Fresh-Faced

Regaining control of your beauty
By Amy Vergin

The beginning of school is a time for your teen to put their best foot forward. Whether it is their freshman year or the end of their high school career, the condition of their skin is important.

Allow us to make a plug for natural beauty. Regular beauty tips might give you great skin and makeup—these will make you healthier inside too!

Ignoring history leads to unhealthy mistakes

Have you heard the phrase “beauty is pain?” History shows there was some real truth to that. Women from the Renaissance era would rub their faces with whitening powders made of lead and mercury to achieve a light pallor. And let’s not forget the fashionable constricted ribs during the Victorian age to have a thinner waistline. Chinese women would bind their feet, breaking the bones to achieve “three-inch golden lotuses.” The practice, banned in 1912, allowed them to marry into money. The Kayan women of northern Thailand still use neck rings to give the appearance of an elongated neck, though it actually pushes the clavicle and shoulders away, compressing the rib cage. There are much easier ways to be beautiful, and without the pain!

Health and beauty go together

Beauty doesn’t have to be painful: In fact, it shouldn’t be. To find the best advice for your high schooler’s skin, we checked in with holistic nutritionist Julie Gabriel, author of Holistic Beauty from the Inside Out.

Mineral Makeup 101

If you haven’t researched makeup in a while, mineral makeup is the way to go—and Gabriel agrees. In Holistic Beauty from the Inside Out, she writes, “It [mineral makeup] contains only the basics needed to cover up blemishes and infuse our complexion with a lovely glow.” And, since there is no water, no preservatives are needed.

What is mineral foundation? It is made up of titanium dioxide, a naturally occurring white mineral. The mica and iron oxides found in this form of makeup cause the shimmer and the varieties of color. The Bare Minerals line is unique in that it’s been approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation as a sunscreen because of the built-in SPF 15.

The Environmental Working Group conducted a survey in 2005 showing that the average woman encounters 168 chemical ingredients every day—and that’s just with beauty products. It’s time to simplify and go natural: Just take these simple steps to reach full beauty potential!

 

AVOID

• Sleep deprivation: Gabriel says that not getting a good night’s rest (whether it be due to prepping for finals or procrastinating on homework) can lead to a slew of issues including red, puffy eyes; future wrinkles; blemishes; and increased dryness of the skin.

• Bad foods: Noticing your acne taking control? It might be caused from food triggers like sugar, wheat, dairy, artificial colorings, and/or preservatives.

• Alcoholic toners: If you have oily skin, you are not doing it any favors by adding toner with alcohol.

• Harsh ingredients: Those with sensitive skin should avoid perfumes, alcohol, colorants, detergents, and unnecessary additives. Doing so will keep skin blemish-free and full of moisture.

• Stress: Not only will stress take a toll on your skin, it will also lead to illness down the line. Stress causes blemishes, hives, skin flushing, sweating, and even hair loss!

 

EMBRACE

• Water: The best (and most affordable) way to keep your skin healthy is to drink plenty of water! Water carries nutrients to the skin and helps flush the toxins out.

• Protein: While you are young, keep in mind that your skin won’t always be so elastic. Protein maintains collagen, the skin’s supportive scaffolding, as well as elastin fibers within the dermis.

• Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins C and E, CoQ10, essential fatty acids, fiber, zinc, and herbs are wonderful for your skin and will help keep it nourished.

• Stress-free activities: Yoga, meditation, or even self-massages are great ways to relieve stress