This is the third and final part of my series on caring for your beautiful face, and this post is going to be ALLLLLL about your insides.
You can read Part I and II of my Beautiful Face series in the Health/Beauty section of my blog.
I will preface this post, as I often do with many of my posts, by saying that I can’t exactly prove the validity of any of my meanderings. This is all just what I believe and what I have found to be true for me. And becoming a balanced goddess is all about YOU, and learning what works for you, and honoring what feels good to you. So if my ideas, thoughts, and suggestions don’t exactly jive with you, then keep exploring until you find your own groove and start to jive with other YOU-friendly ways of living.
Oh boy, here we go!
I am a believer in holistic health, first and foremost. This idea can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But to me, it simply means that I believe our health and wellness is affected by both our external and internal circumstances, for the long-term and the short-term. And honestly, I have found that it does not seem to be a 50/50 divide, but rather our insides (not just our literal guts and organs, but our emotions, our pent-up pain, our coping mechanisms, our past conditioning, etc.) far outweigh any external health factors, and are really the true decider of the overall health and well-being of our bodies. Of course, there are many exceptions, but at the very least, I think it is an important part of our health that is often overlooked. And I really do believe that it’s a bit archaic to not even consider our insides when examining the cause of any ailment, no matter how serious or seemingly insignificant.
Here is a perfect example of how my external body was overwhelmingly affected by, and reflective of, my internal emotional circumstances; and how the internal emotional pain that I was experiencing, manifested itself in physical form. And since we are ultimately talking about skincare here, this is an even more perfect example of how the skin is so very sensitive to our insides and often mirrors back to us any state of internal imbalance or upset.
I had just broken up with my boyfriend of five years (this was long ago, but still a valid tale). I was very sad, obviously, and I don’t think I was even able to wrap my head around this loss as I drove away in the moving truck, waving goodbye out the window, never to see him again (it was an amicable and bittersweet ending). It was a 2-day drive back home and thankfully I was not alone, but with my twin sister. Emotionally I felt “fine.” I was not beside myself, I was not crying, but instead I just felt kind of dead and strange and not myself. Perhaps a bit fragile and raw, but still in seemingly good spirits. Loss is a strange thing and does strange things to us.
Within about an hour of our drive, I began feeling itchy around my fingers and knuckles. It was a minor bothersome itch but it was noticeable and I couldn’t seem to stop scratching. By the time we reached our hotel that evening, I had noticed that the little red bumps that had formed on my hands, had started to spread to my feet. I continued to itch and scratch for the entire trip, and when I finally arrived home the next evening, my entire body, including my neck, torso, and lower back were all covered in little red itchy bumps—aka HIVES.
It freaked me out just a bit because hives are creepy little things that are just kind of there and don’t seem to budge, and this hive outbreak lasted for a good four or five days. I tried to take an anti-histamine but it did nothing. A part of me knew that this outbreak must have something to do with what I was going through, but it was very difficult for me to believe. It’s like I knew it, but I didn’t really believe it. Emotionally I felt FINE!
“I’m fine. Everything’s fine. I mean, it sucks, but I’m strong, and it’s for the best. So why these bumps?”
From an energetic / spiritual / homeopathic standpoint, producing those little red bumps on my skin (think of the skin as a pathway used for detoxification) was my body’s way of releasing pent-up harmful (emotional) energy that may otherwise have damaged my organs or other delicate systems within. Think how a person can sometimes faint from shock, or have a nervous break-down from too much stress. Those are both ways in which the body is literally trying to save a person’s life by knocking her out, so as to focus on processing all the energy that may otherwise have overwhelmed her body to the point of destruction. So, although my heartbreak bumps were gross and icky looking, their ultimate development was my body’s way of protecting me from deeper harm during those very emotionally fragile first few days of post-break up shock. Thank you Body, you wise thing, you!
However, my unchecked emotions (I didn’t really cry during the entire post-break-up period—and I’m a crier) were not through with my body yet. Several months later I wound up in the emergency room with extreme chest pain and a racing heart. I most definitely thought I was having a heart attack. And at that time, it absolutely did not occur to me that it STILL might have something to do with my emotions. The doctors tested for everything. They ran an EKG, and a chest X-ray, and did lots of other heart-related tests, and found nothing (thankfully). My father and sister sat beside me in the emergency room and not once did they look concerned. Not because they did not care, but because they knew better than me that my heart health was not the problem. I had been with someone for five years, and we were no longer. And I hadn’t cried. I was a mess on the inside, and my body was trying to get my attention.
Hopefully I’ve proven at least a small portion of my point to you when it comes to holistic health and how our insides and outsides coalesce together. And therefore, when I get into explaining all of the positive things I do to take care of my insides, it goes without saying that it will have a positive effect on my outsides, including and especially my skin.
Aside from maintaining a balanced emotional atmosphere within yourself, of course it is equally important to maintain a balanced diet and health regimen. It all adds up to clear skin, clean health, and happy faces. Something also to consider, is that if your diet is great but your face is not as clear and gorgeous as you would like, look into what’s going on with your emotions (this is no small task but if you are going to be a goddess, you have to face those tough emotions at some point). And if you are emotionally pretty fab, have healed your past wounds, and avoid life drama at all costs, etc., then maybe your diet is not as “healthy” as you think it is. Just something to ponder the next time you are abluting.
Since I’ve gone on so long about the internal / external factors with regards to skincare, I will keep this short and sweet by leaving you with a list of things that I do on a regular basis, concerning my innards, that I believe have a direct and very positive effect on the state of my face. You can use all the fancy schmancy skincare products you want, but if you are poisoning your insides (emotionally or otherwise), I really don’t think it matters what kinds of materials you apply at the topical level.
Feel free to experiment with some or all of these ideas and see if you notice a difference. I would say that if you do decide to try to implement any of these changes, you might not see the results reflected in your face immediately. Perhaps give it 2-3 weeks of good and consistent behavior. Our internal systems are much more delicate than we realize, and our bodies might take a while to forgive us if we’ve been abusing them for a long period of time. If your skin starts to look better (if you get compliments, you know you’re doing something right), then you can bet that your insides are pretty happy also!
SOME OF MY POSITIVE INNARD HABITS THAT MY FACE THANKS ME FOR DAILY
- I eat dark green leafy leaves (spinach, kale, arugula, etc.) every single day, without fail. Whatever meal you are sitting down to, at least once a day, throw a few leaves in a bowl with some vinaigrette and just gulp it down with the rest of your food. I love the taste and what it adds to a meal, but if you hate the idea, maybe just wash it down with some mashed potatoes or something? You can also wilt them into stir fry dishes, but you lose a ton of nutrients when you heat whole foods and produce, so raw is better. But if you must, it’s better than nothing.
- I drink tons and tons of water. I start early, AFTER I brush my teeth and before I eat, I drink a full glass of water upon waking. Then I drink water throughout the day. Yes, I use the bathroom more frequently than most. But when I’m in that bathroom, I get to look at my gorgeously fresh and clear face multiple times a day and say, “Hello Beautiful!”
- I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink lots of tea. This is mostly about fiber and free radicals I think. Whatever it is, it’s good and healthy to do. I don’t go crazy with the fruit. Perhaps just a piece of fruit or two every day, or every other day. I drink about three cups of tea a day also (not the sweetened stuff—I mean like a tea bag with water and that’s it). Tea is great for detoxing and has lots of anti-oxidants. I don’t know what that means exactly, but I know it’s a good thing, so just do it.
- I lay off the sugar. This is a tough one and only something that I’ve recently started trying, because I am 100% addicted to sugar. But I have really reduced my intake (it is recommended that adult females do not go over 25 grams a day—that’s like nothing!). But this is the change that I have made that has brought about the most significant results for me, and since I’ve been reducing the sugar, I’ve been receiving the compliments. It really works! This only took a few weeks of cutting back on the sugar before it started showing on my face.
- It goes without saying that excessive alcohol intake is not a good thing. I know some ladies love their wine (or even some of the more powerful stuff). But it takes its toll on our bodies and most definitely shows up on our skin. I come from a long line of alcohol lovers and have witnessed the effects first hand. Lay off the alcohol and don’t smoke cigarettes, duh.
- Even though yoga and meditation seem like external activities (and they are), they most definitely improve a person’s internal state when it comes to inner peace, reduced anxiety, calmer emotions, etc., and I recommend you explore these kinds of practices if you haven’t already. It’s great if you go to the gym and jog a million miles a day, but those activities can stir up a lot of energy, and perhaps agitate some of your systems. Yoga and meditation are all about calming that energy down. The face likes calm.
- Look into probiotics. You can eat yogurt with probiotics if you like yogurt (but I don’t), or you can invest a little more and get the refrigerated capsules with probiotics in them. From what I know about them, it’s mostly about keeping the gut happy and balanced. This aids in digestion obviously, and it also maintains your immune system. I take them when I have an upset stomach or have trouble digesting something, and they really seem to make my tummy happy. Clean gut = clean face, apparently.
These are all very basic suggestions I know. But it really takes participating in almost all (or at least most) of them, in order to see a difference. It’s exhausting trying to stay young and beautiful I know! But I do these things because they are meaningful to me, and because I believe in them. I believe in their power and I believe they contribute to my longevity both internally and externally. Time will tell, but until then, stay healthy goddesses, and take good care of your gorgeous, wise, wonderful, mysterious, complex, and perfectly imperfect bodies!