The wrinkles and less defined jawline. Less camera love and jeans that don’t fit like they used to. Mystery bumps and lumps popping up like ground hogs and gray hair sprouting like wildflowers. AHHHH. The joys of middle-agedom. I’m a 44 year old grandmother and things are starting to get real. I recently found myself keenly aware of the lightning speed in which years fly by, pondering life’s existential meaning. After obsessively scrutinizing the loss in volume in my face and neck, it dawned on me that I’m the youngest I’m ever going to be RIGHT NOW. And that NOW changes incredibly fast. So I may as well embrace it and enjoy the ride. As an esthetician and health coach the quest for eternal youthfulness is not only a passion but also a core part of my life’s work and mission. I’m responsible for keeping my clients young and vibrant, and truthfully I want to age as gracefully as possible. When our personal passions are married with our life’s work, it’s magic. I vigilantly research new skin rejuvenation techniques, ingredients and products that both safely turn back the hands of time, and preserve our reserves for the long haul. I love it. But these things are only part of the equation. Growing old gracefully means continually loving every part of ourselves as things inevitably change while doing everything we can to promote healthy aging physically, mentally and spiritually.
Fat soluble toxins? Not exactly a household term. Fat soluble is commonly used to distinguish between two types of vitamins, fat soluble and water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K are easily dissolved in fats and water soluble vitamins such as B Complex and C are readily absorbed in water. When a substance is water soluble it is immediately absorbed into the blood stream (mostly water) and excreted through the kidneys. When a substance is classified as fat soluble, it has the ability to penetrate through our cells lipid bilayer and be absorbed directly into the cell and stored in tissues anywhere in our bodies. Fat soluble substances are usually absorbed in fat molecules that travel through the lymphatic system of the small intestines and into the general blood circulation within the body. If we take too many vitamins, depending on it's solubility, the excess will either be released immediately or stored throughout our body, which can reach toxic levels as the body accumulates year after year. So if our body can become toxic from excess fat-soluble vitamins, what other substances are unknowingly being stored in our tissues?
If our cells get blocked and are unable to expel waste and take in nutrients, this can cascade into more serious blockages in our blood and organs as well causing a host of issues including acne, premature aging, cellulite and sluggishness and eventually disease. Luckily, eating the right foods and supplements can greatly reduce our toxic load and help our bodies find balance and homeostasis. I have compiled a list of the most powerful detox foods and supplements that can be incorporated into your current diet or as a complete detox program such as The Beauty Detox.
Trying to minimize processed foods, sugar, dairy and meats is the best way to support your body's natural detoxification processes. The less we consume things that are harmful the less our body has to work to eliminate.
Hyaluronic acid has been used in the cosmetic industry for many years to keep our skin hydrated and youthful. HA, is a water binding component found in the deeper layers of our skin alongside collagen and elastin. It’s function is to bind and hold water in order to provide cushion to our joints, turgor & elasticity to our skin. As we age, our bodies produce less HA so supplementation is necessary.
When it comes to topical skincare, size matters. Size of the molecules that is.
I woke up a few weeks ago feeling groggy and irritable, my right eye puffy and swollen like a bee sting, newly forming pimples and my body feel stiff and achy. After determining these were symptoms of a sluggish and overloaded lymphatic system, I decided I needed a detox.
Just like we wouldn’t expect our car to work indefinitely without ever changing the oil or getting a tune up, it’s the same for our bodies. Each day, we’re exposed to harmful substances in the air we breathe, foods we eat, products we put on our skin and use in our home. The ability of our cells to expel waste and absorb nutrients is ESSENTIAL to our overall health and well-being, slow the aging process, as well as our happiness, clarity and focus. Sometimes, our elimination systems have trouble keeping up with the toxic load and symptoms such as acne, brain fog, bloating and weight gain begin to appear. To keep our bodies a "well oiled" machine, a periodic cleanse will boost the removal of damaging toxins and pathogens from our organs and blood, prevent premature aging and the onset of chronic diseases.
I’ve always been someone who LOVES to eat and HATES feeling hungry. I eat from the time I wake up, until I go to bed. Even though I eat a highly clean diet, I am a snacker and have never done a cleanse before, so the idea was daunting. In order to succeed and create sustainable change, I created a "Beauty Detox" that kept me satisfied, not deprived, supercharged and not groggy. My 14 day liquid meal plan consisted of organic fruits and veggies in the form of juices, smoothies and pureed soups.
So how do we know if we need a detox?
I don't know about you, but I'm glad 2016 is gone. For me, a new year symbolizes a chance to start fresh and start a new chapter. The process of shedding old thoughts, feelings and less than optimal habits and replacing them with inspired new ideas and goals is very therapeutic.
Creating lasting change is not easy. I know this all too well. “Tomorrow mentality” is an easy trap to fall into. My diet starts tomorrow. I’ll start running on Monday. I’ll spend more time with my family as soon as this project is finished at work. The truth is, the more we avoid looking at the things we need to change, the harder it is to start. The decision to start NOW is the foundation of habit formation or elimination. Whether I’m mindfully chewing my food 20 times before swallowing, drinking lemon water first thing in the morning or tracking daily spending, in order for us to live our lives according to our highest values and priorities we must instill daily practices.
Why are habits so important to a happy life?
Seasonal changes, temperature and humidity can all impact the amount oil that is created in our skin. During colder months, it takes a bit more effort to combat dehydration, dullness and dryness. As we age, natural moisture barriers break down making it difficult for our skin to stay hydrated, causing pores to look bigger, wrinkles to appear deeper, and general lack of luster and plumpness. All cell membranes are made of fats and are essential to the function of our cells while collagen helps improve our skin's ability to store water. For youthful and glowing skin we'll need to look for ways to continuously preserve and boost collagen production while preserving lipids in the skin.
We all seek to avoid pain and gain pleasure. It’s our human nature. Stress is on the rise as the never ending stream of distractions, responsibilities and information bombard us from all directions. Life in the fast lane demands coping skills like never before. Life is a balance of unwanted and wanted. It's up to us how we react to it.
It may sound odd, but picking our skin is a way to avert negative emotions and somehow get a surge of relief. Not to sound harsh, but like other bad habits such as smoking, drugs or binge eating, this practice is a form of self abuse and self sabotage. Rather than beating yourself up about it, creating awareness around the habit will put you on the path to healing.
If you're passionate about healthy living, you may have heard the hype around the word "hacking" these days. Our collective desire to stay young and vibrant for as long as possible is the driving force behind new health discoveries. We can "hack" into the complexities of our neurological systems for sharper thinking and emotional well-being, our metabolism for weight maintenance and physical endurance, and yes, our skin for clear and radiant skin at any age. This buzzword word simply means alternating something in our environment to assist healthy cell function.
In order to biohack your skincare, you must first remove any ingredients that are polluting your body. Our skin is the first line of defense to the outside world. If we're putting toxic ingredients directly onto our skin, these toxins end up in our bloodstream and cause damage to our healthy cells.
1. Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens & Parahydroxybenzoate:
Used as a preservative to inhibit microbial growth and extend shelf life. Unfortunately, it can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes. Medical research has linked parabens to human breast cancer as well as been found in newborn babies blood. Yuck! There is a gradual phase out of parabens occurring in the natural skin care industry. Simultaneously we will continue to see the emergence of natural, nontoxic preservatives that are both safe and effective.