn’t enough, it causes absorption trouble for calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. It’s also one of the quickest ways to get under-eye circles because i takes your adrenals.
Agave’s no better, even though you may have heard it referred to as low glycemic. Its fructose content is actually higher than high-fructose corn syrup’s! Fructose could age your skin via oxidative damage and damage to the collagen in your skin.
Dairy and excessive meat have a bad habit of trapping toxins in your body. Dairy especially leads to excess mucus that builds up in your intestines and makes it hard for waste to be eliminated. Dairy and meat are acid-forming and clogging, which keeps you from looking your most beautiful. When there’s congestion in the body, it leads to acne and dull skin—not the glowing complexion you want.
Excessive protein—especially animal protein–is acidifying and puts a very heavy burden on your body to digest all of it. Not only does your body not need all that protein to function properly (quite the opposite!), all that energy spent digesting is time not spent repairing and cleansing the body, so it’s robbing you of your Beauty Energy.
Trans Fats/Cooked Oils
I’m sure by now you’ve probably heard about the dangers of trans fats, which can be found in processed, packaged, and fried foods. What you might not know, however, is that cooking oils that might seem harmless—even healthy (like olive oil)—can turn them into harmful trans fats. The only oil I ever recommend cooking with is coconut oil, which is also good for your skin when used sparingly. It’s a saturated, cholesterol-free oil that remains stable up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. For many dishes though, such as sauteeing garlic and onion as the basis of a soup, you can steer clear of cooking with any oil at all and using vegetable broth or just water instead.
If you can’t pronounce it and/or you don’t recognize it, you probably don’t want to consume it! So many weird preservatives and ingredients that really don’t belong in food at all are added to packaged and processed foods and drinks on the shelves at the grocery store. By sticking to recognizable ingredients—real foods—you’ll be safely on your way to a glowing, beautiful complexion for your big day (or any day you want to look your best).
This isn’t technically a food, but it’s worth mentioning since so many people use it to fuel their mornings, grab a cup to push through the afternoon, or create social events around it with friends. There always seems to be some kind of study popping up proclaiming that coffee is actually good for you- have you seen those? But the fact remains that coffee dries out your skin and dehydration is a major energy-sapper so skip your coffee to avoid energy loss. It’s acid-forming in the body and actually causes you to lose some of those valuable nutrients you’ve worked so hard to reintroduce to your body (even some of the ones that were meant to make your skin glow!). It may give you an immediate boost when you feel like you need one, but in the long run, it’s taxing your adrenals, making you look exhausted and maybe even crave sweets (which are beauty-busters on their own).
Try roobios (my fave!) tea or herbal teas instead, of if you feel you must drink it, keep it to a bare minimum, 1 cup a day or every other day, maximum, sans dairy.
Digestive Health = Amazing Skin
When you eat the right foods, you remove the toxins from your body over time. When you eat whole, hydrating foods with fiber and steer clear of the foods that increase mucous and constipate you, your digestion improves so much!
Digestion has a direct connection to the skin and its appearance, and by doing everything that you can to insure your internal health, you’ll find that your skin will begin to glow and look amazing. You’ll have fewer lines, your acne may clear up, and your skin overall will just look more radiant—just the way we all want to look, whether we’re brides or not.
One more thing you can do to improve your digestion is to add sauerkraut, the Probiotic and Enzyme Salad (I alluded to it in the cabbage section above), and other cultured foods. Probiotic supplements will also make your digestion better and accelerate your path to that glow you’re after! What all of these things do is introduce friendly bacteria to the gut, which in turn improves digestion all around. One thing I never skip, traveling or not, is my daily probiotic!!
A lot of us could use a boost in good bacteria anyway, since things like antibiotics, artificial chemicals, sugar, medications, chlorinated and fluorinated water, poor digestion, constipation, and general stress and pollution can upset the balance of bacteria in our guts! I recommend taking a probiotic every day and having Probiotic and Enzyme Salad several times per week.
Only After You’ve Taken Care of Dietary Connection to Skin, Focus on Topical
Once you have your diet under control, then it’s time to start looking at your skin care and focus on topical help for glowing skin.
The first step is to remove any chemical-laden or unnatural products from your beauty arsenal.
From there, start up a proper cleansing and exfoliation routine. I have a few tips for exfoliating on this blog post.
Keep your skin hydrated with natural moisturizers. I love the Sally B’s Healing Hand Butter, and use it nightly on my hands and feet. I also love just plain old coconut oil on my skin, though you can also try jojoba, coconut, olive, argan, avocado, and sweet almond, just to name a few. If your skin is really oily, I recommend jojoba.
Protect your skin with a natural sunscreen and try to minimize your makeup for everyday purposes as much as possible. I know you’ll want a little more for special events, like a wedding, but try to choose natural products- Vapour Beauty’s line is my absolute favorite makeup. It has organic and benefit-driven ingredients, but has the performance of “normal” foundation. I just adore it!!
And of course, don’t forget to keep your skin supple and hydrated from the inside out with water-rich fruits and veggies, water, and Glowing Green Smoothie
As I focused on in the last post, I highly recommend properly cleansing regularly (every month or two) to help rest your system and reinforce great long-term eating habits. And even if you are in a little bit of a time crunch, the tips above are still fantastic, but they may not be able to give you the significant results you want in such a limited amount of time. If you want results in about three to seven days, you may need to cleanse. You can do a Glow cleanse, since we make it easy for you and put together everything you need to get a radiant complexion fast.
All juice fasting works for some, but for many it will leave you too hungry to function, and there is no fiber to help accelerate the elimination process to actually rid your body of toxins that is so often needed during cleansing. Doing juice only also can make the transition period back to regular food more challenging. By doing a cleanse based on cold-pressed juices as well as smoothies, with plenty of GGS each day, you’ll often see your skin clear up and start glowing in a matter of days.
For your ongoing cleanse, make the Glowing Green Smoothie each day!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! This is everything you need to get your skin clear and glowing for a special event, date night, or anytime, really. So between the two parts of this series, you now know how to slim down and improve your skin. Whether you have a big wedding coming up, or just want to look your best for the summer, I encourage you to give some of these tips a try starting this week. You’ll be glad you did.
Next week, we’ll cover how to beat stress and feel your best, so you’ll feel as great on the inside as you look on the outside. Stress a big aging-accelerator–on the surface it can create under-eye circles, brittle hair and other issues — yet the true damage of stress goes much deeper.
We’ll cover all that and more next week in the final segment of this series.
I hope you’ve enjoyed it and look forward sharing more with you soon!