This might be pretty obvious from the caption of this post, but I’m going to let you in on all my personal secrets for having clear, healthy skin. (It’s not like I haven’t been telling you my “secrets” for the past 3 years or so anyway…)
I have been receiving more and more requests for all the nitty gritty details: my personal diet, an updated skin care routine, what I take for supplements, yadda yadda. While my personal diet and skin care may not suit you, I will still share it because it may be helpful. Just remember to try things yourself and go with what works best for you.
So without further ado, I give you my entire routine. (This is an article series, and this is just the overview.)
1. I Keep Stress Lowww.
Stress is gnarly. Pretty plain and simple. I won’t go into the details, because if you’re anything like me, you will start to stress out about stress.
I have recently realized that for my body, keeping my stress super low is even more important than what I eat. I could be eating my usual awesome diet but let my stress get out of control and I will get a breakout. I totally sound like a 4-year-old here, but I get crazy excited about random crap, and my body misreads this as stress and acts accordingly. It’s ridiculous, but it has taught me how to avoid information overload and knowing when enough is enough. More details in Part I here.
2. I Eat Well.
I eat a lot of good, quality fats to keep my skin moisturized and my hormones balanced. Fat is key for me. Like many people, I used to believe it was responsible for weight gain. The short answer is that fat does not make us fat – it’s the poor combination of lots of carbs and lots of fat that make us fat. Now I have found my comfort zone with eating lots of good fats, a good amount of protein, and a good amount of non-grain carbohydrates. I don’t pay attention to calorie counts or macronutrient ratios. I feel great, I eat what I love, and thus, I don’t stress about it (see #1). Forgoing grains, refined sugar, and cow dairy is the number one thing (besides, well, number one – stress) that keeps my digestion humming along and gives me effortless clear skin. Everything else is secondary. (And if you’ve read my book, you’ll remember that acne does not exist in cultures where refined foods are not eaten.) More details in Part II here.
3. I Get My Beauty Sleep.
Thanks to electronics and artificial lights, we end up pushing our bedtimes to unnaturally late times, thereby sacrificing our optimal cellular rejuvenation window. Scientists are realizing it’s not so much about how many hours you get, but when you you get them, as well as the quality of those hours (i.e. sleep apnea = not quality sleep). I enjoy getting out in the sunshine every day, which has the benefit of helping to regulate the sleep cycle. I also sleep with blackout curtains on the windows so I get a restful 8 hours (it’s rare that I need more then that, unless I get to bed really late, in which case I seem to sleep 9–10 hours).
4. I Guzzle Water.
I drink filtered water and only filtered water. Water with lemon? Check. Matcha or rooibos tea? Check. I don’t like soda or carbonated stuff, so avoiding that is not a stretch for me. The water I drink is filtered water from my tap so it’s free from junk – pesticides, obesogens, chlorine, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, etc. All of these substances are linked to cancer and disrupting our endocrine systems, and obesogens (common in American tap water) are strongly linked to obesity and insulin resistance. The tiniest amounts of these contaminants can cause a disruption in the body, so it is of the utmost importance that the water is filtered.
5. I Move.
When you move, your circulation improves, hustling nutrients to your vital organs and your skin. Ever seen the radiant skin of a bunch of yoga students after class? Daily exercise keeps your vascular system healthy, and your skin vibrant and clear. Now, I love to move and my body craves it. I get antsy and irritable if I skip exercise, but that makes sense, since we weren’t meant to be sitting on our asses all day, every day.
6. I Fast.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is brilliant. It lowers inflammation markers across the board, stabilizes and lowers blood sugar, and mobilizes fat stores from stubborn areas while preserving muscle and strength. More on that in Part II. Funnily enough, it’s also a natural inclination. Animals do it. Kids do it. Adults do it. It’s just that we’ve been conditioned to force ourselves to do otherwise. You watch parents forcing their kids to eat when they’re not hungry, and you force yourself to eat if you’re not hungry in the morning or when you’re sick and don’t want to eat. Well, more and more studies are popping up that show just how miraculous fasting really is for us (there are some exceptions of course, but more on that later). It’s great that it’s getting mainstream attention lately.
7. I Have a Great Skin Ritual.
I love rituals. They are calming. They are luxurious. They are special things you do for yourself every day where you can zone out and just enjoy. It’s important to take that time to nurture yourself. After all, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you are in no fit condition to take care of others.
Running Epic Beauty Guide means I am often sent products to review, so my personal routine is constantly shifting. The few staples I have are truly amazing products that I can rely on to not send my skin into a panic. I detail my full routine here, in Part III (link will be live when article is up).
What about you? What is your formula for clear skin?