Natural beauty is an inside job. No pill or potion can manifest your radiance as effectively as your collective daily efforts to cultivate a healthy body, mind and spirit. That said, there are many natural beauty essentials and practices that can help us shine inside and out.
Here are seven ways to nourish your body inside and out!
1. Green your personal care routine
A great way to look and feel better is to minimize potentially dangerous chemicals in your daily life. While you can’t avoid all forms of pollution, you can decide what you apply to your face and body. In using mass-market products, you may be unwittingly “feeding” your body toxins every time you lather, brush, make-up and moisturize, as our skin absorbs up to 60 percent of what we apply to it.
2. Sip a morning elixir
You may already start your day with fresh lemon water − an ideal way to jump-start internal cleansing and establish a more alkaline gut climate before consuming acidic items like coffee, dairy products and sugar. Consider mixing it up with these cool, beneficial elixirs:
- Wellness Sunrise: In a high-speed blender, combine water with peeled lemon segments, sliced ginger, a big pinch of turmeric and stevia to taste.
- Citrus-Spice: In a glass, mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and orange juice with water. Add a dash of the following spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cayenne. Add liquid monk fruit, stevia or maple syrup to taste.
- Easy Overnight Wellness Tonic: Fill a Mason jar two-thirds full with water, add a little raw apple cider vinegar, citrus slices, a cinnamon stick, ginger slices, goji berries and a big splash of liquid vitamin C. “Marinate” overnight, sweeten to taste, strain and enjoy.
3. Hit the mat
It’s never too late to embrace yoga − arguably one of the most rejuvenating of all forms of fitness. A regular practice is believed to support inner and outer beauty with greater serenity, mental and emotional endurance and improved physical strength, balance and flexibility. Yoga may also help us better manage stress and elevate our moods. Brighten your practice with a pretty, washable, “stay put” mat towel (essential for hot yoga) and aromatherapy mist, refreshing for your complexion and your mat, like this lovely sweet orange-peppermint spritz.
4. Incorporate herbs and spices
According to the ancient Indian health system of Ayurveda, the daily use of therapeutic spices is a delicious way to infuse your system with protective antioxidants, at levels far beyond what any food can deliver (see contrast below). In fact, herbs and spices top the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) chart, a ranking of foods based on their ability to squelch dangerous free radicals with protective antioxidants. So, how about a chai tea latte, starring cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander?
- Sumac: ORAC score – 312,400
- Cloves: ORAC score – 290,283
- Oregano: ORAC score -175,295
- Rosemary: ORAC score – 165,280
- Cinnamon: ORAC score – 131,420
- Turmeric: ORAC score – 127,068
- Blueberries: ORAC score – 6,552
- Apples: ORAC score – 3,898
5. Love essential oils
Incorporating essential oils into your home and personal care regimen offers benefits on many levels − naturally. There are over 90 essential oil types, each with its own unique aroma and properties. Some of the most popular include:
- Lavender: Anti-bacterial oil that soothes mind, body and spirit.
- Tea tree: Used to fight infections and thought to support immune wellness.
- Chamomile: Helpful for relaxation and may elevate mood.
- Peppermint: Used to freshen breath, cool the body and support digestion.
- Sandalwood: Thought to calm the nerves and support concentration.
- Bergamot: Used to reduce stress and may help soothe minor skin conditions.
- Ylang-ylang: Beautiful, natural “perfume” with other benefits.
- Lemon: Supports digestion and may help uplift mood.
6. Dry brush daily
Dry body brushing has been practiced traditionally for centuries to improve wellness, inside and out. This simple but effective daily habit has long been used to gently aid the body’s natural detoxification processes, exfoliate and deep clean the skin, and support the lymphatic system. Choose a soft-bristle body brush and apply it in long strokes toward the heart. You’ll positively glow post-shower!
7. Embrace natural fragrances
Did you know that thousands of unregulated ingredients may be legally hidden behind the terms fragrance and “parfum,” many hazardous to humans and animals? Indeed, over 95 percent of the chemicals in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals, including benzene, aldehydes, phthalates and others that may cause health problems. Why not keep fragrances safe and natural, whether for your body, or scented candles and air fresheners in your home?
If these wellness essentials appeal to you, work on incorporating them into your life gradually for a healthy, positive objective for your very best year yet!