Want nice skin?
I just finished teaching a yoga retreat at the lovely Anamaya resort in Costa Rica. All week, I had people remarking about my skin.
"Is it what you are drinking?" (As I am self-trained to bring sizeable canteen everywhere to avoid situations where I would be tempted to buy a bottle of water). In their asking, I recognize now, they were basically asking for tips and hence this post.
Water is great for us. Some of us don't drink enough. I think the 8 glasses a day is okay but I'm not sure it's always necessary. "Eating" our water through the consumption of fruit is supposed to be a way to consume more "structured water" and is a preferred way to bring water into the body according to Dr. Murad (you may recognize the Murad name from the beauty world not that I am endorsing his products but I like his suggestion on eating fruit). When eating whole foods, I am an advocate of consuming the best food you can which would be GMO and pesticide free (ideally). The fruit does not have to be "beautiful". It is actually when food looks perfect that we should worry about how it was grown. I do drink water. Many of us do so I kept thinking "what else do I do that others may not and that would be beneficial for them to know about?"
I have a FACIAL YOGA routine. The video below is a mini-routine. It's a start. It does not get into the massaging I do but that will come soon, and I will update this post when I create more videos around that. I incorporate some sort of facial yoga (often sticking out my tongue throughout the day) into my normal yoga routines. You can find videos on this on my YouTube - go check it out. If you can't find them, contact me!
Is that it? Well, no...
I use natural products, ideally food grade or simply "food".
According to my Dermatologist, we are not to use soap. (I visit a Dermatologist yearly as I had skin cancer 3 years ago from damage done when I was young and dumb - as it typically goes - the damage done from years ago is what comes to bite you in the face later.)
Wait what was that?
You heard me. Don't use soap, he claims. It's not necessary except for arm pits, genitals, and ass. I $%&# you not. Pun intended ;)
I can tell you that I have stopped using soap on my body over a year ago every since this guy (a well known, almost celebrity, Dermatologist down here in Costa Rica) gave me the recommendation. It doesn't mean I don't wash myself well. I do! But you don't need soap. Use a washcloth or some anti-microbial scrubber/ brush.
I use mud. There is a blue mud from Costa Rica, packaged by Costa Ricans, that I support. I use Papaya peels (because it grows on my trees outside my house). I rub the fruit side on my skin and wear that as a mask. Sometimes I use apple cider vinegar (with Mother) on the face but rarely now that my doctor reminded me not to use soap on my face either. If I lived somewhere else, I would research what kinds of fruits might be grown around me that are good for the skin. My favorite mask is actually a blend of bananas and honey. Now that I write this, I realize I haven't done that in a while. I would probably add a drop or two of some essential oils to that now too if I didn't want to eat the leftovers. Essential oil game is key for many avenues of health today. I could get into it, but I'll save that for another post. Plus... let's be real, you probably know someone that sells and they would be MORE THAN HAPPY to share their wisdom with you. Occasionally I use leftover coffee grounds as a full body and facial scrub. Coffee grounds are great as they leave a bit of oil on the skin but use a dark colored towel to dry off. I also use fresh aloe as an all over facial mask on occasion. Aloe is a miracle when it comes healing the skin, but it also has hair growth properties. I have not had an issue with it causing unwanted hair growth but I think it's a good thing to bring up as we are all different. You've been warned.
If I wear makeup (rare these days), I use olive oil to remove it. Put the oil on the face. Rub it in a bit. Heat a towel with some warm water and gently start to remove. Try to always "rub up". We want to fight the downward strokes which mimic age-sag ;)
I wear sunscreen. There is a brand that is spa-quality that I invest in. They have a pretty pure product that has a slight tint to it and it blends well so it doesn't look like I have anything on. I invest in that because it's my skin! I would rather invest up front (like the investment in buying high-quality foods) because cancer is expensive (painful and scary). Although I believe in investing in certain products, I do want to impress upon you that it does not mean you need the full regimen that we are often sold (especially as women). The tinted sunscreen I use is maybe $50 not $300, and I don't buy into the soap, the toner, the this the that. I am a health sovereignty advocate for most things and believe we can DIY most of your beauty. I've been doing this for over 10 years, and I'm doing good. People keep giving me compliments remember?
What else? Of course, I exercise (yoga and dancing, duh lol) and try to eat well. In addition to fresh fruits, I eat a lot of green veggies. Yes, I have my own organic garden, and it's helpful, but maybe you can too. If that interests you, reach out. My operation down here in Costa Rica might be bigger than most people will be able to do but before I had a mini-permaculture farm in Costa Rica, I had an urban garden on my balcony in L.A.
Here is one more quick yoga routine. In yoga, we say that "your age is determined by the flexibility of your spine". Well, it should also be determined by how you just look. So, facial yoga is important but so is opening our hearts. Open your heart so you can follow it. The passion, bliss, playfulness, and ecstasy you will receive from an open heart will keep you young and make you glow!
PS and disclaimer! I was prescribed by my doctor due to my skin cancer flare (not something superficial but stuff that had to be dug out a bit deeper) to laser my face every year or every other year to try and get rid of cells that might turn rogue. Lasering can be expensive but, again, it might be cheaper than cancer later on in life. I didn't think of this initially because I considered the laser treatment medical and not for purely aesthetic purposes. Costa Rica is an inexpensive place to receive certain medical treatments. Perhaps next time you are in the country or when you come down someday (say to study yoga with me on retreat) you might want to get a treatment (do it on the way out so you can enjoy the beach!)
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