7 Tips to better skin

Tips to better skincare and acne

One of my most frequently asked questions is “How do you have such nice skin?” It has become something that I am asked so much that I thought I would share some of my rituals, tips and suggestions on here! I want to start by saying that I have never truly had problematic skin, I am very fortunate. Maybe this is because of the exposure I had to healthy and skincare at such a young age? Maybe it is good genes? Either way I want to talk about some things that you could be incorporating into your daily routine in order to see a difference!

If you have not seen, "My Morning Routine" you can watch it here...and don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel to see more videos!

 

Here are my 7 tips to better skincare as well as essential steps I take to care for my skin. I drink a lot of water, I don’t drink coffee, I have a Whole Foods plant based diet, I do not drink alcohol, I often enjoy fermented foods and I always get lots of sleep!

1. Drink More Water

I cannot stress this enough. Every single day we lose water, whether it be from perspiration or going to the bathroom and it is important to replenish that so that our bodies can continue to function. The human body is made up of approximately 50-70% water, this includes skin, tissues, cells and organs. Water is an absolutely essential component for our bodies to effectively function. In fact we need water so our bodies can process all of the nutrients from our food and carry the assimilated nutrients to our cells.

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So how does this effect our skin? Water is my biggest ‘secret’ to nice skin, providing moisture and essential nutrients to the skin cells. Water replenishes your skin and increases its elasticity. This is so important in order do reduce the appearance of signs of aging (wrinkles and fine lines.) Water removes and cleanses the body of toxins and waste and a lack of water will result in constipation, allergies, migraines and so on…lovely right?

I personally drink 1 gallon of spring water a day, and I go by the color of my urine. If your pee is light yellow, almost clear then you are hydrated! You should be drinking at least half of your body weight every day.

2. Green Tea

I drink green tea every morning and I do not drink coffee. (Side Note: Caffeine Can Be Bad Too) Caffeine has dehydrating effects on the body and is metabolized in the liver, then makes you poop (because it is a diuretic). Diuretics also dehydrate the body tissues and skin, which in turn leads to wrinkles and premature aging. Caffeine can stress the liver just as aggressively as alcohol, when consumed in such large and frequent quantities. Green tea or herbal tea is a great substitution 

Green tea is anti-inflammatory and contains a high amount of antioxidants and enzymes and amino acids. It also has B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium and caffeine. If used ON your skin Green tea has anti-aging and antioxidant benefits that can help delay signs of skin aging, such as sagging skin, sun damage, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The polyphenols in green tea help neutralize harmful free radicals, which can cause significant damage to the skin and accelerate the aging process.

“If your complexion is red or blotchy, this tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can be soothing,” says Andrea Cambio, a dermatologist in Cape Coral, Florida. “Iced is best because hot beverages can worsen redness and other symptoms of rosacea.” Another benefit: The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea may help prevent the collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles as well as sun-induced DNA damage in the skin (think lines and discoloration), according to some experts. Consider subbing tea for your morning mug of coffee. 

3. Remove Dairy from your diet
(I will be doing an ENTIRE blog post about this)

Did you know that milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone. This hormone stimulates oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne. Throughout my adolescence I had a hormonal imbalance. Embarrassing abnormal hair growth, elevated testosterone levels & a general hormonal imbalance which left me feeling moody, bloated & suffering from eczema & other various allergies. Adolescence is hard enough & I was a mess. I cured myself with a plant based diet & lifestyle & today my blood work is normal. Dairy was the culprit of my hormonal issues, and I was advised, at a very young age, by both my pediatrician and my mother to cut dairy out. I needed to learn and see for myself, however now when I talk to someone and they express concern with abnormal excess hair growth, acne, eczema or psoriasis I immediately suggest removing dairy.

Remember clear skin is an ‘inside job’ and your skin on the outside is almost always a reflection of what is going on on the inside. Dairy is a pro-inflammatory food and will only aggravate and worsen inflammatory skin conditions. Pair that with growth hormones and excess antibiotics that are given to the animals and you will be wreaking havoc on your hormones.

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Here is a list of some great ‘milk’ alternatives…
Soy milk
Almond milk
Hemp milk
Oat milk
Coconut milk
Rice milk
Almond-coconut milk
Quinoa Milk
Flax milk

**See more dairy alternatives in my Facebook group, Bunny Fit Gang
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1159999820769978/

4. Get rid of processed foods!
(Especially processed sugars & processed carbohydrates!)

Refined Carbohydrates deplete your gut of healthy bacteria, these are forms of sugars and starches that don’t exist in nature. They do come from natural whole foods, but they have been altered in some way by processing to “refine” them. These types of carbs increase our oil production and that contributes to clogged pores, they also age your skin.

When the body digests refined carbohydrates, the sugar molecules become “co-dependent” and attach themselves to proteins such as collagen. When sugar molecules latch onto collagen molecules, together, they form brand new molecules: advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs.

Unfortunately, your body can’t break this bond, and those collagen proteins that form smooth, youthful skin become lost forever. The glycation process or (AGEs) is what causes inflammation which contributes to wrinkles, acne and ages your skin.

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When it comes to refined sugar, simply cutting table sugar out of your diet isn’t enough. It is really important to read food labels because refined sugar goes by many names, including high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, cane sugar, and glucose-fructose (just to name a few).

Refined carbohydrates include white flour, processed sugar and flour hide in the majority of boxed, packaged and store bought foods, including “healthy” versions of processed foods, such as organic ketchup. I personally recommend to consider avoiding processed foods altogether if you struggle with cystic acne and want to have better skin.

Here is a list of some examples of refined carbohydrates
white sugar (aka sucrose; may be cane sugar or beet sugar)
Confectioner’s sugar (powdered white sugar)
Honey
Agave syrup
Corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup
Brown sugar
Molasses
Fructose
Brown rice syrup
Maltose
Glucose syrup
Tapioca syrup
Rice bran syrup
Malt syrup
Dextran
Sorghum
Treacle
Panela
Saccharose
Carob syrup
Dextrose, dextran, dextrin, maltodextrin
Fruit juice concentrates

What to replace this with? Natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, apple sauce, green leaf stevia and coconut nectar are low glycemic sweeteners, which means they have less of an impact on your blood sugar levels and are less likely to trigger skin breakouts when used in small amounts. If you suffer from a chronic skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, it’s best to nix the sugar altogether, including the natural sources. As for your diet, consume Whole Foods and this may seem a bit daunting first but you actually have more options to choose from and there is always something new to try. I feel like I am always discovering new fruits and veggies and I personally find it really exciting. I will link below a list of 50 Whole Foods.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/grocery-go-to-list-fifty-whole-foods/

5. Maintain a healthy gut

Take probiotics, digestive enzymes or consume foods with probiotics such fermented foods. My favorites are kimchi, kombucha, Sauerkraut, and Non-Dairy yogurt.

Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, and heartburn symptoms something being wrong within your gut.

“Gastrointestinal discomfort—especially after eating carbohydrate-rich meals—can be the result of poor digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.” Lisa Fischer, MS, RDN, LDN, registered dietitian at the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Gut bacteria performs many important functions in the body, and aids directly to the immune system, producing serotonin, converting our food into energy, and removing foreign substances and toxins from eh body. Your gut health is essential to your overall health. Skin discoloration, blotchiness, redness, rashes and eczema can develop when there is an imbalance in gut bacteria and eating right is the first step you can take to bettering your gut health. The foods you eat can actually change your gut bacteria in 24 hours.

To feed the good bacteria and starve the bad bacteria, swap out processed food, breads, and pastas for more Whole Foods such as plants, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Add in some of those fermented foods I mentioned above because these naturally contain probiotics, or healthy bacteria. You can also fill up on prebiotic foods, which feed the good bacteria.

Pre-biotic foods
pistachios
bananas
garlic
onion
wheat
oats
quinoa
millet
chia

6. Eliminate Alcohol Consumption

Today is the 1st of the month (the day I am sharing this article) however, even if you are reading this after today you can still start now! Try removing alcohol from your diet for one month, 30 days. You will see so many benefits including clearer skin, weight loss, increase in energy and you will save A LOT of money.

Alcohol is very dehydrating, which is counterproductive to a healthy diet. Aside from dehydrating your face and skin, you will decrease your body of powerful antioxidants such as vitamin A. Lack of vitamin A will make it harder for your skin to fight off free radicals, which can do damage to the moisture levels of your skin which will result in premature aging…no thank you. Alcohol also causes a lot of unnecessary inflammation to bodily tissue as well as puffiness and redness. Alcohol also dilates your pores causes more blackheads and whiteheads.

7. Sleep

I have never pulled an all nighter as a college student, and I take pride in that. It did not affect my grades, I was an exceptional student, it all comes down to time management. I lived about an hour from school and living in LA meant some days I was driving 3-4 hours just to get to school. (There and back) I never let this affect my sleep. Sleep loss can lead to dull skin, fine lines, and dark circles. When you don't get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic and cause premature aging.

You are better off organizing your time so that you fulfill all of your responsibilities of the day while still being able to get a good night sleep. Your brain also gets rid of 60 percent more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep. Lack of sleep also affects the moisture levels in your skin, depriving your skin of moisture and also lowering your complexion's pH levels. This results in skin that looks less youthful and has less of a glow.

I use to sit on my phone before bed and scroll through social media, watch youtube videos and answer emails.  But scrolling through your glowing device before you sleep is horrible for your skin and your quality of sleep. Even reading a book on your tablet before bed is no good. Through out the day we are constantly reacting, our brains are on the engine and we are processing the world around us. If you do not “shut down” before bed then your brain will not rest and you will continue “reacting” through out the night. This results in poor sleep.

My solution? I end my day at 7pm, no matter what I have going on, and I get off of my laptop and phone by 8 pm. Even if this may feel difficult some nights, it is essential in order for me to get a proper nights sleep and truly “shut down”. I also started reading within an hour of going to sleep and this helps me a lot too!

 

Informations sourced form these articles, See these articles for more information.

http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/refined-carbohydrate-list/ 

https://blog.kettleandfire.com/11-foods-that-are-bad-for-your-skin/

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/worst-foods-for-your-skin#1

https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/skincare-face/strategies-for-better-skin

https://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/10-beauty-benefits-of-green-tea-for-skin-and-hair.html

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/grocery-go-to-list-fifty-whole-foods/

https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/gut-health/

Collateral Beauty - Finding Your Bliss 

Sometimes negativity feels like a dark cloak. Heavy and saturated with everything that could go wrong.  The weight can feel suffocating as it encompasses your being. When this happens, you settle and accept it, you may go through your day feeling really negative and accepting it as a way of life. 

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There is medicine in pain and you don’t have to simply accept it. You may not be able to control when darkness weighs you down but you can control how you respond to it and this can prevent you from staying in a place of despair. 

The best way to deal with challenging times and gain momentum is by starting with a positive environment.

This looks different for everyone. You will need to find a space where you feel most yourself. For me I need quiet. A deep serenity. 

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I find this place in the early morning before my day begins. Instead of waking up and immediately interacting with people, my phone… life in general, I take a few moments to myself. This helps me create momentum in my productivity and starts my day on the right track.

I follow this ritual with morning affirmations. If I still don’t feel up for engaging, I take some time to myself and go for a walk, or just find a quiet place to sit and drink my tea. The act of sitting down and drinking tea can be a form of meditation within itself.

Taking these sweet moments to be with my own soul helps set my day up for positivity even amongst the chaos and grief of everyday life. Below you will find some of my most beloved morning affirmations shared with me by my teacher Naomi Fox. 

Before your feet hit the floor, repeat these silently to yourself.

1. Thank you for this new day

2. I AM filled with happiness & gratitude

3. I AM grateful for another opportunity to live MY life.

4. I AM grateful to feel the air in my lungs and the beating of my heart.

5. I AM thankful simply for being alive.

6. Thankfulness, appreciation and sincere gratitude are apart of who I AM.

7. I AM grateful for who I AM and for what I have.

8. I invite gratitude into my heart

9. Today I will have an attitude of gratitude.

10. Thank you for the blessings this day will bring.

Positive Energy All Day         

Here is my list of ways I stay grounded in positive energy throughout even my toughest days. This isn’t to say I don’t have moments of pure breakdown, but I have learned that it is more about how I get back up. We will always fall, but how do we recover? These tips and affirmations are so helpful in finding all the goodness around you once again.                                             

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1. You obtain what you attract

Repeat, “I am attracting unconditional love, abundance, high vibrational experiences and sacred connections”.

Whether you realize it or not, you are responsible for bringing both positive and negative influences into your life. What this means is by placing your focus on negative emotions and feelings, (living in the past, guilt, distrust, jealousy, judgment, negative ‘pressures’) then you will hold yourself back, strain your external bonds and put your dreams to a halt.

Your thoughts will impact what happens. But if you look for the silver lining in every moment then you’ll soon start to see the goodness and the beauty surrounding every good day and bad day. Being aware of your thoughts and how they impact you will encourage you to see that YOU have the ability to free yourself and take control of your mind. You can obtain what you attract. The words you say, both out loud and to yourself…become.

Remember to speak lovingly to your being. 

2. Focus on the ‘can’, not the ‘can’t’.

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.
— Steve Maraboli

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” —Steve Maraboli

Knowing the difference between the things we can control and the things we can’t is a topic that comes up frequently, both in my own self-reflection and in conversations with clients too. It manifests in many contexts and situations but always comes back to a single principles:

We can control our input, but we can’t control the outcome

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I can control how I show up in my relationships, but I can’t control what other people think of me. I can control how much time and effort I put into preparing for a job interview, but I can’t control whether I end up getting the job. I can control how diligently I work on a piece I submit to a competition, but I can’t control where I’m placed in that competition.

In all of these situations, we can influence the outcome, but we can’t control it.

There are some things that are going to be within your control, and there are going to be some things you cannot. It is really important to understand the difference. I personally aim to take one day at a time and one project at a time. I focus on the present moment or activity and I let go of what I cannot control. Do not waste energy on circumstances that are outside of your control. You will only hurt yourself.

Don’t sweat the small stuff because nothing will ever be perfectly smooth and the sooner you understand that, the sooner you can move on. Focus on the ‘can’, not the ‘can’t’. Only YOU can control YOUR own actions and reactions, no one else.

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3. I do it for me.

Always do what is best for you to be happy and feel fulfilled. I made it a point to ask primarily for books for Christmas (I can share those on my website if you are interested!) The reason?  I feel like I am always reading things that just leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth, negative comments, people fighting on Facebook, someone yelling about our orange president. There is so much hate and pain in the news, on social media and in the workplace. So much judgement, people fighting and at each other's throats. You need to stay above that and focus on the good in the world, because it does exist.

I personally avoid the news entirely. Sure maybe that makes me naive, but the news is very dark and negative and what is shown on TV always overcasts the good things going on, and there is a such thing as good news too.

Try reading the good news, look at the positive blogs and read the uplifting motivational books, anything that will keep your thoughts clear, happy and inspired.

My favorite book is “The Untethered Soul” and it completely changed my perspective and I quote it quite often! Oh and if you like something you are reading, highlight it and save it for later. It will come in handy the next time you need a little boost for your self esteem. Surrounding yourself with positive people helps too.

Letting go does not mean forgetting, it just means we stop carrying the energy of the past into the present.
— Yung Pueblo

Get rid of those toxic relationships.

I personally have never had many friends. We wander through this life forming and reforming MANY relationships.

Many people come and go and whether the relationships are good or bad we learn from them.

In 2017 I started saying no to all the wrong things and I started saying yes to a hell of a lot more! I said goodbye to some people I never thought I would separate from. I also learned a lot about some people that are still in my life.

I have learned that negative people and conversations will only divert your focus in the wrong direction. You will focus on all the bad things and this will derail your goals. Do not engage in the negative media and conversations. Don't care what that might look like to others, do it for you.  

4. Don’t overlook how important you are.


Everyone has something they regret and some of us have a hard time letting go. I want you to know that this is okay, you are human and this is a part of life. We all make mistakes, the key is to learn from them and keep being your badass self.

Let go of all that no longer serves you, say it to yourself if you need to.

“I let go of all that no longer serves me”

You are resilient and you are beautiful. Rather than punish yourself about the past why not celebrate the present? Always make time to celebrate, the big stuff AND the small stuff. My favorite thing to do when something little things happen is hop in the car and go ‘get a drink’ with my boyfriend. Now when I say ‘get a drink’ I mean drive to the grocery store and get a kombucha. I don’t drink, I am hypersensitive to alcohol and kombucha gets me all giggly and silly, this is my reward and I cherish these little dates.

Reward plays a huge part in staying motivated and it can be as simple as going getting a kombucha. You are worth it! Don’t overlook how important you are.

Healing begins with acceptance and culminates with letting go. When a great misery occurs it remains with us for as long as we hold on to it, attachments become attachments because of the energy we use to keep what happened or the image of what we want to happen locked away within our mind and body - this is the cause of tension in our being. When we hold on to these attachments they travel with us as a burden, from the past, to our present, and into our future. They can even travel forward in our lineage long after we are gone. Imagine the timeline of your life, now imagine the burdens that you carry as an extra line layered on top of your normal timeline. As we let go of our miseries, this extra layer becomes thinner and thinner. Yes, it may not change what happened, but the extra energy we carried because of these occurrences will no longer weigh down the timeline of your life. What happened, happened, but now these moments are no longer attachments of pain and sorrow, now they are lessons we learn from, lessons that bring us into a present of greater freedom, happiness, and wisdom. Letting go is not an easy process, it requires a practice that produces results and a commitment to continue delving inward so we can release deeper and deeper attachments. We all heal differently, but know that there is something out there for you.Be bold, courageous, find a practice that suits you and meets you where you are at. Healing will come to those who seek it.
— Yung Pueblo



5. YOU are ENOUGH

There was a point in my life where all I wanted was to be seen. I just wanted somebody to notice me—I remember it vividly and painfully. You know when you are standing in a room and everyone is in this weird synchronicity almost as if that’s exactly where they are supposed to be, and then there is you. Totally out of your element and crawling out of your skin?

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I would wonder how I could make my presence be known? How can I make them see me? Or maybe I should just settle into that corner and melt into oblivion. I was so unsure. So self absorbed and yet so helplessly clinging to ‘fitting in’ with my world around me.

There is something I have in common with that version of me and it is the awkward and vulnerable little girl that just wants to be loved. Something we all have inside of us. 

The way you put your energy out into the world affects more than just the people you connect with on a day to day. It ripples. Like waves rolling, these energies travel through the people we connect with and impact strangers that we may not ever meet.

✨Be thoughtful.

✨Be kind.

✨Be conscious.

Of everything you put out into the world. I work really hard to be there for people the way I wish someone was there for me when I was that 15 year old girl who felt like she was worthless, scared and alone. I have worked hard to become her best friend, and to love and accept the innocence I still have in my heart to this day.

We all have an inner child within us. We all carry a weight that many will never understand and that is why it is so important to be loving, kind and have empathy for other beings in the world around us. Allow the ripples of your energies to create waves that travel and carry love and support within them. You can be the change. There’s always room to begin again.

Oftentimes we forget that we are irreplaceable and we lose sight of how far we’ve come. This is my ultimate weakness. I am very hard on myself, and I have days where I feel like I am not enough. YOU are ENOUGH. I am enough.

Remind yourself of all the accomplishments you have, big and small. Make a special note of congratulations or anything that will keep you motivated. Read this when you are facing doubt and darkness.

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I feel like I should refer to this ‘darkness’ as the upside down, because you literally feel like you have been transported to a stormy underworld and you are stuck there to shrivel up and die.

Infuse that mind with positive thoughts! Here is where the self love comes in. Talk to yourself! Talk to the second voice that exists in your head that is putting you down. Let it know, “Hold up bitch, I can do ANYTHING I am special, I am irreplaceable, I am worth it…(insert some accomplishments here)”

This little moment will get you back on track and infuse more love and vibrancy  into your life. Purposefully infuse your life with a positive perspective and you will become addicted to all the good vibes. The good energy will keep you motivated and prevent you from ending up in that upside down. We like you right side up. Xo

Thank you endlessly to my teacher, mentor, sister Naomi Fox for everything you have shared with me. Your knowledge and wisdom carries into so many things I share and I love you so very much for all that you are. I will be doing a future blog post about my Yin training with her as well as my Reiki training which I am currently enrolled in!

A very special thank you to my friend and photographer Greg Brennan for helping me capture these photos.

Begin

There is always room to begin again. The more time passes the more I truly begin to learn those words. As I watch myself be reborn time and time again. I have been feeling a call to broaden the scope of my community.

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 I am a cook, a yoga teacher, product designer, author and a bit of a plant alchemist. I want a place to share all that I love as well as share the words and wisdom of people who have been my teachers, my friends, my sisters and family throughout these years of building this space.

I am not fully healed,
I am not fully wise,
I am still on my way.
What matters is that
I am moving forward.
— Yung Pueblo

 What better way to share than by starting a collaborative blog space? A place where we can openly discuss the beautiful things along with the tough things. A place for mouthwatering recipes, tips and tricks to veganism and the impact of being vegan on our planet. A place to speak openly about mental health, healing trauma, self love, radical acceptance, creativity and exploration, relationships, illness, grief. All of it.

 When we remain curious, open and ready to learn we allow ourselves to constantly be in a sate of growth.

I hope you will join me on this new adventure. Let’s embrace one another and the gift of exploration and discovery. 

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