Blessed Early Fall Greetings To Everyone! I had a deeply emotional and introspective day yesterday as it was my 50th birthday! Thanks to all of you who wished me well on my special day - it was much appreciated. I decided to take a good long look in the mirror . . . taking inventory of my facial skin, its texture, hydration level, sun spots (hyperpigmentation), and slight wrinkling. To be honest, I was pleased with what I saw. My facial, throat, and chest skin has actually improved over the last 2 years due to my vigilant natural care using very gentle, hydrating products and augmented supplementation routine. Today, I want to tell you about my skin and how I care for it. Perhaps it might help you age more slowly and gracefully, too.
FYI: my skin is a medium-to-fair skin color, Irish/Scottish/Dutch (& tiny bit of Cherokee Indian) heritage, brown eyes, slight capillary breakage on right cheek, and a background of LOTS of unprotected sun exposure as a child, teen, and young adult growing up in the deep south - Georgia and Texas. Never had pimples or acne until I was in my mid-40's, then experienced 2 years of adult-acne, which was humiliating. I think I went through that stage due to hormonal fluctuation, heavy stress, and (I'll be honest) a bout with constipation (which I never had in my life).
Cleansing: I always make sure to remove my makeup each and every night as I wear a good layer of protective skin-loving makeup during the day and it must be removed so that my skin can breathe and renew itself at night. I wear a tinted moisturizing sunscreen everyday along with a Dr. Hauschka tinted moisturizer, if I need extra moisture and coverage. I always use a concealer around my eyes, too. My favorite, commercially-prepared makeup and skin care products are made by MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Dr. Hauschka, Aubrey Organics, Lavera, Simpler's Botanicals, derma-e, and bareMinerals.
My favorite liquid cleanser is made by Lavera www.lavera.com and is called "Basis Sensitiv 2-in-1 Cleasing Milk". Ultra gentle, fragrance-free, and hydrating. I use it twice daily and in the morning I use it with my Clarisonic Mia, www.clarisonic.com, skin brush with the "sensitive-skin bristle attachment". I can't say enough about the Clarisonic . . . I swear that, with regular use, it has stimulated collagen and elastin growth within my skin, plumped my skin tissue, and encouraged a slight thickening of my facial and neck skin - which is a good thing as skin naturally thins as you age.
Toning & Moisturizing: After cleansing, I pat my skin almost dry then spray it lightly with an organic lavender or rose hydrosol made by Simplers Botanicals, www.simplers.com, followed by a light application of Pomegranate Firming Serum made by Weleda, www.usa.weleda.com. Next, I apply a layer of DMAE - Alpha Lipoic C-Ester Creme by derma-e, www.dermae.com. If it is in the dead of winter and the air in my home is severely dry (plus I'm outdoors a lot), I will probably apply another layer of moisturizer - which will be a homemade one: Blue Chamomile & Olive Body Butter. I'll share that recipe with you in my next blog! I slather my face and body with it in winter, and just my arms and legs during the rest of the year.
The key to keeping your aging skin firm and smooth and relatively wrinkle-free is hydrating it inside and out and protecting it with layers of moisturizer. Don't get too much sun exposure, either, but you know that already! Drink lots of water and herb teas during the day, keeping caffeine to a minumum. Nettle tea is one of my favorites as it mineralizes your bones and skin. Your diet has to be free of chemicals, colors, preservatives, excess salt, artificial anything, and transfats. No sugar of any kind, except some honey or Sucanat, please. Sugar ages you on the inside just as fast as a sunburn on your exterior, plus it causes glycation - which speeds wrinkling. Be sure to include plenty of greens, green drinks, berries, sour fruits, lean protein, healthy fats, and very, very complex carbs. Keep wheat to a minimum . . . whole grain and white. Today's wheat is not the wheat of your grandparents and can wreak havoc on your skin and the health of your entire body!! Check out the book "Wheat Belly" - an eye-opening treatise on modern wheat in our diets.
Favorite Skin Supplements: I have come to love and depend on the following supplements to keep me healthy and my skin absolutely glowing - here's the list:
- I enjoy a raw, vegan green and berry drink almost every morning to ensure I get plenty of fiber, chlorophyll, protein, and low-glycemic carbs to start my day.
- I consume 4 capsules of a product made by Dee Cee Labratories called GCM-1400, a super high quality MSM/glucosamine/chondroitin blend. It truly keeps my skin taut and nearly flawless. MSM is basically sulfur which greatly benefits hair, skin and nails.
- I also take 4 capsules daily of a product called NOAH made by Jean's Greens, www.jeansgreens.com. NOAH stands for nettle, oatstraw, alfalfa, and horsetail.
- For my multi-vitamin, I take the Pink Pack for women by Lindberg available through Nutrition Express. The capsules are high potency and naturally-derived.
- Lastly, I take 2 capsules daily of another product made by Jean's Greens called Women's Power Caps that include dandelion root, spirulina, burdock root, dong quai, astragalus, and yellow dock to help balance my hormones and nourish my liver.
At 50, I have barely experienced any perimenopausal symptoms and no hot flashes. My periods are becoming more irregular, but at least every 21 to 38 days. I chalk-up my good health to an active lifestyle, good nutrition, and herbs. Excess stress has always been present in my life - I'm a work-a-holic, so eating well, exercising, and a good relationship with God has been of great benefit, that's for sure.
There you have it . . . . let me know if you have any questions or want to share your favorites with me. I'd love to hear your comments.
As a licensed holistic esthetician, I'm always on the lookout for the best products for my skin and body, plus I make many of my own products, as well. If you want to make some professional-quality personal care products for yourself at home, then you will need to purchase my best-selling book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing, 2007, which will lead you down the educated path towards learning to make superb chemical-free herbal skin care.
In the next blog . . . . I'll share my favorite recipe for a homemade face and body care moisturizer. It nourishes your skin deep-down . . . keeping it soft and hydrated for days. Until next time . . . be well, be happy, be nourished, and be blessed!
NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles, author, herbalist and licensed esthetician, www.stephanietourles.com. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.