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Guest Post :: The Beauty-Wellness Connection Plus 10 Ways To Nourish Your Beauty

I've admired Jolene Hart from afar for a couple years now, stumbling into her writings around the eco blogosphere and green magazines again and again, but only recently really connected.  She's a Beauty Editor, Health & Beauty Coach, and Founder of Beauty Is Wellness. We share a passion for healthy living and natural beauty.  She lives in Philly and while we were there this summer she asked to meet up for tea but unfortunately our tight schedule didn't allow it.  I hope to be back there soon because it is such a cool place, and I'd really like to meet her in person.  I love that she's helping others realize that beauty is indeed from the inside out.  Please check out her site as you'll find a wealth of information and enjoy the article she wrote especially for our lovely readers. 

By: Jolene Hart

My very first real cosmetic product, after the bottle of Oil of Olay lotion that matched my mom’s, was a tube of concealer. On any given day there was at least something about my complexion that I wanted to hide. And if I was ever going to get my skin to match the model faces I saw in pages of Seventeen, I figured that my concealer was going to have to work overtime.

While I was busy perfecting my makeup camouflaging techniques, I wish I had been learning how to nourish my beauty. It took another decade for me to put it together that my outer beauty was a direct reflection of my inner health. But I can’t blame my teenage self, when I was being bombarded with the message that there was no diet-acne connection, and that a little Clearasil could vanish any zit overnight. I assumed that cosmetics had to the missing link between my troubled complexion and the perfect skin I coveted.

Ironically it wasn’t until I became a beauty editor, knee-deep in skin care samples (and STILL battling sensitive, inflamed, broken out skin), that I finally discovered that products are only a tiny part of the beauty equation. There was something missing and, yes, I found (after a lot of research and even more trial and error) it had everything to do with my lifestyle.

If you asked me about my beauty regimen today, I’d tell you about my favorite beauty foods, how many hours I sleep on average and my favorite way to de-stress, in addition to the natural and organic products that I love. Too much information? Not so. The whole idea that beauty IS wellness (the phrase that became my website and coaching company!) might take a little adjustment for you, but give it a chance. The truth is that what you put in and on your body today creates the blueprint for the way you look and feel tomorrow. If that feels like a whole load of pressure, don’t stress (that only accelerates aging) taking care of your skin doesn’t require perfection. But you do need to give your body the proper tools to create healthy skin, whether you’re wearing makeup or not.

Wondering where to start? Use these 10 Ways to Nourish Your Beauty to boost your natural radiance with overall wellness in 2012 and beyond.

1. Rethink your regimen. Detach yourself from your skin care products for just a minute. Serums, eye creams and spot treatments haven’t been around forever, but healthy skin has. A good regimen of natural products (like you’ll find here on Fig + Sage!) is important to have in your corner, but it’s certainly not the end-all of beauty.

2. Go green. Whether you blend them up in a smoothie, make them into chips or toss them together in a salad, greens are an unbeatable source of beautifying vitamins and minerals.

3. Power up on C. This anti-aging vitamin is a key nutrient for the production of new collagen (keeping you looking youthful!), so fill up. Take your pick from tasty kiwi, peppers, lemons, strawberries, spinach, and more.

4. Pack in good protein. Protein (specifically amino acids) is one of the building blocks of collagen and it’s an essential for strong hair, skin and nails. Whether you’re vegan, flexitarian or a meat-eater, there are plenty of great sources of protein, from nuts and seeds to fish, lean meats, beans and grains.

5. Calm your digestion. Bloating, gas and constipation are some of the least pretty topics of conversation, but the health of your gut is directly reflected in the state of your skin. Make them both happy. A probiotic supplement is a great place to start.

6. Take time to relax. Take a nap, learn a relaxing breath, meditate, commune with nature and drink in fresh air (Fig + Sage’s Fresh Air Project is the perfect inspiration). You’ll drop those stress hormones that are aging you faster than you’d like.

7. Sleep tight. Don’t feel guilty about giving yourself a good 8 hours. Sleep is your skin’s repair time and without it your skin misses its change to bounce back from daily damage. Plus, it’s free and fabulous!

8. Eat healthy fats. Don’t shy away from good fats like omega 3s (try chia seeds, sardines, walnuts, salmon) and gamma linoleic acid (in black currant seed oil). They’ll calm inflammation and keep your skin healthy and supple.

9. Sweat it out. Boost your circulation and your cell turnover, and flood your brain with mood-boosting chemicals. Plus, those who exercise regularly have thicker skin with stronger collagen.

10. Be happy. Yes, your skin has feelings too. The appearance of your skin really does reflect your mental state. A quote I love: “The best skincare is just to be happy…endorphins are a powerful chemical.” –Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda & Intelligent Nutrients

If you think that this list echoes what you’ve heard about a healthy, balanced lifestyle, you’re right. Beauty is the total health package. YOU are the total package! When I finally learned that, my skin came into its own.

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