Get your glow on!

Top tips for stunning summer skin

The saying ‘beauty is skin deep’ is so true and cultivating inner beauty is a task worthy of ongoing effort and energy throughout life. To make that inner beauty more outwardly radiant, Naturopath Sally Mathrick shares some tips on caring for skin th

The saying ‘beauty is skin deep’ is so true and cultivating inner beauty is a task worthy of ongoing effort and energy throughout life. To make that inner beauty more outwardly radiant, Naturopath Sally Mathrick shares some tips on caring for skin th

Feed your skin - Eat the right foods

In his book Eating for Beauty, David Wolfe claims that because the skin is the furthest from the digestive system, it’s the last to receive nourishment. It can therefore be the first to show deficiencies and problematic health.

There are many supplements promoted to enhance the health of the skin. Predominant among them are vitamins A, C, E and other antioxidants and MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane), silicon and sulphur. MSM is highly recommended by David Wolfe, who suggests it helps rejuvenate the liver and assists in getting the sulphur rich compounds from a nutrient rich diet to the skin.

Supporting collagen regeneration and preventing it from being damaged through oxidative stress is so important for continual good skin. This is where antioxidants play a role. There are many foods well known for their antioxidant potential, including oranges, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, plums and pomegranates.

Some recent research suggests that the considerably less sexy, modest bean, particularly small red bean, red kidney beans and pinto beans are equally, if not richer in antioxidant potential. In addition, beans contain wonderful fibres to maintain healthy bowel habits and are an ecologically sustainable protein source.

Our ability to assimilate influences the amount of antioxidant goodness we receive from food and consequently how it can affect our skin. Supporting good digestion through slowing down our eating – smell the food, allow your mouth to water, chew adequately and rest after a meal – help us to obtain benefit from antioxidant rich foods. All the more reason to take leisurely breakfasts and long lunches and dinners!

Avoid excessive UV radiation

Sensible lifestyle factors are instrumental in maintaining beautiful, glowing skin. In particular, avoiding exposure to harsh UV rays will reduce the formation of damaging free radicals and preserve skins youth for decades to come. Minimising UV radiation damage is one of the simplest and most important elements of preserving skin elasticity and youthfulness. This requires a balance with sunning enough to obtain adequate doses of Vitamin D. Exposing our body to the sun for 10-20 minutes is health benefiting, longer exposure risks damaging the skin’s structure. Wear a toxin free sunblock on your face everyday and a hat on particularly sunny days.

Sweat it out

The skin is a porous surface. Certain substances can continually pass in and out of it.

When we sweat, the water leaving us can take both fat-soluble toxins and heavy metals with it. Excretion of dangerous toxins such as pesticides, lead and mercury is far safer through the skin than excretion via the urine. Because the skin has a large surface area, excretion can occur over a large space, thereby diluting any damage that may be caused. Sweat is a boon for the body as it discharges toxins, renews the immune system and regulates heat.

Saunas are great detoxifying aids because they create a huge sweat. Today we have an array of saunas to choose from, dry saunas, steam rooms, infrared and far infrared. All vary somewhat in the way they elicit their effects. Far infrared saunas provide a relaxing heat that deeply warms and elicits an intense sweat. They create a heat reminiscent of the sun’s warmth when the ozone layer was still intact. Like being warmed to the bone.

After a sauna, it’s fundamental to replenish with lots of water and minerals. Adding a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon to pure water provides a great rehydration drink.

Meditate daily

Take time each day to focus on your breath and settle your mind. When calm, project loving energy to your face and allow it to soften and relax. Emotional toxins, scowls and frowns pollute the face as much as air fumes, toxic skin products and bad food choices. Practicing meditation helps us to become more mindful about what emotions are swirling through us and how we are reacting to them internally and externally. This cultivates beauty inside and out.

Brush your skin

Dry skin brushing before showering each day is a simple yet extremely effective way to keep the skin surface soft, clean and vital. Lymphatic flow is enhanced through gentle daily dry skin brushing, which helps to detoxify and firm the skin. Dry skin brushing stimulates circulation of blood to support skin regeneration. It sheds some of the dead surplus cells and clears pores, plus it’s a great opportunity for deliberate self-carwe.

It’s very important to use a vegetable bristle brush, not one with synthetic fibres. Jenna Vos, Naturopath and beautician from Quintessence Natural Health and Beauty in Byron Bay suggests the rounded tips of natural fibres work with the skin, unlike the chiselled edges of synthetic fibres that can micro-cut the skins surface.

The skin must be stroked gently at a pressure that is comfortably firm. Use circular motions to help open the lymphatic ducts and clockwise strokes to revitalise. Perform gentler strokes on the tender skin of the inner thighs, arms and décolletage. Avoid the delicate facial skin all together. When you begin dry skin brushing, begin with light strokes for short periods and increase pressure and duration gradually. This is an enjoyable process and should never be uncomfortable.

Herbal helpers

There are many excellent herbs that provide great benefit for beautiful skin. A stand out amongst these is stinging nettle. Nettle supports the kidneys and is rich in many minerals. By supporting the kidney function, the skin is supported in its toxic waste management role. Other herbalists recommend strong teas of red clover or chickweed to be drunk instead of water each day to resolve certain skin diseases, such as acne and eczema.

STAY hydrated

Drinking plentiful amounts of good water is the most important step in skin health. Drink the purest water available to you in sufficient quantities every day. Start with one or two large glasses of water on rising to start your day off the right way. Don’t forget how much water is in fresh fruit and vegetables either. Your skin will mop it up!

Topical applications

Your skin absorbs, so think seriously about what you apply to it. The skin can often use natural substances, such as those found in pure aloe vera gel or natural oils. Synthetic chemicals may leave it slightly bewildered. Nourish your skin with molecules it understands and can use, that are as natural and chemical free as possible.

Sally Mathrick is a practicing Naturopath who provides a range of stress management products and workplace wellness services. See for more information. NH


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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.