What does HGTV and healthy skin tips have in common....well they are connected by an Israeli sea salt man......it's possible I might have lost you..... Well, a number of years ago I went to a HGTV Home and Garden show in San Antonio with a good friend. As we were walking around the arena getting roped into all the different vendor booths with their pots, pans, purses, solar panels, cabinetry, mops and irons we made the mistake of making eye contact with the Sea Salt man from Israel. Never make eye-contact I was told! Oops! So there we were stuck listening to his pitch.
If he rubbed his "magic potion" onto our skin he could get deep into the tissues and clean it out layer by layer right down to the muscles.....well, that's what he said. So my friend consented. First he applied some gel to her arm, then some sort of cream was rubbed on with a Q-tip. He explained the process. "You will see a lot of flaky-like stuff coming off your skin." In his language this is proof that I am VERY toxic and need his product. He rubbed, and rubbed and rubbed....then in shock he said, "Wow, you hardly have any! Most people have so much it looks like it's snowing!"
We were both pleased with my friend's outcome so I quickly interjected. "Do mine!" Same procedure - gel, Q-tip, cream, more talking and rubbing, rubbing, rubbing.....finally he says, "You have even less than her!" We laughed and joke with the man that in our spare time we both sit around exfoliating our skin!
I felt pretty proud of myself and with my vanity at an all time high, got suckered into something else he was selling. Wow is that ever a story for another day!
After leaving the sea salt man, I thought about what my friend and I had in common with regards to our skin. The only thing we could think of was that for years we both had been faithfully taking herbal supplements that regularly cleansed and built up our eliminative pathways - liver, lymph, kidney, colon, lungs and blood and I was very picky about what I ate - whole, clean foods.
Skin issues are all too common. From acne and dry or oily skin to excema and psoriasis, we have problems and everyone out there seems to have a solution in a bottle. I recently read an article on skin care by one of my favorite herbalists, Steven Horne at treelite.com
He gave four suggestions on how to improve your skin so I'll paraphrase them.
1. Only use natural soaps - less toxins and less chance of disrupting the acid mantel on your skin. I know there are differing opinions on the acid mantel and if we should use alkaline or acid products or if they should be PH balanced. My opinion is if you use natural soap with natural ingredients I think your skin is going to be much better off than if it's using a PH balanced soap that's laden with toxins - that's my take on it anyway.
2. Next eat your skin and bones - he's not promoting cannibalism here but he's encouraging us to eat the skin on our fruits and vegetables that we often peel away - cucumbers, potatoes, apples and others contain the richest sources of silica which is needed for healthy hair, nails, skin, teeth, nerves and bones. So don't peel them, eat them. But if you must peel, save them and make a bone broth. Take leftover bones from chicken or use beef bones from the butcher, add vegetable peelings and a little apple cider vinegar. Leave it to simmer in a crock pot or on the stove for 12-24 hours or even longer - it contains of all kinds of minerals for healthy bodies. I usually have homemade broth sitting around in the freezer or fridge and am so happy I have it to throw into recipes.
3. Know the skinny on fats - Fats aren't bad and fats don't make you fat. I hope you have changed your mind on that. Omega 3's are necessary for proper cell growth and our skin is made up of trillions of cells! So make sure you're getting plenty of Omega 3's in your diet!
Healthy oils like coconut and avocado used in cooking not only makes food taste fantastic it's a great way of increasing healthy fats into your diet. Have you ever made a smoothie with Coconut Milk, peanut butter and bananas? Super satisfying. I have heard for years that if you eat your meal and you still crave carbs soon afterwards you didn't eat enough fat. So eat a half an avocado and see how you feel. Maybe you didn't need to add in that danish after all!
4. Avoid putting toxins on your skin - watch cosmetics, shampoos, lotions and sunscreen for toxins. Read your labels and do your research. You'd be surprised what's in conventional and even natural brands. Read, read, read. A good place to start is by reading one of our older blog posts. It lists 16 common toxins found in cosmetics and skin care on the market today.
And of course, keeping your accumulative toxin load down by using toxin free skin care and foundation is a great place to start!
Having good skin is based on the choices we make daily. So make wise ones and your skin will thank you for it!