Dr. Zen's Skincare Routine: How I Got My Best Skin Ever
For years I struggled with chronic severe acne and I felt like my skin would never clear up. I tried every lotion, potion, facial, and medications with no real success. I was so discouraged. Most products would work temporarily but never would resolve my acne. I felt lost. My skin always felt irritated and I felt like I was making it worse by adding more lotions and potions. I would struggle between extremely dry skin to totally oily outbreaks.It was a vicious cycle that I couldn’t get away from.
It wasn’t until I began naturopathic medical school and I became my own science experiment, that I finally got my skin back. I started to use the principles of naturopathic medicine and used the power of nature. I learned the power of beautiful skin from the inside out and how gut health was really at the root of my skin problems.
So today, after many inquiries, I thought I would share with you how I was able to cure my own acne for good and how I keep my skin glowing from the inside out.
It all starts in the GUT
If you are experiencing any type of skin condition, like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema or pre-mature aging, it’s time you take a look at your gut health. Gut health has been a trending topic in the health and wellness world but may people are still lost about what it really means and how to heal your gut. So here is what you need to know. Think of your gut like a garden. You need to have the right soil, watering system, sunlight, seeds, good air quality, some good organisms and time to grow. Your gut needs ALL those things as well, which is why, just taking a probiotic is not the way to heal and nourish your gut. Probiotics, which contain bacteria normally found in the gut, are important but, they aren’t enough. So here is what you need:
High Quality Probiotic
My favorite is Ortho Biotic by Orthomolecular because it contains high quality strains of good bacteria that help re-balance our gut. I love this particular product because you don’t have to store it in the fridge since it undergoes a dried-freeze process, making it easy to add to your other supplements.
Daily Bowel Movements
Our body uses daily bowel movements to remove unnecessary toxins from our body. If you are not have a daily bowel movement this needs to be your top priority. If you are constipated, the toxins that should have been released in your stools, can now seep back into your GI tract and even into your circulation causing havoc on the rest of your body.
Eliminate Food Sensitivities
Most people will be able to identify foods they are allergic to. They will likely get a reaction within minutes of consuming that food. For some, the symptoms are so severe that they cause anaphylactic reactions and require them to carry an EPI pen. These are scary and can definitely be life -threatening. Food sensitivities, on the other hand, are milder version of food related reactions and they can show up 24-48 hrs after consuming said food, which can make it extremely difficult for people to identify them. This is where completing a six week elimination diet or completing a food sensitivities test (often a simple blood test) can be extremely helpful. For my patients, I often recommended our food sensitivity test because it allows patients to learn about the foods they are uniquely sensitivity to as well as the foods they can still consume. I really like this process because it provides you with options uniquely tailored to your needs. If you don’t have the means to complete a food sensitivity test right now and don’t have the patients to complete a six week elimination diet, start with avoid the most common foods allergens: Dairy, Gluten, Soy, Eggs, Almonds, and Wheat.
Aid in Digestion
One of the most common problems I see with gut health is lack of proper digestion. One of the easiest ways you can improve your digestion is to SLOW DOWN. We have all been guilty of eating way too quickly. Most Americans spend under 15 minutes eating their meals. This is a huge problem because if we eat too quickly we aren’t able to release the adequate amount of digestive enzymes we need to properly break down our food. And our brains, aren’t able to tell us we are full, fast enough, leading to extra calories and over consumption.
Another easy tool that can help with digestion is supplementing with complete digestive enzymes. Although our body naturally produces digestive enzymes, as we age, we do not produce as many digestive enzymes, which is why many people will say “I don’t understand why I can’t eat this food anymore, I never used to have problems digesting it”. If this sounds like you, it might be time to consider digestive enzymes. My favorite digestive enzymes are Digestzyme by Designs for Health, since they contain all digestive enzymes required for proper digestion throughout the entire digestion process.
Sweat it out
Not only does daily exercise help balance our hormones and improve our skin, but daily sweating can help remove unwanted toxins and bring adequate nutrients and blood to the surface of our skin to improve our complexion. Make sure to get your daily sweat in with exercise. Keep your exercise routine fun and creative to help motivate you to keep on going. My new guilty pleasure has been Zumba classes at my local gym. I love the energy and time seems to fly by as I danced it off. When it comes to exercise, find what speaks to you and don’t be afraid to try something new.
DITCH the toxic chemicals
Did you know that according to the Environmental Workers Group (EWG), women use, on average, 12 beauty products containing 168 unique ingredients each and every day! Many of these said ingredients have been documented as hormone disruptors and even carcinogenic (cancer causing). So if you are experiencing any type of skin issue, it’s time to ditch the toxic chemicals and move to more simple, natural products. One the best ways to see if your products are toxic is by searching for them on the Environmental Workers Group website or by downloading Think Dirty, a free help that helps you find safer and more natural alternative. With Think Dirty, I recommend sticking to products that are a 1-3 on their scale.
So now that you have learned how to heal your gut, eliminate inflammatory foods, and ditched the chemicals, I wanted to share with you my person daily skincare routine.
If you are anything like me, I like simple. I want my products to be clean and I don’t want to have to put on a million different things. I want them to go on easy and never feel to sticky or drying. So let’s dive in:
Dr. Zen’s Skincare Routine
Facial Jade Ice Roller - I use this is every morning as soon as I get up to reduce inflammation. I keep it in the fridge so that it always stays cold and allows me to use the ice roller as I get my breakfast going. This simple but powerful tool is a great addition for anyone suffering from inflammatory conditions including acne, pre-mature aging, rosacea and more. Make sure to wash your roller after each use with a little hot water and soap.
Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer 2 Fl Oz- Being that I live in one of the sunniest places in the country, I always make sure to protect my skin from hyper-pigmentation, sun-damage and pre-mature aging with my favorite non- toxic tinted mineral moisturizer. This light weight formula makes it really easy to wear by itself while I walk to dog or under my makeup as I dash out the door.
For additional SPF coverage throughout the day, I love Eminence Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30 powder. You can easily dust this on your face in the middle of the day to keep your face protected from unwanted sun damage.
So that is the list of my daily skincare products. I like to keep it simple and to the point. I use products that work and do not carry any unnecessary chemicals or ingredients.
The Spa Dr. : Daily Essential 4 Step Skincare System: I honestly couldn’t have gotten control of my skin without my fellow colleague, Dr. Trevor Cates (The Spa Dr.)’s amazing 4 step skin care system. This skin care routine contains all of the luxurious elements for perfect skin without the unnecessary chemicals. This line is specifically verified by the EWG which upholds extremely high quality standards for natural products. If you don’t know where to start with your beauty routine, I highly recommend investing in this 4 step system. It honestly has been life changing for my skin. I personally use this product every morning and every night. It is extremely light weight and can easily be worn under your make- up.
If my skin is feeling particular dry, like during the winter I may add Naturopathica Gotu Kola Intense Repair Balm at night.
Once a week, I try myself to an at-home facial mask. My favorite mask has to be Naturopathica’s Kombucha Bio- Cellulose Mask which is their perfectly formulated probiotic mask will help balance your skin by providing good probiotics for the skin. If you experience acne and often deal with bacteria caused acne, I highly recommended this mask as it contains all the good bacteria you need to help fight back.
As a avid tea drinker, I also love supporting my skin health with herbal medicine, which is why I love Naturopathica’s Skin tea. This tea contains high quality herbs that support skin health.
I also will use a full body scrub once every two weeks to help remove unwanted dead skin. My favorite scrub is Herbivore Botanical’s All Natural Coco Rose Body Polish. It is gentle on the skin preventing damage.
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Dr. Zen is a licensed naturopathic physician specializing in Women's Hormones and Fertility. Her local private practice is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, however, she works with patients around the world. Her goal is to educate, inspire and empower women to take control of their health naturally. She believes in providing integrative healthcare options that get to the root cause of your unique symptoms. She has been featured as an expert in a variety of publications including Shape, Elite Daily and Forbes.
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