Your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside in the truest sense, says Marie Reynolds, renowned wellness and skin health expert and founder of Marie Reynolds London , in my podcast. Here are some surprising ways in which you could care for your skin
Marie Reynolds draws a comparison between a body’s ‘internal system’ and a field as she points out that no matter how potent the fertilisers (skincare products) one uses are, if the soil (the body’s internal system) is “contaminated or toxic”, it’s impossible to get a healthy harvest (healthy skin). In the same vein, a recently updated article by Canadian Digestive Health Foundation covered studies that point towards a correlation between the skin and gut. It’s unlikely that this would surprise you as the connection between gut health and overall well-being has been the subject of numerous articles and books in recent years. Gut microbiota has a huge role to play in every aspect of health, including the way the skin looks – which, as Reynolds reiterates on my show, is really a reflection of what’s going on inside.
Reshma Padda, founder of Amisa Pure & Natural an artisanal skincare label that focuses on natural remedies, couldn’t agree more. “The gut is responsible for absorbing nutrients, houses beneficial and harmful bacteria, and regulates our moods,” says Padda, “Our diet, how much water we drink, how much sugar or protein we consume…all of these things affect our gut and digestive processes and, accordingly, they impact skin health too”. Little things that most of us take for granted – like chewing food properly, eating on time and eating well, i.e., consuming nutritive foods, can help keep our gut clean, eventually resulting in better skin.
Good thoughts, great skin
Marie Reynolds, interestingly, also places equal emphasis on mental health and how we treat others. In the episode, you’ll hear her say, “Wellness comes from healthy eating and good hydration, but the main thing is your day-to-day thought processes.” In an article in TechRound, Reynolds elaborates on her method, saying, “Through treatments I look at the energetic stresses that may be causing a physical imbalance, because all physical manifestations start off energetically. We are not 2D beings, we are interactive symbiotic forms so there are many facets to our health and wellbeing. I don’t make any wild claims, I just look at the energetic stresses and aim to bring balance and homeostasis to the person to help the body regain its energetic status quo.” In her own podcast, ‘Good Vibes Only’, she also talks about how the environment and the people we surround ourselves by impact our mood and health.
One way to tackle such issues is by changing our lifestyles, by living more organically, as Reshma Padda points out. “Practices like yoga, meditation, exercise, and clean eating help — switching to an organic skin care regimen takes effort and dedication, but you will definitely see and feel the results,” she says. “You can also deal with the effects of daily stresses and worries with meditation, journalling, moderate exercise, self-care practices, meeting friends, and simply by talking to people and doing what you love,” Padda adds.
In the TechRound article, Reynolds goes a step further to add, “I don’t believe in skin types or conditions – I see diet, lifestyle and internal factors as responsible for the majority of skin issues, so the consultation element is so important in order to get to the root cause of what is manifesting on the skin and in the body.”
What’s at the root of your skin concerns?
In my episode, you’ll hear Reynolds talk about how factors like stress and an increase in testosterone can trigger acne in teenagers, while the breakouts on foreheads may be associated with digestion.
In the case of teenage acne, Reynolds recommends introducing your child to proper cleansing techniques, while also looking into what could cause the acne, for example, is it the consumption of what she calls, ‘mucus-forming foods’ such as dairy products, soy, sweets, alcohol, etc.? Additionally, Padda recommends using a natural facewash, like Ubtan, which is a mixture of turmeric-gram [chickpea] flour and herbs and water. Padda also recommends including Witch Hazel in your routine and using Aloe Vera-based gels as a moisturiser to detoxify and deep clean the skin.
While associations between foods and acne may seem obvious, more surprising for me was Reynolds’ revelation that under-eye bags circles could be caused by allergies. “We have a lymphatic, web-like system under our eyes that requires proper drainage to avoid bags — an issue generally caused due to allergies. In the morning, our lymphatics slug more and become puffier, so another ingredient to look into would be ionic minerals that ensure proper hydration,” Reynolds explained in my podcast.
Reynolds links dark circles to “genetics, spleen and kidney energies”, adding that they can also, of course, be signs of fatigue “and your body working on a reserved battery, which is where adaptogens like Ashwagandha can help”. Adaptogens, she explains, are roots and herbs that adapt to what your body needs, “[they may] even support your adrenals, a gland on the top of your kidneys, ultimately boosting energy”.
Padda says one can tackle dark circles by using topical creams or oils that contain ingredients like coffee, rosehip oil, and green tea, as well as face masks with fresh fruits and vegetables. “These ingredients help brighten the undereye area and lighten the cycles”, says Reshma Padda suggests, once again, underscoring the importance of consuming a balanced diet and making healthy lifestyle tweaks to enjoy maximum benefits.
Reynolds even has her own natural sleep supplement that you can turn to when you need a little help to enjoy those essential eight hours.