Beauty is more than skin deep, and encompasses our entire being – mind, body and spirit. You may know someone (or be someone) who has outer beauty that takes your breath away, but inside are either hurting emotionally or are physically unhealthy. Sometimes the stress from difficult situations can affect us physically and steal the beauty from us if we are not grounded in community and faith to be supported during those valleys of life. You were created to live with abundance!
Our culture places so much emphasis on outer beauty that we can fall into a trap of neglecting the inner: our physical and emotional and spiritual health. Taking care of your inner self often results in healthier emotions and beautiful skin since they all go hand in hand. We all know that balanced hormones and healthy, stable emotions are a big contributor to our beauty and self-esteem as well. When we feel good on the inside it reflects in our outer beauty.
I’ve included some healthy emotions tips in this list as well because our outlook on life and faith can have a positive impact on our health, well-being AND beauty. I’m sure you can think of several women right now who may not have the perfect hair style or polished outfits, but they have a distinguished beauty and inner peace that radiates from their skin. That kind of beauty comes to anyone committed to seeking it and making room for it in their lives. While there are universal aspects of beauty like healthy, glowing skin and being somewhat physically fit (this doesn’t have to be the super physically fit icon going to the gym every day for hours at a time) true beauty is what is unique about each of us. True beauty is being at peace with who God created you to be (moles, asymmetrical faces and all). Honor the unique person you are and give care to your outer and inner self and you’ll radiate with beauty! This article will cover some practical ways to take care of your outer shell, but you can celebrate the fullness of You in the process for complete beauty inside and out!
I love summer, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. Not only because we have more daylight and warm, balmy days, but because our schedules are more relaxed. While summer activities, sunny days at the beach and hiking outdoors are fun, these adventures can all take a toll on our hair and skin.
With a few simple items you can stay ahead of the damage and keep your skin glowing and your hair soft and silky. Body care is big business, and products often carry hefty price tags along with a long list of chemicals. Short term, some of these ingredients may smooth your skin or give you a more youthful appearance, but the long term health risks of many are uncertain. In fact, research continues to find ingredients in personal care products that are wrecking havoc with our hormones and brain health (fragrance), yikes! To begin with, you don’t even need fancy products to be beautiful and have glowing skin. Synthetic fragrance (aka plug ins and chemical air fresheners) is a major trigger for asthma, allergies and anxiety – sneezing and wheezing does not fit in the picture of health and beauty (I’ve been there and it’s not abundant living!). Replacing chemical products with something more natural like God created (imagine the Garden of Eden and all those amazing plants and flowers!) will only benefit you more.
Simple body care products for skin and hair are not difficult to find. It may take some “re-programming” to imagine what it might look like to simplify your routine. Consider that the average woman uses 12 different personal care products before leaving the house in the morning, the average teenage girl 14 and you may be easily motivated to make some changes for the better! Think of these tips as simplifying the number of harsh chemicals you might be exposed to on a daily basis, plus it’s more fun. For starters, I like to read my personal care product labels like I read food labels. If I can’t pronounce the name or the list is too long, I won’t even consider using it. If you’d like a more scientific approach, head over to www.EWG.org and plug in the products you are currently using to see how they rank for toxicity. EWG is a non-profit organization that tests the safety of our consumer goods – many personal care items – and give you all the science behind the ratings.
You’ll be encouraged when you pick out some easy ideas that you can start using right away – I’ll list some at the end of this article. I’ve enjoyed adding some great DIY recipes to our daily routines and honestly, we really don’t use many ready made products because our personal care routines are pretty simple. First, I’ll list our family’s Beauty Top 10 for healthy, glowing skin (because it’s not just about what you put ON your skin but what you also put IN your body, right?). Then I’ll finish up the article with a few of my favorite recipes for easy, luxurious DIY beauty treatments. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s go!
PHB’s Top 10 Beauty Boosters
- Pure Water to drink (no hormone disrupting plastic bottles, thank you), ideally at least 8 glasses each day in glass, ceramic or stainless steel bottles.
- Whole foods nourish your skin from the inside out. Top Beauty Foods: Apple Cider Vinegar, Almonds, Avocados, Blueberries, Cabbage, Coconut, Fermented Foods (Kefir, Kombucha, Sauerkraut) Garlic, Greens, Salmon.
- Fresh air – another reason to get out and take a walk or hike :).
- Let your skin breathe – That means go without your cosmetics for a few days, the longer you can go without, the better your skin will look. Our skin is designed to BREEATHE but cosmetics, topical salves and creams often block the skin’s natural processes to function day to day.
- Exfoliation – doesn’t have to be harsh to be effective. Too vigorous of exfoliation can actually damage delicate skin so keep it light and gentle. You can easily mix up your own skin brightener with fine materials like ground almonds, herbs or even baking soda. Sloughing off dead skin cells regularly helps new cells to emerge.
- Moisturizing hydrates cells and encourages healing. Choose simple vegetable carrier oils to nourish skin like apricot, argan, coconut, and jojoba oil.
- Sun – obviously too much sun exposure is not healthy for the skin, but our skin does need some gentle sun exposure to synthesize Vitamin D. Populations with short summer seasons are often deficient in Vitamin D. When you slather on sunscreen for every sun exposure you have, you also prevent your body from absorbing nutrients the sun provides. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked with higher cancer rates, osteoporosis, and depression to name a few. The answer appears to be in moderation to some degree. If your skin gets overexposed to the sun, use gentle aloe vera and lavender or frankincense essential oils to hydrate and heal the skin. Keep in mind that there are still sunscreens on the market that contain retinyl palmitate – synthetic vitamin A. Researchers have found an increase in skin cancer when retinyl palmitate is exposed to the sun so read your ingredient labels and avoid retinyl palmitate in any skin preparations for sun-exposed skin. We mix up a bottle of soothing skin spray for those days at the beach. Fill a glass spray bottle with pure aloe vera (I like Aubrey’s since it has minimal ingredients in it and is more of a liquid. Traditional “aloe vera gels” contain chemical thickeners that you wouldn’t want on your skin. The most wholesome ingredient you could use is pure aloe vera from the plant. Just break off a small piece and open it up to reveal the nourishing gel inside. Mix a teaspoon of aloe vera with 5-7 drops of essential oil: Lavender or Frankincense are soothing to sun-exposed skin.
- Sleep – 8 hours of sleep a day gives your skin time to rest and renew. When you rob yourself of a full nights rest, your skin will suffer over time.
- Stress Management – Those little mole hills can become mountains if you don’t deal with them right away, and they’re likely to put some wrinkles around your eyes in the process. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing daily to help your body deal with the little and big stressors of life. Foster an environment of Gratitude along with other positive stress management strategies like prayer and journaling. There’s such wisdom to Ephesians 4:26, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”, deal with problems that you can today and don’t let them grow into something bigger. Getting proper sleep goes hand in hand with stress management and if you aren’t getting your full night zzz’s you’ll probably have more difficulty managing the daily stressors of life. Essential oils that may be helpful with stress management are Lavender, Frankincense, and Citrus oils.
- Essential oils are the raw materials for many wholesome, natural DIY recipes. Pure, therapeutic grade essential oils are the purest natural fragrance you can use to replace those chemical perfumes and air fresheners. Make sure you use the highest quality essential oils. Would you like to learn more about essential oils? Sign up for my essential oil Newsletter to learn more and find out how you can get the best quality essential oils at wholesale prices.
Some of my favorite DIY recipes:
Lavender Lip Balm:
Do you make your own personal care products? Share in the comments below and include a link if you have one 🙂 .