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Zinc and your skin

17 May

zinc foods“Take some Zinc and Echinacea,” seemed to be my moms standard reply whenever I felt a cold coming on. More often than not, I didn’t listen and then spent several, miserable days trying to recover. Truth is, Zinc is great for you. In addition, it does some amazing things for your skin.

People who have immune disorders or certain types of skin disorders tend to have less zinc in their body. Is this zinc because our body naturally uses it to fight off the infections or because we naturally have less zinc in our bodies which causes the infections in the first place? No one knows, really. But, zinc plays a major role in overall health of the skin.

Zinc works to heal and rejuvenate the skin in addition to reducing harmful free radical formation by protecting the skin when it’s exposed to UV light, pollution and other aging triggers. In healthy skin, we naturally have a cell turnover process of about 21-28 days which is called apoptosis. When we have a zinc deficiency our cells don’t turn over, and instead sit on the surface and stick together. All of this causes a buildup of sebum, bacteria and blocks the pores – which causes irritation and then acne. With a healthy amount of zinc, it can reduce clogged pores in the first place.

So, how much zinc is needed to stop acne? Men are supposed to take about 11 milligrams a day which women only need 8. Some of the best natural sources for zinc include various meats, and seafood’s – such as crab, oysters, lobster, etc. Allergic to seafood and not meat eater? Good news is that you can find zinc in beans, cheese, lentils, yogurt and fortified cereals. But, to increase the absorption – you definitely would want to stick with animal based products. (And grass fed/hormone free if you can!) If you eat a high diet of legumes, nuts, or seeds you increase your Phytate consumption and therefore also reduce your absorption of zinc.

If you are unable to eliminate some of these things from your diet or add them in if you are deficient, you can always take a zinc supplement to level you out. Most of the time, simple health and skin care issues can be improved by just taking a few small steps to better nutrition.

 

 

Meet your meat

12 May

Every once in a while I get a request for a blog post that asks me to showcase a recipe that is great for your skin. This isn’t one of them. However, this post is one I have been wanting to do for a while because this food is not only is it great for your overall health, but your skin, and hair as well.

featureGrass fed beef. Now, I realize there are a lot of plant based readers out there who will not agree with this post, and that’s okay. I’m not suggesting that anyone change their diet completely based on this post, rather I am suggesting that if you are going to eat meat, that you at least make better choices.

So, why is grass fed beef so much better than regular beef? Well, for starters, watch any of the documentaries out there that show how the traditional beef industry works and what the cattle are fed. The industry thrives on feeding beef corn, but so much of todays corn and feed is genetically modified. In addition to GMO’s  traditional beef can be packed full of antibiotics, chemicals and hormones.

There are so many articles, studies, documentaries, etc that make it complicated when it comes to dietary guidelines. Let me just break down the basics here for you and keep it simple:

  • Grass fed beef has 80% less fat than grain fed beef and 30% less cholesterol. Imagine being able to keep the protein intake up, but the fat content down.
  • It has balanced Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega acids aid in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory disease and autoimmune disorders.
  • It is a great source of conjugated linoleic acid. 3 times the amount in traditional beef. What is this? It’s an acid that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, and a number of immune disorders.
  • It is full of beta carotene. This helps with vision, immune disorders, and osteoarthritis.
  • It contains 400% more Vitamins A and E which helps your vision, and stimulates white blood cells.
  • Grass fed beef also creates happier animals, supports sustainable farming practices and local farms.

Grass-Fed-Beef

Due to the high demand of healthier foods, there has thankfully been a rise in the amount of grass fed beef now carried at local stores. What used to only be available a Farmers markets or local meat shops is now available at chain grocery stores. Sure, the cost of the meat is a little more expensive, but it’s a step toward being healthier. Spending a little more time and money on your health now as a preventative measure sure beats forking over a ton of money for health issues later. Some of those issues can definitely be chalked up to hereditary factors, but with the rise of so many unexplained diseases that aren’t passed down, it may  be better to just help the odds of being healthier, longer by eating as clean as you can.

 

 

Glowing Skin Smoothie

20 Mar

blueberry

If you followed my last two posts, you remember me talking about some amazing foods that were good for not only your health, but also your skin. If you didn’t read those, you really should leave this page immediately and go do it. No seriously. It’s great information. Okay, maybe you can after you write down these items that you need for this amazing smoothie. This smoothie is super creamy, full of flavor and even picky eaters will like the way it tastes. For those of you who have green phobias, the spinach is well blended and you can’t really see or taste it. Please remember that you don’t want to use this as a meal replacer but use it as a special treat or snack to supplement.

So what do you need to make this tasty drink?

Unsweetened Almond Milk (1 cup)

Organic Spinach (1 cup)

1 Frozen Banana (Again, organic is best) Chop these guys into large chunks.

Frozen Organic Blueberries (1 cup)

Almond Butter (1 Tablespoon) All Natural is Best

Chia Seeds (1 tablespoon)

1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon

A few ice cubes (Your preference on how icy you want it.)

Toss it all into the blender, turn that sucker up to high-speed, and blend it until it’s as smooth as you like it.

Try it out – let me know your thoughts!!  Maybe even experiment with some other tasty ingredients.

You are what you eat continued…

19 Mar

Basic CMYK

I posted the other day some wonderful tips on foods that were healthy to consume on a regular basis for your skin. Hopefully, some of my readers have challenged themselves and incorporated more of those foods into their daily diet. Even the smallest dietary change can make a dramatic difference in the skin and your overall health, and wellness.

But what happens when you can’t always eat healthy? It certainly isn’t cost-effective to eat healthy all of time. As I stated before, IF you indulge – just make sure to keep it at a minimum.

Here are the top 5 worst foods and drinks that you can put into your body.

Alcohol – I just heard a bunch of groans even through my computer screen for this one. Especially from all the wine drinkers out there (myself included.) Yes, I said it. I drink wine. AND I’m an esthetician. But again, I do it in moderation. Well, sometimes. The majority of the time I do, and then when I find myself enjoying a little too much of it, I hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more. Why? Because alcohol dehydrates the skin. And yes, wine has antioxidants and all of these things that may or may not be good for you based on which study you’ve seen – but the straight fact is that with or without those studies, you still get dehydrated.Plus, if you have ever wondered why you are a little pinker in the cheeks after drinking – it’s because it leads to vasodilation – meaning your nice little capillaries and redness come right to the surface. It also leads to an extremely dull appearance. Yuck.

Caffeine – Oh wow, the groans got a little louder that time. Actually, I feel like half of my readers probably just shut their laptops or switched to another page. Sorry guys, I love my coffee too. The great news is that coffee itself isn’t bad, it’s those excessively caffeinated drinks that dehydrate your skin – think soda, energy drinks, multiple shots of espresso… and what happens when you get overly dehydrated? Well, your skin freaks out and then can either breakout, or start causing more oil production to overcompensate, which in turn can lead to breakouts. Sounds like fun to me.

Protein Bars, and Processed Snacks – Who would have thought that protein bars would be on this list? I mean, protein bars are good for you, aren’t they? Yes and no. If you really look at some of the ingredients in these offenders, you will notice a great deal of sugar. Some of these bars have upwards of 10 grams of sugar in them per serving! Let’s just consider for a moment, that a Snickers bar has approximately 20 grams of sugar in it. Too much sugar not only leads to issues with health such as diabetes, but excessive amounts of sugar in the body also affects your skin by damaging collagen production, causing acne, and damaging elastin, which causes the saggy skin. No one likes having saggy skin. No one.

Fried Foods – Remember those yummy French fries from my last post? Oh yeah, don’t eat those. Here and there is again, not the end of the world, but they are so full of salt, and sodium that they can really take a toll on your skin. Bloating, water retention, swelling, and puffy eyes will be your reward for this indulgence.

Smoothies and Juices from the store – I can not express enough how this is NOT good for you. Most commercial smoothies and juices are full of added juice, frozen yogurt, sugars and preservatives. I did say most, not all. With as many grams of sugar are in some of these smoothies, you might as well just go back and eat that Snickers bar AND drink a coke. Again, that much sugar irritates and inflames the skin and causes wrinkles. Let’s just not do that.

Check out some of the earlier posts on my blog and some of the upcoming ones for some amazing, and healthy smoothies and juices that you can make at home.

One of these particular recipes, I will be featuring in my next blog post! Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and almost all of the yummy, healthy ingredients we talked about that ARE good for you – this one can be easily made with a blender, and a short shopping list.

 

You are what you eat

19 Mar

herbs-larger-picTruth be told, everything you put in your body directly affects your appearance. I remember when I was babysitting a long time ago and used the saying “you are what you eat” to a few 6 year olds who wanted to shove their little mouths full of French fries. Imagine their horror when at first they thought they would actually turn into those greasy little delicacies. I had to explain to them the facts of that statement…no you wont actually become a French fry, but all that grease and filler and byproduct goes into your body and directly affects your health and your skin. Huh? Yeah, they all just stared at me with wide, un-blinking eyes and then changed the subject.

No one likes to hear they can’t eat the foods they love. Take my clients with Rosacea. Most of my clients with that particular skin issue will be mortified when I tell them that they shouldn’t eat spicy foods, drink alcohol or be out in the sun a lot or it triggers it. I can almost guarantee that 90% of my clients I tell that to do it anyway. Why? Because their love for their favorite foods and the sun outweighs the pink rash on their cheeks. Plus, isn’t that what good foundation or concealer is for?

Just because these items trigger unhealthiness in the body or concerns with the skin doesn’t mean they have to disappear forever from your diet. It just means that they should only be indulged in small quantities.

To assist in some beneficial snacks for the skin (and to help make up for when you do slip off the healthy wagon) here are some of the best things you should make a habit of eating.

Almonds- Not only do they have a ton of vitamin E in them, and monounsaturated fat but they are really great at keeping the skin hydrated and supple. I absolutely love almond oil directly on the skin as well. Almond milk is also a great source of nutrition for the body, and skin. Plus, it eliminates all the harmful side effects of dairy (that’s a whole other topic)

Blueberries – Full of antioxidants which fight off free radicals caused by pollution, pesticides, UV radiation and some foods. These free radicals not only cause DNA damage and skin cells which promote premature aging.

Spinach – Remember what happened when Popeye ate his spinach? Well, you might not gain some huge biceps, but your skin will look great! Skin is the largest organ of the body so its super sensitive to oxidation. Spinach combats that by containing folate which can actually reduce the skin cancer causing cells and repair DNA.

Tomatoes- Lycopene is what makes tomatoes all cheeky red, and no coincidence it also can protect you from skin cancer. What?! Yes, it can protect your skin from within and numerous studies have proven that people who eat tomatoes at least twice daily would have less sunburns and skin induced aging. Ketchup doesn’t count.

Walnuts – A huge source of omega 3 fatty acids which improves elasticity and redness. (Oh rosacea sufferers….)

This is just a short list of all of the amazing foods you can eat for your skin and health, and the beauty of it is that this list wont break the bank either. Try to always go organic, with less pesticides and processed ingredients when you can. And most importantly, even with all of this – make sure to drink PLENTY of water daily.

Stay tuned for my next post on the five WORST foods for your skin and health.

 

 

Indulge in chocolate this New Year!

3 Jan

I came across an amazing recipe for a chocolate face mask that I might start incorporating into my routine at the spa. I have to say I tried it out on my skin, and not only did it work – it tasted great!

Technically, you are not supposed to eat it, but if a little bit did accidentally happen to get in your mouth, or your clients mouth – it is completely safe!

This mask is stimulating to the skin, hydrating and also opens up the pores. It is rejuvenating and safe to eat as I mentioned earlier.

For the recipe –

2 tablespoons cocoa powder (think raw, organic, pure)

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 teaspoon of honey

Make a paste of all of the ingredients and spread it on the face after a thorough cleansing. Avoid the eye area. After 10 minutes, remove with a warm, damp towel.

Then savor the amazing results – which are completely guilt free. A great way to indulge your sweet tooth and enhance your home skin care routine.

Credit for this recipe goes to Cortney Matz who is based in Los Angeles.

 

 

Brighten up the body and face with these two yummy treatments!

16 Nov

Oh, the joys of winter skin. If you are like me, this time of year brings out the worst in my skin. Those of us who usually run dry anyways start getting extra dry, ashy even. And, there’s really nothing attractive about dry, ashy skin.
Enter my love for experimenting with all natural products. I decided to take the usual ingredient of brown sugar and wanted to mix it in with something to make a body scrub. I opted for sunflower oil because that’s what I had in the cabinet. The result was a smooth, silky and amazingly scented scrub that left my skin soft and hydrated.

Sweet Sugar Scrub – The ingredients were simple: 1/4 sunflower oil and 4 tablespoons of organic brown sugar. Mix the two together and then massage onto the skin. Leave it on for at least five minutes. This scrub is gentle enough to use on the face, neck hands or feet as well. Remove with a warm towel.

For a little more of that Fall Flavor, try this mask instead for the face. Due to the Malic Acid in the apples, it leaves your face with a healthy glow!

Candy Apple Mask – 3 raw, peeled red apples, 3 tablespoons of sugar
Heat the peeled apples in a microwave for about 4-6 minutes. Cool, and then puree in a blender with the sugar. Spread the mixture onto a cleansed face using a fan brush or your hands and leave on for about 5 minutes.

If you try either of these treatments, I would love to hear about it!