The journey as a woman brings lots of different colourful chapters.
It can be confusing and at times disheartening to keep up with what media and our society may tell us we need to do, should do and should look like.
Ageing gracefully is a powerful and liberating thing and something I think is important to keep tuning in to and gently reminding ourselves of.
So, here are our top tips for loving the skin you're in, for the whole journey, at any age.
Our skin needs to move. It holds lots of wastes and gentle stimulation helps increase blood flow to the surface (this gives that healthy glow and plumpness), encourages natural collagen production, helps filter lymph which helps move toxins and excess fluid, tightens and tones our skin, encourages healthy sloughing of old skin cells and balances skin texture and pigment.
I apply oil to my face then gently massage from my chin up. Move into ALL the spaces around ALL of the bones. Use upward and outward strokes around the forehead and between the brows. I alternate using my jade gua sha tool and jade stone roller too. I provide full instructions for how to use these on the face (and body).
As we are majority water it’s important to keep fluids up. Keep your individual situation in mind though – water intake is dependent on many factors – where you live (cold or hot climate), how physical you are, your age, height and weight. I often hear about and treat water metabolism issues – basically there’s water going in and it seems to just come straight back out! If this is you you'll know exactly what I mean. This shows that our *internal fire* isn’t really heating the water to steam it so all the cells can utilise it and basically the fluid bypasses these processes and heads straight to the bladder or gets stored somewhere (you know that flabby feeling but you feel dry and thirsty at the same time). Always opt for filtered water. I spent a very very long time searching for one I was happy with and I am so glad I did. I installed a whole house water filter plus a sink alkalising tap. The owner of this Australian business kindly offers the ILA + AVA family 10% off - just type NOURISHED when asked for a code at the checkout. You can view the whole range here.
To encourage better fluid metabolism opt for drinking warm fluids, have fluids away from food and add fresh lemon and ginger to your warm water especially in the morning. Steer clear of cooling and strong diuretic teas like peppermint and green tea (unless it has toasted rice in it or a lot of ginger). Add more leafy greens and fresh vegetables which have a good amount of fluid content. There are so many great herbal teas that can help restore the natural mechanism of fluid metabolism within the body, which means encouraging each cell to correctly hold water opposed to moving it out of the body too quickly or letting it settle outside of the cells which leads to feeling dry but having fluid retention.
3. Eat Clean
I see this so much in my clinic, especially with younger girls. The outside is a mirror of the inside. What you put in (everything) affects the functioning of our bodys' systems. The more waste or junk that goes in the harder it needs to work and the more waste it needs to *try* to remove.
The skin is a huge waste clearing organ and hence toxins will be cleared out of our pores. Often this gunk may block the pores leading to pimples, bumps, roughness and redness. Try eating less from a packet (if eating pre-packed opt for very minimal and clean ingredients) and more from the earth, minimise animal products and choose wholefoods – products that have had minimal interference and are just the basic ingredient itself.
Replace mainstream sugar with natural and nutrient dense substitutes like maple syrup, coconut syrup, coconut sugar, medjool dates, coco aminos and apple sauce. You can find my clean plant powered whole food recipes here.
4. Less is more
The less you do to your skin the better.
That being said a minimalist skin routine is not just a preventative but also highly beneficial to glowing, healthy skin. I still strongly believe cleansers are a big problem maker and I see it happen far too often. Using only a cloth for cleansing minimises stress to the skin, doesn’t disrupt the sensitive pH of our face and protects our skins natural oils. I use this one myself and create it as part of the ILA + AVA range. Just add water and buff.
I suggest a gentle exfoliation once per week only – our sensitive face skin does not need more than this. I create a 2-in-1 radiance face polish which can be used as a face scrub or mask. If you want baby smooth skin the Bamboo Cleansing Cloth and 2-in-1 Radiance Face Polish are beauty routine game-changers.
I also truly believe cleansing with an oil is the best way to clean and hydrate your skin. Try wetting your face first, then applying a few drops of either of the ILA + AVA face oils to your fingertips. Massage the oil all over your face and neck, moving in circular motions. Wet your Bamboo Cleansing Cloth under warm to hot water - open it and press and gently steam your face then use circular buffing motions all over your face, under you chin and along your whole neck. Apply a few drops of oil to your palms, rub to gently warm then press into your face and gently smooth out.
5. Sun protection
Wear a hat when outside - I wear a cap in the mornings for my walks with Zahli and a wide brim boho hat at the beach. Opt for skincare products with natural sun protection in them. I use specific essential oils and plant extracts like kakadu plum and green tea to help protect the skin. Zinc oxide is natures gift for sun protection but there are 2 types – one that contains nano particles which are harmful to our health and one that does not, 'non-nano'. Opt for the one with no nano. The Nourish Face Cream is such a great face moisturiser, and is suitable for day use with natural sun protective ingredients and non-nano zinc oxide. Plus it is non-greasy and hydrates well. Sun exposure is important for our health so be sensible, I opt for protecting my face more during the peak times of the day as this part of our body is also more sensitive to sun exposure.
Although we hear this so often it’s one of the most important things in our life. As there are many hormones that all work together in the body (the Endocrine system = hormone system) by regulating our sleeping, and waking pattern, we can help balance all our other hormones too! Others, like our sex hormones, which also operate in accordance to stress and other signals from their neighbour hormones.
Fun fact : when we wake we get a spike in cortisol, one of our stress hormones. Waking at a regular time and actually getting out of bed once we're awake helps utilise this hormone to our advantage and supports the endocrine system. I share some tips on improving sleep by improving our space here and easy ways to get sounder sleep here.
7. Smile – choose your mood
Our skin is a direct link to our mood – we are a full package!
Do things that make your heart sing. Listen to happy music! Do things that light you up. Not every day is rainbows and lollipops and that’s ok, but notice how different you look when you do smile and when you’re doing something that makes you feel good.
With love from ILA + AVA organic skincare.