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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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Some winter love for dry eyes and puffiness with a homemade eye treatment!

14 Nov

Winter always brings out seasonal allergies and overly dry skin in some of my clients. In addition, we all tend to overindulge in all that the holidays has to offer. Between the sweets, food, stress and alcohol consumption during holiday parties it’s no wonder we all look a little ragged. If you are looking for a quick, easy and inexpensive way to relax, ease those itchy allergy eyes and puffy circles look no further. Using some cucumber slices and lavender essential oil, this is probably the easiest and most effective of the treatments I have offered.

Cucumber and Lavender Eye Treatment
1/4 freshly cut cucumber, chilled
1 drop Doterra Lavender essential oil

lavender_15ml4

Slice the cucumber thinly, and place it in a small bowl of fresh spring water. Place in the refrigerator for at least ten minutes. You can add ice cubes to chill it faster if you desire. Add a drop of Lavender essential oil and let the bowl sit on the counter a few minutes until the scent is infused into the mixture. Place the slices on the closed eyelids to reduce puffiness or to relieve eyes that are red and itchy from seasonal allergies for approximately five to ten minutes or until the cucumbers are no longer cold.

To make this experience more “spa like” – put on some relaxing music. Maybe something along the lines of Carla Bruni’s “Le Ciel dans une chambre,” “Yellow” by Jem, or “Duet” from Rachel Yamagata. Timing wise, you could probably listen to all three and be transported into a state of beauty bliss.

I hope this amazing little tip helps you through this rough skin patch, also known as winter time.

Stay Beautiful!

New Infused water flavor – Watermelon Cilantro

21 May

watermelon

This week at the spa I introduced watermelon and cilantro infused water. I have to say that I think it scared a few of my clients off, but the ones who did try it loved it. The sweetness of the watermelon mixes well with the herbal flavor of the cilantro. Plus, there are so many amazing health benefits to this drink.

Cilantro is known for its ability to detox the body from harmful metals. In addition, it can help to alleviate symptoms of diabetes, anxiety, lower blood sugar and prevent cardiovascular damage. Watermelon is a natural source of antioxidants, increases the amount of blood flow throughout the body, which helps with circulation. The inside of a watermelon is approximately 92% water and has the highest amount of lycopene. It is especially good for men and helps with prostate help, lowers blood pressure and aids erectile dysfunction which helps the ladies out as well (haha).

To make this yummy mixture you will need

1 gallon of water

approx 4 cups cubed watermelon

5 sprigs of cilantro

Put it in the pitcher, place in the fridge at night and enjoy some amazingly refreshing, tasty healthy water the next day!

Stay hydrated!

Spice it up with Cucumber, mint and jalapeño infused water!

15 May

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Hot weather always makes me think about margaritas, and sitting on a beach somewhere melting my troubles away. But, let’s face it. Most of us don’t have the extra time or money to travel every time the temperatures rise. Thankfully, I live in San Diego so I can retreat to the water when I’m not working. I wanted to create an infused water that gave me that tropical, exotic retreat feel without even having to leave my work.

Mint is always a great herb to give a different flavor to your water. Paired with cucumber, you can’t go wrong. But what could make it a bit more interesting? Jalapeño. Yep, you heard it right. This exotic mix is reminiscent of a mojito I had in Hawaii last night. It’s got just a little kick to it without really even tasting the pepper.

For the recipe:

1 gallon water
1/2 of a jalapeño (de-seeded, and completely cleaned out)
1 whole cucumber (or a little less if you want more of a spicy taste to it)
2-3 springs of mint

The flavor on this one kicks up quickly so you could safely make it in the morning to drink all day.
Hope you love it!!