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We all have bad skin days every now and then, but in order to maintain healthy glowing skin most of the time, it’s necessary to frequently engage in rituals that show your face some tender loving care. A great way to do so is by booking spa time and getting a facial that can help suck dirt out of your pores and leave you with a firmer more radiant complexion. In the event that you either don’t have time or the extra cash for a spa session, here’s a simple do it yourself facial that incorporates some food ingredients you may already have lying around your kitchen. For more great skin tips and recipes to support detox check out my e-book The Acne-Free Diet, which includes a 3 day detox, and my 7 Day Detox for Beauty, Weightloss & Rejuvenation. -XoXo Raw Girl
1) Cleanse your face. Start the process with clean skin, using whatever cleanser you normally like for your daily skincare regimen.
2) Prepare a bentonite clay mask with apple cider vinegar. Apply the mask and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until dry. Bentonite clay can be used topically on the skin to heal acne, eczema, wounds, or insect bites and specified brands can also be taken internally to assist with healing anything from heavy metal poisoning, food allergies, food poisoning, mucus colitis, spastic colitis, digestive disorders, viral infections, stomach flu, parasites, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, arthritis, anemia, and more. This miraculous clay has been used by indigenous people since the dawn of time, and even animals in the wild have been observed eating the clay or rolling in it to heal wounds. It gets its name from Benton, Wyoming because although bentonite clay can be found throughout the world, the largest concentrations of it actually are in the Great Plains in the U.S. So how exactly does it work? Well, the clay itself has a negative electrical charge. When it absorbs water it expands and becomes like a porous sponge. Toxins and impurities have a positive charge, so they are drawn to the clay and bound. This obviously makes for an effective home skin treatment that will leave your face feeling so fresh and so clean. If you are experiencing a break out, this mask will do wonders and can even be used as on-the-spot treatment to shrink pimples overnight. You can find the clay at health food stores, vitamin shops, or online. Want to make the clay more effective? Use apple cider vinegar to mix your mask instead of water.
3) Exfoliate and hydrate your skin with a honey scrub. Following your bentonite clay mask the skin can feel a little dry. Honey is an antibacterial natural moisturizer and humectant which has the ability to pull moisture from the air and retain it. I find it’s best to use wild organic honey. To exfoliate and hydrate at the same time try preparing a mask with honey, oats, and a wedge of lemon or honey, raw sugar, and lemon. The use of oats or sugar will help exfoliate, while the lemon is great for exfoliation, toning, fighting acne, and anti-aging due to the vitamin C content which is instrumental in the bodies’ production of collagen. Gently apply scrub to skin and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Rinse, moisturize, and bask in your newfound glow.
Last weekend had a blast speaking at Everlasting Life Cafe in Maryland about my book “The Acne-Free Diet.” For those of you who are not in the DMV and missed this wonderful event, here’s a short excerpt from the talk. Unfortunately you can’t see my slide show with it, but I’m sure you’ll get the gist. Please pass it on especially if you know anyone suffering with skin issues. More people need to get hip to the fact that beating acne is an inside out game. We are what we eat, and one of the beautiful aspects of living is that we have at our fingertips the power to transform our bodies’, our skin, and our health at any moment, just by eating to live. The new version of the book is now available and combines all of the previous information along with a 3 Day Detox, and some extra nuggets of wisdom so that you have simple practical ways to begin your journey. -XoXo Raw Girl
To learn more about the book and purchase the new edition, visit here: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/the-acne-free-diet/
Dandelion has been used since ancient times to achieve a natural glow. It’s official name is “Taraxacum Officinale” which means official remedy for disorders, a well fitting name for a very powerful plant. Dandelion juice is a good detoxifier, diuretic, stimulant, and anti-oxidant. These four properties make it a great treatment for acne. Dandelion root and leaves are very powerful diuretics, meaning they stimulate urinary function and rid the body of excess fluid. This also makes it great for PMS and water weight gain. What makes Dandelion an awesome acne-fighter is that it is a blood purifier and protects, nourishes, and detoxifies the liver which the body uses to get rid of toxins, including those that are causing your blemishes! Dandelion juice can also help regulate proper secretion of hormones, increase sweating and widen up pores to facilitate removal of toxins through sweating. Dandelion greens contain a great deal of awesome nutrients including Vitamins A, B2, C, D, and minerals like potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorous, iron. It is also natures richest green vegetable source of beta-cartone. Adding this juice and variations of green juices with dandelion with give your skin a major boost and also helps with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Beyond improving the quality of your skin, dandelion also can assist in weight reduction, relieve constipation, prevent and lower high blood pressure, prevent or even cure anemia, lower your cholesterol, and help control diabetes. When you juice dandelion greens, they have a bitter taste, and they are also very powerful so you don’t want to juice too much in one sitting. A small handful or less is a good rule of thumb. When combined with other veggies and maybe an apple to sweeten, you can easily mask the bitter taste and still get the beauty boosting benefits. -XoXo Raw Girl
Recipe for the Dandelion Kale Acne Fighter & many other juices to help you get that natural glow in The 3 Day Acne-Free Detox Plan!
The word detox is thrown around so often nowadays in health and celeb-watching lingo, I’m sure most of us are used to hearing about the latest fad. Unfortunately, the focus in our popular culture tends to be on fast weight loss and getting so-and-so’s abs with the new fat flush diet, rather than achieving optimal health. Although you may have heard about the latest detox fad, do you really know what detox means? Detoxification is a key function of the body which happens naturally that involves elimination of metabolic waste and toxins via our bodies’ major eliminatory organs: our skin, kidneys, colon, lymph, lungs, and liver. Toxins in our bodies’ are in the form of the toxic by-products of our own metabolism, the foods, drinks, and drugs we choose to consume which includes alcohol, cigarettes, prescription and recreational drugs, our household cleaning products, environmental pollution, and the effects of emotional stress and mental pollution.
We live in a toxic world, so obviously encouraging detoxification is a good thing, and keeps the body light, renewed, and refreshed. Our SAD (Standard American Diets) leave the majority of us overloaded with animal protein, saturated and trans fats, and all the other aforementioned toxins. In our natural state the body is designed to be able to flush out unwanted substances. But due to the toxic overload, the bodies’ natural ability dampens, and toxins end up getting stored in our tissues. To counteract this our bodies’ surround this toxic waste with mucous (which later can become dis-ease) and guess what, FAT. Which is why when you opt for a diet that is cleansing the weight or “waste” seems to just fall off. Detox diets are designed to encourage, support, and facilitate the toxin elimination process. Some examples of regimens that encourage detoxification are juicing, juice fasting, and the raw food diet. The removal of cooked and processed foods from your diet for a period time, or the absence of solid food altogether, gives your body a chance to rejuvenate and flush out old waste.
Below are some of the awesome reasons why you should consider incorporating a regular yearly detox into your lifestyle. And…available for purchase beginning March 11th on a blog near you is Raw Girl’s 7 Day Detox. I’m excited about sharing this plan with you, which will include a power juice guide with recipes and nutritional benefits of ingredients, a shopping list and budget, a detox schedule which you can follow daily for a full week, and a manual which includes tips to make your cleanse stress-free. If seven days is too long for you to handle, a shorter 3 Day Detox Plan will also be available as a starter to The Acne Free Diet. Stay tuned! -XoXo Raw Girl
Benefits of a Detox:
- Releases addictions to processed foods
- Flushes out toxins from the body
- Balances hormones
- Boosts energy levels and increases circulation
- Improves digestion
- Strengthens immune system
- Lowers risk of dis-ease
- Improves concentration
- Improves quality of sleep
- Clears skin problems and acne
11. Encourages regular bowel movements
12. Detoxifies the organs
13. Reduces stress
14. Boosts libido/ Increases sex drive
15. Encourages weight loss and maintaining healthy weight
While conducting research for acne cures, I was reminded of just how important it is for everyone to supplement adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Alan C. Logan, author of the “Clear Skin Diet” asserted that the ratio of North American omega-6 to omega-3 intake is as high as 20:1 when the ideal is 2:1! This drastic increase in the supply and consumption of vegetable oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oils which have omega-6 linoleic acid, and the decrease of omega-3 consumption is a sure recipe for inflammation. If you didn’t know, tons of research has made it clear that inflammation is connected to virtually ALL chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and acne. For parents struggling with children with ADHD, know that research has shown that frequently kids diagnosed have lower levels of omega-3’s along with B vitamins and magnesium, so supplementing omega-3’s could improve the negative behavioral patterns in ADHD children.
If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, you especially need to ensure proper supplementation:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Dry, itchy skin
- Brittle hair and nails
- Inability to concentrate
- Joint pain
In addition to preventing the onset of some serious diseases, getting sufficient omega-3’s is going to help decrease your stress-factor. Our planet is in a constant state of stress these days, and a large majority of diseases are caused by simply being stressed out. According to a study conducted at Ohio State University, consumption of Omega 3’s will lower stress levels. Additional research has shown that this necessary super supplement may also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and depression. It may even speed recovery after a workout. Hopefully these benefits have wowed you enough; below are some good veggie sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Along with B-12 it’s important for vegans and non-vegans alike to add omega-3 into the arsenal of can’t-live-without-supplements. -XoXo Raw Girl
Some great vegetable sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Chia Seeds
- Flaxseed Oil
- Neuromins DHA (supplement from algae; highest non fish source of DHA)
Just in case you missed the memo, carrot juice is good for you. In the raw vegan world we spend a lot of time talking about green juices and keeping our bodies alkaline, but it’s good to have balance, and not neglect the benefits of juices like carrot and beet, although they are sweeter. This post was sparked by the fact that right now I have something like a 10 lb bag of organic carrots in my refrigerator that I am determined not to waste. Needless to say I’ll be getting my carrot juice fix in for the next week! After doing some more research to remind myself exactly why carrot juice is so good for me, I was not disappointed. Carrot juice is definitely packed with a lovely amount of vitamins and minerals. Beyond that, as I consider myself a life long acne-zapping samurai, I was pleased to learn that carrot juice can help one get that vegan glow and stay acne-free. Rather than give you a long rundown, I’ve picked my top five reasons why carrot juice rocks my world and will boost the beauty of your skin. If you have diabetes, you should stay away from carrots because of their high natural sugar content. Everyone else, if you’ve been ignoring carrot juice, I urge you to get some and get juicing. Remember healthy skin is the result of everything you eat, so make sure to get a wide variety of fruits and veg and not just rely on one magic smoothie, formula, or vegetable. Recipe for my spicy carrot juice below. -XoXo Raw Girl
- Vitamin A. Carrot juice has an insane amount of vitamin A which is in the form of beta carotene. If you wanted to O.D. on Vitamin A, this would be the vegetable of choice to get your fix. Vitamin A helps the body to maintain tissue growth, healthy vision, and healthy bones and teeth. All this said, too much Vitamin A is also not a good thing and can cause problems for you liver and other health issues.
- Vitamin C. Carrots contain a nice amount of this lovely vitamin in highly absorbable form which helps to boost your immunity. Even more importantly for those of us who are vain—(raising my hand)—vitamin C helps the body to produce collagen which is essential for skin elasticity, preventing wrinkles, and slowing signs of aging. Doesn’t drinking carrot juice sound so much better than a collagen injection? Sounds great to me!
- Potassium. The potassium in carrots will play a role in the growth of new skin cells, and helping the body maintain the proper electrolyte balance. Getting a regular dose of potassium will reduce acne/blemishes, prevent and cure scars or dark spots on the skin. FYI, If your body is in need of potassium and become deficient this can result in dry skin, acne, or muscle spasms.
- Carotenoids. I know it sounds like the name of some sort of carrot wielding alien, but it’s not. I promise. These friendly but powerful antioxidants available in carrot juice/carrots protect your body from free radical damage and boost your immune system. They can also increase your skins immunity to the sun by preventing sun-induced collagen breakdown. Essentially they help to protect the skin against sun damage and sunburn, like an internal sunblock. Beta carotene is one of these carotenoids that prevents cells from degenerating, helps to slow aging, and maintain a youthful appearance.
- Cleans Your Liver. When your liver is overworked or overloaded it has to find a way to get rid of toxins. One of the ways it does is through your skin, causing acne. Carrot juice is a great liver cleanser that will help keep things in balance and your skin blemish-free.
8-10 carrots, 1 apple, 1 cucumber, 1 big piece of ginger root, (add 1/2 lemon optional)
Juice all ingredients. Strain, serve, enjoy!
I was first astounded by the power of neem years ago when an Ayurvedic doctor told me that it can be used as an effective natural birth control. Last week I was reminded of neem again, when another holistic doctor friend posted about neem oil as an insecticide to help keep away mosquitoes and other bugs. These two benefits are just scratching the surface of the uses and benefits of neem.
Neem is a flowering tropical tree native to India, Pakistan, and Malaysia, that can survive the worst of environmental conditions. All parts of the tree can be used for many benefits, and in East Africa, neem is referred to as Muarubaini which means “the tree of the 40” because it is known to be effective in treating at least forty diseases. Over 75% of Ayurvedic remedies contain neem because of its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic properties. In addition to the uses I mentioned above, neem is very effective in treating acne, psoriasis, eczema, gum diseases, malaria, chicken pox, fever, parasites, arthritis, rheumatism, bronchitis and more. Neem helps to facilitate wound healing, so it can also be applied topically to combat fungus, warts, cold sores, bee stings, bug bites, poison ivy, athlete’s foot etc.
One use that I thought was super cool and is useful for all the gardeners out there is that neem can be used as a natural pesticide and is effective against 500 or more pests! To do this just search for neem pesticides. It doesn’t negatively affect humans or harm beneficial insects, and it makes plants bitter so that they won’t be eaten. The oil itself can also be used as a moisturizer and is high in vitamin E (if you can stand the smell). Based on all the wonderful uses of neem, it’s safe to say neem oil is a great thing to have on hand in your home. You can also find a plethora of neem products in stores from soaps to lotions, but take care to understand what the other ingredients are. Whether your fighting acne, dealing with parasites, healing wounds, or trying to keep your garden pest-free, neem is a one stop natural cure that will meet your needs. -XoXo Raw Girl
It’s Esosa E. here A.K.A. Raw Girl, and I’m back with another mineral to boost your beauty. If you missed the first post, I will be continuously highlighting minerals that enhance natural beauty. Most people on the S.A.D. Standard American Diet and even a great deal of vegans with good intentions, are lacking key minerals to keep their bodies functioning optimally and their skin glowing. What key beauty mineral plays a role in twenty-five enzymatic systems involved in digestion and metabolism, and is required for skin beauty, cell and bodily growth, sexual development, fertility, night vision, and improving sense of taste & smell?
The answer is ZINC. That’s right, zinc is another mineral essential for beauty and for optimal health. To start off zinc is a part of the enzymes that allow the body to produce collagen, which is essential for keeping our skin soft and supple. Zinc also supports the bodies’ immune system, joints and tissue repair, and cell growth. This beauty mineral has antioxidant properties that helps our bodies to heal scars and wounds, and repair DNA damage. In fact, zinc deficiency can actually cause damage to DNA, in addition to acne, loss of taste and smell, slow growth in children, hair loss, rashes, skin disorders, low sperm count, poor eyesight, and delayed wound healing. On the beauty front, zinc can also prevent wrinkling, stretch marks, and outward signs of aging. Sounds a little better than Botox, right?
Because of zinc’s healing and beautifying properties it is found in many beauty products. Zinc oxide is a common additive that is included in sunscreens (as zinc helps to deflect the amount of ultraviolet light absorbed by the skin), calamine lotion (for its ability to heal wounds), and mineral makeup. Many brands of mineral makeup claim that the products also provide sun protection because of zinc’s use in sunscreens. Because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties zinc oxide in mineral makeup make these products more ideal for anyone suffering from acne or any skin conditions. Conventional foundations and foundations mostly contain harmful mineral oils and parabens that can actually make an existing skin condition worse.
Now that you know how important zinc is to beauty, here’s a partial list from Nutrition Expert David Wolfe’s book, Eating for Beauty (available in the Raw Girl Shop) of the best plant sources that have good amounts of sulfur to get you started with incorporating a wider range of zinc-rich foods in your diet: coconuts, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and spinach. Now that your equipped with a little knowledge and veggie resources, check your diet and make sure to get your zinc-on! Until next time, stay natural, stay beautiful! -XoXo Raw Girl
As they say you are what you eat! Well if you are what you eat you also are what you put on your skin. Although it may seem a little quirky there are plenty of ways to boost your beauty naturally using and products you can find right in your kitchen! I was doing research and came across a fruit I didn’t even know could be used as a beauty remedy, PAPAYA. Yes, who knew but this amazing tropical fruit is not only great in a fruit salad, but it can help brighten your skin naturally, treat wrinkles, age spots, remove dead skin, and even treat ACNE.
Papaya is a fruit native to South and Central America. If you did not know papaya is a very nutrient dense fruit packed with beta carotene, vitamin A & C, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, fiber, and more. Just eating it will make your skin glow–but the coolest thing is that the nutrients in it are also very beneficial to maintaining flawless skin. A small papaya contains around three times the daily recommended value of vitamin C –which is essential for maintaining collagen and keeping our skin soft and youthful. The Vitamin A helps your body when forming new skin cells, and it contains a beneficial enzyme that not only eases digestion but also exfoliates the skin and removes dead cells. Because of this papaya is a common ingredient in a lot of anti-aging and anti-acne skin lines and it’s conditioning abilities make it great to use in creams, shampoos, and conditioners. The skin of the papaya has been used to heal wounds and even get this–surgical incisions! It can also be used to ease swelling and to combat dry skin.
Here are a few papaya beauty remedies you can whip up at home. For acne: try making a papaya mask using one teaspoon of honey, one egg (for those who are not vegans), and one teaspoon of papaya oil. Mix the ingredients and apply to your skin. Also for deep cleansing apply a papaya mask followed by papaya vinegar heavily diluted in water afterwards. Leave the mask on for ten to twelve minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water. For age spots & acne you can use the fleshy side of green papaya skin from a mature green papaya on problem spots. For wrinkles use papaya to get rid of old skin cells, which can make wrinkles deeper. Use a papaya powder which you can find in health food stores to smooth out your skin. For a general natural beauty glow, I like to keep it simple and mash or blend some papaya and mix with honey or plain yogurt to make a mask and leave on for 10 minutes. Make sure when using papaya to not leave on for extended periods of time or the acidity may irritate your skin. If the home remedies are too hippie-esque for you, don’t worry, you can always find some great natural products with papaya as a main ingredient. So, yes, papayas can be added to your beauty routine, but don’t forget that just eating them is good for beauty as well! -XoXo Raw Girl
P.S. When you eat papayas, you can use those seeds for something. Apparently the seeds when consumed in small amounts on empty stomach regularly can kill parasites!
P.S.S. For more natural beauty ideas check out this past post 9 Ways to Get More Bang for your Beauty Without Spending A Buck: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/2010/03/01/9-ways-to-get-more-bang-for-your-beauty-without-spending-a-buck/