3 tbsp whey(thin liquid on the top of homemade yogurt)
1tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small piece(about 1tbsp) of ripe avocado
Blend all the above ingredients in stone mortar to a thick paste. Apply the mixture to your skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes to one hour and rinse off with cold water. Do not apply soap on the day you use mask. Nutrients from the mask stays on the skin even after you rinse it off. They takes few hours to get absorbed. If you apply soap which has harsh chemical it wipes off all the good nutrients. Do this twice a week for 2 months and see change in your skin tone. I am sure you will get many compliments from your spouse. Do this as evening mask.
If you don’t have pecans, you can substitute with almonds or walnuts. Make sure you soak almonds overnight and drain before you grind them. No need to soak pecans or walnuts.
Why stone mortar, why not blender?
Stone mortar’s pulverizing action extracts the oil and juice out from nuts and veggies. Blender has cutting action.
Our skin reflects inner vitality and is an outer indicator of our well-being. True beauty comes from reflection of our mind and spirit through our skin. We need to have clear healthy skin to reflect inner beauty just like we need to have clear glass to reflect the light from chandelier. With no light the beauty of lamp is not seen. True reflection of beauty comes only when there is inner beauty. Just like we need to keep the glass clean to view the bright light, we have to keep our skin healthy to see the reflection of inner beauty.
Skin care tips for radiant skin:
Hydration – the most important tip for keeping your skin healthy and luminous is hydrating your skin. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. Try to avoid drinking carbonated beverages or other drinks filled with sugar and artificial colors as they will significantly dehydrate your skin. Our bodies use our skin to effectively excrete all the chemicals we ingest or inhale. To prevent evaporation use mild moisturizer or even any organic olive oil or coconut oil. Keep a humidifier in your bedroom as the heating in winter time takes out the humidity.
Skin protection – Be sure not to apply any harsh chemicals to the skin. Use only mild soaps and do not use any skin care products with Parabens. Parabens mimic estrogens and increase the risk of breast cancer. Do not go behind artificial cosmetics and should try only natural products. Cleanse your skin with natural products daily before you go to bed.
Healthy diet – Diet is the key factor to keep your skin healthy. Eat balanced diet, include green leafy vegetables, nuts and fruits daily, try to get at least 50% if them raw because chlorophyll in the green leaves helps with detoxification of the body. When you cook green leafy vegetables, chlorophyll is not effective anymore. Your diet must include skin healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, common sources are nuts (view my article on ‘Go Nuts and Crack Shells’ to know more about how to incorporate them in your diet). Consume food rich in carotenoids like carrots and papaya. Drink one glass of green tea daily to hydrate skin and at the same time to detoxify the skin.
Vitamins that keep your skin glowing – We need all vitamins and micronutrients to have healthy skin. Most importantly vitamin A, C, E and D. Vitamin C and E help to prevent skin damage from free radicals and help with skin healing.
Common mistake most people do is totally avoiding bright sun, because it gives skin tan. This is a misconception. Vitamin D plays a critical role in skin cell growth and repair. Skin around our eyes and facial skin is more prone for photo-aging. If you are concerned about this, cover your face with light cloth while sun-bathing or use wide-brim hat for walking and jogging. Do not rely on getting sun through glass doors, this will be harmful to your skin than helpful. Our skin needs vitamin D that comes from Sun rather than vitamin D from supplements. Please read my article ‘D-light from Sunlight’ for details on proper sun exposure. Eat food rich in vitamin A like Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach. Protecting with food rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamins might help counteract oxidative damage to the skin.
Sleep – I can’t stress enough how important is good night sleep to keep your skin healthy. Lusterless skin is quite easily noticeable in sleep deprived people. Your body does all the healing during the deep sleep. If you don’t sleep well, your body won’t get enough time to clear toxins from your skin.
Exercise – Exercise improves your skin circulation and your quality of sleep. Choose an outdoor area like park with little pollution. My daily work out is outdoor ‘Power walking’. To make full use of limited time I allotted for my exercise routine, I do both brisk walking with light weights, this has been working out good for me. Practice deep breathing exercises ‘Pranayas’ and/or meditation at least for 10-15 minutes daily.
Other Skin care tips: Avoid smoking. Toxins is tobacco smoke can take a toll on your skin.
Do not take hot showers, hot water removes natural oil from skin
Is this truth or myth? Can you improve acne by dietary intervention?
What does the science say about acne?
What is Acne?
Acne come from blocked pilosebaceous glands. (sebum(waxy material) producing glands that are connected to hair follicle)
What causes acne?
Increase in sebum production from stimulation of sebaceous glands.
Excess production of keratin, which is fibrous substance in skin and hair.
Invasion of bacteria from skin surface to hair follicle. Bacteria uses fatty substance in sebum to thrive.
Is acne a disease of civilization?
Prevalence of acne seems to be increasing over the last two decades. In USA 85% of teenagers have acne. In isolated Islands like Okinawa acne is nonexistent. More recently number of studies investigated the associated between diet and acne.
Some studies in 1960s and 1970 showed there was no relation. They were not observational studies. They had various methodological limitations. Many non-westernized nations have low acne prevalence, once these diet patterns are westernized, there is increase in acne.
How important is it to watch what we eat to prevent acne?
Because of its substantial effects on quality of life, it is essential to treat acne. Since several of the acne treatments given have some adverse effects, acne preventing diet should be considered even though studies conducted in the past 40 years are relatively small and majority of data has not been consistent, the knowledge we have today on acne and diet connection is mostly scientific assumption.
New research says we no longer can dismiss this as a myth. It says diet many not cause acne but it is influencing the acne to some degree. Diet may aggravate or possibly increase acne. Diet and acne does not have causation relationship. We still have lack of quality research. Solid randomized clinical studies are limited more studies are needed. There is a potential link. Compared to the other dietary factors, more research was done on the acne and glycemic index relation. (1)(2)(3)(4)
Can Stress make acne worse?
Emotional stress can change normal gut flora, increase intestinal permeability and induces inflammation.
Do the probiotics help with Acne?
Yes, probiotics help control your acne.
Gut-Brain-Skin Theory: Emotional states can increase the gut permeability and increase the systemic inflammation. Which means your mood by itself may have worsened your acne. This tells us oral probiotics can diminish the severity of acne by their ability in decreasing systemic inflammation. (5)(6)(7)
Sugar and Acne connection
Updated evidence is supporting a link between acne and refined carbohydrates. Changing dietary carbohydrate to low glycemic diet, fruits and vegetables will help with acne control. (8)
Can milk make my acne worse?
It can. There is an increasing evidence in support of milk consumption, high carbohydrate diets which can increase insulin and insulin like growth factor 1, which increase production of more fatty acids in sebum and increase keratin which can make acne worse (9).
Altering the dairy products. Lower is dairy and seek for other vegetarian sources for calcium. Restriction of milk consumption or generation of less insulinotropic milk will have an enormous impact on the prevention of epidemic western diseases like obesity, diabetes mellitus, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and acne.
What types of fats are good for acne?
Increase in omega 3 fatty acids is good for acne control.
Best diet to control acne
Paleolithic-like diet with reduced intake of sugar, refined and sugary grains, milk and milk products but enriched consumption of probiotic foods, vegetables and fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
Do fish oil supplements help?
There is some evidence that fish oil supplements may improve overall acne severity, this needs further investigation.
Any herbal remedies for acne?
One study showed oral aqueous extract of dried barberry is a safe, well-tolerated, and effective choice in teenagers with moderate to severe acne vulgaris. (10)
Good basic skin regimen
Wash skin with mild soaps 2-3 times a day (see my article on Syndet bars)
Do not scrub your face
Do not pick at acne.
Avoid using hot water.
Use water-based oil-free cosmetics or sunscreens.
1. SN, Mahmood. Diet and acne update. carbohydrates emerge as the main culprit. 13(4):428-35, 2014, Vol. PMID: 24719062.
2. Burris J, Rietkerk W, Woolf K. Relationships of self-reported dietary factors and perceived acne severity in a cohort of New York young adults. Mar;114(3):384-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.11.010. Epub 2014 Jan 9., 2014, Vol. PMID:24412232.
3. Melnik BC, Zouboulis CC. Potential role of FoxO1 and mTORC1 in the pathogenesis of Western diet-induced acne. 22(5):311-5, 2013, Vol. doi: 10.1111/exd.12142.
4. Ismail NH, Manaf ZA, Azizan NZ. High glycemic load diet, milk and ice cream consumption are related to acne vulgaris in Malaysian young adults. a case control study. Aug 16;12:13., 2012, Vols. 10.1186/1471-5945-12-13., PMID: 22898209 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] .
5. Bowe W, Patel NB, Logan AC. cne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis. from anecdote to translational medicine. 5(2):185-99, 2014, Vol. 10.3920/BM2012.0060., PMID:23886975 [PubMed – in process].
6. Tremellen K, Pearce K. Dysbiosis of Gut Microbiota (DOGMA). a novel theory for the development of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. 79(1):104-12, 2012, Vol. 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.04.016. Epub 2012 Apr 27., PMID: 22543078.
7. Bowe WP, Logan AC. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis. back to the future? Jan 31;3(1):1., 2011, Vols. doi: 10.1186/1757-4749-3-1., PMID:21281494[PubMed] .
8. Kumari R, Thappa DM. Role of insulin resistance and diet in acne. May-Jun;79(3):291-9, 2013, Vols. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.110753., PMID:23619434[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] .
9. BC., Melnik. Evidence for acne-promoting effects of milk and other insulinotropic dairy products. Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program. 67:131-45., 2011, Vol. doi: 10.1159/000325580. Epub 2011 Feb 16., PMID: 21335995.
10. RF., Fouladi. Aqueous extract of dried fruit of Berberis vulgaris L. in acne vulgaris, a clinical trial. Dec;9(4):253-61., 2012, Vol. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2012.726702. Epub 2012 Oct 8., PMID:23038982[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE].
Mix 1tbsp of apple cider vinegar with 1 tbsp of distilled water and apply to a dark spot. Leave it for 5-10 hours. Try this every other day for 1-2 weeks. If you have resistant spot you can try this without adding water. Do not apply this on your face because facial skin is very sensitive.
Why distilled water?
Distilled water is available in any pharmacy. Distilled water is used in all natural cosmetics. Tap water may diminish the properties of organic components used in natural cosmetics.
Apple cider vinegar is very acidic, known to cause contact burns where it touches the skin or mucous linings in some people. Use caution when using apple cider vinegar especially if you have sensitive skin. Try only on small area on first day.
Check with your doctor before using apple cider vinegar.
Never mix apple cider vinegar with baking soda because of many known side effects.
Disclaimer: Home remedies for skin lightening have not been clinically proven to be effective and you should use caution.