Don’t miss the GIVEAWAY for Stacy’s favorite products at the end of this post! AND the discount codes mentioned in the post!!
The giveaway has ended and the winner is Sarah Peters!
At least several times a week I am asked via social media or otherwise what kind of beauty and hygiene products I use. While we’ve updated our resources page to include the brands and products I love, I thought it was high time I give an update since my original Skintervention post almost two years ago! The great news is, I can assure you I’ve been using nearly all of the same brands with consistent success for two years now! The even better news, I’ve found more things I love and use to share with you. ♥
Yes, I used to have my nose pierced. Sorry for the close-up, but wanted you to see I’m not hiding my skin!
I’m going to break my routine down into 3 parts: 1) my healthy living choices that lead to naturally good skin and hygiene from the inside out, 2) the products I use as “supplements” for my skin & hygiene, and 3)the surface treatment to make it look ideal (make-up). Of course, none of this is truly paleo – because I’m pretty sure cavewomen had more important things to think about than how they looked. However, treating my body well from the inside has given me a confidence and comfort in my own skin I’ve never had before, and through exploring that I’ve found quite a number of more natural solutions to looking and feeling my best. Specifically, I make sure that all of the products I use are gluten-free (afterall, our skin is our biggest organ).
Beauty from the Inside Out
I feel like this photo needs a graphic for “before + a whole lot of help = presentable in public”. But seriously, sleep and drink broth.
Sleep & Reduced Stress
If you google “paleo sleep” you’ll find countless articles, with medical research citations, touting the importance of sleep. You may not fully factor in the value of hormonal reset and cellular regeneration, but that literally means your body fixing itself. If you aren’t sleeping, that luggage you’re carrying under your eyes won’t go anywhere. And you will age more quickly. That’s a real thing!
Have you ever noticed how much more aged and less lively presidents look as they leave office versus coming in? That’s what 4 to 8 years of chronic stress (i.e. making decisions that affect a nation) and lack of sleep will do to you. I’m a terrible culprit myself at this, but I always look and feel my best when I take things in stride, slow down my life, and get good rest.
Broth & Vital Proteins
I often soap box about the importance of nutrient-dense foods, but the one thing I find the absolute most beneficial to my skin health is drinking broth. Rich in micronutrients and collagen, the easily digestible amino acids made from the bones of healthy animals help my body feel it’s best – from the inside out. As we noted on our post about gelatin and it’s benefits:
- helps tighten loose skin
- helps improve cellulite
- helps joint recovery
- supports skin, hair and nail growth
- improves digestion
- pure protein
- promotes relaxation and a good night’s sleep
- can help heal your gut
As you can see, gelatin (essentially the dehydrated collagen of broth) has a lot of specific benefits to your appearance, as well as health. I’ve noticed drastic improvement in my skin, hair, and nails since consuming it regularly and cannot encourage you enough to do it, too.
I’ve also started adding Vital Proteins to my regular routine. Similar to our previously recommended Great Lakes brand of gelatin, Vital Proteins are collagen peptides. I’ve switched because in looking at the differences in the brands there is a higher quality protein as well as more protein and amino acid content per serving. I’m planning a detailed post about this switch and how I consume it in the future, but it has an added benefit of upping my protein, as the collagen peptides are higher in the healing proteins I personally need for my autoimmune diseases and health, but it also supports retaining and growing muscle as I have (partially) reduced my carbohydrate intake as discussed in this detailed post.
My favorite recipes for gelatin and broth are:
- Sweet Onion Brisket
- Stacy’s Soup
- Butternut Squash and Bacon Bisque
- Hot Chocolate Gummies
- Kombucha Gummies
- Mocha protein smoothie (coffee optional)
- Coffee blended with protein powder and Vital Proteins
If you cannot afford either of these brands, Knox brand gelatin and homemade broth from standard raised animals still has healing benefits that are a great place to start.
As I noted in my review of The Paleo Approach, following an AIP diet and then reintroducing foods has been a savior to my health. In fact, in my latest health post I attribute it to the reason my Hashi’s is without symptoms. More than that, it has also helped clear up my skin entirely for the first time in my life. As a teen I went on prescription medication to help with cystic acne that affected me well into my 30’s. It wasn’t until I started truly learning about my own food intolerances with AIP that I have been able to heal my skin. Of course, eating a micro-nutrient-rich diet full of antioxidants is also fantastic for the skin… and that’s the definition of AIP – win win!
Lifting Heavy Things
Doctors will tell you that lifting weights is the best way to help your skin not sag. I’m sorry to say that after gaining and losing 100lbs, having 3 caesarian sections, and a gall bladder removed all in the same decade, I haven’t seen vast improvement in the elasticity of my sagging skin despite lifting very heavy things regularly. I HAVE however, put muscle under that skin, which is what I now notice, rather than the loose flesh underneath sagging skin. You can see my (famous) old pictures of sagging skin here and compare that to the muscle you now see; I think you’ll be able to tell the difference!
Also, I think it goes without saying that the endorphins and serotonin involved with weight training, as well as the blood flow associated with moving and the sweat glands pushing all the nasty stuff out all do great things for your skin. If you don’t want to lift heavy things, I can think of another activity that activates most of these good things, but it’s a family site so I’ll let you figure that one out on your own. ♥
Skin “Supplements” & Hygiene Products
So, the biggest news is that I quit henna and using dirt as a shampoo. You’ve probably noticed my hair is a lot browner now than it was a few years ago, and that’s because the tone of the red from henna on my hair was so unpredictable, from sci-fi red to dark red wine, it wasn’t capturing the natural childhood red of my youth as much as it was early on. As it built up on the shaft of my hair it got darker and created a very hombre-effect that I wasn’t intending. If you have dark hair I could see it working very well, but I actually wanted my hair a bit lighter, so I’ve gone back to my natural color.
Surface Shampoo & Conditioner
I switched from the dirt shampoo at Primal Life Organics, not because it wasn’t making my curls look great, but because I felt like a gross swamp monster after working out. That shampoo is intended to be used once, twice, MAYBE three times per week. And in the summer time after sweating like a mad woman while training I needed to wash myself and my hair. I know some people would tell you that baking soda and vinegar can work for this. But I’m going to be straight up with you: I’m the kind of girl that gets gel manicure and pedicures on the regular, I just wasn’t willing to make that kind of effort to go that crunchy granola. So, I did some research and found that a brand named Surface made a line of shampoos made for curly hair that used real ingredients, like organic cocoa butter, babassu oil, amaranth. It was also free of sulfates, gluten, parabens, animal protein, mineral oil, and phthalates. I would still recommend you use the Dirt shampoo if trying to go as natural as possible, but if you’re looking to later up after a sweaty workout or simply smell like cake when hugging strangers at book signings, then Surface Shampoo and Conditioner may be something you want to try.
Sea Salt Hair Spray – the only other product I use on my hair (other than shampoo and conditioner) this spray is just fantastic, especially in the summer when my curls soak up the sodium with the hot humid air. It’s literal beach hair, all the time. Seriously, I wish Primal Life Organics sold this in some sort of huge container. Well, maybe not, I was super lucky to get through a bazillion airports with this odd-sized bottle through TSA without having to check it. So, good job, Trinia – my hair thanks you!
Face wash and toner – I still love and swear by this stuff. I stopped using coconut oil as my face wash and moisturizer years ago *gasp*. Don’t worry, it’s Skintervention-approved. Turns out, my super sensitive skin can’t handle the strength that coconut oil gives – it’s still a great make-up remover. But, once I remove my make-up, I wash and tone with Primal Life Organics Banished and Beyond skin care line in the morning with Earth Primal Face Wash and toner.
Torn-Up Skin (Hand) Repair – I swear by this stuff from Primal Life Organics. One of the most important part of strongman is grip strength, and my hands are constantly put the test. My nail technician often asks what the heck I get into, but I’m happy to report that when I shake someone’s hands in the office, or stroke a child’s face, they don’t scream out in pain from sandpaper hands thanks to this amazing balm.
Peppermint Lip Balm – Although I note what lip sticks and glosses I’ve found and like below, I find I’m usually a chapstick girl. I like that it helps me smell mintry fresh, conditions my lips, and frankly doesn’t detract from the eye makeup I painstakingly strive to perfect. The kids love this balm from Primal Life Organics too, plus it’s super affordable!
(psssttt….if you are shopping at Primal Life Organics between now and March 30, use the code PP2015 for 20% off your order!)
I still sometimes use and enjoy Primal Life Organic’s tooth powder, but long missed the familiar feel of a true “paste”. Last year at Paleo FX I discovered a brand of toothcare called The Dirt and tried out their prototype paste and instantly fell in love. I know the idea of Rose Cacao Mint MCT Oil toothpaste might sound weird, but it’s surprisingly a great flavor combo and one I can definitely recommend!
(double psssttt…if you are shopping at The Dirt between now and April 13, use the code paleoparent315 for 10% off all orders!)
FCLO Beauty Balm
Promise not to tell anyone, but I actually don’t wash my face at night. I know, it’s weird, and it does make for dirty pillows, but my skin just doesn’t like too much washing, and the high quality make-up I wear doesn’t bother it. I find my skin reacts best if I simply put on a relatively thick layer of Fermented Cod Liver Oil Beauty Balm at the end of the day, as my face hits the pillow. It’s fragrant, but it’s honestly a great night time ritual to initiate sleep for me! I just wouldn’t recommend doing it before you have some face time with a loved one; this is truly the last thing you do before you go to sleep.
Arnica Massage Oil
While there are many arnica oils on the market, I psycho love the Tropical Traditions brand. It has a wonderful aroma, and the healing properties of the ingredients do wonders for my sore muscles. This can be great for someone to rub on their own achy shoulders or legs, or better yet for a partner to give you a massage after a hard day of training!
Espom Salt Soaks
After a long day, epsom salt baths are the absolute best ways to recover! Why?
“Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Long known as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, Epsom salt has numerous health benefits as well as many beauty, household and gardening-related uses.
Studies have shown that magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salt baths an easy and ideal way to enjoy the amazing health benefits (*1). Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches.” [source]
In addition to arnica oil, I’ve been using the Bedrock Living Magnesium Body Butter before bed, especially on sore areas. It’s like a spot treatment epsom soak that soothes me to sleep! This cream is just like taking a magnesium supplement, only it’s absorbed more readily through the skin and can be therapeutic and healing especially for those with sore muscles or skin issues.
(triple psssttt…if you are shopping at Bedrock Living between now and April 1, use the code paleoparents for 10% off all orders!)
In our family, coconut oil is the new ‘tussin. You have a cut from falling off your bike? Coconut oil. Your skin is dry? Coconut oil. Broken leg? Coconut oil. Ok, well maybe not. But fortunately we’ve never had to make that call. My favorite uses for coconut oil are cuticle moisturizer, make up remover, and lube. Oh snap. Yep, I said it. And recommend it.
There’s not much more to this extensive review of Au Natural menstruation solutions I wrote in 2012. Just wanted to let you know I’m STILL using that SAME cup and love it. Even for lifting, hot tubbing, and all the things.
Perfectly Natural Family Soaps
I still am in love with this brand of lotion bars and use it almost daily on the folds of my skin. I know, that’s icky – but for those of you who have lost a lot of weight, or still have weight to lose, if you have areas of your skin that are sweaty or may get rashes in the heat I cannot recommend this product enough. I used to use deodorant in these areas, but find this product more gentle and pleasant smelling – the lilac is my favorite. Perfectly Natural Family Soaps also has a line of Bath Fizzies and body butters that are fantastic, too!
And last but not least, I still recommend LaVanila deoderant… it is by far my favorite product for pits.
Surface Treatment (Make-Up)
I still use and love the method of applying a high-quality base for what touches the skin directly, and then layer on other items. I start with Jane Iredale mineral PurePressed Base (Bisque). I used to use, but no longer need the Circle/Delete Corrector, which worked fantastic when I used to have larger, darker break-outs or under eye circles.
For blush I use a combination of two blushes. I love NARS colors, my favorite being Penny Lane cream blush (but can’t find it anymore), so now I use Benefit Dandelion along the cheekbones, and then NARS Orgasm on the apples. In the summer simply use a Tarte cheekstain, since my cheeks naturally flush, both brands are gluten-free and very high quality.
As noted above, I rarely wear lipstick or gloss and usually prefer chapstick, but have found that the following brands are all gluten-free and high quality when I do want some color: Bite, Chanel, Tarte, and NARS.
For my eyes, I prime with a base coat of Tarte Primer and let them fully dry. Usually I finish my blush and eyeliner during this time. Applying my mascara, Tarte Amazonian Clay Mascara, is the last thing that I do – as the primer works best when completely dry. I use Jane Iredale kohl eyeliner (which is really more like an eye shadow that stays put). As you can see below, there is a dramatic difference in the definition, volume, and length on my lashes from utilizing the Tarte primer and mascara.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas on products to try to make your routine a bit more natural, while not needing to flee to the wilderness to live a life without mirrors.
If you’ve got any favorite brands or products, please share in the comments so readers can learn more about what else is out there!
Curious to try some of the products mentioned in this post?! Our awesome partners at both Primal Life Organics and Bedrock Living have generously donated some of their goodies towards a giveaway. Simply use the form below to enter for a chance to win:
1 bottle of Primal Life Organic’s Sea Salt Texturizing Spray
1 Bottle of Primal Life Organic’s Earth Primal Face Wash
1 Bottle of Primal Life Organic’s Primal Face Toner
1 canister of Primal Life Organic’s Toothpowder
1 jar of Bedrock Living’s Fresh Citrus Magnesium Body Butter
1 tube of Bedrock Living’s Lip Balm Colorless Citrus
We’ll pick and announce the winner in one week – we will both announce the name on this post and email the individual drawn!
AND remember Matt’s rules of giveaways!
- Please use a valid email address when entering. I cannot use my dowsing rods to attempt to find which bytes form your contact address!
- Please follow all the rules so I don’t get frustrated by invalid entries. Nothing makes more of a sad panda than picking a winner who I have to disqualify.
- Please respond within 48 hours or I will have to pick a new winner! I have a certain set of skills that make me a nightmare to people who don’t respond: the ability to randomly draw again.
- Please be a US resident. My mana is too low to cast a Teleportation Spell!