Today I’m doing something a bit different. I’ve mentioned several times that I follow the blog, Body Unburdened. I’ve been blog friends with the brains behind the blog, Nadia and begged her to let me pick her brain about all things skin! I so often feel like my brain goes in one direction and that’s what you see on my blog, but when I find someone that has a different perspective as well as different knowledge base I think it’s so nice to share them with you! So enjoy my interview with my friend Nadia Neumann to talk all things healthy skin from within.
Q: First things first, Nadia, can you please introduce yourself to Jenni Raincloud readers?
Hi there! My name is Nadia Neumann. I’m a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, founder of the healthy living blog Body Unburdened, and author of the book Glow: The Nutritional Approach to Naturally Gorgeous Skin. I love hanging out with Mother Nature and hiking with my husband in the beautiful Bay Area where we live, am completely obsessed with face oils, and firmly believe chocolate is an antioxidant-packed health food!
Q: Let’s talk skin! You like to say that “beauty is not only skin deep.” Can you explain this a bit?
Well this pretty much sums up my skincare philosophy and is true for 2 reasons.
One: the skin is a mirror that reflects everything going on behind the scenes, inside our bodies. Your skin isn’t just some “thing” that keeps all of your insides wrapped up and in place — it’s your body’s largest organ! And like all organs, the skin is impacted by your overall health and wellbeing. We know that the body is a complex, interconnected system, and there’s an endless amount of research to support the connection between the skin and a number of particular nutrients, inflammation, free radicals, hormones, the liver, blood sugar, and digestive health.
And two: the skin absorbs the large majority of what is applied to it – including our skincare and beauty products – so we better use safe, all-natural products! Detoxing our skincare and makeup routines is incredibly important to your overall health and wellness.
Q: Tell us a little more about your book and what inspired you to write it.
I struggled with acne in my late teens and early twenties – I spent a small fortune on dermatology appointments, facials, prescriptions, and fancy creams, and nothing worked. It wasn’t until I started addressing my internal health that my skin started to clear.
Through this personal experience as well as my studies, research, and experience in working with clients, I’ve learned just how influential nutrition and internal health are on the health and appearance of the skin – the skin is a mirror that reflects internal imbalances, imbalances that can be set right with relatively simple dietary adjustments.
The book is a really practical guide for taking bringing balance back to these aspects of health in order to benefit the skin. And it includes 20 delicious, skin-loving superfood recipes and 20 fun all-natural DIY skincare recipes too!
Q: What are your top foods and supplements for healthy skin?
Ooh I have quite a few so let’s list them out:
- Wild blueberries – jam-packed with anti-aging and anti-acne antioxidants (They’re also SO delicious! Perfect in smoothies)
- Fermented veggies – boost the gut microbiome, which is key for skin health
- Collagen peptides – packed with skin-supporting amino acids and has been shown to increase skin elasticity, hydration, and healing time
- Wild salmon or a really high-quality fish oil supplement – best source of the powerful anti-inflammatory omega-3s
- Avocados – packed with the antioxidant vitamin E and nourishing fats
- Pumpkin seeds – loaded with skin-loving zinc (especially helpful for women struggling with acne)
- Chia seeds – LOADED with fiber, which supports gut health and our body’s detox pathways
- Tulsi tea – an adaptogenic herb that protects the body from stress
- Astaxanthin – a super powerful antioxidant that has been shown to protect skin from damaging UV rays
Q: Can you explain the “legs up the wall” yoga pose, and how lifestyle habits like this support a healthy body AND skin?
Yes! I love this simple yoga pose as you clearly know!
It’s literally just like it sounds – you lay on the floor, scooch your booty up to the wall, and then swing your legs up the wall and just lay like that for 3-5 minutes. The thing about this pose is that it pushes your body into parasympathetic mode a.k.a. “rest and digest” mode or its relaxed state. Needless to say, we could all use more relaxation in our lives! And as an added bonus, it’s great for lymphatic flow and so detox support.
Stress not only damages our health but wreaks havoc on the skin too – elevated cortisol levels drive acne-causing androgen hormones up, and damage collagen and elastin.
Q: I’m starting this ASAP! Any other lifestyle tips for healthy skin from within?
Managing stress for sure, and also prioritizing sleep. Sleep is a time of repair and regeneration for your body and skin. A lack of sleep increases cortisol levels (which impairs collagen synthesis and repair) and promotes systemic inflammation (which wreaks havoc on the skin in just about every way possible). Adequate sleep is also necessary for the liver’s natural detoxification process, which is critical for skin health.
Also anything you can do to support your body’s detoxification pathways – which is going to also support hormonal balance – is key. I love dry body brushing and facial massage, which stimulate lymphatic flow, and epsom salt baths (which also give your body a mega-dose of relaxing magnesium!) with some bentonite clay sprinkled in to support detox. I have a great detox bath recipe on the blog! Milk thistle tincture and dandelion root tea are my favorite herbs for supporting the liver. And making sure you’re eating enough fiber!
Q: Ooh I’m so glad you mentioned hormones! We all know how much they influence our skin but keeping them in balance isn’t easy. Any other suggestions for how to balance hormones naturally?
Well there are A LOT of different hormones in our bodies with a bunch of different jobs so this gets pretty nuanced depending on the particulars.But across the board, again, one of the best ways to support hormonal balance is to support your body’s detox pathways, particularly the liver since it detoxes excess and used hormones.
Keeping your blood sugar levels steady is also KEY! Especially for balancing those acne-causing androgen hormones. So this means making sure to balance the sugars and carbs in your diet with healthy fats and proteins.
Managing stress is also critical since the body will always prioritize creating the stress hormones over the sex hormones – and so chronic stress can really do a number on our sex hormones. This includes managing chronic physical stressors, too, like gut imabalances and digestibe issues.
And doing our best to eliminate unhealthy toxins from our skincare routines, diets, and homes. So many chemicals these days are endocrine disruptors and particularly xenoestrogens, or synthetic estrogens. More and more science is coming out drawing the connection between these chemicals and not just hormonal imbalance but also hormone-related cancers and infertility. It’s actually pretty alarming but we can definitely take care to reduce our exposure.
Thank you so much for answering all my questions!! I’m super inspired from Nadia’s point of view and I hope you all enjoyed her as much as I do!!
If you’re interested to learn more from Nadia, check out her blog Body Unburdened – where you can sign up for her email newsletter and get her free Healthy Skin from The Inside and Out eBook – pick up her book Glow: The Nutritional Approach to Naturally Gorgeous Skin on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble, and be sure to follow her on Pinterest and Instagram!
You might remember I reviewed her book and did a DIY from it HERE. I highly recommend her book and am actually going to grab it now and dig in again!!