NATURAL BEAUTY: AGING GRACEFULLY FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Let's dig into aging today. And while I don't love the term anti-aging, as technically there is no such thing - we all age, so anti anything isn't accurate, and I don't want to anti-anything, but embrace and nourish. But I know that's what we're fed, so it's what we're lead to believe.
What I want to focus on is graceful + slow aging - not preventing aging from happening, but embracing it while doing what I can to remain vibrant, healthy and 'glowy' until old age, as I believe this is possible. I firmly believe in being our best selves (mind + body) until our last day on earth. Not so sound morbid or anything, but I truly believe that we have all control over our lives in all capacity, even though it sometimes feel like we're just a passer-by. This can filter into victim mentality, which serves not a soul. Playing victim taps you out of your true innate healing power which we all possess. All of us. If you live in a human body, you can and will heal. I know it might sound a little rainbow bright, but I firmly believe it to be true. Because in my eyes, what's the other option - fall victim, and not live your most vibrant and purposeful life? That's not an option for me, and one I don't want you to choose either. Call my crazy optimistic, but it's true. Don't fall victim to things just happening, you and I both have the power, the innate power, to tap into unlimited resources within.
This is huge when it comes to aging because most of us just succumb to what's meant to happen, and while yes cellularly and biologically we will all show signs of aging, I believe there is a slower and more graceful way to do this. And if you don't care, and just want to embrace everything that comes with aging and not do a thing - that's amazing too, and I firmly acknowledge your ownership to just ride the wave. As I learn, grow, and become more in turn with who I am as a women, and a practitioner, I would be 100% lying if I said I didn't care about aging, or the signs of it, and that I'm just going to do nothing about it! On the other hand, and I want to be super clear here, I approach everything in the most holistic of manners, and won't ever elect to do anything invasive. No judgement passed, at all, I believe everyone has to do what feels right for them, but personally I'm not going this route, so anything that I speak of, and share will forever be geared towards natural, holistic and green approaches. Again, not condemning it, it's just not for me.
Society as a whole extol's a youthful appearance, despite it being a fact of life. It's what we're met with in marketing, advertisements, and the whole world of anti-aging products and procedures. It's why the skincare and beauty world is a multi-billion dollar industry. I could delve deep into that world + conversation, but because I work more internally, I'm going to focus on that. I just wanted to highlight where the root of all this comes from - Stay young forever, and that it's the definition of beauty.
It's not, and I find that this balance different for every soul.
I can only speak of myself, and what I see / experience in my practice, but for me it's just that, finding the balance. I want to support my body in all processes as I get older, as we're cellular beings, who need to be nourished on this same level. Which is why eating processed foods (your cells don't recognize this) will only diminish and harm your health in the long time. So as I support my bodies entire functioning, I also support my skin, and it's own cellular morphing, growth and break down. See the breakdown we can't prevent, but we can nourish, support, hydrate, target and heal the cells we do have, this is what I'm talking about when I approach graceful aging for myself, and my clients. I don't want to anti-anything, I want to embrace, while still being, looking, and feeling like my Best self, as it's something I value. I want to look and feel my best in my 30's and into my 80's.
I want the freedom to travel, move, laugh, play, sweat, have sex (!), into a V old age. This might not be everyones goal or journey, but it's how I'm navigating getting older, and quite simply what aging means for me.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look, and feel your best. Don't feel guilty for wanting this, it's our birthright, and it does not have to be attached to ego. When driven from ego, this is when it can take a dangerous and slipper slope down the wrong route...
Skin is the first element we see when we look at others, and the first thing others see about us. This is a fact, and will never not be that way. It's also a reflection of what's going on inside of us - this is why face mapping and healing the body as a holistic whole, and not just the skin is critical for deep healing. Quick fixes might work in the short term, but if you don't really get to the root and the core of the Why's, symptoms & issues can continue to surface, and re-surface for years. It's why I take such a deep approach to healing, as I don't want anything to be covered and hidden (I feel like a detective a lot of the time, and I love it).
I approach the healing of the skin (acne, rosacea, pigmentation, scarring, unevenness, etc...) the same way I do aging. In a gentle manner, delicately, holistically, internal, while looking at the mind / body connection - as stress is a massive pre-mature "ager". Any sort of tension or constriction triggers the sympathetic nervous system which allows for involuntary contraction of our muscles, which can lead to unwanted lines, wrinkles, sagging and texture / look / feel of skin (Note: I want to be clear - I'm not saying lines / wrinkles are bad - I'm more talking about preventative + pre-mature) as NO one, I don't care what someones says wants to look older than they are. Again, if you could care less about graceful aging, or again at all, this most likely isn't for you.
A few things to start us off. Skin and hair are subject to both intrinsic (genetic mechanisms), or what we can call physiological aging, and extrinsic (UV, smoking, poor diet, alcohol, lack of sleep, etc..), or premature aging due to external factors. The good news is that extrinsic again has the greatest influence over the aging of our skin - therefore it's what We have control over.
As little as 3% of the skiNs aging is caused by genetic factors (and really any and al disease for that matter), and the rest is all lifestyle bassed. which means it's up to us.
So forget about succumbing to just the pitfalls of life, and our bodies natural processes, we still play a massive part in this. Huge part. It's about getting into the drivers seat, instead of passively being driven. Your parents plant the seed, you are the one to nourish it. This should give you hope, massive hope.
One other thing to note is that our skin has 3 main layers of skin:
1. Epidermis - Outer
2. Dermis - Middle (collagen + elastin)
3. Hypodermis (subcutaneous) - Consists of adipose fat cells which support the connective tissues
I want to highlight the 3 layers as we can't just look at external fixes for skin. Products are wonderful enhancements, and help heal the epidermis, but when we're talking about deeper issues that show up on our skin, we're talking about the deeper layers. What lies beneath is what matters. Further what we don't realize is that a lot of the damage is happening underneath our epidermis for years, upon years, even decades before it comes to the surface which is why it's so important to nourish, prevent, heal, hydrate and love our skin no matter what it looks like on the outside. Our skin is our largest organ that must be fed from within.
I could write about this topic for years, as I'm hyper passionate about the skin, and work with it daily in my practice, but let's start digging into some foundational things you can do to take better care of your skin, gracefully age, and really at the end of the day take care of your largest organ. When we start to see it and treat it like an organ, I find it easier to nourish. It's just that it's a non-vital organ so we think we can get away with mis-treating it, or not treating it at all. Both aren't favourable. And nothing can be built upon a wobbly foundation, or no foundation at all.
Here are my foundational graceful aging steps / tips //
1. HYDRATION - you've heard it a million times before, but I can't stress how important it is on a moment to moment bases. Nothing will plump cells up like water
2. SUN CARE - This deserves a post on it's own, but I hate to burst anyones bubble but UV rays, and sun is the number one photo-ager around. It does the most oxidative stress ( promotion of free radicals, which we don't want!) so will wreak the most havoc on skin. This must embody whatever you think is best for You, and you only. For me it looks like this - wearing SPF daily - 365 days a year, walking on the shady side of the street, hats in the summer + on vacation, and just overall being mindful of sun exposure. So a not so known fact is that I'm hyper sensitive to light, so being in the direct sun light is physically hard for me, and the heat makes me anxious, as I'm a pitta / scorpio so I innately have a lot of fear / heat from within. So by nature I'm quite vampire-ish and always have been. Even when I was little, I've always preferred the shade over the direct sun. Mindful sun awareness is different for everyone, so find your balance.
3. ANTIOXIDANTS - Antioxidants are what "kill" free radicals, and free radicals are what cause everything from aging to cancer. So antioxidants are hyper important. Extremely. Foods rich in antioxidants, you got it - whole fruits and vegetables. Nothing can beat mother natures babies. Those deep dark colours that make up the array of berries, it's not by coincidence or for show, it's because they contain high amounts of Anthocyanins - which give them their pigmentation, and anthocyanins are one of the top forms of antioxidants you can consume. Along with chlorophyll in greens. There are so many more, but foundational, we must eat food that came before us (I.e wasn't made in a plant), BUT IS A PLANT! When we focus on deep nourishment, it makes a massive difference in how our bodies externally display this. Further, when I'm working with clients with deeper health issues - thyroid, severe acne, mental health, hormones, leaky gut, chron's, Arthritis, food is foundational - it won't be the # 1 healer, but it sets the stage for further healing to take place. My favourite antioxidant - Vitamin C - hands down my true love.
4. A CONSISTENT SKIN CARE REGIME - This will defer for every soul, and it's something I guide my clients on, but only once we've tackled the internal (80% of the work). Ideally a more natural, green, holistic, yet effective approach is best. But I do know that some chemicals can be of assistance here. Again no judgement. I work with clients on finding their sweet spot, products, and a regime that they can do 365 days a year. There is no point doing a million steps, if consistency isn't there. If you're using more conventional products I would start out with trying to do 1/2 and 1/2 - and then work your way from there. Or even introducing one green / natural product at once. A complete overhaul might be too much at once, as with everything, patience and taking things slower will always win the race in the long run. If you want to continue using all conventional that's okay to, just be super educated and mindful as to what deeper issues (endocrine, hormonal, thyroid, inflammation) those could be causing if, when they are introduced into your blood stream. I'm a no-judgement soul, but I'm definitely speak truth, and simply ask you to deploy mindfulness as to what you're doing. If you're putting something in or on your body, you should know what it's doing + what's in it.
5. SWEAT - Try to sweat least 5 times a week, ideally once a day. Turning over skin cells is crucial for the health of our skin. As we get older the life cycle and the turnover of our cells decrease. When cells once used to turn every 27-28 days, that's now extended to 35 or so days. It doesn't seem like a lot, but externally this does make a difference. Sweating, the most natural form of detoxification aids in cellular turnover, as does any form of exfoliation (another big topic!). Both are critical for the health of our skin, especially our epidermal layer.
6. COLLAGEN SUPPORT - I know creams are marketed as containing collagen, and will plump on your skin with continued usage. This is rarely the case, as our collagen (and elastin) lives within our dermis layer, and no cream will penetrate that deep to really effect the collagen structure. Remember that 70% of our dry skin mass is made up of collagen, so it's vitally important to ingest. How do you do this? There are a few ways, my favourites being - powdered collagen (unflavoured - Either Vital Proteins or Sports Research), Bone broth, sulphur rich foods (radishes, cruciferous veg), and some organic high quality animal proteins. This is what works for me, so you have to find your comfort in navigating this realm, as I know if vegan / vegetarian it can be harder to get in more collagen. Algae and seaweed are great sources, but just won't do the same job when it comes to really building up your collagen from within.
7. DEEP LOVE OF SELF / MIND - Sometimes the hardest thing to cultivate, as beauty really is skin deep. It goes WAY beyond the layers of skin, and deep into your heart centre. To me beauty = a warm heart, kindness, warmth, hugs, elegance, grace, purpose driven, confidence, honesty, laughter, being in nature, nourishment, and having a connection to ones body, mind, and soul. That's beauty to me. I focus on those areas wayyyyy more than I focus on my skin, but the skin is the "matter" that this is all housed in, so I want it to reflect outwards, what I so feel internally, and like I said above! I don't want there to be a disconnect. I want life to be fluid, full of my definition of beauty, and while all of that is taken care of, and my love for myself runs deeper, a nice glow, radiance, that simply reflects the health of my inner cells, organs, blood flow, lymph movement, and hormone balance.
It says to me, you're talking wonderful care of us, so we shall reflect that externally.
I've dealt with really bad acne, scarring and pigmentation when healing my lyme disease, and I know what a knock it took off my confidence ( aka non- existent), and just the overall sense of shame and guilt it made me feel as I was taking such good care of my internal garden, but it did not reflect one bit externally. I don't want to go back there. Which is why I want to help others on their journey with their skin, and ultimately their body, mind, and soul. As like I always say EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED. What can't heal our story, journey, and body without looking at all parts. All of them.
These are but a foundation, and there are many more things to add, but any sort of healing journey has to start with a foundation and small steps. There is no exact formula, as everyones skin is so personal, different and unique. It's why I work on healing the holistic whole, and not just a particular organ ( skin) as I want you to be glowing, but also deeply filled with purpose, happy, and worth, as these all lessens stress, which then lessens pre-mature aging. See! It's all a beautiful cycle, and when we learn to embrace this cycle, it rewards us. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's 1000% possible.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO DELVE DEEPER INTO YOUR BODY, MIND AND SOUL, WHILE USING NUTRITION, FOOD AS MEDICINE, REPROGRAMMING YOUR MINDSET, ADVISORY INTO YOUR TRUE INNATE SELF, AND TO TAKE YOUR HEALING TO THE NEXT LEVEL, I WOULD LOVE TO BE THERE FOR YOU. LET'S CONNECT.