Written by Wellness Advocate Kiki Athanas from @mebykiki
Beautiful skin that ages with grace requires more than swanky cleansers and expensive topical creams or serums - it’s a holistic practice that should be considered from the inside out. Furthermore, if you do suffer from any particular skincare concerns or flare-ups, it’s usually more internal rather than topical. You need to get to the root of the cause. It doesn’t matter what you put on your skin, you’ll still have that issue.
A Beauty Diet
Prevention is the best and most effective way to work against extrinsic skin aging effects (i.e. those resulting from external factors and environmental influence). The best prevention strategy against the harmful action of free radicals is a well balanced lifestyle (mindful consumption, body care and physical exercise for body), with minimized stress levels and a nourishing diet, including anti-oxidative rich food.
In practice, a beautifying diet entails an abundance of foods rich in beta-carotene like mangoes & papayas as delicious examples. Beta carotene is the red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits, and its primary role is to convert to vitamin A (retinol), an essential nutrient, in the body. Vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from the damaging effects of harmful free radicals. Ultimately, it is vital for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Specifically, beta carotene prevents premature skin ageing by acting as an antioxidant, a substance that reduces oxygen damage caused by UV light, pollution and other environmental hazards such as smoking. As an added bonus, it has even been shown to boost the effectiveness of sunscreen, as it makes your skin less sensitive to the sun.
Silica is one of the foundational minerals our bodies' need most. It is also a powerhouse beauty ingredient, as it’s required to produce collagen and is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can find it in vegetables, including asparagus & artichokes. There are also healing herbs that offer rich sources of silica including nettle leaf, horsetail, oatstraw, and rose hips. Of the herbs, nettle leaf is an incredibly rich source of silica, and it makes a great tea which can be enjoyed hot or chilled. Beyond just benefiting your skin, it’s a mineral that helps heal brittle bones, teeth, hair, and nails. When you are young, your body has abundant levels of silica which is why children normally have beautiful silky hair, soft skin and perfect nails. We are born with high levels of silica and low levels of calcium and as we age, we lose silica and our bodies deposit calcium in our glands (often leading to what’s known as “calcification” of our tissues). On the whole, supplementing with a high-quality silica (I prefer food or herb-based form) as you age, is generally a good idea!
To aid in the overall quality of your skin at any age, you’re going to want to focus on the health of your liver, and that means supporting it’s removal process of pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins. A powerful herb to boost your body’s natural detoxification pathways is cilantro - you can work it into cooked dishes or even throw it into a smoothie disguised with sweet fruits to combat its herby taste. You really can’t go wrong with this superfood herb, as it’s packed with vitamins A, K, & C, minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, and has more antioxidants than most fruits or vegetables. If you can’t stand the taste, consider taking it as a supplement in capsule form.
Speaking of detox, that’s exactly what your lymphatic system is up to - literally every moment of your existence, so you might as well support it! The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. The lymphatic system is made up of lymphatic vessels, and you might find it helpful to think of them as similar to the veins and capillaries of the circulatory system.
Introducing the Jade Roller (& How To Use It)
Jade rolling is the perfect self-care practice which supports the health of the lymphatic system, and I like to store mine in the fridge for a cooling effect that feels as luxurious as it is effective. Since they're made of natural stone, jade rollers stay cool to the touch and are apparently even more effective if you store them in the fridge because the cold temperature of the stone can help constrict blood vessels and reduce redness, ultimately increasing skin brightness. Bonus: it’s a serious wake-up ritual to get you feeling bright and alive in the morning!
You’re going to want to jade roll that gorgeous face of yours on clean, freshly moisturized skin. While I’m a huge fan of following your intuition when it comes to any self-care practice, and I invite you to use your gemstore tool in a way that feels most enjoyable and nourishing to you - there are the few steps you can keep in mind to ensure you have a really efficacious session with noticeable benefits. Here are the three main areas to pay extra special attention to:
- Start with your neck first. You need to roll your neck first to clear the lymph passageways before starting on the face. Start near the bottom and work your way up, with downward motions.
- Cheeks & jaw. Place the jade roller on your chin, apply medium pressure and roll it towards your ear. Repeat in the same spot 5 – 6 times, then move up along your cheek. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Forehead. Next, move up to your forehead. Starting in the middle of your forehead, roll towards your ears. Repeat in the same motion 5 – 6 times then switch to the opposite side of your forehead.
And that’s a wrap. Nourish yourself on the inside, get your face fitness done on the outside, and your skin with glowingly thank you.