Protect & Improve the Health of Your Skin

Own Worst Critic

We tend to be our own worst critic, so while, I’m thinking about all of the flaws on my face, I often meet strangers who say, “Wow, you have great skin!”

Or, “Your skin just glows!”  or even, “I don’t believe your age!”

My favorite comment a few years ago was, “You’re vegetarian, aren’t you? I can tell because of your skin.”

The last comment specifically made me think about skin health further.

Average Diet

“So, what’s the difference between an average diet and one that cuts out animal products? Lots of things – primarily that with plant-based products you are getting a denser nutrient profile.” – 22DaysNutrition.com

As a vegan, I don’t always eat the right things.  I enjoy chocolate just as much as the next chocolate connoisseur.  Unfortunately, my chocolate or homemade hot cacao treats lead to skin break-outs or blemishes.

However, when you focus your meals on whole, plant foods, you’ll get more vitamins, more minerals and antioxidants.

Vitamin C

One of the most important nutrients is Vitamin C which is found in both fruit and vegetables.  Unlike other animals, humans do not produce vitamin C and therefore, we need to obtain this nutrient through our diet.  Also, vitamin C is essential for collagen production.

The antioxidants primarily found in fruit and superfoods such as berries including acai, reduce typical signs of aging.  Not only that, but antioxidant rich plant foods have been proven to protect your skin from further sun damage.

(Read: The Role of Antioxidants in Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment

and watch this: Preventing Skin Cancer From The Inside Out. )

Hydration & Healthy Fats

Another thing to know about a plant-based diet is that fruit and vegetables contain high amounts of water.

Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and is one of the secrets that models incorporate in their lifestyle for long-term glowing skin.

Also, healthy fats such as flax and hemp seeds are my favorite meal add-ons to ensure I’m getting omega-3 and omega-6.  Getting about 20 – 30% of your calories from healthy fat daily will help your skin look more youthful and less dry.

What does 20  – 30 % of calories from fat look like?  Here are some examples (Not exact measurements):

2 Tablespoons of almond butter plus 1 Tablespoon of ground flax seed

4 Tablespoons of hemp seeds (Great source of omega-3 & 6!)

1/4 cup of walnuts (Great source of omega 3 & 6!)

1 small avocado

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut milk

I talk about healthy fats more in my previous blog:

Is There A Secret To Greater Longevity 

Green Tea

Another famous antioxidant that we learned from the Asian culture is Green Tea!!!

There have been numerous studies which show just how effective green tea is for protecting us from oxidative stress and it is also a well-known anti-carcinogen.

While green tea is normally ingested as a warm drink, it is also effective for improving skin health topically.

DIY Recipes

Here are two recipes below for topical use:

Green Tea Toner (Inspired by Maman Joon’s Secret Potions – Click HERE to purchase this really cool recipe book!)

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons Steeped Green Tea

4 Tablespoons Cucumber Juice

1 Tablespoon Witch Hazel

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into a small glass bottle and store in a cool place or in the refrigerator.  Use as needed.

Green Tea Face Mask (Inspired by NumiTea.com)

Ingredients:

1 Steeped Green Tea Bag

1 Tablespoon Honey

½ tsp Baking Soda (optional and can be used as a skin brightener, if so, please use in moderation)

Directions:

Open the tea bag and crush tea leaves with a mortar and pestle or small food processor or coffee grinder, then add honey and baking soda if desired.  Apply a thin layer to the skin and leave on for 10 minutes.  I found that lying down was a good option for me during this time as sometimes the mask doesn’t completely stick to your face (also a good chance to meditate).  Rinse off gently with a moist towel.  Masks are usually applied about 3 times per week.

ENJOY!

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