3 Winter Supplements to Soften Dry Skin

Aside from drinking plenty of water and great moisturizing habits, what else can you do to help keep your skin soft and supple in the dry winter months? What about nutritional supplements to soften and plump dry skin? What can you take?

I do cater my skin nutrients to the seasons, just like we naturally eat more of certain foods in the spring and summer (more salads, smoothies, fresh, ripe stone fruit) vs. the fall and winter (hearty soups, root vegetables, warm whole grain cereals). In the summer I like to focus on adding nutrients to my diet that will help to detox my body and those that help to protect from sun damage and encourage repair. But when the weather outside is frightful...well not particularly, but it is cold, I stick with nourishing oils and good old vitamin C.

First, I add flax seed oil to my diet. It's a great vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids, great for skin health and for your nervous system. I did my own personal test with flax oil, and didn't find that it alone makes your skin softer, but I have noticed that it helps when I notice the first redness of an eczema break out. This makes sense for a couple of reasons. The omega fatty acids in flax oil have anti-inflammatory properties. Another benefit is that these fatty acids support a healthy nervous system. Maybe there is a link between an increased ability to cope with stress and better skin health? I am only throwing out ideas. I have been eczema free so far this winter - maybe it is from adding flax seed oil supplements to my diet? 

I also take evening primrose oil supplements, for the same reason as the flax oil, but they provide a different array of essential fatty acids that your body and skin can really benefit from. 

And third, vitamin C. Supplementing with vitamin C in the winter may not only help to keep your immune system strong, but it also can help out with your skin! Why? Because this vitamin is important for collagen production. Also, a few of the primary fall fruits, apples and pears, are not as loaded with vitamin C as other spring and summer fruits are like berries and stone fruit. If you just stick with an apple a day and cooked veggies instead of fresh salads you may be getting less vitamin C in the winter, just when your body may need more to get through cold and flu season and to help keep your skin soft and supple in the more arid weather! 

These are my three winter supplements to help soften and prevent dry skin. Do you rotate your skin healthy nutrients to suit the changes in your skin through the seasons.?

Raspberry Sugar Body Scrub Recipe

Raspberries and sugar crystals make a sweet combination for sloughing away dead skin cells and getting your skin to really glow. This is one of my go-to sugar body scrub recipes. It is pretty easy to make and the berries give this diy natural skin care recipe an extra special nourishing boost. I am a big fan of summer berry picking, so I always have plenty of berries in the freezer. They are great in skin care recipes, and they are a super skin healthy food that you should enjoy in abundance all year long!

The sugar crystals (use organic!) exfoliate, a little getting rid of the old and in with the new action. Raspberries are great for your skin. They are not only antioxidant-rich, but they are also a great source of skin healing vitamin E. I like to use apricot kernel oil to give this scrub some excellent softening, skin protecting action, but you can also use olive oil or any other nourishing skin care oil. The milk is another source of nourishment for your skin, and it helps to soften the scrub. And finally, for that gorgeous scent, a couple drops of essential oil. 

To make this raspberry sugar body scrub, you will need:

  • 1 cup organic sugar crystals
  • 4-5 tablespoons apricot kernel oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 6-10 raspberries
  • 3 drops vanilla essential oil
  • 2 drops bergamot essential oil

Mix the sugar, milk, and oils. Mash your raspberries and stir into your homemade sugar scrub. Inhale the beautiful scent and get ready to give your skin a delicious, nourishing treatment! Let me know what you think. 

Revitalize Your Skin With Nature's Restorative Berries

Sweet, juicy, tangy berries are not only dessert-worthy treats, they are also a key part of a healthy diet for beautiful skin. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries - any dark berry is going to encourage a healthy, vibrant glow. 

I have been making a serving of berries, whether it is a handful of plump blackberries stirred into my morning oatmeal or a variety of these nutrient-packed fruits in a fresh smoothie, a daily habit. You can eat them fresh, blend them with other fruits and veggies, or add them to other skin healthy foods like yogurt and whole grains.

Why are berries so good for your skin? 

1. Antioxidants! These dark fruits are packed with free radical fighting antioxidants. Blueberries are often named as one of the super fruits because they are so high in them, but raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries are packed with these cell protecting nutrients as well. Eating plenty of foods that are high in antioxidants is a great way to revitalize your skin by providing your body with what it needs to slow deterioration and aging at the cellular level. 

Don't worry about freezing your fruit, testing with blueberries found that the antioxidant level in berries stays about the same. Try some serious berry picking this summer and then keeping your fruit in the freezer - much cheaper than having to purchase berries from the grocery store each week. 

2. Fiber! Berries are a great source of fiber. Once cup of blueberries has nearly 4 of the 28 grams of fiber you need each day. A cup of raspberries provides a whopping 8 grams. Fiber is important for skin health as it helps to eliminate waste from the body, keeping your body and your skin clean.

3. Vitamins and minerals for beautiful skin! Wait, there is more. Sure, all of these fruits are high in vitamin C, great for skin repair. They also each have their own claim to nutrient fame - blueberries are an incredible source of vitamin K, which is needed to prevent the formation so wrinkles. Raspberries are surprisingly high in vitamin E, which helps with skin healing and protects from sun damage. Strawberries are very high in manganese, a mineral that is necessary for collagen production.

Eat berries to revitalize your skin! Nature has provided us with these sweet, little fruits that contain a lot of the nutrients that our skin needs to stay healthy and young. Take advantage of it and use restorative berries to improve and maintain your gorgeous look.  

Yogurt Papaya Mask for Glowing Skin, Even in the Winter

Packed with antioxidants and fiber, papaya is seriously one of the best fruits for your skin. It is very high in vitamin A, which is important for skin repair, as well as vitamin E, to help keep your skin soft and healthy. It doesn't happen to be one of my favorites in terms of taste, but throw it into a smoothie with other fruit and maybe some soy milk or yogurt, and you get an amazing flavor in a skin nourishing drink. 

I whipped up a great yogurt, papaya, and banana smoothie and then of course went on to create a homemade yogurt papaya face mask for my skin. It is perfect for cooling and soothing dry, irritated skin in the winter, while also feeding your face with vitamins and antioxidants. You also get some gentle dead skin cell sloughing with the yogurt's alpha hydroxy acids.

To make a yogurt papaya mask to make your skin absolutely glow, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 or four chunks (about one-inch square) of fresh papaya
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Throw everything in the blender and puree for twenty seconds. Transfer your creamy papaya mixture to a bowl and head to the bathroom. Gently cleanse your skin, pat dry, and apply to your clean face. Great time for sliced cucumbers over your eyes if you could use an eye touch-up as well. Rinse the mask off after ten minutes. Moisturize and enjoy the glow!

Can Virgin Coconut Oil Save Your Super Dry Skin?

It is winter and my skin is dry. I mean really dry. I usually keep it in good condition, even during the arid winter months by going into overdrive with great moisturizers, lots of water, and a healthy diet. This year I had a curve ball thrown at me. My solution - pure, simple coconut oil.

I bought a new, unscented night cream, which totally destroyed my skin. I must have been allergic to one of the ingredients - strange as this was one of my favorite natural skin care brands, it was even unscented! Anyway, within one night my skin was itching, puffy, red, and absolutely parched. No moisturizing cream was going to fix this problem. My skin was at the point of sensitivity where anything irritated it, even my normal go-to creams.

So, I went to plan B, totally natural. I smeared a small dab of organic, virgin coconut oil over my entire face three times a day. Instantly the itching went away. Coconut is incredibly soothing. With antibacterial properties, it is also great for keeping your skin clean. It still took three days for my skin rash to completely clear up, but the coconut oil worked.

I know I talk about the benefits of using coconut oil for your skin quite a bit, but it has really proved to be one of the most remarkable natural skin care tools. Seriously, keep a jar in your cupboard. It is not only perfect for hydrating face mask recipes (and for hair masks!), but it is also your best back-up for dry skin emergencies. Don't forget to try it on for dry, chapped hands too!

Can Flax Oil Improve Your Skin?

Flax field in Germany.
Six weeks of taking flaxseed oil supplements and I do not believe there is a noticeable difference in my skin's health or appearance. Still, I think I will continue adding flax oil to my diet, not only for my skin but also for overall health. Maybe they will never make a shred of difference, but, they are in my opinion one of the most approachable and all around beneficial natural supplements that you can choose when it comes to combining health and beauty. I will spend my hard earned dollars in the hopes that over the long-term the omega-3 fatty acids are nourishing and strengthening my cells and doing something for my skin. As a short-term experiment, however, I didn't notice a difference. You can read about the start of my experience with Flaxseed Supplements here. 

Flax Oil vs. Collagen for Healthy Skin

Comparing flax oil and the collagen supplements (my first personal skin health test), I found that taking the collagen did actually make a difference. I could tell that my skin was slightly softer and my hair definitely felt stronger. As I can't see how flax oil will conflict with taking other supplements or herbs, I will keep on with the nourishing oil. I also really liked using the little capsules full of nutrients and moisturizing fatty acids in my face mask recipes! 

I will go for the collagen again, but only every few months. Honestly, a bottle of collagen supplements a year, which will last for one or two months, is enough I think. A healthy diet and exercise will do way more for your skin. Also, I don't feel comfortable combining collagen with other supplements. With flax oil, I'm not worried about taking something else at the same time.

All Nourishing Fats Are Good Fats

Do I recommend taking flaxseed oil? Both the oil and the actual flax seeds, which I always throw into my homemade muffins and breads, are loaded with a unique set of nutrients. Flax oil has the omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for inflammation and cell health. The seeds contain lignans, phytonutrients that have a range of benefits from regulating hormones to improving immune health. I do think adding both the oil and the seeds to your diet is a smart, healthy move. You don't even have to take supplements. You can use flaxseed oil to make salad dressings (oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper!). Don't cook with it. High temperatures degrade the oil. 

I don't, however, believe it will make a remarkable difference in your skin, at least in the short term. Boosting your diet with healthy fats could certainly help over the years. Flax oil isn't the only source of course. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are great for omega-3 fatty acids. Olives, coconuts, all nuts, seeds, and nourishing oils supply their own specific blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids. Try flax, try hemp oil, switch it up if you are like me and love to try something new.

If flax oil doesn't keep your skin supple and wrinkle-free, maybe it will help with other things like joint health or improved mood (I did actually notice a mood improvement, which was unexpected). Do you take flaxseed oil supplements for your skin, or possibly for a specific health issue?

Organic Skin Care Brands That I Love

You don't have to search far for beauty products that are labelled as natural, but for the truly organic skin care brands you do have to dig deep. These little gems can cost more than your average facial cleanser or anti-aging serum, but if you are taking the organic living plunge (food, clothing, bedding, cleaning, and beauty), then you definitely want to make sure your skin care arsenal follows suit. 

Why use only organic beauty products?

There are a lot of reasons to raise your own personal standards from natural to organic. The well-being of the environment for one. Buying certified organic products sends the message that there is a demand, which leads to more support for organic agricultural production. 

Choosing organic skin care for your beauty needs does make a difference for your skin and for the earth's skin - no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers. Also, organic includes the use of techniques that will sustain and preserve the soil, such as growing a variety of crops or rotating to make sure the earth isn't over-farmed or robbed of key nutrients, nutrients that should be in your rose water and apricot kernel oil. 

Aside from the ethical and environmental benefit, you get to nourish and replenish your skin with pure, chemical-free, organic ingredients. Do organic herbs, fruits, and oils have more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients than non-organic? They may, although I would think that the nutritional concentration depends on a variety of different factors, not just whether enough organic methods were used to garner certification. 

My top three organic skin care brands:

  1. Dr. Hauschka. This is my high-end, I treat myself once in awhile natural skin care choice. Everything is not actually 100% organic, but it all is either organic, ethically wild-harvested, or grown biodynamically (biodynamic farming practices revolve around improving and supporting a healthy planet. They are really fascinating and worth a look-up. I am presently using the Quince Day Cream, it was a splurge but I love it! It melts into my skin and is incredibly softening without weighing my skin down. It is intended for dry skin, but I like it with combination.
  2. John Masters Organics. I love this organic beauty line because it radiates simple purity. Even the marketing is clean and refined. There are only a handful of ingredients in each product. This makes sense to me. After all if you have 30 ingredients, your awesome green tea extract and pomegranate oil, the ingredients that may have got you to buy the product, may only make up a tiny portion of the whole recipe. Keep it simple, honest, and pure. Right now I am using the Bearberry Skin Balancing Face Wash, which is moderately priced, but more importantly it has literally lasted for 2 months and I still have quite a bit left. I also love the Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum.
  3. Acure. Another great organic skin care brand that I use regularly is Acure. They are the most affordable of the three so I have been able to try more of their products. I admit I haven't loved everything, but I keep going for the Argan Oil + Starflower Line Eraser as a super dry skin quencher. I am also a fan of the Rose + Red Tea Facial Toner. It is perfectly refreshing, although I can't say that it calms my skin as much as I would have expected. 
Go organic with your skin care! I think it is worth it and better for your skin. A lot of natural beauty brands are not as natural as they seem at first glance (just read the ingredient list) but they still carry the elevated prices. 

While organic beauty may cost more, you can always use my homemade natural skin care recipes for face masks and other DIY beauty products to stay within your budget! Please feel free to share if you have tried and enjoyed any organic skin care lines. I'm curious what other people like. I have no affiliation with any of the products or brands listed except for the image at top.  

How to Make Your Feet Soft and Smooth for Spring Sandals

Sandal season is right around the corner. Time to give those pups some much needed care so you can show off your beautiful feet in your new spring sandals. Want to know how to make your feet soft and smooth? Follow these five steps and transform your feet into pristine les pieds. To really help shed dry skin and tough calluses, try using this treatment once a week, but you should moisturize your skin daily. This treatment is great for foot softening, but the extra attention from the soaking and rubbing will increase blood flow, making your feet healthier, happier, and rejuvenated!

  1. Dry exfoliation. You can use a loofah, but I find that a pumice stone is way more effective for getting rid of calluses on feet. Scrub gently while your skin is still dry to loosen dead skin.
  2. Soak. Now it is time for a soul soothing natural foot soak. You can simply use warm water with a little sea salt or epsom salts or you can try my refreshing Minty Foot Soak recipe. It is so soothing for tired feet after a long day! Fill a small basin, your home foot bath, or even your bath tub.
  3. Foot scrub. You exfoliated to start, time to exfoliate your feet again to help make your skin perfectly soft and smooth. This time, I suggest a foot scrub to dose your skin with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients. My Homemade Citrus Foot Scrub Recipe works wonders. Gently massage your scrub over wet skin, lifting away impurities and dead skin while also boosting circulation.
  4. Rinse and dry. Soak for a few more minutes until you've squeezed out every last ounce of enjoyment from your home foot soak. Pat dry with a towel. 
  5. Moisturize. Once your skin is dry you can rub in your favorite foot cream. I'm a big fan of Burt's Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion. If I don't have any foot creams around I simply use coconut oil, slip on a pair of cotton socks, and my feet feel like a dream. 

Enjoy slipping your soft and smooth feet into your cute new spring sandals!

DIY Moisturizing Facial Mist for That Gorgeous Glow

Keep your skin hydrated with this easy, homemade moisturizing facial mist. It combines soothing and balancing cucumber and rose flower waters with the skin softening benefits of natural vegetable glycerin and a dab of my present favorite natural skin care ingredient, flax seed oil. You can use it to wipe away oil and dirt without drying out your skin like alcohol-based toners can. It is a perfect toner for combination skin. I use it as a refreshing spray to help keep my skin moisturized and soothed during the day.

Storing Your Facial Mist Properly

I recommend preparing only a small amount at a time. These natural beauty ingredients can lose their potency the longer they sit around on a shelf, especially when exposed to heat and light. I store my natural facial mist in a small glass spray bottle in the refrigerator. I actually reuse a purchased bottle of toning spray, 2 ounces. It is hard to find little glass spray bottles on sale,
and I prefer not to use plastic bottles. Glass isn't going to rob your hydrosols of any of their therapeutic properties like plastic can.

I spritz every couple of hours, so I go through one recipe in two or three weeks. If you are only going to use your facial spray once or twice a day, be sure to store it in the refrigerator and consider making half of this recipe.

DIY Recipe

To make this moisturizing facial mist, you will need:

  • 1/2 ounce cucumber water
  • 1/2 ounce rose water
  • 1 ounce vegetable glycerin
  • 1 capsule flax seed oil, prick and squeeze out the oil

Add all ingredients to your bottle, close, and shake. Spray on your skin as needed or spray onto a cotton ball or cloth and use to wipe away surface oil, dirt, and makeup and leave your skin feeling clean, refreshed, and smooth! Cucumber is an amazing skin soother. I love the cucumber rose combination as rose balances and nourishes your skin. It is also known to have anti-aging benefits. And then wonderful, softening vegetable glycerin. It helps to protect your skin against moisture loss, and according to Mountain Rose Herb's info, to attract oxygen to your skin. Lovely!

7 Simple Home Remedies for Smooth Skin

Large pores, dryness, blemishes, redness, the list of skin imperfections is daunting. There are a few perfectly pure and simple home remedies for smooth skin that you can use to combat all these issues from a holistic standpoint. I do not recommend giving them a try. I suggest making them a part of your regular beauty regimen. Infuse them into your daily life. Make them your beauty mantra. They are natural, well within any skin care budget, and they work.

  1. Coconut oil. A jar of virgin coconut oil is a must have for any natural beauty recipe cupboard. I love this stuff. It is rich, smells like soft, creamy clouds (what I would imagine them to smell like), and it melts into your skin creating a perfect, moisturized surface. Coconut oil is high in vitamin E and antioxidants that your skin will love. Use it in coconut face mask recipes, rub it into dry, chapped hands in the winter, massage your feet with it after a foot bath, or give your neck and decolletage an easy smooth skin treatment. 
  2. Milk baths. You will love making this home remedy for smooth skin a regular beauty ritual. Milk baths are great for keeping your skin soft and glowing. The idea behind this home beauty treatment? Milk helps to exfoliate your skin, while also nourishing and moisturizing with minerals and fatty acids. A creamy bath with three or four drops of lavender essential oil is also great for stress relief at the end of the day!
  3. Your loofah. Use your loofah sponge. If you don't have one, get one for your body and try the facial loofah pads for your face. Why should you loofah, aka exfoliate your skin, to keep it smooth? Exfoliating will get rid of dead skin while also boosting circulation to the surface of skin, bringing nutrients to help replenish cells. Don't loofah daily, too much will dry out dry skin and can rev up your oil glands leading to more breakouts if you have an oily complexion. I suggest a weekly, very gentle scrub down as a general rule of thumb. 
  4. Wonderful water. If you read beauty blogs and books then I am sure you've already heard this one. Drink water for clearer, smoother skin. Water will help flush out impurities so your skin never has to deal with them. I always thought of myself as a good little water drinker. Then a friend of mine, yes she has gorgeous skin and is a couple years older than me, told me I needed to drink even more (she was recommending a 3 liter minimum, which is a tough goal). Three days of her water drinking habits and it was amazing how much better my skin looked. Clearer, less redness, softer. I don't think there is any reason to stress out over your fluid intake, but when you think of it, drink a glass of water or herbal tea. Try to have a glass when you wake up, whenever you come home, that sort of thing. If you build up the habit, improving your skin with good old H2O will seem effortless. 
  5. Nuts and seeds. Eat them for the minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Thank them for their healthy fats. For plump, smooth skin you need good fats, the kind you find in nuts, seeds, and coconut. 
  6. Clay masks. No secrets here, I think clay masks are one of the most powerful home face masks that you can use. They are also incredibly inexpensive if you buy clay powder in bulk. Try out different kinds, mix your clay powder with water, milk, flower waters, essential oils, you name it. They really suck debris out of those pores, refining your skin at least temporarily, while also boosting circulation. Mountain Rose Herbs has a great selection. I am an affiliate, if you want to support me, then check them out at the bottom of my blog. You can also get clay powders at Whole Foods or any health food store.  
  7. Green and white teas. Drink more tea. Green and white tea are loaded with antioxidants that will help to keep your skin healthy and young-looking. Antioxidants also means anti-inflammatory, which is a huge plus for sensitive and dry skin. 
What are your favorite home remedies for smooth skin? What works for you? 

Homemade Citrus Foot Scrub Recipe

I write so much about having great facial skin, but don't think I don't have foot love! I really enjoy treating my feet to soaks, massages, and scrubs. This homemade citrus foot scrub is one of my favorite natural recipes for foot pampering. It is easy to make a batch to use for the week. I use it to exfoliate my feet in the shower and for the occasional foot soak (okay, occasional is probably not the right word, I am a luxurious bubble bath and foot soak addict!).

Scrubbing doubles as a foot massage!

Giving your feet a beauty makeover is not just about keeping your feet soft, smooth, and gorgeous, it is about your well-being too. Of course the exfoliation and the attention helps to keep your skin healthy. You gently remove dead skin, reduce calluses, and soften your skin. Another bonus to caring for your feet is the circulation boost. Good circulation, keeping that nourishing blood flowing through your entire body freely and easily is in my opinion one of the most essential goals you should have for your health and to help you look and feel younger. Exercise, regular massage therapy, and a healthy diet are all circulation boosters. Simply sitting in the tub or at your desk and taking a few minutes to rub your feet is an easy way to get your blood flowing as well. When showering, I am basically giving my feet a quick morning massage while also softening the skin with this citrus scrub.

Citrus scrub ingredients

This recipe combines brown sugar crystals for their grittiness and ideally the natural alpha hydroxy acids found in sugar cane, with moisturizing olive oil, and a refreshing blend of citrus essential oils to revitalize your feet and your senses. I add a little apple juice to get the right consistency but you can also just use a water.

To make this homemade citrus foot scrub, you will need:

  • 1 cup brown sugar or sugar cane crystals (just not refined white sugar)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 drops orange essential oil
  • 3 drops neroli essential oil
  • apple juice or water, just enough to loosen the consistency of the sugar scrub, about 1/4 cup

Start by adding the citrus essential oils to the olive oil. Of course you can use other carrier oils like sesame, almond, or avocado. Olive oil is usually the most inexpensive and you do need to use quite a bit to prepare this homemade scrub. Mix the oils into the sugar and then add your juice or water. I mix right into the glass bowl that I store the scrub in, sealed and refrigerated. Before jumping in the shower I scoop out a few spoonfuls in a cup and bring it with my to the bathtub. It's that simple.

Are Flaxseeds the Secret to Perfect Skin?

I'm not one to believe that there is any one solution for perfect skin, but eating the right foods can and will make a tremendous difference in the appearance and health of your skin, especially over the long term. If you were to ask me, 'what are some of the best foods to eat for healthy skin?', then flaxseeds would be one of my top picks. Why are these little, brown seeds such a powerful tool for transforming your complexion? Because they have the characteristics of a beautiful skin super food and then some - fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and flaxseeds' special claim to fame, lignans.

Flaxseeds are, like other nuts, seeds, and whole grains, high in fiber. These seeds pack a nice little body cleansing punch with a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber as well as mucilage, which is going to help your body get rid of waste faster, a tidbit of knowledge from the University of Maryland Medical Center. A cleansing diet with plenty of high-fiber foods and lots of fluids is essential for keeping your skin clean and and free of congestion (aka blemishes). According to my home supply of ground flaxseed meal, 2 tablespoons supplies 4 grams of dietary fiber, which comes out to about 1/6 of your daily recommended requirement of fiber.

The essential fatty acids are another reason that flaxseeds are one of the best foods to eat to get perfect skin. They contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Those anti-inflammatory omega-3's are really valuable for healthy skin and a healthy heart. I am presently taking flaxseed oil supplements to see if there is a noticeable difference in my skin. No marked improvement yet, but it has only been about two weeks.

The magic, miraculous, shout from the mountain tops nutrient that makes flaxseeds the cream of the crop when it comes to foods for perfect skin is the lignans. Flaxseeds (not the oil but the actual seeds) are the highest plant source of lignans. What are they? Lignans are natural compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, but more importantly they act as phytoestrogens. This means they mimic estrogen in the body. What does this have to do with your skin? Well, estrogen is the hormone that makes skin plumper and more elastic. The spike in estrogen during pregnancy is known for the 'pregnancy glow.' Likewise, diminishing estrogen production as a woman ages, especially around menopause, has a lot to do with skin becoming drier, thinner, and less firm.

Eating flaxseeds regularly may not alone create perfect skin, but making this beauty food a regular part of your diet, exercising, drinking plenty of water and maybe a few cups of herbal tea here and there, (and of course using all my amazing homemade face mask recipes!), may not be a bad idea when it comes to trying to improve your complexion and hold onto that radiant glow over the years.

I wouldn't suggest sitting with a spoon and a bag of ground flaxseeds and going to town. I do suggest throwing a couple spoonfuls on your yogurt with some fresh fruit or over your oatmeal. You can also add ground flaxseeds to your smoothies, baked goods, and your favorite pancake recipe. If anyone has any tasty flaxseed recipes or suggestions, please share!

Calming Face Mask for Dry Skin With Flax and Honey

Nothing is better for dry, irritated skin than pure, natural ingredients. Try out this calming face mask with skin soothing flaxseed oil, honey, and lavender. It will help to beef up your skin's protective barrier against moisture loss while also nourishing and softening.

Flaxseed oil is going to give your skin that ultra moisturized glowing look while also calming redness with anti-inflammatory omega oils. Honey (raw, unprocessed, organic honey) brings to the table an array of organic acids to feed and replenish your skin. Honey itself is known for being soothing to skin, which is why it is excellent in any face mask for dry skin, but it is also useful for calming sunburns (keep this in mind for summer!).

Lavender rounds out this DIY beauty recipe with anti-inflammatory and balancing properties. I know, I
know, I use lavender essential oil, powder, and hydrosol in a big chunk of my natural skin care formulas. If you don't like the aroma, sorry. I just believe lavender to be one of the most universal beauty ingredients. It is gentle and calming for irritated, inflamed, and mature skin. It balances oily skin. It even has anti-bacterial properties to help combat blemishes!

To make this calming face mask for dry skin, you will need:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 capsules flaxseed oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil 

Open the flaxseed capsules and stir the oil into the honey. I use two capsules to help soften the consistency of the mask. Add the essential oil drops. Now cleanse your skin. You definitely want to start with a clean canvas for this beauty treatment. There is something about trapping dirt and grime under honey and oil that is a bit unsettling to me. If your skin is really dry and over-cleansing is an issue, make sure you are washing with a facial cleanser that has been made for dry skin. Creamy cleansers usually work well. You can also try washing your face with olive oil. Wellness Mama has an awesome explanation of how to clean your face with olive oil.

Gently dry your skin and then smear the mask over your face and neck. A thin layer is fine as the flax and honey blend is very hydrating for even really dry skin. Let it set on your face until it is dry, about 20 minutes. Then, rinse with a cloth and warm water. Finish with your normal serum and moisturizing routine. 

Homemade Minty Foot Soak for Dry Feet

Refresh, soften, and breathe with my homemade foot soak for dry feet. The magical ingredient in this DIY treat for your feet is peppermint essential oil. A couple drops will invigorate your skin and get your blood flowing. A little nourishing sesame oil and you can help to soften your skin while revitalizing your feet, and your mood. Inhale those minty fumes for invaluable mental refreshment!

To make your own minty foot soak, you will need:

  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup epsom salts

Add the peppermint and lavender to the sesame oil. You can use other essential oils if you want. Peppermint pairs well with rosemary or eucalyptus for a more invigorating blend, but use only a drop or two of these oils as they can be strong. Peppermint is great on its own for relieving dry feet. It has a cooling, soothing effect on dry, irritated, and itchy skin. It also has mild analgesic properties, which can serve as much need pain relief for tired feet. I like the lavender because it makes the foot bath more calming and stress-relieving, but it is unnecessary.

Fill your foot bath with hot water and then swirl the salts and the oils into the water. Make yourself comfortable and then submerge peacefully and fully. I used to use one of those stand alone foot baths, it had the massage setting, vibration, and everything, but to be honest I prefer just adding hot water to the bath tub and sitting on the edge. I never liked having to move it around, dealing with the spilled water and the upkeep (one more thing to clean!).

However you soak your dry feet, let them soak up all that peppermint and sesame goodness for at least 10 minutes. This is definitely a good time for a pumice stone scrub down to soften rough calluses and even to help massage your feet.

After soaking dry your feet well and moisturize. I know it is easy to forget, but make sure you are slathering a foot cream or body butter on your feet after every bath, shower, or foot soak. This will help to maintain that silky, softness and keep your feet incredibly healthy (and beautiful!). 

Homemade Anti-Wrinkle Serum With Flaxseed and Pomegranate Seed Oil

Two of nature's most powerful beauty oils combine to create an amazing homemade anti-wrinkle serum for your face and neck! It is soothing, softening, and incredibly easy to make. You can use it as an evening anti-aging facial oil to help restore your skin while you sleep.

As you may know (check out this Friday's post) I am doing a little skin care experiment right now with flaxseed oil; I am taking supplements to see how it improves my skin. Of course I am having fun opening my little supplement capsules to create a few new natural beauty recipes!

This one is wonderful for dry, damaged, and aging skin. It protects and soothes with essential fatty acids, but it also helps to protect your cells from environmental damage with those free radical fighting antioxidants found in pomegranate seeds. The nourishing benefits of this anti-wrinkle serum are excellent for replenishing your skin and promoting cellular regeneration. I also add a couple drops of frankincense essential oil, which is renowned for its resotrative benefits.

To make this serum mix:

  • 5 capsules of flaxseed oil (just prick the gel caps to get the oil out)
  • 1/2 ounce pomegranate seed oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil

I store my oil blend in a 1-ounce glass bottle with a screw top (Mountain Rose Herbs sells a selection of colored glass bottles), but a dropper top will work even better. Use three or four drops. Massage into skin at night after cleansing and letting the skin dry. I use it under my moisturizer.

Be sure to store this anti-wrinkle serum in a darkly colored glass bottle, away from direct sunlight. Cosmetic oils and essential oils degrade quickly. If you're not into making your own homemade beauty products, Desert Essence makes a decent pomegranate anti-aging serum,Desert Essence - Organic Pomegranate Face Serum. It isn't made with flaxseed oil, but with green tea extract and rose hip oil it still boasts some potent anti-wrinkle ingredients.

Taking Flaxseed Oil Supplements for Better Skin: My Experiment

From flax to linseed oil.
As promised, my next beauty quest is to take flaxseed oil supplements to see how they improve my skin. The oil is high in essential fatty acids, and is a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha linolenic acid. You've probably heard a lot about omega-3s being essential for well-being. They are really important for heart health, joint health, and brain health just to name a few, and not so easy to find in a typical diet unless you eat a lot of salmon and walnuts. Supplementing with flaxseed oil is an easy way to boost your omega-3 intake, and to support your skin!

I've just finished supplementing with collagen, which I was surprised to find that there was a noticeable improvement in my skin and hair, although slight. You can read about my experience with collagen here; Supplementing With Collagen, My Experience So Far.

So, why is flaxseed oil good for your skin? On a cellular level, the essential fatty acids, both omega-3 and omega-6s help to protect cell membranes. This means they help to allow the good stuff into your cells and keep the bad stuff out. This translates into holistic benefits for your entire body, skin included. Flaxseed oil supplements are a great idea for anyone, but they are especially useful for anyone with sensitive, dry skin or acne. The fatty acids in this oil have great anti-inflammatory benefits that skin responds well to. They are soothing and calming. The reason flaxseed is good for acne, is it helps to thin skin's natural oil, sebum, which is responsible for clogging pores and causing breakouts. I would imagine the anti-inflammatory benefits are good for fighting acne too.

I'm taking cold pressed flaxseed oil, the Whole Foods brand (no affiliation). It says to take 1 to 3 softgels a day, at 1000mg each. I will aim for three a day. I will let you know how the supplementing goes over the next few weeks.

Has anyone else noticed an improvement in their skin from taking flaxseed oil supplements?

How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?

The fact that exfoliating your face is key for a healthy, radiant complexion is nothing new, but how often should you do it? Is there such a thing as too much of scrubbing and massaging in those alpha hydroxy acids for cell renewal? Believe me, you can overdo it, even if you have oily skin! You should exfoliate your face regularly, but how often really depends on your skin type.

Exfoliating is basically the use of some type of sloughing substance to stimulate and renew your cells. Dead skin cells and dirt are removed before they have the chance to clog pores making way for new, healthy cells. You can use a gritty (yet gentle when working on your face) substance such as jojoba beads or dried oats. Alpha hydroxy acids are also natural chemicals that are found in fruit, sugar cane, and milk which exfoliate the skin. They are found in both anti-aging and acne skin care products because they help to create a smoother complexion.

While regular scrubbing or using those AHAs is great for all skin types, you want to be careful how much you do it. For those with dry or sensitive skin, too much exfoliating can lead to irritation and more dryness. It will also strip away the skin's outer protective layer every time you do it, leaving you more vulnerable to the sun and photo aging.

With an oily complexion, the problem goes in the other direction. I am not sure if it is a reaction to the drying effect of exfoliating (the skin becomes drier so more oil is produced) or if it is the stimulation of your skin's oil glands, I have read both explanations, but either way, exfoliating your face every day is not a good thing for oily skin! I was using a daily facial scrub and started to notice my pores were getting larger and my skin always felt more oily than normal. I would desperately turn to my clay masks to suck out the extra oil, but this was probably making my skin worse because clay masks exfoliate.

So, how often should you exfoliate your face to have that beautiful, radiant, glowing look that this skin care step is supposed to create? For oily skin, once a week is enough. Skip the daily facial scrubs. For normal skin, you can use this technique every other day, just make sure you are protecting your skin from the sun. Try using a skin care product like a cleanser or moisturizer that has AHAs instead of scrubbing too often. Facial scrubs are great, but it seems they are too harsh to use all the time for delicate facial skin. For dry skin, once a week with a gentle product is plenty. 

What Is the Best Neck Firming Cream?

Don't forget to take care of your neck and decolletage! These easily overlooked areas of your skin are just as exposed as your face. Are you keeping your chest and neck area moisturized and protected? What is the best neck firming cream to use? Can you just use your facial cream to keep these areas smooth, firm, and glowing?

Using a neck cream that is full of anti-aging antioxidants, moisturizing fatty acids, and other replenishing nutrients may help you to keep your skin young looking. The earlier you start taking care of this area the better! It is difficult to reverse the signs of aging like sagging skin (turkey neck!) and age spots. So if a firming neck cream equals gorgeous skin, even into your 50s, then problem solved, right? Not really. You will have to invest a fortune into that pretty little neck of yours!

Neck creams and serums are pricey, probably because of what they promise - the appearance of youth. Also, this area of skin is huge, so you will need more magic potion than you need for your face. You can use your facial moisturizer, but you will run out of it quickly to cover all that skin. Chances are if you are even thinking about the look of your neck and decolletage, you have been in the anti-aging skin care market for a couple of years at least. Your skin may already show some lines or loose skin, and you are desperate for an improvement!

My solution to this problem is to use nourishing oils. They are affordable, they are packed with antioxidants, and a little bit goes a long way. Grapeseed oil, apricot kernel, sesame seed, avocado oil, tamanu, argan, any of these will work wonders for your skin. Where to get the best skin oils? Aura cacia has a great selection of high quality oils (no affiliation). Mountain Rose Herbs has tons of carrier oils you can choose from. I am affiliated with Mountain Rose (see bottom of site), I use oils from both companies.

You can buy a firming neck cream. In fact, buying a nutrient-packed serum, cream, or other beauty product on occasion, even if it is a bit expensive, is not a bad idea. I think of it as giving my skin a little beauty boost, sort of like changing the oil in your car. It's only necessary every 3 months, and less depending on your driving habits. If you take great care of your skin - drink lots of water, keep it protected from the sun (scarfs are great for covering this precious area), eat a healthy diet, exercise, and all that jazz, you could get away with splurging on a firming cream once or twice a year.

Use nourishing oils to keep your skin firm and glowing if you want results and you don't want to give the beauty industry your life savings. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a really nice neck firming cream every few months, just like a trip to the spa for a professional facial can really help, but don't feel like you need to spend $100 for a creamy tub of youth. There is no such thing. 

Can an Avocado Face Mask Transform a Dull Complexion?

I always find my way back to creamy, vitamin-packed avocados for my homemade beauty care recipes. There is something about this soft green fruit that I absolutely adore. True, I get tired of how messy an avocado face mask can be, but, with fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin C, B vitamins, and a nice little array of skin healthy minerals, I always go back!

Yes making a DIY mask with ripe avocado can totally transform a dull, dry complexion. Save your money on expensive hydrating creams and try this cute little fruit (did you know they call it the alligator pear?) Always an advocate of nourishing your skin from the inside out, I recommend throwing two-thirds of your avocado on a salad, and mashing the rest to make a beauty treatment, perfect for dry skin, but also useful for any woman over the age of 25 who wants to keep that youthful complexion! You can also use some to make a moisturizing hair mask.

Here are three quick and easy avocado face masks that you can try out:

For a silky smooth complexion, mix together:

  • 1/3 ripe avocado
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil 
  • 2 teaspoons whole fat coconut milk

To balance combination skin enjoy the beauty benefits of:

  • 1/3 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lemon verbena hydrosol (a gentle astringent, you can get from Mountain Rose Herbs, I have an affiliate link at the bottom of my site)
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt

For an anti-aging avocado face mask use:

  • 1/3 ripe avocado
  • 4 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon rose hip oil

Don't forget to open your pores before masking with a homemade facial steam, a quick shower, or just a warm, wet cloth!

3 Yogurt Face Masks Your Skin Will Love

Walk to your kitchen, open your refrigerator door and look, there, behind the tofu and chocolate covered almonds, yep, there it is, that tub of edible beauty cream, the yogurt! Plain yogurt is a natural source of lactic acid, one of the alpha hydroxy acids that can be applied topically to improve the look of your skin. Wearing yogurt face masks is a great way to give your skin a healthy dose of these natural exfoliators. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs for short, are just what your skin needs to stay young-looking and smooth. When applied to the skin, they encourage the natural shedding of dead skin cells and may encourage new collagen and elastin formation - sounds great to me!

So what is the scoop on yogurt facial masks? How powerful are they? What skin types are they good for? While yogurt does contain AHAs, the concentration is pretty low, much lower than over the counter beauty creams and anti-aging lotions. This is a good thing in that a low concentration is not about to irritate your skin, but it also means that homemade yogurt face masks rank pretty low on the potency scale. Still, they certainly can help, not only because of the lactic acid content, but also to help cleanse and nourish your skin. And, of course, they are inexpensive. I buy plain yogurt in those big tubs. Don't forget to eat some of it with some fresh berries and honey for a tasty, skin healthy, body healthy snack!

Another big plus with using yogurt as a beauty product is that it is one of those universal ingredients. The exfoliation action of the AHAs is good for aging skin. It should help reduce blemishes because of the natural anti-bacterial properties. It's also full of nutrients that you skin can benefit from like zinc (which is antibacterial) and moisturizing lipids.

Yogurt and neroli face mask:

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 drops neroli essential oil

Yep, you guessed it. Drop in your neroli (regenerative and restorative to skin) drops into the yogurt, stir, and spread over freshly cleaned skin.

Yogurt clay mask:

  • 1 tablespoon clay powder
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • enough purified water to make your moist, smooth, spreadable beauty paste

Adding yogurt to your typical clay masks is a great way to really cleanse and rejuvenate your skin. Also, this helps to balance out the intensity of the clay if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Yogurt berry face mask:

  • 2 mashed strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar cane crystals
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt

This one takes a bit of prep work. First mash your strawberries with the sugar, heat gently and slightly, just until warm over the stove, and then mash again. The berries and sugar are sources of two different types of AHAs, so this homemade beauty treatment gives you lactic, citric, and glycolic acid. Heat just enough to melt the sugar and to make the berries easy to mash. Stir in your yogurt and give your skin its sweet skin renewing treatment.

DIY Treatment for Dry Skin on Legs

What do you do about dry, itchy legs? In the winter when the air is more arid, dry skin on legs can be a pesky beauty problem. Whether you need to treat your legs for spring break or get them ready to show off when the weather warms up, try this DIY skin care treatment to keep your legs smooth and gorgeous. I use a homemade body scrub with one of the most magnificent moisturizing ingredients for all your homemade beauty care - virgin olive oil! Try this recipe out. It works really well before shaving to prep your skin for perfection.

Homemade body scrub for dry skin on legs:

  • 1 cup sugar (use the nice,cane sugar crystals not refined white sugar!)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons apple juice
  • 4 drops grapefruit essential oil 

Mix everything together in a bowl. I love the grapefruit aroma, but you can use another essential oil, say lavender and vanilla or patchouli and sweet orange. You can also skip the aromatherapy if you want. I use grapefruit because it is supposed to be good for cellulite, although I can't say that it actually makes a difference.

Start your DIY exfoliation experience before getting in the shower. Use your loofah to gently loosen dry skin cells. Then turn on the water and use your loofah or other exfoliating tool (wash cloth works!) to scrub your legs with the body scrub. Start with your feet and work your way up. I actually sit down for this. Use a circular motion and take your time. Not only does this help to soften your legs and fight dry skin, but it also is a blood circulation booster.

After stepping out of the shower, lightly dry your skin and then slather on the body butter. The olive oil from the homemade scrub will moisturize, but you still want to use a good cream or butter after bathing. You can use this homemade scrub on your whole body, not just your legs. 

Supplementing With Collagen: My Experience So Far

I wrote earlier about my little adventure with taking collagen supplements to try and improve my skin. Does it help? Is supplementing with collagen a good idea?

After about a month of taking supplements, I don't notice a remarkable difference, but there is a difference, which is more than I expected. What I did notice:

  • My hair feels slightly thicker, which is a big plus because I have thin hair naturally.
  • My skin is softer, not just my face, but my whole body. This could be because the collagen supplements that I am taking contain hyaluronic acid, a natural skin moisturizer. 
  • The area around my eyes looks slightly smoother. And I mean slightly, but even a tiny improvement is something I embrace! 

I only have tiny fine lines around my eyes, and the skin under my eyes is getting thinner, so that is what I was starting with before my collagen supplement experiment. The difference is far from remarkable, also, it could easily be due to my drinking more water and exercising more. I cannot confidently say that supplementing with collagen makes my skin look younger. To be fair, I have only been taking two pills a day, not the recommended four.

It does seem to have a slight improvement, and I wonder if it is at least slowing the effects of the aging process (your body produces less collagen as you get older, combined with collagen breakdown from sun exposure, etc.). I will finish this bottle, and probably will supplement with collagen again, but not for a few months. I don't like to overlap supplements. My next healthy skin experiment will be supplementing with evening primrose oil. I will keep you posted when I start.

My first post on supplements is, Are Collagen Supplements Worth It for Improving Your Skin?

Dry Facial Skin:5 Solutions

Winter is beautiful, cold, harsh, and wreaks havoc on your delicate skin! The cool, dry climate and even more detrimental, your arid indoor environment thanks to air blasting out of your furnace all winter, are creating your dry facial skin. What can you do about it? Here are five solutions to help you keep your skin soft, supple, and young-looking for the rest of the winter.

  1. Drink more water, and herbal tea. Hydrate your skin from the inside out. I'm sure you've heard the standard - drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Do it. It really helps your skin. If your not a big water drinker, sip on herbal tea all day for plenty of cleansing, hydrating fluids without the sugar of juices. If you drink a lot of coffee (guilty!) then drink an extra glass of water. 
  2. Grab the oil. This winter I've been using tamanu oil and rosehip oil as a facial moisturizer at night. Tamanu oil is super rich and perfect for those of us that are prone to a dry, flaky, dull winter complexion. Rosehip oil is a bit lighter if you have combination or oily skin. Massage a tiny bit in at night in place of a cream. 
  3. Use a humidifier. I've never been a fan of this option, honestly it seems like a lot of work and is not an environmentally-friendly option, but it can help to counterbalance the drying effect of your heat source. Rule of thumb, for those really cold weeks when the furnace is working hard, put your humidifier on at night. I use one that creates a warm vapor, great for fighting seasonal coughs! Try to be more vigilant about turning off the lights and unplugging unused appliances to offset your increase in energy use. We want to keep the earth beautiful as well as our skin, after all. 
  4. Use a creamy cleanser. Is your facial cleanser made for dry skin? To help relieve dry facial skin, you need a gentle cleanser that won't strip away extra oils when you wash. Go for a creamy cleanser or make your own (one of my favorite homemade facial cleansing recipes is to combine white tea and plain yogurt). 
  5. Fatten your face. If you want your skin to glow, you can't shy away from healthy fatty acids. I'm not advocating a hamburger and shake as a healthy lunch. I am advocating snacking on nuts and seeds, baking with coconut oil, making homemade salad dressings with flax seed oil and lemon juice. Make sure you are getting plenty of healthy fats in your diet. Putting lipids on your skin will help to protect against moisture loss, but you also need to feed your skin from the inside. 
If you are looking for a great homemade hydrating mask for dry facial skin, check out the Ultra Moisturizing Face Mask!

The Ultra Moisturizing Face Mask for Winter

Treat your face to the best nourishing, hydrating skin care ingredients that nature has to offer. Indulge your skin with creamy avocado, protective honey, and some of the richest oils in the world. This moisturizing face mask is perfect for beating winter dryness, but it is also a great any time mask for dry skin. The super hydrating action also makes this a helpful anti-aging treatment. Enjoy!

To make the ultra moisturizing winter face mask, you will need:

  • 1 ripe avocado (use about two tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon tamanu oil
  • 1 teaspoon argan oil

Mash all the ingredients together in a bowl. I use the leftover avocado for a moisturizing hair mask (avocado + olive oil) to use while I do this face mask. Gently cleanse your skin, you don't want to scrub or wash your face to much with dry skin as this will strip away your skin's natural oils.

Smear this ultra messy, ultra moisturizing mask over your entire face. Lay those cucumber slices over your eyes and spend 15 minutes letting your mind take you away. Pick up is messy! I recommend jumping in the shower to rinse both the hair and face mask. Pat dry and finish with a couple drops of tamanu oil. I do a quick facial massage. That's it. You have transformed your skin into pure silk.

The Best Lotion for Dry Skin in the Winter

Winter is dry skin time! Outdoors you have to deal with the harsher, arid climate. Inside, the heat is on, robbing the air of moisture. This is not good news for your skin. There are lots of things you can do to combat dryness, but what about a good old skin care cream, what is the best lotion for dry skin?

My favorite winter skin saver is not actually a lotion but a straight-from-the-bottle oil - virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil melts when you rub it into your skin. It's rich in skin nutrients, and it has a great smell. My skin gets really dry in the winter; red, flaky, the works. My skin care strategy is to keep the moisturizing going to stop my skin from ever getting really dry. I massage a tiny amount of coconut oil into my skin after cleansing morning and night. I also use it on my hands. A good deep moisture face mask (tomorrow's post!) and your complexion can retain that supple, soft feel even in the frozen tundra!

Coconut oil is my best lotion for dry skin, but there are of course other options. To replenish and protect, look for over-the-counter lotions with ceramides. According to the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, these fatty acids help to structure skin and maintain the moisture barrier. Ceramide lotions come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You don't need to spend a fortune to prevent winter dry skin. CeraVe (no affiliation!) is fairly priced.

There are other things that you can do for your skin. Lotions and moisturizers are important, but they are only part of a good winter skin care strategy. Try a humidifier. I have one that injects warm steam into the air. Great for your skin, great for colds! You can also drink more water and try to take in more essential fatty acids. Pour coconut milk in your coffee. Eat more nuts and seeds. Supplementing with a nutritional oil like flax seed or evening primerose oil can help too, just always talk to your doc before taking supplements.

Are Collagen Supplements Worth It for Improving Your Skin?

Do collagen supplements work? Well, in theory they should give your body that extra boost of collagen to help your skin rebuild itself. The ideal result - firmer, smoother, younger-looking skin. Is this possible from a little pill?

Collagen is a type of protein that is used to form connective tissue. It is helpful for restoring skin, as well as for keeping your joints healthy. Collagen along with another protein, elastin, work together to keep your skin supple, full, and beautiful. The good news is that the body produces collagen and elastin naturally. The bad news is that we produce less collagen as we get older and collagen breaks down as part of the aging process.

Taking collagen supplements is a way to give your body more collagen. If your body needs this nutrient for other things besides reducing and preventing wrinkles, for example to support your bones, then there still may not be that much left over to help improve skin elasticity.

My theory is that taking collagen supplements could help, as part of a dynamic approach to improving your skin. If they were a miracle pill, however, I'm sure marketing teams for nutritional supplement companies would make us well aware of it. My guess is that there won't be a remarkable difference.

My dynamic approach is collagen supplements along with at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day to keep my circulation going. Better blood circulation means more nutrients pumping through your body to nourish your skin. A diet that is high in fresh fruits and veggies, green tea, white tea, and herbal teas, is the other piece of my anti-wrinkle puzzle. This way I will have enough vitamin C for cell repair, antioxidants for cell protection, and other nutrients to keep my skin in shape. And finally, water for better skin. I will aim for 2 liters a day.

With all of this combined, I'm willing to bet my skin will improve. I'm using NeoCell collagen supplements. I am in no way affiliated with this company, just felt comfortable with them after reading the bottle and picking them up at Whole Foods. I will let you know how my adventure with collagen supplements (and exercise, more fruits, veggies, and tea, and better hydration) goes over the next few weeks. With that, off to make a cup of white tea!


While I love my skin, I am not actually a dermatologist or a medical professional. The information on this site is not meant to treat or diagnose any health issues.