Nutrition for great skin.

Queen's Beauty

Diet can affect our skin and energy levels. This is why I encourage people to drink more water, eat a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables, and include foods with essential fatty acids in their diet. When I work with clients, I ask them to describe their daily diet. We then go over skin-loving foods (like leafy greens and foods rich in omega-3s fatty acids) and foods that are contraindicated for skin health. When we look over their usual choices, I’ll ask what’s on their not-so-good-for-the-skin list that they cannot live without (in other words, what are their deal breakers?). Some people might say, “I’m not going to give up my coffee, but I could carry a water bottle with me and sip water throughout the day.” It is the small changes that add up to a big difference.

I also encourage people to make changes slowly. For example, consider having fewer cups of coffee and two more glasses of water each day. Eliminate two desserts per week and add one kale salad or a smoothie that includes flaxseeds or spinach. Change can be hard and there is no need to force yourself to do too much at once. Doing it slowly, over time is usually easier for everyone and feels more natural. I find the more you add healthy foods the more your body starts to crave them, making the process even smoother. For skin health, start by looking at your usual diet and make some small changes to include more skin- loving foods and beverages and eliminate some of the less desirable ones.

Your ideal skin-care regimen:

Your healthiest skin is a marriage between you and your habits. While most of this book focuses on amazing recipes that address many of the skin concerns I hear about from women, I also wanted to share my daily recommendations with you. Consistency is key when it comes to skin health. It’s kind of like flossing: at first, it seems impossible to fit into your oral hygiene routine, but once you do, it feels effortless and necessary. Good skin-care routines are the same. You might not be used to all the pampering, but over time, it won’t feel like an effort at all and will gardner the results you are after. As with any marriage, it will take time to get into the groove. So when you first begin a new routine, be mindful that it may take an entire month for it to feel effortless and to see results.

Cleanser:

For the best results, cleanse your face morning and night. Smooth the product onto warm, damp skin with your middle and ring finger, working in circular motions. Pro tip: wash your face from the bottom up. This helps fight gravity and stimulates blood flow to skin cells. When caring for your face, always include your neck! Use warm water, never hot.

Toner:

In the very beginning of my practice, I discovered that some of my clients were looking to save time and money by skipping the toner. “Toner is something you
can skip,” I’d tell them. I wish I could go back to each and every person I said that to and let them know how wrong I was. Toner might seem like an unnecessary step, but I assure you, this is far from the truth. It helps tighten pores and prep them for the day, rebalances your skin’s pH level, and gets rid of any excess, oil, and dirt the cleanser may have left behind. Toner is so easy to make, and it’s a great place to start when converting to a DIY routine. For the best results, use toner morning and night after cleansing.

Serum:

Think of serum as your problem solver. Serum is used to target skin concerns, like acne, wrinkles, or nutrient-depleted skin. If you are using serum, it should be applied twice a day, after cleansing and toning your skin and before your moisturizer. Let it settle in for a moment, and then apply the moisturizer over it. Since this is a product that targets a specific skin condition, only add serum to your routine as needed. When you use a serum that’s not called for, not only can it be a waste of money, but it can also be a waste of skin-healing activities (the active ingredients in the product). In other words, if you need the benefits of that active ingredient later, it might not be as effective if you used it all along.

Moisturizer:

Hydration is critical to keeping skin youthful. To get the full effects of healthy, hydrated skin, you need to have a balance of oil and fluid. This balance will help restore cellular damage, allow for better transdermal penetration, and maintain vital nutrients. Regardless of skin type, everyone needs fluid and oil in their skin, which means women with oily skin can still be both dehydrated and lacking oil where your skin needs it. Without applying a moisturizer to oily skin, you can actually make matters worse. No matter the skin issues you face, oils can provide deep, penetrating hydration, so moisturizer is a must. For the best results, use moisturizers morning and night after toner (or serum, if you are using one).

Masks:

Masks are truly workhorses of a great skin-care system. Unfortunately, most of us are so busy that we just can’t find the time to apply them—they seem like a once-a-year indulgence. However, I have a pro tip to make it easy to make masks part of your everyday routine. Not only that, the antiquated method of letting the mask dry on your skin isn’t even good for your skin. The best place to apply a mask is while you are showering. It’s like having your own personal esthetician in your home! By applying the mask in the shower, the warm steam helps draw the toxins and dirt out of your pores and pushes the active ingredients into your skin, right where you want them. It’s that lovely push and pull of the warm, moist heat that makes your mask more powerful and effective.

Even more on masks:

There are three key ways masks work: they can affect skin topically, mid-pore, or deep-pore. Topical masks can be used daily to treat fine lines or remove dead skin cells. Mid-pore masks prevent buildup in your pores and supply nutrients to your skin. These can be used three times a week and keep your pores in good shape. They can also keep your skin prepped for a deep-pore mask, which is where you really remove the buildup that comes from pollution, skin-care chemicals, smoke, makeup residue, rancid oils, and more. While deep-pore masks work wonders for clearing out your pores, you don’t want to overuse them. I suggest everyone do a deep-pore mask once a week; however, depending on your lifestyle, you may need a deep-pore mask more or less often. Rotating between the three types of masks will make a world of difference for the health and radiance of your complexion.

Steam:

A weekly facial steam prepared with skin-loving ingredients works double time, opening your pores to release trapped debris while allowing the beneficial properties in your steam mixture to penetrate deeply. The warm steam also increases the blood flow to your skin, which brings more oxygen to your skin’s cells. It also stimulates perspiration, which further helps remove dead skin and other gunk. The ingredients you include in your steams can treat certain skin issues or just provide a wonderful general cleansing. The steams included in the recipe section make a great team; pick and choose among them as needed.

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