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May 04, 2023
September 30, 2022
Fall: The leaves start to change, and the air grows crisp. It’s a transitional time when we begin hunkering down, preparing for winter and the holiday season. So, what does this have to do with your skin? As your body’s largest organ, it’s wholly receptive to even the subtlest of shifts.
While the blistering cold doesn’t usually hit until December or January, Fall’s coolness can affect your skin in a variety of ways. If you live somewhere that the Summer humidity fades into aridity, you’ll want to watch out for dermal dryness. Even though it’s not hot outside, it’s just as crucial to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Autumn days are often blustery and can lead to chapped lips and cheeks. Think about switching your moisturizer to something more substantial to preempt parched skin. And make sure you have a good lip balm on hand, avoiding petroleum-based ones. Instead, look for products with ingredients that nourish and protect your lips, like Shea butter.
If you live somewhere that gets more precipitation, come Fall, you may not have to deal with dryness, but other possible skin concerns. More rain = more cloudy days. Darker days + fewer hours of daylight can lead to certain deficiencies, particularly in vitamin D. Be sure to get outside and enjoy the sun when possible and consider eating more vitamin-D-rich foods.
Not only does the climate affect our skin, but what we wear in these different conditions. As the weather turns cooler and a brisker, we start bundling up more in hats, scarves, sweaters, tights, and other garments. If not washed or sanitized, hats and scarves especially can be culprits of fall blemish breakouts. Even when properly cleaned, they can still cause irritations and yeast-related rashes from perspiration. Materials matter, too. Wearing warmer, heavier fabrics that aren't as breathable can cause us to perspire, leading to body blemishes as well as rashes.
Seasonal dietary changes can also play a big role in our skin health. Fall holidays are often cause for more parties and gatherings. During Summer we tend to crave more fresh salads, whereas in fall we naturally want richer, warmer foods. Some of the fall food pitfalls are pies, such as pumpkin, apple, and pecan. Traditionally, they're filled with sugar, eggs, dairy, wheat, and other ingredients that can be detrimental to the skin. Wheat and sugar are both inflammatory ingredients, while sugar also dehydrates. Conventional eggs and dairy can contain hormones and antibiotics, that throw off our body's natural balance.
Fall harvest provides an abundance of wholesome options. Opt for leafy greens, like kale or chard, or some seasonal squash, like butternut or acorn. All of these are anti-inflammatory, full of detoxing fiber, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Your skin will thank you!
Oftentimes it's the social customs surrounding the holidays that can throw us off balance. It's kicked off with Halloween trick-or-treating. And though it's kid-centric tradition, what parent does not steal a candy bar or two? Thanksgiving is next and, for many of us, extends beyond the Thursday holiday, prolonging the interruption of our normal routines. Many people celebrate with more than one faction of their family, adding to the splurge.
Tips for avoiding the holiday gorging:
-Eat beforehand. Fill up on nutritious food at home, before going to a party. This will decrease the temptation of the unhealthy treats.
-Bring something that you'll eat. When you're going to a potluck, make a healthy dish that will satiate you, so you're not left hungry or overindulging on sugar.
Try these healthy and delectable substitutes for traditional holiday recipes:
Squeeze the juice from 1 tangerine
Place 6 oz of carbonated water in a tall thin glass
Pour in ½ of the tangerine juice, stir
Put in 2 teaspoons of cranberry juice
Finish with a decorative slice of tangerine on the rim or in the glass.
A fun addition is REALLY BIG ice, as we call it in my house. There are tons of molds available online or in stores. Try freezing them with a few real cranberries and/or tangerine rind inside for an oh-so-festive beverage.
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Steam cauliflower for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain (the dryer the better) or roast in the oven with whole garlic cloves for a toasty flavor.
Add almond, cashew, or coconut milk + salt, pepper, cashew cream to taste. Butter is optional.
Mash with a potato masher.
Steaming is a simple, yummy way to prepare them or:
Shave or quarter Brussels and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with safflower oil (cooking heat too high for olive) or melted coconut butter, and salt.
Place on a baking sheet and cook at 450-500°, stirring until golden brown.
Sweet Potato Fries with Caramelized Sage
Cut sweet potatoes into fries.
Take fresh sage leaves (if washed, make sure they're dry) and place them in a frying pan with melted coconut butter on medium heat. Flip when one side it browned. Remove sage when caramelized. Pour oils and potatoes in a bowl and add salt while stirring. Place in a baking dish at 450-500°, stirring until browned. Remove from oven and garnish with sage.
Holiday Pecan “Cheese” Cake
Press into a tart pan, bake at 200-300° for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
Cut dark chocolate and melt over low heat with coconut milk. Set aside to cool. Drain and rinse soaked cashews. In a food processor or blender, combine cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Blend well until super smooth. The time to get it smooth will depend on your food processor or blender. It can take as long as 8-10 minutes. Add melted coconut oil and blend again.
Add the cooled coconut milk/chocolate mixture to the cashew cream and blend. Pour into cooled tart crust. Decorate with shaved coconut and/or fresh berries.
August 31, 2022
Our skin can be quite different from thick, rough skin on our feet to the sensitive, thin skinned eye area, and yet hydration is key to perfection in all areas. While dehydration is the common enemy, each requires a different ally to make the most out of the hydration benefits. So what to do about it? Use a hydrator that works with your skins different qualities.
Dryness is a disaster! When your body is dehydrated, it will let you know with clear signs in your hair, feet, hands and eyes.
As a general guideline, avoid harsh chemicals and creams where oils and water are not the first ingredients.
Dry hair results in frizz, split ends and flyaways, making us feel unkempt and causing breakage. Hair benefits from healthy fats found in olive oil, coconut and shea butter. Coconut oil can be applied before washing, then washed off or as a leave in after washing. Shea butter and olive oil are often used as a hair mask before washing or as a leave-in conditioner, especially in dry and hot weather. If you struggle from dandruff or dry scalp problems, a scalp oil with anti-bacterial ingredients can provide some relief.
TIPS: Close the cuticles on your hair 1 a week with an apple cider vinegar rinse & switch to a shampoo bar (less chemicals and eco friendly). Cutting down how often you wash your hair, and brushing with a soft bristle brush can help distribute your scalp oils naturally throughout your hair to repair and moisturize.
Dry skin around the eyes causes premature aging, wrinkles and fine lines. Eyes are surrounded by thin, sensitive skin that loves antioxidant and vitamin rich ingredients such as rose hydrosol, pumpkin seed, black cumin and avocado oils, honey and goat milk.
TIPS: Relax with some used, cool green, black or white tea bags or cucumber slices over your eyes. Switch from eye cream to an eye balm that has a higher percentage of oil.
Hands and feet are our hardest workers! After being exposed to chemicals, dirt and dust, and going all summer in sandals, They often need the heaviest hydration. Dry hands and feet become itchy, cracked, inflamed and can build up callouses when left alone. Use butters and oils like shea, mango, coconut, olive, avocado and apricot. A cuticle oil or coconut oil can help with stubborn flakey skin around your nail beds when used regularly. Lip balm or Sumbody’s Eye’m In Love serum will also do the trick, many items are multi-purpose - use what you have on hand!
TIPS: Exfoliate with a butter/oil based salt scrub, soak in epsom salts and layer on the moisture. First an oil, then add a butter and cover with gloves/socks before bed to lock it all in.
August 01, 2022
There is nothing like summer’s bountiful harvest to renew and rejuvenate both your skin and overall health. It seems so simple, but the healing properties of the season’s fruits are exactly what your body needs! Indulge inside and out in the bounty of these 7 summer fruits while they are fresh and abundant.
Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that is converted to arginine, which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow.
Peaches rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber and potassium.
Blueberries filled with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamins B6 and phytonutrient content. It is also said to support heart health.
Blackberries loaded with vitamin C, low in calories, sodium and are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Plums contain antioxidant protection from the phenols.
Kiwi are a great source of Vitamin C – higher than lemons and oranges! The fruit helps induce sleep, is a good source of dietary fiber, helps in digestion and is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A, C fiber and potassium.
Here are some simple (and yummy) ways to add more of these fruits to your diet.
Healing from the inside out
Healing from the Outside-In.
Here is your chance to play with your food. Squish, mash and smooch your way to a healthy glow. Summer fruit properties are also healing when applied to skin. Filled with antioxidants, vitamin C & A, beta carotene and alpha-hydroxy acids they are anti-aging wonders. With everything from removing dead skin cells, revealing a healthy, youthful glow, preventing signs of aging, and smoothing and softening wrinkles, they are a skin powerhouse.
4. Don’t throw your watermelon rinds away, they are filled with chlorophyll, and amino acids. Place 1 cup of rind in a blender or food processor and puree. Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of watermelon flesh, I tablespoon yogurt and honey (optional for vegans) and mix again till puree. Remove from blender add ¼ cup salt to ¼ mixture.
Scrub body exfoliate from head to toe in the shower or bath.
Whether your goal is better looking, more youthful skin, or overall improved health, summer fruits are your answer. Adding them to your day-to-day lifestyle will keep you in the glow.
May 31, 2022
The weather affects us in so many ways. When it shifts, so do our habits, often without us even realizing. The changing seasons also influences our mood, which influences what we do, what we eat, and where we go. Our physical activity levels can ebb and flow with the weather. Warmer weather lures us to exercise outdoors, while colder weather pushes us to the gym. We crave different foods and supermarkets and restaurant offer different, seasonal foods, so changes in diet are inevitable. Since we’re on its cusp, let’s talk about summer and all the ways it impacts your skin, from breakouts to wrinkles, and your overall health.
Problem: Hot weather = air conditioning, which can dehydrate and irritate skin.
Solutions: Pure plant hydrosols mists are wonderful for on-the-go hydration. Getting a humidifier for your home is a worthwhile investment. Use an oil-based moisturizer from your neck-up and heavier butters for neck-down rest of body, richer.
Problem: Increased sun exposure can be drying and damaging to skin.
Solutions: If you must be in the sun, be sure to wear appropriate protection, whether it’s a hat, long sleeves, and/or sunscreen. And if you get a sunburn? Colloidal oat bath, or use a product like Sumbody’s Overexposed Sunburn Gel, with ingredients like cooling peppermint, soothing aloe vera, and calming cucumber.
Problems: Swimming in chlorinated pools can dry out and irritate skin. Playing field sports can cause a buildup of dirt and other particles in pores. Increased travel, whether it’s by plane, train, or automobile, can dehydrate skin.
Solutions: To soothe and moisturize your after-swim skin, try layering a pure, unscented body oil, like avocado or pistachio underneath lotion. Bring toner pads with you and be sure to wash your face post-play. I recommend a purifying charcoal cleanser. Bring a hydrating hydrosol mist and facial oil with you in your glove box or carry-on.
While summer brings a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, there’s also a smorgasbord of not-so-healthy seasonal snacks that are best to limit or avoid altogether.
Problem: Sweet treats and fried foods from fairs and carnivals.
Solutions: Pack your own snacks! Or if you can’t, try to find the healthiest options possible. There’s likely a Greek or Caesar salad on someone’s menu.
Problem: Unhealthy picnic foods. Hot dogs and other processed meats often contain antibiotics that can throw your hormones out of whack, leading to acne and inflammation. Plus, the sauces you slather on them, like ketchup and BBQ sauce, are loaded with sugar. And don’t forget about the chips! Refined carbs can cause inflammation in the body that triggers a collagen-damaging stress reaction.
Solutions: Salmon or veggie patties. Make your own or find a good store-bought brand. My favorite is Sunshine Burgers. Read the labels and opt for less sugary toppings. Mustard often has little to no added sugar.
Problem: Egg and potato salads. Most non-organic eggs contain high levels of added hormones, which does not bode well for skin.
Solutions: Be sure to use organic, hormone-free eggs in these recipes, or make a healthier, roasted potato salad instead. Better yet, indulge in summer’s cornucopia of fresh produce and make a leafy green salad! Summer is a great time to eat your veggies raw vs. winter, when there’s less available and we crave warmth, sautéing is a better choice.
Problem: Non-organic produce can contain hormones and pesticides that throw off your skin’s natural balance. Summer favorites of peaches, nectarines, and cherries carry particularly high levels of pesticides and are especially hazardous since you eat their outer skin.
Solutions: Take a look at the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of the most pesticide-contaminated produce and be sure to buy these organic.
Problem: Sweet, blended coffee drinks.
Solutions: If you’re in the need for cold caffeine, choose regular iced coffee, tea, or chai instead of the fancy milkshake-like options.
Problem: Instant, powdered drinks, such as lemonade or Kool-Aid.
Solutions: Pure fruit juices. Squeezing your own lemonade may take some time and energy, but it’s well worth it!
Problem: Sodas. And don’t be fooled that diet sodas are any better for you! Most contain aspartame, which can cause a whole host of skin issues.
Solutions: Sparkling water with fruit essences. Or customize it yourself by adding pineapple, citrus, or berries.
Problem: Sweet cocktails. From daiquiris to piña coladas, summertime cocktails are often full of sugar, which can weaken your immune system, making you less able to fight off bacteria and more likely to develop acne.
Solutions: Choose healthier mixers with less sugar, like kombucha, pure fruit/veggie juices, or sparkling water. If you’re at a restaurant, you can always ask them to hold the simple syrup. And, of course, you can always opt for on the rocks or neat!
With vacations, school schedule changes, visiting friends and relatives, and more hours of daylight, it can feel like life gets turned upside down in the summertime. It’s also easy to let your regular skincare routine fall to the wayside. And while you can’t control the climate or all the events, you can manage some of the seasonal habits and rituals that have an effect on your skin and your general wellbeing.
April 26, 2022
December 03, 2019
Honoring the Earth’s incredible ingredients, we’ve got one of Debbi’s favorite DIY Mask recipes just in time for Earth Day!
This simple, yet powerful mixture will help purify the skin and leave it feeling soft and renewed, just like Earth intended.
December 03, 2019
Stress + skin = disaster. While there’s been a good amount of research on how stress affects our overall health, there’s less talk about how it impacts skin. Even if you can’t see the effects, like a breakout, it causes dehydration, which is damaging to skin. Unmanaged stress can lead to health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and skin issues such as blemishes, redness, excessive dryness, and acne.