Fall Detox with the Green Pumpkin Smoothie

sunpotion-green-pumpkin.JPG

Did you know that, in addition to spring detox, your body is naturally working to detox from the inside out during the fall months? Fall is the season of letting go and releasing— especially when it comes to toxins that you don't want stored in your body all winter, the season when detox naturally slows.

While you don't necessarily need to adopt a restrictive 'detox diet' this season, it helps to support your body in its efforts with naturally detoxifying foods. One of my favorite foods to support detox in the body is chlorella, a type of blue-green algae that is incredibly nutrient dense and prized for its ability to remove heavy metals while supporting your immune system. Chlorella is packed with plant-based protein and vitamin A, as well as beauty minerals like iron and zinc.

As with all algae and seaweed products, you should take extra care to make sure that you're buying high quality foods that are not themselves contaminated with metals or toxins. Sunpotion's chlorella powder is certified organic and sourced from Taiwan. It comes packaged in a dark glass jar to preserve its nutritional value. Sunpotion generously allowed me to sample it, and I will definitely be reordering.

Here's my favorite way to eat chlorella this season— in a smoothie that is rich in healthy fats, skin-smoothing beta carotene, and a dose of green goodness that supports my fall detox. These ingredients work in tandem to prolong your summer glow, while preparing your body and beauty for the colder months ahead. I love the combination of chlorella and spirulina (another nutrient-dense algae) in this smoothie to enhance the detox effects of each individual ingredient.

The Green Pumpkin

green-pumpkin-2.JPG

This silky smoothie is mildly sweet and very filling. Its natural detox benefits make it an ideal autumn smoothie staple.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin or winter squash (butternut, acorn, kabocha, etc.)
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, like coconut or almond
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 1/2 tsp chlorella powder (I like Sunpotion)
  • 1 1/2 tsp spirulina powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 soft pitted dates

DIRECTIONS

In a high powered blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if needed.

Beauty Heroes x Gressa's Minimalist Makeup Collection

As a beauty editor, I interviewed countless makeup artists who would use a *hint* of shine— gold, silver, rose gold— to make their celeb clients' eyes look bright and youthful. It's all about subtlety (no allover metallic lids pls); just a dot in the inner corners of your lids to give your eyes a little wake up.

When my Beauty Heroes September Makeup Discovery box arrived last week, I found that the creamy Gressa Aureo Eye Tint inside was so perfect for this trick! It's become my new favorite, along with the lovely Gressa Lumiere, a pigmented serum that works kind of like a subtle liquid bronzer on my skin. This, along with beta carotene-rich veggies, are helping me prolong summer's golden skin glow!

This set (which also includes a smoky brown cream shadow and a brush) is super subtle, versatile, and minimalist—the way I like my makeup (it's actually called the Minimalist Collection). With this kind of makeup, your healthy skin glow gets to shine through, which is what you want.
.
If you're looking for some healthy new makeup to bring sparkle into your routine this fall, definitely check out this box! It's $45, for $104 worth of gorgeous Gressa makeup.

You can shop the collection here.

NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of these companies that helps to offset the cost of maintaining this site. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and this Gressa makeup was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Eat Pretty in College

eat-pretty-in-college.png

You know your college years require hard work and diligence to achieve the grades, and goals, that you want. But what about your college skin goals? Sometimes eating pretty from your dorm room seems to require as much effort as your studies!

Each fall, I get a new crop of clients who want to build a beauty routine that supports radiant skin from within— but they’re feeling seriously challenged by the college status quo. Cafeteria food, parties & late nights, lack of kitchen access and fresh food on hand when they want it, and stress in general present major challenges that are sometimes unique— or at least heightened— in this phase of your life.

If you’re in college, grad school, or heading there soon, I’ve assembled some of the most important items and tips that you need to boost the beauty nutrition in your life. Whether you want to clear your skin, amp up your glow, balance your hormones, or just improve your energy, mood, and overall well-being, this guide will help you focus your efforts. Wishing you a beautiful college experience!

x Jolene

Stock these basics in your dorm room:

No refrigeration needed:

  • Plant-based protein powder (great go-to when you need to make a quick smoothie)
  • Spices (cinnamon, turmeric, ginger)
  • Teas (a selection for wake up and wind down)
  • Greens powder (when you can’t get fresh greens)

Refrigerate if possible (though these can also be stored at room temperature):

  • Lemons (for AM lemon water)
  • Avocados (have 1/2 as a filling snack; add to salads, grain bowls and smoothies)
  • Shelled hemp seeds (excellent source of protein and healthy fats)
  • Raw nuts and seeds (pair with fruit for snacks)
  • Probiotics

Helpful Gadgets and Appliances:

  • Bullet blender like the Nutribullet
  • Electric kettle (to make a cup of tea, a bowl of oatmeal, warm lemon water, etc.)
  • Microfridge (it’s a college staple, great for storing fresh food)
  • Small knife and cutting board (something easy to clean and store)

— I also recommend taking your Eat Pretty, Live Well journal with you to school— journal a few days of food every now and then to keep yourself on target, and use the trackers and lists inside to set and reach your healthy skin goals. It really keeps you mindful!

Jolene's nutrition tips for gorgeous skin at school:

Don’t skip breakfast! Make a simple smoothie that includes protein, healthy fat and as much fresh food (veggies and/or a small amount of fruit). A basic example is unsweetened coconut milk with plant-based protein powder, greens powder, and organic berries.

Keep healthy snacks on hand. These are essential when you’re up studying late at night, if you missed a meal, or even to satisfy hunger in a healthy way before a party. Try to include protein and healthy fat in your snacks as much as you can— think an apple + almond butter, a wedge of avocado sprinkled with hemp seeds and spices, or chia pudding.

Make mealtime relaxed and fun. Try not to eat while you’re stressed or studying. Eat with a group of friends who make you feel relaxed, or find a quiet spot where you can enjoy your food and engage your senses so you digest well and feel yourself become full.

Don’t stress too much about Beauty Betrayers. In general, if you keep your beauty nutrition on track, you won’t be greatly affected by splurges that are a normal part of college life. But if you’re partying all the time and ignoring your body’s needs for fresh, colorful, whole foods, you’ll see the difference in the mirror. This is a great time to learn how to get yourself and your skin back in balance with nutrition and self-care if you indulge too much.

Have a cafeteria plan. I believe that there’s at least some good in every school cafeteria— you just have to find it, or ask for it. Maybe there’s a great salad bar, a smoothie station that lets you customize your blend, or an epic selection of fresh fruit. If it’s not obvious, go out of your way and ask, politely, if your cafeteria can provide some staples like a varied selection of grains (quinoa, millet, buckwheat) instead of just white rice; or ask if the taco bar can be stocked with collard greens and lettuce leaves in addition to processed flour tortillas. There are always healthy upgrades to be made, most of them are simple, and there are probably lots of other students who will benefit from them too!

Don't depend too much on caffeine. Try and energize your body in other ways— with a good night's sleep, meals that burn slowly and keep your blood sugar stable, and adaptogens that improve your stress response and boost your energy naturally (like maca, ashwaganda and tulsi). Caffeine takes a toll on your skin and robs your body of essential nutrients, so try to make it a tool you use strategically, rather than an everyday essential.

Drink smart. The truth is that alcohol affects your skin— and not in a good way. If you’re going to drink and you want to prevent skin issues, moderation is the key, the same way you would moderate sugar. Here’s how to support healthy skin when you’re drinking—

  1. Before drinking, have a balanced meal with protein, healthy fats, and veggies. This will lessen the glycemic response of the sugar in your body.
  2. While you’re drinking, drink plenty of water and eat something if you can (again, lowering that glycemic response).
  3. After drinking (later that day or the next morning), take a multivitamin, drink coconut water or electrolyte water to replenish fluids and nutrients lost, and have another balanced, antioxidant-rich meal. A green smoothie is a great way to replenish lost nutrients!

Establish a self-care routine now. College is super fun, but at times, it’s also super stressful. This is a great time in your life to practice managing stress in a healthy way. Make a list of beautifying practices that help you relax— think meditation, your favorite workout, a long walk, dancing to music you love, an evening of movies and facials with your roommates; whatever chills you out in a healthy way— and put them on repeat.

What strategies have kept your skin glowing at college? I'd love to hear what's working best for you and how you've adapted your beauty nutrition essentials to fit your dorm room!

Comment or email me at jolene@beautyiswellness.com.

Books background image by Abhi Sharma. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Discover Group Coaching with Eat Pretty Together

EPT small logo.png

It's no secret that Eat Pretty readers are a passionate, knowledgeable, and driven group. They're trend-setters and leaders, constantly searching for new ideas, inspiration, and cutting-edge information to help them look and feel their best in their everyday lives. I've been inspired again and again by the community of women who have read and shared Eat Pretty, including health coaches, fitness pros, chefs, teachers, students—women of all walks of life and all places on the globe. But I've wanted to bring this dynamic group together in a more meaningful way, to build connection and support, and help us all live our best, most beautiful lives. 

That's why I've created Eat Pretty Together.

This virtual, global coaching group will meet twice monthly for an hour-long video lesson, Q&A, and discussion of all things beauty and wellness. Each month I'll guide you through a new focus topic, action steps to set and meet specific wellness goals, grocery lists, recipes, and daily connection via a private Facebook group. And at $99 a month, working with me via the Eat Pretty Together coaching group comes at 1/4 the starting cost of my one-on-one coaching programs.

The experience of connecting with so many of you in my daily Instagram Live videos this summer has finally pushed me to create a deeper way to connect and educate— and Eat Pretty Together is it! If you've ever thought about working with a coach to get motivated and make faster progress on your goals, this group program could be a perfect fit for you. Visit the Eat Pretty Together page to read all about the program content, schedule, and membership options

And if you're curious about how it will feel to be a part of this group program, please check out the replay of the free 30-minute preview call I hosted for the program.

 

If you watch the video, you'll see that there's a special limited time bonus for anyone who joins as a member of Eat Pretty Together for 3 months or more before the program start on 9/13— a 30-minute one-on-one strategy session with me, to outline your goals and set up action steps for you to achieve them! Check out membership options here.

Thank you for your support and inspiration; I hope to have you as a part of Eat Pretty Together for its September launch!

In beauty and health,
Jolene

Get Plastic Smart for Healthier Skin and Hormones

plastic-beauty-health-hormones.PNG

Plastic is one of those inventions that has made our lives massively easier. It’s transformed and even saved lives in its many applications in the medical world. But like so many other good things, there can quickly become too much of it. Look around at your environment and scan through your daily routine for plastics. Do you see them popping up again and again—and again? In food and drink products, utensils, cookware, personal care, waste removal, laundry, home cleaning, clothing, accessories— maybe even your kids’ or pets’ bath or playtime? The number of times we’re exposed to various types of plastics day to day is pretty mind-blowing.

Now consider that we know many types of plastics (especially those labeled 3,6, and 7) leach hormone-disrupting compounds into your food, water, and products—those same foods and products that you eat and apply, countless times as the weeks and months go by. Many of these compounds act like estrogens in the body, or otherwise affect and disrupt the healthy balance of our hormones. When your hormones are out of balance, you might see breakouts, redness, and issues with skin texture, your body may hold onto excess weight or water, and you may have reproductive or fertility issues. Hormones have a major impact on our beauty and health!

So how can you get smarter about plastic for healthier skin and hormones?

Start with the big picture of your exposures, like I do with my clients who are just beginning to incorporate safer personal care. The goal is to raise consciousness (so you get smarter about the occasions when you choose plastics), and to cut back in areas that will make a big difference, without stressing you out. I’m going to guess that your food and drink is your biggest regular source of plastic exposure, whether you are conscious of it of not. 

One important thing to know: many compounds in plastic are lipophilic, meaning that they tend to combine with or dissolve readily in fats. This is why dairy products (even super high-quality ones!) and other naturally fatty foods (even if they're healthy fats) are not good to store in plastic. The recent news that powdered cheese is a major source of exposure to phthalates (one type of plastic compound) is not surprising, given that harmful compounds in plastics can concentrate in these types of foods during their production process.  

Here are 9 ways to make simple swaps that will reduce your exposure to hormone-disrupting compounds in plastics:

1. Swap plastic storage containers for glass or unlined stainless steel. Do this today! And never, ever put warm food in plastic or reheat food in plastic containers, which can cause plastic to break down and leach harmful compounds more quickly. If you must, put only cooled food into plastic, and get rid of plastic containers that are scratched and worn, since they may leach chemicals even more readily. Personally, I’ve made an effort to skip takeout from places that dump hot soups and curries into plastic or styrofoam— those can be a big source of hormone disrupting chemicals. And I use mason jars for a lot of my portable storage! For at home storage of leftovers, I use Snapware and Frigoverre glass containers, which are glass with plastic lids. 

2. Cut back on plastic wrap. Plastic wrap is super convenient, so we may never be able to ditch it 100%, but consider how often, and for how long, it comes into contact with your food. I don't like closely wrapping halves of veggies or fruits in plastic wrap, and I especially try to avoid wrapping products with fats (avocados, cheese and other dairy, etc.) with plastic wrap because of the tendency for those foods to store hormone-disrupting chemicals.

3. Choose personal care in glass or in BPA-free plastic labeled #1, 2, 4, or 5. Yes, your personal care products can be a concentrated source of plastic chemicals too, especially if they’re stored in plastic, and in hot environments like your bathroom. Opt for personal care stored in glass when it’s available, and then look for companies that consciously choose safer plastics for their products (Acure Organics is one company that I know of that aims to use safer plastics for this reason).

4. Toss your vinyl shower curtain in favor of cloth. Every time that soft plastic shower curtain heats up (every time you take a shower!), it releases plastic chemicals into your environment. A cloth shower curtain is a simple swap that’s also easy to clean (just throw it in the washing machine).

5. No more plastic water bottles. This is a big one. Plastic water bottles are a major source of chemical exposure— not to mention their awful impact on the environment. Treat yourself to a really nice glass or unlined stainless water bottle. If you forget your water bottle and need to grab a plastic one on occasion, don’t stress. But buying plastic water (or other beverage!) bottles by the case, drinking from them regularly, and reusing them again and again is a big don’t for beauty and health. One important thing to note: ‘BPA-free’ plastic doesn't mean ‘free of hormone disruptors.’ It just means that it has no BPA. Other compounds used as BPA substitutes may be just as harmful as BPA, so it’s best to minimize whenever you can. 

6. Be careful with fragrance. Synthetic fragrance is a major source of phthalates, plasticizing chemicals that are hormone disrupting compounds in the body. They’ve also been implicated in fertility and reproductive issues, autoimmune diseases, and asthma. Skip items fragranced with synthetic scents, and opt for natural scents—or none at all—instead.

7. Check your cooking tools. Plastics abound in the kitchen, from rubbery spatulas to plastic cutting boards and mixing bowls. Be careful which of your plastics come into contact with hot foods, and throw away old or worn plastics, which can leach harmful compounds more readily. Keep a stack of glass and stainless steel bowls for mixing, and use glass, metal, and ceramic for serving. 

8. Skip canned foods with BPA. Cans that contain BPA in their lining are Beauty Betrayers called out in Eat Pretty, since BPA mimics estrogen in the body and can alter our healthy hormone balance. Choose canned foods that are labeled BPA-free to support your best skin and hormone balance, and learn a few simple ways to make foods from scratch and skip cans altogether when you have time.

9. Buy fewer foods stored in plastics. This one is hard—it takes consciousness, and effort. But I'm working hard to implement this in my life as well! Opting for more whole foods, especially those stored without plastic containers and wraps, can be more beautifying for us all. 

Summer Product Obsessions 2017

Healthy beauty products are one pillar of my daily self-love. I look forward to taking a few moments out of a packed day—juggling work and home life—to treat myself and my skin to ingredients that support the glow I'm nourishing from within. This season, I'm loving a tropical-scented scrub, a dreamy new cream-balm, a shimmering blush, a do-it-all cleanser & mask, and a time-tested deodorant. Read on for a peek at this summer's favorites...

Beverly to 5th Island Coconut Coffee Scrub, $19

This scrub is like an AM espresso shot for the senses. Open the pretty pouch to release the potent coffee-coconut scent inside and you'll find that your mind is instantly brought to focus. I love that the scrub itself satisfies a candy-like craving for tropical coconut, yet it's simple and natural—think ingredients like organic coffee grounds, sea salt, organic cold-pressed coconut oil, and brown sugar, instead of low quality oils and synthetic fragrance.  Coffee is known to tighten skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and deliver a hefty dose of antioxidants, not to mention its skin-smoothing benefits as an exfoliant. It's a fantastic pre-beach smoother. Since I am a bit sensitive to caffeine, I just use a little handful on a small area of my body, like shoulders or thighs, for exfoliation and aromatherapy in the morning.

Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream, $45

Josh Rosebrook does it again. The July Beauty Heroes Discovery Box features a tiny, travel size sample of Josh Rosebrook's incredible new cream, and I'm savoring every application. It holds surprising richness in its whipped, cloud-like texture thanks to moisture-delivering ingredients like aloe vera, honey, rich organic oils like borage, evening primrose and sea buckthorn, and Indian senna seed extract. This beautiful cream-balm layers well over oils and I'm using it on nights when I crave extra moisture— a few nights a week in the summer, which will surely become nightly once cooler weather hits. It applies like a dream, and in the morning my skin has a happy, radiant glow.  I often find that balms can feel too heavy and occlusive on my skin, but this cream-balm hybrid hits a sweet spot for texture and moisture. I am also loving its sweet scent (it reminds me of a childhood candy) and baby blue hue, tinted by its soothing blue tansy oil. Thank you for a precious new product for my summer self-care rituals, Josh Rosebrook and Beauty Heroes!

Au Naturale Pure Powder Blush in Pink Champagne, $24

A little dose of pink from this shimmering, sweet blush is exactly what my skin needs this season. Au Naturale recently repackaged their line of natural, ethically-sourced cosmetics and the result is sleek, minimalist and convenient. Case in point: the revolutionary powder pump that dispenses a perfect dose of loose powder blush onto your skin (I start with mine on the back of my hand before applying to my cheeks with my fingertips) or blush brush. Definitely less mess and less wasted product than a traditional powder pot! The effect is a luminous pink with gold undertones (which are reminiscent of the undertones in the classic hit Orgasm blush by NARS) that builds easily on your skin. If this shade isn't ideal for your skin, check out the five other gorgeous shades in the range. 

Leahlani Skincare Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder, $46

I've been savoring this amazing skincare product since it arrived last month, but it's going fast for one reason: it's so versatile that I seem to always have a reason to reach for it! Cleanser, exfoliant, mask, aromatherapy transport to the Hawaiian islands— Kalima does it all. Usually I reach for this product on days when I need a little extra exfoliation, cleanse with it, and then leave it on my skin for 10 minutes to soak in all of its benefits, including water-activated vitamin C that brightens and boosts collagen. The entire formula is dry until you add water, which makes it a perfect summer travel staple. Shake a little of the powder (it's divinely citrus-vanilla scented) into your palm, add a few drops of water, and combine into a creamy paste with a base of coconut milk, clay, oatmeal, and a bundle of organic Hawaiian fruit and flowers (guava, banana, hibiscus...). I feel like some kind of Hawaiian princess when I use any of Leahlani's products, but this one in particular has me seriously obsessed! 

Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Grapefruit Cream Deodorant, $14

I've been using this amazing product off and on for well over a year, so it's not a new discovery... but it still warrants sharing! Meow Meow Tweet's baking soda-free deodorant cream is the real deal. The texture is super-creamy (you don't have to do any work to soften it before you apply— even in cold, winter months), and rubs in with a light, powdery finish. It smells faintly of lemon and grapefruit, but without any lasting, prominent scent—which I prefer. And it performs. Deodorant is tricky; because we each have a different pH, some deodorant formulas work better than others. It's a personal thing. But this one, I find, becomes a favorite of many of my clients. And being free of baking soda makes it much less prone to irritate skin. One jar lasts a LONG time, and keeps me fresh & dry in all seasons. If you haven't found your holy grail natural deodorant yet, give this one a try! 

 

NOTE: Buying a product from Beauty Heroes or Leahlani through the links above results in a small commission for me. My honest reviews and account of my experience is in NO WAY influenced by my affiliate status. First and foremost, I love these products and stand behind these brands! 

Make this 5-Minute Energizing Lunch for Gorgeous Skin

Lunch is the time of day when your body is primed and ready to digest a really nutrient-dense meal. You can make this your biggest meal of the day, packed with skin nutrition! Only, lunch also seems to be the time when we reach for packaged, processed, fast food options, in the name of convenience. To help break that trend, this recipe was also created in the name of convenience— and energy, and glowing skin. If you have 5 minutes and 4 ingredients (plus your leafy green of choice, which you ALWAYS have around, right??), you have this protein-packed beauty lunch that also adds a probiotic boost. Feel free to add more veggies to this salad, as your tastes desire and your refrigerators allow.

Chopped Chickpea-Kraut Salad

Here's a super-quick lunch I love to make when I have an empty fridge or a lack of leftovers. I always have a can of chickpeas on hand, as well as some sauerkraut (I used the Gingered Purple Kraut from Eat Pretty Every Day for this recipe— it adds the perfect flavor and color!), which is more than half the recipe. It checks off your protein, healthy fats, and your probiotic foods, and if you add greens you have an even more beautifying masterpiece that takes—seriously—5 minutes to assemble. This serves 2, or just me if I'm extra-hungry. Enjoy!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped raw sauerkraut 
  • 1 heaping tbsp vegan mayo (you can sub ripe avocado here too)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • sprinkle of shelled hemp seeds (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Add chickpeas to a bowl and mash, using the back of a fork. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve wrapped in, or over a bed of, your favorite leafy greens!

The Best Essential Oils for Your Bath

natural-bath-soak-essential-oils

Whenever I have one of those days where stress, work, and motherhood (or all of the above) wear me out yet leave me wired, a bath is how I wipe the slate clean and prepare for restful sleep. You might call it a bathing meditation, because it has similar effects for my mind and body.

Many of my clients who have had difficulty sleeping or managing stress have found a bath to be an ideal evening self-care practice. If nighttime is the time when cravings hit, or when you find yourself staying up too late binging on TV, or even when you tend to feel restless and unable to settle into sleep, I challenge you to break that routine with a bath. A warm bath (I like mine HOT, even though I know it's dehydrating to my skin...!) detoxifies, relaxes muscles, increases circulation, restores the mind & body, and pampers you. It's an ideal time to grab a magazine, listen to a podcast, slather on a face mask— or just stare at the ceiling and breathe. And then there's the water. You can find any number of amazing bath products (see a few faves at the end of this post) to boost the benefits of your bath, but just a few drops of the right essential oil make an otherwise average soak into a tailored spa treatment. I like to change it up but always come back to some combination of lavender + jasmine + sandalwood. 

To find out which essential oils are best for the bath, I previously interviewed essential oil expert Robin Block of Wyndmere Naturals for her picks. I also added some of my own favorites to this list! Pick the ones that speak to you and follow the key instructions afterward for a rewarding beauty ritual you'll revisit time and again:

Best Essential Oils for the Bath

  • Rose: “If I had to pick only one oil, I’d probably choose rose oil,” says Block. “It’s calming but gently uplifting and it helps with anxiety or nervous tension.” Rose oil supports all skin types, so even those with dry, sensitive skin will benefit from its restorative effects.
  • Cedarwood, Sandalwood or Rosewood: Block says that any oils that come from tree bark are incredibly soothing and grounding—and I totally agree. Sandalwood in particular is prized for its fragrance, as well as its calming properties, making it a personal fave.
  • Neroli: This lovely oil, which is extracted from orange blossom flowers, calms the mind and uplifts the spirit. It makes a great addition to a wintertime bath, since, “We’re often starved for uplifting scents in the winter,” Block says. Neroli is a gentle sedative that encourages sleep and reduces anxiety. Think of this oil as the antidote to a stressful day.
  • Vetiver: Vetiver, distilled from the roots of the vetiver plant, is a humectant oil that brings moisture to dry skin and peace to your mind. “In India, vetiver is called the oil of tranquility,” says Block.
  • Lavender: Known as the quintessential oil for calm, lavender is a favorite for nighttime baths and the treatment of insomnia. Lavender also supports damaged, stressed or irritated skin, making it a wonderful choice for many of those with skin issues.
  • Roman or German Chamomile: Chamomile is known for its gentle, calming properties, making it an excellent essential oil to add to a tension-reducing bath before bed.  Add a few drops of chamomile essential oil to a chamomile tea bag and let it soak in your bath for extra benefits, Block suggests.
  • Ylang Ylang or Jasmine:  Ylang ylang and jasmine essential oils maybe stimulants that uplift your mood, but I also find them to be soothing to your body. A bath scented with these exotic oils, which are aphrodisiacs and blend especially well together, also benefits dry skin.

After filling your bath, Block recommends that you wait a few minutes for the water to reach a warm temperature, and never get into a bath that’s steaming or scalding, since it does strip natural oils from the skin. (I'm trying to do this more!). Then sprinkle a few drops of your chosen essential oil (or essential oil blend, since most oils mix well with others) into a cup of whole milk or a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add this diluted mixture to your bath water and stir to blend. Add essential oils directly to hot water and they will evaporate quickly, along with their therapeutic benefits. Or, as an antidote to sore muscles, mix a few drops of essential oils into two cups of Epsom salts and dissolve into your bath.

When choosing essential oils for your bath, look for an indication that the oils are 100% pure and therapeutic grade. Brands like Wyndmere Naturals, Young Living, doTERRA and Aura Cacia are known for the purity of their oils.

Want to add instant therapeutic benefits to bath, with a product that's ready to use? These are some of my personal favorite natural and organic bath products:

EO Botanical Bath Salt Soaks. With a range of natural scents and a choice of different types of salts (from Himalayan pink to sea salt and Epsom salt), these are a great budget-friendly bath soak option. 

Pursoma Bath Soaks. The Pursoma Hot Tub Bath (a splurge at $36) in particular helped me stop a cold in its tracks. The best part of these detoxifying bath blends is the incredibly high-quality ingredients, including wild harvested seaweeds, organic ginger powder, and pure French clay.

Dr. Hauschka Aromatherapy Bath Kit. A collection of trial sizes of Dr. Hauschka’s rosemary, spruce, sage, lemon and lavender bath oils that make your bath smell amazing and leave your skin so moisturized and happy.

What's your current favorite natural or organic bath product?

Note: This post was originally published 8/26/11 and was most recently updated June 2017.

Glowing Skin Secrets from Hawaii

Hawaii is one of those places that you kind of can't believe is real. The air smells like fresh blossoms, you see rainbows daily, and the only thing more amazing than the ocean waves are the creatures that reside there— from sea turtles to candy-colored tropical fish. So it only makes sense that some of the most beautiful natural skincare products that I've tried in recent years come from the Hawaiian islands. This natural paradise produces a fascinating array of ingredients that make your skin glow, both from the inside and outside, from noni, guava, and kukui nuts to turmeric, macadamia, and pineapple. 

Hawaii and one of its many rainbows, in 2011.

Hawaii and one of its many rainbows, in 2011.

Ahead, I share three incredibly beautiful Hawaiian natural skincare brands, as well as a powerfully skin-nourishing smoothie that reminds me of my own trip there. I've been rotating these products and making the smoothie over and over for the last several weeks, and I can't wait for you to experience them. I hope you get inspired to take a trip, or give your skin a pick-me-up by adding some Hawaiian ingredients to your skincare regimen and your diet. 

Leahlani Skincare

Kauai is known as 'The Garden Isle.' I know this because it was six years ago this week that I honeymooned there. Even back then I was writing about natural beauty, and I looked around for products to bring home during my travels— but came up short. Apparently I didn't look hard enough, because Leah Klasovsky, Holistic esthetician, skincare formulator, and founder of Leahlani Skincare, was at that time already offering her dreamy line at local Kauai farmer's markets.

Fast forward to 2017 (she has since developed a major following for her Mermaid Mask), when I finally got to experience Leahlani. No exaggeration, I opened up my box and was instantly lifted out of a funk I happened to have been in that day and transported to a dreamy place (where I return every time I use one of the Leahlani products). Like Hawaii itself, these products feel almost too good to be real. They smell delicious, dessert-like, and exotic—and they are terrifically effective and a pleasure to use.

I adore the Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder, which contains a base of dried coconut milk (!) that you rehydrate in your palm, along with powdered antioxidant-rich fruit and flowers like hibiscus, guava, camu camu, and honeysuckle. Tangerine, mandarin, and vanilla essential oils give it a scent that is just, well...beyond. Being powdered, it travels easily. The Meli Glow Illuminating Nectar Mask is another product that makes me weak in the knees; added to its base of organic raw Hawaiian honey and rose clay is a lineup of tropical ingredients that exfoliate, soothe, and bring out your skin's glow. Think organic starfruit, strawberry, and guava, as well as sea buckthorn, avocado, and argan oils. It's my usual raw honey mask, Hawaiian style. Finally, I feel like I'm in Kauai getting a facial every time I apply Leahlani's Bless Beauty Balm, a super-rich, hydrating, + soothing balm of cold-pressed oils and flowers that is excellent in place of a night cream. It smells like two of its ingredients, blue tansy and orchid, and the scent makes me fall asleep happily every time I use it at night.

Testing Leahlani, so soothing visually and in its ingredients.

Testing Leahlani, so soothing visually and in its ingredients.

Honua Skincare

Sleek black bottles protect Honua's potent formulas. 

Sleek black bottles protect Honua's potent formulas. 

Beauty Heroes founder Jeannie Jarnot is herself Hawaiian, and you can feel her passion and love for her home come through in the June Beauty Heroes Discovery box featuring Honua Skincare. (For those of you who don't know Beauty Heroes, it's a monthly subscription box that features one 'hero' product from a natural or organic beauty line— and my favorite mail delivery every month!) The featured, hero product in this box is the Aloha Youth Serum, a super-light serum with a base of organic coconut water, rose hydrosol, and aloe—can't you just imagine how those ingredients float over your skin? The feel is silky, cooling, and lightly moisturizing (with kukui nut, tammany and chia oils)— exactly what my skin wants for summer. So well timed as usual, Beauty Heroes! I've been using this serum first, followed by a few drops of the other product in the box, the Olena Beauty Oil. Olena is Hawaiian for turmeric, which gives you a clue that this oil focuses on reducing inflammation in the skin with fresh, Hawaiian turmeric (this batch was picked and infused only weeks ago), as well as noni and cacao. I tried it on skin irritation even outside my face and saw quicker healing and soothing. Beauty Heroes suggests using traditional Hawaiian lomi massage (a flowing technique with long, sometimes circular strokes) to apply this oil.

You can buy products from this month's Honua Skincare box or subscribe to Beauty Heroes here

Mahalo Skin Care

I first introduced Mahalo Skin Care and its Rare Indigo Beauty Balm in a post last year— you can read all about it here. The 'garden' island of Kauai is also the Hawaiian home of Mahalo Skin Care and its founder Maryna Kracht. Since my initial post, I've spent time using Mahalo's The Petal mask, a hydrating mask with a base of raw and Manuka honeys, as well as rose and white clays, that simultaneously leaves your skin smooth and hydrated, with a little extra glow from increased circulation and moisture. It would be wonderful for acne-prone skin that needs moisture without heaviness. Another Hawaiian treasure!

Honeymoon Glow Smoothies, for two.

Honeymoon Glow Smoothies, for two.

Honeymoon Glow Smoothie

This smoothie gives your skin that honeymoon glow. Healthy fats from coconut and macadamia strengthen your skin's cell membranes and give your body the building blocks for hormone production, while beet supports energy and glowing skin. Maca also lends itself to energy and hormone balance, while fresh pineapple helps maintain a flat belly and give you a sweet boost of energy from fruit.

Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 small roasted beet
  • Heaping 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I like coconut milk for this smoothie)
  • small handful macadamia nuts (or 4-5 Brazil nuts)
  • 1-2 dates, depending on your desired sweetness
  • 1/2 tsp maca root
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract (optional) 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Feeling inspired yet? Me too. I can't wait for the next time I'm called back to magical Hawaii; until then, these Hawaiian beauty secrets infuse my regular routine with a dose of tropical delight. 


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or one of the aforementioned Leahlani products, I will receive a small commission on behalf of these companies that helps to offset the cost of maintaining this site. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and Leahlani was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Skin-Nourishing Supper: Amaranth Polenta with Mushrooms, Basil & Greens

It's time to upgrade your complex carbs with a beauty nutrition-packed pantry staple: amaranth. Amaranth is a must-have in your repertoire, especially if you're vegan or vegetarian, as it's a great source of protein (8g in a serving) and beauty minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. The sticky, porridge-like texture of amaranth makes it a great breakfast grain (try the recipe for Coconut-Date Amaranth on p. 322 of Eat Pretty Every Day) or polenta base (as I've used it in this recipe), and also makes it excellent for your digestion. Even though we think of it as a gluten-free grain, it's technically a seed, one whose texture is really going to add something new to your usual meals— wait until you try it! 

Every single ingredient in this easy dish is loaded with skin benefits, and you can sub in new varieties of greens as they come into season and mushrooms as they become available. Enjoy!

Amaranth Polenta with Mushrooms, Basil & Greens

NOTE: If you prefer to serve a firmer square of polenta under your veggies (as opposed to a soft, porridge-y version), it's best to make the amaranth well ahead of time and let it chill completely. Try making it the night before serving, or the morning-of, so it has plenty of time to cool and solidify, and all you have to do is cook up the veggies to go on top. 

This veggie-packed meal is brimming with protein, one of the essential building blocks for your skin, hair, and nails that also helps keep your blood sugar stable (further supporting gorgeous skin!). It's also a great source of key beauty minerals like iron and calcium, and lots of antioxidants from basil and greens. Try subbing in whatever greens or veggies you have on hand.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

3 cups broth or water (if using water, be sure to salt it, or add 2 tbsp liquid/coconut aminos for flavor)

1 cup dry amaranth

2 tsp coconut oil, organic butter, or ghee

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

6 cups chopped assorted mushrooms (I recommend including some shiitakes for flavor)

1 pint (about 2 cups) organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 

4 tsp chopped basil, plus more for garnish

3 large handfuls of roughly chopped organic greens (I used baby kale)

DIRECTIONS

Bring broth/water to a boil in a large saucepan, and add amaranth. Cover, lower heat, and simmer about 25 minutes, until water has absorbed and amaranth is sticky, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt oil/butter/ghee in a sauté pan. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften. Add mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of unrefined salt, and cook until mushrooms soften and release their water. (Depending on the variety of mushrooms that you use, you can pour off some of the water if it begins to collect). Add tomatoes, basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. When tomatoes have softened, add chopped greens and cook until just wilted.

Fill each plate with a serving of polenta, and top with the veggie sauté and additional fresh basil.