I feel as though I have read the same exhaustive list of beauty tips over and over again, in every magazine and blog. And although some of the tips are great, most tips do not deliver real beauty and radiance from the inside out. So I have compiled my list of naturopathic beauty tips, which will deliver so much more than just outer beauty and radiance. I am talking glowing energy, my friends! So here goes….
- Heal your gut. This might shock you, but you are not what you eat. You are what you absorb. If you suffer from gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or any abdominal discomfort, it is likely that you are not absorbing the nutrients that you require to glow. Healing your gut requires a few steps and some professional guidance. If the following four steps are implemented properly, all your digestive woes should resolve – along with many skin complaints.
- Step one – Remove any food sensitivities, parasites or infections.
- Step two – Replace components of digestion that may be low or missing completely. Hydrochloric acid (ie. Stomach acid) and digestive enzymes are the most common things that need to be replaced.
- Step three – Reinoculate your gut with probiotics.
- Step four – Heal and regenerate the gut lining.
- Get adequate sleep. Find the amount of shut-eye that works for you and don’t scrimp. If sleeping is difficult for you, I can totally relate. As a recovering insomniac, here are the tips that I have learned from practice and sleep therapy:
- Do not go to bed until you feel tired. BUT, try to go to bed before you get your “second wind”. For me, that is just before 11:00p.m.
- GET UP AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY. This is non-negotiable for insomniacs. It helps to set your circadian clock and feed your sleep drive at the end of the day.
- No napping.
- Often, insomniacs do not need as much sleep as they think they do. Listen to your body, and do not spend too much time in bed. If you are awake, get up.
- Stop all caffeine. Coffee, tea, green tea, chocolate. Gone.
- Treat anxiety and depression – with herbs, neutraceuticals and therapy. Often the same imbalances that cause anxiety and depression can cause insomnia.
- Balance your hormones.
- Water is great, but fruits and vegetables are even better. Why? Fruits and vegetables have a high water content – and they also contain vitamins and minerals that helps the water get right into the cells of the body. So instead of your usual 8 glasses of water a day, try some coconut water, a juicy piece of fruit, or a green drink. Your cells will be plump and juicy – and naturopathic beauty will follow!
- Alkalinize your body. There are trillions of cells in your body, and each and every cell performs functions that are triggered by enzymes. Enzymes flourish in a very specific environment, which is a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. When the body has an unbalanced pH, it affects the function of enzymes dramatically. In an acidic environment, cells and enzymes are unable to perform optimally. From a beauty perspective, this can lead to acne, reduced collagen production, gauntness, compromised blood flow and nutrition to the skin, a reduction in the action of exfoliating enzymes and skin infections. Whew! So, eat your greens, get your pH tested, and glow!
- Have regular bowel movements. Nothing will kill a complexion more than toxic build-up. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, and a dull complexion can all result when you experience constipation. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I suspect you get the idea. Eat lots of fruit and veggies, hydrate yourself, and seek professional help if it is an ongoing problem.
- Balance your hormones. When your hormones are out of balance, all sorts of beauty problems arise. Acne, hair loss, loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles, rosacea, cellulite – these are just some of the symptoms of hormonal dis-regulation. Go to a Naturopathic Doctor to get a proper hormone assessment and treatment. Hormones are complicated – do not attempt this on your own!
- Relax! Chronic stress can lead to prolonged cortisol secretion, which can create some serious beauty problems. High cortisol levels directly effect blood sugar levels, and imbalanced blood sugar levels can lead to acne, inflammation, abdominal obesity, insomnia, and more. Seriously, it is not beautiful to suffer from all of the above. Instead, indulge in some yoga, meditation, chamomile tea and beauty sleep. It will really go a long way to getting your naturopathic beauty glow on!
- Stay away from Free Radicals. Free radicals are the bad guys when it comes to aging. They steal electrons from healthy molecules in the body, which can cause a lot of damage. Avoid sources of free radicals such as the uv light, smoking, inflammation and air pollution. So wear your sunscreen, buy some Nicorette, eat your veggies and move to the countryside (just kidding!).
- Indulge in antioxidants. Okay, I know that not everyone can breathe the clean air of a country village or avoid the sunshine 100% of the time (although I do expect you to quit smoking and eat your veggies) – so it is important to bring in the heavy hitters – anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants will give those pesky free radicals the electrons that they are looking for – and minimize the damage that they do to the body. There are some amazing anti-oxidants out there – think fruits, vegetables, vitamin C, resveratrol, alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione.
- Quench inflammation. Inflammation not only creates more free radicals in the body, but it also attracts mediators that cause cell and tissue damage. Inflammation is part of almost every condition out there (you can always get a blood test for C-Reactive Protein (CRP) to check your levels of inflammation) – and then treat yourself to lots of fruits, veggies, fish oils and curcumin to help keep the inflammation under control.
Stacey Shillington, ND graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) in 2006. She has since established a practice in downtown Toronto focusing on naturopathic anti-aging and skin care, including mesotherapy and cosmetic acupuncture.