By Tina Leigh.
Summer is such a sneaky little season, creeping up unexpectedly every single year. One day it’s 40 degrees and raining and then Wham!––blazing hot sun comes out of nowhere to stick around for a good two or three months. At least that’s how it goes here in the northwest.
I’m sure you’ll agree with intense sun and heat, comes a surge of Al Fresco dining, lounging poolside or at the beach, summer travel, and most of all, a radical increase of shameless skin exposure.
As soon as summer hits, many of us become obsessed with getting our bellies and booties taught and toned and ready for showing off. We also become more concerned with our dermis looking clear, smooth, and radiant.
When it comes to donning glowing skin, I’m asked all the time what my secrets are. I’ve spent over a decade researching and testing remedies to naturally combat acne and treat uneven skin tone. Once I achieved clearer skin, I went on a discovery binge for the best methods to maintaining a healthy glow.
Want to know what the #1 skin-beautifying secret is?
You MUST have healthy digestion and inner calm.
Want to know what I think is the #1 skin lie?
Eating chocolate causes breakouts. If it did, my face should be a total mess. I eat copious amounts of chocolate! Now, it may cause breakouts if we’re talking about grossly processed, dairy-ridden Hershey’s Milk Chocolate. But dark varieties made from pure cacao, that has been minimally processed, need not be avoided. Indulge!!
The glow and beauty of a fresh face originates in our guts. We need clean, water-rich foods that are full of fiber in order to eliminate toxins and deliver oxygen and beautifying nutrients to our skin.
Processed foods, dairy, refined sugars, caffeine from soda and coffee, and excessively spicy foods disrupt gut health resulting in acne, skin discolorations, uneven tone, and lack of luster.
Our skin craves an abundance of water, leafy green vegetables, low-glycemic fruits like berries, citrus, and green apples, organic veggies of all kinds, protein-dense seeds like hemp and chia, and alkalizing grains such as buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, and millet.
Our largest organ especially likes foods rich in Vitamin C, A, and Zinc.
Vitamin A (retinol) is extremely useful in treating problematic skin. It promotes cellular turnover and prevents skin blemishes by regulating sebaceous gland activity. Natural foods that are rich in Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, and kale, just to name a few.
Vitamin C promotes elasticity of our skin and boosts collagen production. It also protects neurons from the oxidative damage we experience from being exposed to environmental and food toxins.
Yet, this essential vitamin is not capable of supporting our wellbeing all on its own. We cannot take a tablet and have it function as it does when ingested through whole foods. Why not? Because, to do its work efficiently, Vitamin C must be delivered to our blood and cells in the company of other phytochemicals that are only present in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables. This means we need to EAT Vitamin C AND apply it to our skin topically. (I’ll get to topical skin beautifying support in a minute.)
Zinc is rich in plant foods such as cucumbers and pumpkin seeds, and is an essential mineral for protein and enzyme synthesis. It supports the proper structure of our skin protein and cell membranes. It also protects against UV radiation. By interacting with Vitamin A, it supports our glow by transporting the Vitamin to our skin.
To start now in conditioning your skin, upshift your internal environment (I’m referring to your gut and level of emotional wellbeing.) Eat plant-foods rich in these nutrients and flush your body with plenty of filtered water––at least half of your weight in ounces each day. Remember that stress and lack of sleep also contribute to compromised health within so be sure to get plenty of rest and reduce stress with intermittent electronic device disconnection, regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and connection with nature.
A skin brightening tonic I include in my eating regimen, is my
GLOWING SKIN JUICE
If you and the taste of green juices aren’t compatible, please give this concoction a chance. You just might be surprised at how not ‘green’ it tastes. Zesty lemon (rich in Vitamin C) and ginger add some zing. The sharp taste is cut by the sweetness and tang of green apple. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and supports gut health. Kale is rich in Vitamin A, and cucumber’s abundance of Zinc tones and brightens skin. Drink once a day for seven days and witness an increase in skin radiance!
Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients:1 (½ inch x ½ inch) piece fresh ginger 1 medium lemon, skin cut away, leaving white pith intact 4 kale leaves 4 celery stalks 2 green apples, quartered, and seeds removed 1 medium cucumber, ends trimmed
Pass ginger, lemon, kale, celery, apples, and cucumber through a juicer in the order specified. Enjoy as you sip slowly
NOTE: If you do not have a juicer, you can blend a Glowing Skin Smoothie instead. Be sure to remove the seeds from the lemon and the spiny rib from the kale. Reduce the quantities of lemon, celery, cucumber, and kale by half. Use 1½ apple instead of two. Cut all produce before adding to blender. Pour in 1-cup coconut water and add ¼ avocado. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Enjoy!
For more beautifying smoothie and juice recipes, check out my latest book, Superfood Juices & Smoothies filled with 100 tasty and mostly low-sugar creations.
Now, I’ve talk all about the importance of having a healthy internal environment if you want glowing skin. Keeping our guts and inner wellbeing in top-top shape is a two-way street. What we eat is reflected at face value…what we put ON our skin is reflected within.
Chemicals like parabans, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, fragrance, alcohols, and others get absorbed through our skin and end up in our blood stream. They then get transported to our liver for processing and guess what, now our internal organs are compromised just as if we ate these nasty invaders. This in turn, puts undue stress on our inner wellbeing and our outer glow is diminished.
I suggest only using products on your skin that are made with 100% natural ingredients as much as possible. Want to know what I use to topically? Some of it will likely surprise you!
Wash: Quick full face rinse with Bragg Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar followed by Simply Divine Botanicals Black Velvet Foaming Face Wash (applied with my Foreo for deep cleansing action––review of this device next month!)
Tone: My homemade Fresh Face Mist. Each week I juice ½ cucumber and ½ lemon, strain through a fine mesh tea strainer, and then mix with equal parts unfiltered aloe vera juice, and add 1 drop of therapeutic-grade lavender oil. I store in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and mist after each cleansing.
Moisturize: Simply divine Botanicals Amazing Face cream.
You ready to Glow?? Make the internal shift.
Your Personalized Wellness Consultant,