You drool when you see it – skin as flawless as a pearl. As smooth as a buttery truffle. As fresh and sprightly as the morning dawn. As crystal clear as the waters of Sardinia. As glowing and radiant as the golden afternoon sun.
You groan when you see it – the baskets and bins overflowing with half-empty serums, lotions and potions which brought about yawn-worthy results and now only serve to collect dust. The bottle of facial wash in your shower – the one you wanted to love so badly – that you rush to finish because it is so unremarkable. The painful breakouts along your jawline that appear to be procreating. The eye bags you wish you could crawl inside of for a long, cradling nap. The razor burn on your bikini line that you masterfully keep hidden under your beach towel.
You can now breathe a sigh of relief, for I’ve done all of the dirty work and trampled through the maze of experimentation and research so you don’t have to. Continue reading for the only skincare article you’ll need to fancy for quite some time.
Always Begin Where the Skin Problems Begin
Your skin is an organ, but it’s also a walking billboard showcasing the truth about your health. It’s not just for decoration, though we often treat it as merely that.
So it’s important to know that an integrative approach is key. Skin problems begin within. Slathering on expensive serums and creams while continuing to inundate your liver with processed foods sugary sodas is counterproductive because, most of the time, those toxic products are the problem.
In this article, I’ll be addressing the most common skin complaints, along with recommended products and expert-driven remedies.
Skin Concern: “My skin is as dry as a bone!”
If your skin is cracked and crying out for moisture, your first goal should be to stop interfering by sudsing and splashing in body washes formulated with harsh detergents, artificial dyes and sulfates.
Cleansing Products For Dry Skin:
Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser
This emollient cleanser is made of organic virgin coconut oil and is rich in antioxidants. I warn you: If you’re the kind of girl or guy who prefers a rich lather, you’ll be disappointed with this. There is no lather factor. But if you don’t mind a creamy lotion-oil texture, you’ll appreciate how this not only dissolves makeup without any scrubbing or tugging, but brings a veil of comfort to the skin.
Mix with a few drops of water in your palm and the layers of dirt, bronzer and foundation will vanish in seconds, without stripping your skin of its natural moisture layer. Bonus? It smells as beachy and delicious as it feels luxurious.
Nubian Heritage Soaps
This cruelty-free and ethical brand is jam-packed with hidden jewels; almost every skin type would find a product they appreciate. But the Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver and Raw Shea Butter varieties are most ideal for those suffering with dry, irritated skin.
The Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver soap variety smells wickedly sexy – aromatic, mildly sweet and fruity with a hint of musk. It is moisturizing, comforting and drenches your skin in neem oil – an oil famously used in Indian culture to calm, nurture and soothe. The lather is creamy and silky, but leaves no trace of yucky residue. Most days, it turns my shower time into a sensorial mecca.
The Raw Shea Butter soap has a mild scent, and is crafted with frankincense and myrrh. It is most recommended for eczema and cold-weather sufferers.
From head-to-toe, marula oil is soothing, non-irritating and – dare I say? – addictive. Cold-pressed, lightweight and easily absorbed, it is a magic eraser for chapped and thirsty hands, face, lips and feet. And, truly, its application feels like a luxury. I often blend it with my favorite essential oils, and add a drop to my foundation to enhance the glow factor.
Skin Concern: “I have acne, but aggressive treatments make my skin angry.”
Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser
A couple of washes with this acne-fighting cleanser, along with the enlistment of beauty acids (continue below), knocks my breakouts to their knees every time. It is the most effective pimple-slaying cleanser I’ve ever washed with.
Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask
Never underestimate the power of blue tansy, revered for its anti-inflammatory wonder (thanks to its high concentration of azulene, made famous in the ancient days of Egypt). This mask, formulated with beta hydroxy acids and pineapple and papaya enzymes, is a fountain of beauty in a jar. It works to purge and resurface your skin like magic, bringing clarity while revealing a more youthful layer. It pairs beautifully with the following product.
Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Face Oil
This oil is exquisite, and also gets its rich blue color from its high concentration of azulene. It hosts a swarm of antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory skin-healing benefits, so you never have to worry about it aggravating even the most temperamental of skin woes. Made with jasmine oil and squalene (a vegetable-derived emollient), it isn’t heavy, so you need not worry about a thick layer of grease being left behind. Its claim to fame is its uncanny ability to balance oily, erratic skin types.
Skin Concern: “My skin just looks dull.”
Juice Beauty Brightening Gel Cleanser
Made with lemon, apple and sugar-cane hydroxy acids, this product has become my most beloved cleanser. My oily-to-combination and adept-to-congestion skin bows in exaltation for it. It removes every trace of makeup and reveals a newly-refined and brighter skin texture with every use.
Arcona The Solution Pads
This concoction of glycolic acid, quercetin and pure essential oils is astounding, and may be one of the most transformative products you’ll ever slide across your flesh. Glide it onto your congested, unevenly textured facial skin before bedtime, and awaken with luminous, smooth and lit-from-within skin in the morning. It is brilliant at “de-gunking” any and all levels of congestive funk. It delivers
Skin Concern: “My eyes appear as though they haven’t seen sleep in a decade.”
If the skin around your eyes has an ever-growing population of lines, if you appear as though you were engaged in a late-night bar brawl and took a sucker-punch to the eyeball or as though you’re being beckoned to nap inside of those heavy bags, read on.
The Eye Area & Digestive Stress Connection
Digestive issues and fatigue reveal themselves in the eye area. If you’re not breaking your food down properly, if your liver is fatty and overloaded with toxins, and if your adrenal glands are pumping out too much or too little cortisol, your eye area is destined to visibly beg for a break.
Eminence Wild Plum Eye Cream
An eye cream that works? Imagine it. Better yet? Realize it. This product won’t eradicate deep lines, nor will it suffice to hide deeper health imbalances within your body that have manifested in the form of unsightly under-eye issues. But it will smooth and fill fine lines, plump, hydrate and reduce minor puffiness and bags.
I received this product in a sampling kit to review for a beauty magazine a year or so ago, and I continue to purchase. It is lightweight, immensely hydrating and makes my concealer and eyeshadow primer glide on flawlessly.
skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
Not long ago, I had a 3 a.m. alarm alert for a flight New York City. I was flying in for an important work-related event, and appearing as though I’d been the victim of a late-night bar brawl was not permissible. I needed help. Luckily, I had this award-winning treatment in my arsenal; it was a shockingly effective face-saver.
A transdermal gel patch infused with Gingko Biloba, healing oils and flower extracts, it is 10-minute cooling, soothing and, thus, a most pampering pleasure. It sent my eye sadness – dehydration, puffiness and swelling – to its death bed.
Hall of Fame Skin-Healing Foods & Supplements
Why Omega Fatty Acids Matter
The standard western diet is not well-acquainted with healthy fats. This is tragic because the brain is a fatty organ – boasting at almost 60 percent capacity. It also happens to be our most valuable (though under appreciated) beauty tool – responsible for creating all of the cell membranes in our bodies. If the brain isn’t receiving an ideal balance of omega fatty acids, depression, fatigue and skin issues – along with a bounty of other malfunctions – ensue. While chia seeds, flaxseed and Hemp Hearts are sublime sources for omega fatty acids, many health experts claim that supplementation is often needed.
Evening Primrose Oil
Native Americans have used Evening Primrose Oil for centuries. Rich in omega-6 fatty acids, it is powerfully anti-inflammatory and brilliant for optimal hormone function, which results in increased skin clarity, density and radiance. Hormonal imbalances reveal themselves in our appearance – in a myriad of ways ranging from hair shedding, thinning eyebrows, cystic acne, poor body fat distribution and other unpleasantries.
No woman, young or old, is immune to hormonal frustrations. Our nutrient-poor diets, liver-overloading skin products and toxic environments are constant endocrine system disruptors.
Parent Essential Oils
Parent Essential Oils are not widely known, but are far superior to fish oils. They are never rancid, there is low risk of allergic reaction and they serve to oxygenate the cells while conquering inflammation. This formula is a blend of evening primrose, coconut, pumpkin, flaxseed and safflower oils, and is a sublime balance of omega- three, six and nine, performing wonders for the skin, mood and energy levels.
Zinc deficiency is widespread. This is important to note because it plays a number of powerful roles in the biochemistry of our bodies – from immunity to hormonal function to mood to collagen production. It is necessary for more than 100 unique enzyme systems in the body, and is a manufacturer of proteins.
As a result, supplementation with zinc often has a magical way of rewriting a number of skin-related sob stories. Individuals consistently report the eradication of acne, the diminishing of stretch marks and lightening fast post-surgical wound healing.
Note: Zinc interplays with other minerals (primarily copper and magnesium), so consult with your physician and begin with gentle supplementation.
Have a Love Affair With Your Gut & Liver
The time has come to have a love affair with your digestion system, for these organs work tirelessly for you every day. They endure an insane level of abuse, and that abuse reveals itself in your skin. Liver-loving foods such as apples and lemons should become staples in your diet, and alcohol, caffeine and animal products need to find a lower tier. It is also important to evacuate the intruders and restore balance to this system.
Last year, I interviewed a consultant at Revelation Health, while compiling expert tips for an article in a health and wellness publication. During our conversation, I asked him about probiotics to restore gut health, which he agreed are vitally important, but he mentioned this product repeatedly. “Customers buy this product for Leaky Gut, Crohn’s and all kinds of issues, but they always report two things: improved mental clarity and the reduction of skin problems – from acne to eczema,” he said. I made the purchase, and have since purchased two more bottles. I notice a rapid improvement in not only my energy levels and regularity, but also a breakout-free face during my menstrual cycle.
If you have problematic skin, your gut health is one of the first places to start because digestion affects all systems of your body. So, while an arsenal of products can be helpful, your most vain skin concerns begins with what you pile onto your plate.