We’ve been thinking a lot about SKIN lately…probably because winter barn chores at ZDF can make us feel a bit crocodile-ish (we see you, polar vortex), and skincare is key. We believe working on the skin naturally and from the inside out is the best approach for that clear, radiant glow we all strive for, but sometimes fail to achieve in the winter months. For us, laying a foundation for good skin is simple: eat healthy foods and use clean skincare products. Of course, there are many other important things that impact our skin like sleep and exercise, but we won't get into that here. A few tips to keep in mind along your skin health journey:
WATER IS LIFE
First, simply drinking enough water on a daily basis seems easy enough but is often overlooked. The task is simple: drink more water. If you’re bored with plain water, add juice from ½ an organically grown lemon, a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and a teaspoon of grade B (this is important) organic (equally important) maple syrup for a homemade electrolyte elixir that is amazing during a workout! Or just drink water the old-fashioned way….in a glass, unadulterated.
POWER TO THE PLANTS
We deeply believe that nutrition is the foundation of all healing, and skin is no exception. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is our first key to healthy skin (read more about the research behind plant-based eating in one of our favorites, The China Study). Along with eating fibrous and vegetable-forward meals, drinking fresh, raw, organic, cold-pressed juice on a regular basis will keep skin nourished and hydrated. Cold-pressed juice provides a convenient way to get more healthy vegetables in your lifestyle and can be a healthier substitute than popping supplement pills (insert cringe from big pharma here). Here are a few of our favorite foods and drinks for skin health:
Leafy Greens (vitamins E+C, to protect skin from free radicals and slow the aging process):
For skin, we focus on eating raw veggies and drinking a lot of green juices that are packed with dark leafy greens like kale and swiss chard (our favorites are Greener Pastures and Wild Burro). Other good sources of vitamin C: Broccoli, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes. Other good sources of Vitamin E: seeds and nuts, olive oil (we are in love with raw, organic sunflower seeds and snack on them almost daily.)
Celery (trace mineral silica, to repair skin):
Filled with essential trace minerals, celery (in a whole or juiced form), can strengthen connective tissues, repairing and renewing skin in short order. This veggie is highly cleansing and alkalizing, balancing the look and feel of skin, along with a myriad of other health benefits. Celery juice curious? Read more about humble hero celery here. Totally IN for celery juice? Order ZDF's organic, raw, cold-pressed Celery (Straight Up) or celery blend Rescue (Celery, Green Apple, Lemon), and have it delivered right to your KC area home or office, two times each week.
Beets (antioxidants and iron, for clear skin and balanced pigmentation):
Beets are deeply cleansing, ridding the body of toxins, clearing the skin, and smoothing discoloration. We love to eat them raw on salads, roasted, or steamed...and of course in the form of cold-pressed juice! Our beet-based juices Earl's Elixir and Bray of Sunshine are always part of our skin health arsenal, especially in the winter.
Avocados (healthy fats and biotin, to contribute to skin hydration and suppleness):
We are in love with this green goddess. Especially in the winter, avocados can help us avoid that dry and scaly redness the cold can bring. Half an avocado in the morning, about 15 minutes after drinking a healthy juice, helps us kick off the day in a glowy way. Avos are also great as a homemade face mask! Simply mash and slather on your face and neck!
Carrots (beta-carotene, to protect skin from toxins and sun damage):
We often don’t think much about sun damage in the winter. Somehow freezing temps make the concept of a sunburn the furthest from our minds, but don’t be fooled by the polar vortex...we still need to protect our skin from those rays! Beta-carotene found in carrots can be the natural shield our skin needs to stay healthy. Donkey Dreams is our favorite carrot-based juice to flood the body with those yummy and protective nutrients! Other good sources of Beta-carotene: Apricots, pumpkin, mangoes, sweet potato.
Ok, so put good things inside the body. Got it...but what about the stuff you actually put on the outside of your skin? It's simple...
CUT THE CRAP!
While what you eat (and don't eat) is a critical element of skin health, what you put on your skin (and what you don't) is JUST as important! The clean beauty movement is growing, and there are now many options for clean, pure, plant-based, cruelty-free products….so get moving and clean the crap out of your cabinets so you can focus on the clean stuff! While everyone has different preferences when it comes to skincare products, here are some of our winter moisturizing staples; all clean, cruelty-free, and effective:
Farmaesthetics nourishing herbal cream is our favorite as an overnight moisturizer, and has our faces feeling hydrated and restored all night so we can wake up fresh-faced and ready for the day. Pick up this amazing plant-based skincare line from one of our favorites in Kansas City Wax & Honey. (By the way, Wax & Honey facials using this clean skincare line are to die for!)
Living Libations Best Skin Ever Rose oil is so yummy, and is a game-changer, especially on windy winter days when it’s so hard to keep the skin feeling soft and nourished. We add an extra bit on the forehead and neck where the wind hits us in all the wrong ways. It also smells incredible, without artificial fragrances or crap ingredients. Buy it in Kansas City from another ZDF favorite Within Apothecary.
Sun Potion Shea Butter Skin Food, for healthy all-over body suppleness that we know is clean and will not harm our skin like those pharmacy brands we once thought were “healthy." (Seriously, have you read the "Dermatologist Recommended Eucerin" ingredients label lately?)
Need to clean up the beauty cabinet and not sure where to start? The independent clean shopping app Think Dirty can be a tool to help you clean up your skin act. Our friends at KC's Within Apothecary also have a handy "what to avoid" page to get you started.
In a nutshell
Whether you already have great skin and want to elevate to a glow level, have major skin issues you need to fix, or fall somewhere in between, look first at the end of your fork (and cup), and at the products you are using on your skin daily. Skin is, after all, the body's largest organ, and it deserves a thoughtful and clean approach to care!
Zen Donkey Farms and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on the Zen Donkey Farms blog is provided for educational and inspirational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.
A few resources and inspiration :