Restore Luscious Locks with Lavender

Monday, August 15, 2011 by Dr. Susan Lark
One of the unfortunate effects of menopause that seems to happen to many women is thinning hair. When estrogen levels drops and hormones are less balanced, hair tends to fall out faster and grow back slower. Fortunately, an essential oil has been found to help.  

One of the most widely accepted natural treatments for hair loss and promoting healthy scalp circulation is lavender. A study reported in the Archives of Dermatology indicated that 3 drops of lavender (along with 2 drops each of thyme and cedarwood and 3 drops of rosemary in a carrier-oil blend of 1/2 teaspoon of jojoba oil and 4 teaspoons of grapeseed oil) promoted hair growth and healthy scalp circulation! In fact, 44 percent of the treatment group enjoyed new hair growth, as compared to 15 percent of the control group. And there were none of the adverse side effects frequently found with conventional treatments for hair loss.

If you would like to try this treatment option, you can use lavender three ways:

1. Use a diffuser to disperse micro-particles of the essential oil in the air. 

2. Apply through your skin by bath, compresses, massage, or simple topical application. 

3. Spray infused waters in the air or onto your skin. (Lavender also is a component of some wonderful natural beauty care products.) 

Essential oils can be purchased in health food and beauty stores, but keep in mind that the quality of the oil may vary. For the highest quality, look for oils packaged in small dark blue or brown vials. Also, prices within a particular brand line will vary, as some essential oils are far more expensive than others. A product line with similar pricing throughout may be offering oils of inferior quality. 

Where to find the best natural beauty care products

Monday, July 11, 2011 by Dr. Susan Lark
I talk all the time about the importance of natural skin care ingredients, and what toxic ingredients to avoid.

You may be wondering if your favorite products contain harmful ingredients that may affect your skin and health. I recommend visiting the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. Here, they rate thousands of health and beauty products—including makeup, cleansers, moisturizers, nail care, baby care, oral care, and sun protection products—on a scale of 0 (being the lowest hazard based on their ingredients) to 10 (being the highest hazard). 

You can always check my website, too, for some of the best natural skin care options on the market.

Best Natural Skin Care for Age Spots

Thursday, May 12, 2011 by Dr. Susan Lark

Age spots are places where excess melanin (or pigment) has been delivered to the skin. But while their common name suggests that they’re an unavoidable part of getting older, studies show that they’re more about inflammation than age. In fact, a woman can be well into her 80s and not have a single age spot, because the number one cause of age spots happens to be the most pervasive cause of skin inflammation, and also the easiest to avoid: ultraviolet radiation.

Conventional treatment usually involves applying a drug called hydroquinone (a somewhat irritating prescription skin lightener) and a prescription corticosteroid, which is used to counteract the inflammatory effects of the hydroquinone. For greater efficacy and speed, this approach is often paired with the use of harsh chemical skin peels or dermabrasion to stimulate new skin to grow and replace the old hyperpigmented skin faster. All of these treatment have undesirable side effects.

Natural Beauty Care Products for Age Spots

Reversing age spots can be done naturally, in 3 easy steps: 
  • Protect against ultraviolet radiation and avoid the sun-induced skin inflammation that triggers hyperpigmentation in the first place. No skin lightener will work if sun-induced inflammation isn’t avoided. Use a top-quality sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. Also make sure it does not contain any inflammatory ingredients such as PABA.
  • Cleanse gently and always moisturize. For the treatment of age spots, try using a mild facial cleanser once a week unless your face needs a thorough washing—for instance, if you have a lot of makeup on. On the other days, cleanse twice a day with oil instead of soap. Using about 1/4 teaspoon of a high quality, perfume-free oil such as organic jojoba, olive, grapeseed, or macadamia oil, gently massage your face. Then, wet a clean washcloth with warm (not hot) water, and remove the oil by scrubbing gently in a downward direction to clean and close your skin’s pores. Follow by massaging in about 1/4 as much of the same oil, preferably while your face is still damp. If your skin feels too oily afterward, gently dab away the excess with a clean cloth.
  • Twice a week, exfoliate with 10 percent glycolic acid. For most women, 10 percent is gentle enough even for everyday use without causing inflammation. I recommend Mango Madness SkinCare’s Exfoliate Me Glycolic Acid Cleanser.

Don’t Neglect Your Gums

Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Just by chance, the same week as my harrowing, teeth whitening disaster, I had my bi-annual floss for your gumsdentist appointment. My dentist is a childhood friend of my husband, so she understands (okay, puts up with) my lack of interest in regular X-rays and power fluoride.

After I told her what happened with the teeth whitening strips, we discussed gum health in general. It’s about this time that I get my regular chastising for not flossing more regularly. She reminded me to floss at least once a day and brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Fortunately, I used an electric toothbrush that automatically runs for two minutes, which is great for impatient people like me.

And, even without my regular flossing routine, my gums were surprisingly healthy. I told her it was due to CoQ10. Research has shown that the presence of this powerful enzyme in all the cells of your body, as well as its critical role in energy production, makes it a powerful therapeutic treatment for a wide range of health issues, including periodontal disease. In fact, researchers have found that an incredible 60 to 96 percent of patients with periodontal disease are deficient in CoQ10.

So, be sure to take 30–60 mg of CoQ10 twice a day to protect your gums. You can also find several natural toothpastes that contain CoQ10.

For more information on natural beauty tips and advice on finding the best natural skin care, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Shining a Light on Tooth Whiteners

Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Kimberly Day
For several months now, I’ve been using a popular brand of teeth whitening strips. However, Find the tooth whitenersabout a month ago, when I put the strip on my lower teeth, I nearly fell over in pain.

Where the strip touched my gums began to burn and turn white (not where I wanted the whitening to occur!). And, because the strips are meant to adhere, I couldn’t get it off. I ended up needing to grab my toothbrush and, adding insult to injury, scrub my already-painful gums to get the strip off.

Since I hadn’t had problems in the past, I decided to see how common this reaction was to teeth whitening. I looked at past issues of Dr. Lark’s newsletter and found a 2003 study from the Journal of Esthetic & Restorative Dentistry, which evaluated the efficacy of over-the-counter tooth whiteners.

Participants were divided into two groups. One group used a customized application tray and tooth whitening gel that consisted of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes three times a day every day for two weeks. The other group also used a tray, but with an inactive gel.

At the two-week mark, the group that used the hydrogen peroxide solution had significantly lighter and brighter teeth, and enjoyed this change for up to six months.

Great, right? But, from a safety standpoint, there have been a few concerns. On the positive side, the research has shown that teeth whitening does not cause damage to the tooth pulp, nor does it cause plaque build-up. Conversely, tooth sensitivity and inflammation of the gums are fairly common. One study found that 35 to 40 percent of participants using teeth whiteners experienced either minor tooth sensitivity or irritation of the gums.

NOW they tell me!

So, while teeth whitening is generally considered to be safe and quite effective, I will not be using the strips any longer.

For more information on natural beauty tips and advice on finding the best natural skin care, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Toxins in Beauty Care Products Exposed

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 by Susan Lark
I was watching the Today Show this morning and saw a segment about the dangers associated with the ingredients used in the majority of cosmetics and beauty products on the market. The women being interviewed were promoting a new book they wrote about this topic called No More Dirty Looks, but I was just glad to see more publicity being paid to the topic of toxins in beauty care products.

I've spoken many times about the potential dangers of ingredients used in many cosmetics and beauty care products. In reality, the best natural skin care you could possibly use comes from nature, not from a chemical lab. I urge you to look through the beauty care products and cosmetics you use most frequently and replace them with products that contain pure, natural skin care ingredients. One of the all-time best natural skin care products I can recommend is Trilane, which is made from olives.

For even more information on natural skin care ingredients and the best natural skin care you can find, visit my Web site.

Green Gifts That Really ARE Great

Saturday, November 27, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Everyone talks about “going green,” but the reality is, most green products stink. Well, in my green giftsopinion anyway. And sometimes literally!

Not only do they rarely work as well as the more conventional options, but they are rarely attractive, often having a brown or greenish hue.

Luckily, there are a few exceptions to every rule.

Preserve Taste and Health

When it comes to food storage, Tupperware has the lock on the competition. Unless, of course, you consider the recent research surrounding the leaching of plastics and polycarbonates into food. Enter Eco Food Storage Containers.

These beautiful ceramic bowls are decorated with subtle drawings of turnips, eggplant, and chili peppers, and come with BPA-free lids. So feel free to store, heat, and even place these babies in the dishwasher.

They sell for $39.95 for a set of three, so feel free to send me a few too!

Got Kids, Will Travel

Though I don’t have any children of my own (yet!), I have spent a lot of time with my nieces and nephew, and I can tell you…nothing makes them happier than eating and putting small objects into little compartments. So imagine how much they (and you!) will love Goodbyn lunchboxes.

These lunchboxes have five compartments and come with a drink bottle. Not only are they dishwasher-safe, they are also completely free of BPA, phthalates, and lead. Which means the only thing in your children’s lunch is, well, their lunch!

They come in a variety of colors and sell for just $24.95 each.

For more great gift ideas, including the best natural skin care, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Best Natural Skin Care for Dry Hands--Steps 2 & 3

Friday, November 12, 2010 by Susan Lark

Best Natural Skin Care for Dry Hands--Step 2
To keep your hands smooth and soft during harsh winter conditions, you should exfoliate weekly.

Exfoliating the skin on your hands helps to remove dead skin cells and can encourage the formation of undamaged new ones. There are plenty of exfoliating products on the market, but if you want to make a natural skin care recipe at home, try this:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1–2 teaspoons coconut, jojoba, avocado, or olive oil
1–2 teaspoons honey

Mix all these ingredients together and massage into your dry hands for about one minute (or less). Then add a little water and continue massaging for a minute (or less). Wash your hands, then moisturize (see below).

Best Natural Skin Care for Dry Hands--Step 3
During the wintertime, you simply need to moisturize frequently. However, I am not a fan of the chemical-laden drugstore brand moisturizers. Most of them contain petrolatum. Also known as petroleum and paraffin jelly, petrolatum is a type of mineral oil used to seal in moisture. This is the ironic part, because petrolatum actually interferes with your skin’s own moisturizing ability, leading to even more dry skin and chapping.

When you use a skin care product that contains petrolatum, you will usually find it to be very waxy. This is a sign that your skin is not absorbing the product. Instead, it just sits on top of your skin, suffocating and clogging your pores.

Fortunately, there are plenty of moisturizers that do not contain petrolatum and other questionable chemicals. Some of the best natural skin care contains shea butter, cocoa butter, aloe, and other soothing and easily absorbed ingredients from nature. Just look in your local health food store or at any of the countless online retailers that sell products with natural skin care ingredients. Some of my favorite natural beauty care products Aubrey Organics Collagen & Almond Enriching Moisturizing Lotion, Devita Tahitian Shea Butter Brulée, and 100% Pure Lemon Shea Body Butter.

Be sure to use your moisturizer after washing your hands, before and after going outside, and any other time you feel you need it.


Bitter Melon for Breast Cancer Prevention

Monday, October 11, 2010 by Susan Lark

In the October issue of my newsletter, Women's Wellness Today, I wrote about a nutrient that is just being recognized for its anti-breast cancer properties. It's called bitter melon. 

Tropical bitter melon is already known as a nutritional powerhouse and regulator of blood sugar and insulin levels. But recently, researchers discovered that supplemental bitter melon extract also helps inhibit breast cancer development and growth.

For breast cancer prevention: If you are in premenopause/perimenopause or beyond, I recommend taking 500–1,000 mg of bitter melon extract with each meal. You can find it online and in health food stores.

To learn more about breast cancer prevention, as well as menopause symptom relief, natural beauty care products, and so much more in women's health, visit my Web site.

Full, Luscious, Beautiful Hair--Naturally

Thursday, October 7, 2010 by Susan Lark
One of the effects of menopause that causes distress in so many women is dull, thinning hair. As estrogen levels plummet, hair often loses its fullness and vitality.  

Luckily, you don’t have to resort to drugstore brand hair care products that are loaded with chemicals and other unsavory ingredients to achieve gorgeous hair. (As you know, I prefer natural beauty care products anyway!) Instead, you need to feed your hair follicles from within. Here are the nutrients your hair needs to look and feel full and beautiful:

• Essential fatty acids. EFAs help keep your hair and scalp in healthy condition. To ensure that you are getting enough EFAs, eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as ground flaxseed (4–6 tablespoons per day), and cold-water, wild-caught fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout, or halibut (3 times per week). If you choose to supplement EFAs, I recommend at least 1,200 mg a day.
• Copper and silica. Both of these minerals help form collagen in your hair. The best food sources of copper are seafood (especially raw oysters), nuts, legumes, chocolate, bran cereals, fruits, vegetables, and blackstrap molasses. Good sources of silica include sprouts, bell peppers, cucumbers, and potato skins. If you prefer to take a supplement, I recommend 2–3 mg of copper and 25–50 mg of silica per day.
• Zinc. Studies have shown that not getting enough zinc in your diet may cause hair to thin or fall out. Include a variety of zinc-rich foods in your diet, such as wheat germ, oysters, pumpkin seeds, chicken, eggs, and fish. I also recommend supplementing with 15 mg per day.
• B-complex vitamins. The B vitamins work together to enhance the overall health and texture of your hair. Rich sources include chickpeas, bananas, romaine lettuce, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and peas. Be sure you’re getting at least 50 mcg of vitamin B12, and 40–50 mg of each of the other B vitamins every day.

To learn more about natural beauty care products and how to achieve gorgeous hair and nails naturally, visit my Web site.

Natural At-Home Manicure

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 by Susan Lark


Most women I know pay extra special attention to their nails by getting regular manicures. However, nail polishes and removers contain chemicals that can severely dry out and damage your nails and skin. To replenish moisture in your nails and cuticles—the bacteria and fungus barriers at the end of your nails—try this homemade recipe. Also, consider getting chemical-free manicures using natural beauty care products or by forgoing nail polish altogether! Your nails will thank you.


Marvelous Manicure

4 tablespoons cocoa butter
4 tablespoons jojoba oil
1 tablespoon lanolin
5-10 drops tea tree oil
2 vitamin E capsules, 400 IU each

Heat the cocoa butter. When melted, remove from heat and let mixture cool for a few minutes. Add the oils, lanolin, and the contents of two vitamin E capsules. Stir well and apply to nails and cuticles. Store the remainder in a jar and refrigerate.

For more about the natural beauty care products I recommend, visit my Web site.

Your Nails and Your Health

Friday, September 24, 2010 by Kimberly Day
My girlfriends and I love to treat ourselves to manicures and pedicures—mani/pedis if you will. It’s a great way to catch up and pamper ourselves a bit at the same time.

So I was shocked when Dr. Lark told me that, medically speaking, your fingernails and toenails are like tiny little mirrors. Because they’re about as far away from your heart and lungs as they can get (and about as low on your body’s priority list), any low-grade, chronic stressor of any kind in your general health—for example, if you need a little more of a certain nutrient—will often show up first in your nails.

As a result, if you’re paying attention, your nails can give you a gentle, early heads-up, before little problems turn into big ones. In fact, before medicine went high-tech, healers looked to the fingernails and toenails for valuable—and amazingly accurate—diagnostic clues.

Here is a list of several more common nail complaints and what they could be saying about your health.
  1. Thin, brittle, weak nails: protein deficiency, iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, biotin deficiency, silicon deficiency, or thyroid disease.
  2. Hangnails: zinc deficiency or dehydrated cuticles.
  3. Brown areas at the tips of your nails: diabetes, liver disease, or congestive heart failure.
  4. One vertical brown or black streak near your cuticles: Hutchinson’s disease.
  5. Yellow- or green-colored nails: lung disease or poor circulation.
  6. Yellowish nails: lymphodema.
  7. Yellowish nails with slight pink color at the base: diabetes.
  8. Thickened, yellowish nails: fungal infection.
  9. Half pink or brown, half white nails: kidney disease.
  10. Red nails beds: heart problems.
  11. Pale nail beds: anemia.
  12. White nails: liver disease.
  13. Ridged nails: vertical ridges are often inherited and normal; horizontal ridges indicate past illness or stress.
  14. Horizontal “speed bumps” at the edges of your nails: vitamin A deficiency.
  15. White spots: not a cause for concern; they will eventually grow out.

If you recognize any of these nail concerns, especially those that involve serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease, be sure to check in with your physician.

For more information on natural beauty and what your body may be trying to tell you, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Higher Estrogen Levels Causing Early Puberty in Girls

Monday, August 9, 2010 by Susan Lark

The media today are reporting on new research that says that girls are starting puberty earlier than ever--some as early as age 7. Researchers speculate that rising obesity plays a role, since fat increases estrogen levels in the body. Environmental toxins, such as BPA and pthalates, and even common ingredients found in beauty and personal care products, like parabens, also cause changes in estrogen levels in the body.

According to researchers, not only does early puberty have negative emotional and mental affects on girls, but it can also increase their risk of breast and endometrial cancers when they get older, due to the fact that they have a longer lifetime exposure to estrogen.

This study is quite disturbing, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and your daughters and granddaughters. First, choose the most natural beauty care products you can because these are the ones that tend to be free of estrogen-like chemicals. Second, choose organic (and, if possible, locally-grown) produce. It may be a bit more expensive than conventionally-grown food, but the peace of mind you get knowing you and your loved ones are eating more nutritious, cleaner, purer food is worth those extra few cents.  And finally, make exercise fun! Go to the park and kick a ball around, play on the monkey bars, or go for a walk to your local store or library. Anything that gets you and your kids or grandkids moving will help prevent obesity.

For more information on estrogen levels and natural weightloss, visit my Web site

Estrogen Levels in Food and the Environment

Friday, July 30, 2010 by Kimberly Day
While estrogen levels decline with age, the amount of estrogen in your body is influenced by a range of other factors, including diet and environmental toxins—a topic that has not received sufficient attention to date.

Meat, poultry, and dairy foods contain estrogens that have been injected into the animals to fatten them for market. One of the synthetic estrogens routinely given to livestock was DES (diethylstilbestrol). DES was also given to women to prevent miscarriages and symptoms of menopause, until it was associated with birth defects in their offspring and was finally banned in 1979. However, today poultry and livestock, especially dairy cows, are still given other forms of estrogen compounds. Hormones such as estrogen accumulate in fatty tissue in the animals we eat as well as in us, and high-fat diets have been associated with changes in human estrogen levels.

Caffeine and alcohol consumption can also influence estrogen levels. Excessive alcohol intake can affect the liver’s ability to break down estrogen for excretion, thereby elevating the body’s blood estrogen levels, particularly of the more chemically active forms of estrogen. Even public water supplies may contain estrogens, if that water is recycled at treatment plants and still contains traces of excreted synthetic estrogens, such as those contained in birth control pills and excreted from the bodies of women using these products.

Additionally, pollutants that have estrogen-like activity when they are taken into the body (xenoestrogens) are found in an enormous range of products for the home and workplace. They are present in cosmetics, detergents and dishwashing liquids, and bug spray. Pesticides and industrial chemicals such as organochlorines, dioxins, and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) also contain substances related to estrogen.

There are many suspected health consequences of our wide exposure to xenoestrogens, including an increased risk of PMS and breast cancer. This problem has also affected male reproductive health, and has been implicated in lowering sperm counts in men all over the world.

To avoid these dangers, be sure to take the following precautions:
  • Eat organic as often as possible, especially when it comes to animal-based products such as meat, eggs, dairy, etc.
  • Limit (if not avoid) caffeine and alcohol consumption. Aim for no more one or two caffeinated or alcoholic beverage per week.
  • Use natural beauty care products.
  • Choose natural, chemical-free household products as often as possible.
For more information on estrogen levels or other issues related to female hormones, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Acupuncture for Wrinkle Free Skin

Friday, July 23, 2010 by Susan Lark
My patients and female friends are constantly asking me about natural ways to create wrinkle free skin. I've written about many natural beauty care products and options in my blog, but one therapy that I am finding increasingly more effective is acupuncture!

I wrote yesterday about how helpful acupuncture can be for the relief of menopause symptoms and estrogen dominance, but it has been shown to also improve blood flow and the thickness, tone, elasticity, and smoothness of facial and neck skin through stimulation of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts have a few jobs, but one of the most important is they produce collagen to keep the skin nicely plumped and supported.

You can find a acupuncturist in your area here. And for more information on anti-aging skin care, be sure to visit my Web site.

Best Natural Skin Care Diets

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Kimberly Day
There was a great article in the most recent issue of Elle magazine. They looked at several of the top natural weight loss plans on the market and had experts comment on how each individual diet affected the skin.

They looked at the Atkins diet, South Beach Diet, vegan diet, Mediterranean diet, raw diet, and low-fat diet. I immediately guessed that the Mediterranean would be their best natural skin care diet and I was right.

The Mediterranean diet is chock full of great essential fatty acids (keeps skin moist and helps attain a wrinkle free face), antioxidants (fights off free radical damage), and great lean proteins (maintain collagen and skin tone).

The vegan and raw diets are good in that you get lots of essential fatty acids to promote wrinkle free skin, as well as antioxidants to fend off those pesky free radicals. However, both diets run the risk of being dangerously low in protein. If you follow either of these natural weight loss programs, be sure to include lots of plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts and nut butters, and organic tofu once or twice a week.

The South Beach was next. The lack of sugars is great if acne is an issue, plus cutting sugar helps promote collagen production. The author suggests taking essential fatty acids and increasing water intake to prevent dehydrating the skin during the first two weeks of the program, when so many fruits and veggies are off the table (pardon the pun).

Low-fat weight loss plans are inherently bad for the skin by their very name…low fat. Your body needs healthy fats (i.e. essential fatty acids) to retain hydration and suppleness. If you insist on following this type of natural weight loss plan, add lots of fish to your diet and include a fish oil supplement.

Last was the Atkins diet. The author referred to this plan as “disastrous for the complexion,” due to the excess protein (causes calcium to plummet) and the acidity of the diet, which wreaks havoc with the skin. Not to mention the overabundance of saturated fat, which can lead to breakouts. Forgo this natural weight loss plan and opt instead for other, more skin-promoting programs like those listed earlier.

For more great weight loss and skin care tips, visit Dr. Lark's Web site. While there, you can sign up for her free eLetter, subscribe to her newsletter, check out her lastest products, and get more weight loss and beauty information.

Undoing Estrogen Dominance--Step 3

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 by Susan Lark

The media have been reporting more and more about the potential dangers of plastics. Years ago, who would have thought that drinking out of a plastic water bottle could affect your female hormones so much? But today, we know that it is critical to decrease your exposure to such pollutants, which can really affect your estrogen levels.

If you have estrogen dominance, do what you can to avoid "xenoestrogens," which are powerfully estrogenic chemical compounds found in plastics, pesticides, detergents, and cosmetics. In particular, avoid beauty products that contain the preservative called "parabens," which are potent xenoestrogens. There are many paraben-free natural beauty care products available at Whole Foods and other health food stores, and also on my Web site. In addition, avoid using and storing your food in plastic containers.

Effects of Menopause on Skin

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by Susan Lark

I just came across a short article that reported on the effects of menopause on skin. The article didn't say anything just reiterated the fact that dryness is yet another frustrating effect of menopause that women have to deal with.

When it comes to alleviating dryness, I recommend using the best natural skin care possible. One of my top recommendations is an all natural beauty care product called Trilane, which is made with 100 percent olive-sourced squalane with jojoba esters. I also write about many other natural anti aging skin care and beauty products throughout my blog (just use the search box and you'll find many, many entries for other natural skin care solutions). Remember, dry skin may be an effect of menopause, but it by no means has to be a permanent issue!

Natural Beauty Food #10: Water

Saturday, April 3, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Everything in your body depends on water. In fact, water makes up 82 percent of your blood, 75 percent of your muscle, 25 percent of your bone, 76 percent of your brain tissue, and 90 percent of your lung tissue! Plus, water neutralizes acidity, which can dry out your skin.

Additionally, water is a critical part of the detoxification process. This is key, as healthy detoxification helps to keep your skin blemish-free and even works to reduce cellulite.

You should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of filtered water each day to achieve soft, supple, wrinkle free skin.

I am personally a huge fan of Fiji water from the South Pacific. Renowned for the natural purifier and filtration system that this crystal clear, still water runs through, Fiji has an extremely high concentration of silica (83 mg per liter), which you may remember is an essential nutrient for your hair and skin, thanks to its collagen-building capabilities.

You can find Fiji Water in most grocery stores and convenience stores. The only downside is that it comes in a plastic bottle.

Natural Beauty Food #9: Sweet Potatoes

Friday, April 2, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Sweet potatoes are your best natural skin care source for two reasons. First, they are a great source of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. And, as you may remember from the blog I posted on March 27th, vitamin A improves the overall health of your skin.

But that’s not all. Sweet potatoes are also rich in the B vitamin biotin. On one hand, too little biotin can result in dry and scaly skin (not to mention fatigue and muscle pain). But on the plus side, brittle, weak hair and nails are well known to get healthier with oral supplementation of this B vitamin.

A few delicious natural skin care recipes that include sweet potatoes are my favorite oven fries and whipped sweet potatoes.

Oven Fries
  1. Cut a sweet potato into “disks.”
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with canola oil and place potato disks in single layer on the cookie sheet.
  3. Spray the potatoes with the canola oil.
  4. Sprinkle potatoes with cinnamon, then bake at 425°F for 20–25 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
  5. Goes great with a veggie or turkey burger and side salad.
Whipped Sweet Potatoes
  1. Peel and cut two sweet potatoes into large pieces.
  2. Steam until tender.
  3. Place in blender with two ounces apple juice.
  4. Add ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and purée until smooth.
  5. Great side dish to any free-range chicken meal.