Want to know the secrets to naturally glowing skin, healthy locks and pearly whites? Your paleo pantry can actually double as part of your beauty cabinet too! Learn how natural ingredients are far better for your body inside and out. Here’s some top paleo beauty tips from guest contributor Ivy Thompson from Paleo in Melbourne (full bio below).
1. Detoxing with dry brushing
Dry brushing means exactly what it sounds like: you brush your skin with a soft brush before you head into the shower. Dry brushing is an ancient Ayurvedic cleansing philosophy that stimulates our largest organ of elimination – the skin. You need a large, natural soft bristle-brush. Brush in a circular motion, starting from the feet and working your way up to your neck. I use a smaller bristle-brush on my neck and face. I prefer to do it in the morning, and I aim for twice a week. It removes dead skin-cells, increases blood circulation and gently stimulates the lymphatic system. This combo not only leaves you looking fresh, firm and glowing, but it also helps your body eliminate toxins faster.
2. Skin as soft as a baby’s bottom
This is an easy scrub recipe that takes less than five minutes to prepare, but it will give you luxury-spa-resort results. I pour a cup of fine sea salt into a bowl and mix it with olive oil until the mixture is thick and smooth to touch. Take the bowl into the shower and massage small handfuls of salt scrub onto dry skin. Spend some extra time on elbows and knees. Once you’re done, rinse it off with warm water. I normally don’t use soap as it washes the oil off. Instead I gently pat myself dry and let the oil do its thing for a few hours. Some people don’t like the strong smell of olive oil but you can replace it with any other liquid oil and achieve the same results. Another fun twist to this scrub is to replace half the salt with brown sugar and add a cup of organic ground coffee beans. You will feel silky smooth all over!
3. Bright pearly whites
Activated charcoal is charcoal powder treated with oxygen, making it super-absorbent for toxic substances. This is why I always keep my activated charcoal capsules on hand for food poisoning, gastro and hangovers. Ironically it’s also amazing for whitening teeth. I pop open one capsule in a small bowl, wet a designated toothbrush and stir the powder with it until it forms a black paste. Then I rub the paste onto the front of my teeth and let it sit for 3-4 minutes. I brush my teeth with the powder (avoid the gums), followed by a good rinse out. Once rinsed, brush your teeth as normal with toothpaste. Your teeth will not only feel smooth as porcelain, they’ll also look whiter. Do this twice a week and you will notice a big difference. The activated charcoal absorbs the tannin that stains our teeth and make them look yellow. It’s a cheap, non-toxic and gentle way to achieve a dazzling Hollywood-smile.
4. Frizz be gone
I have crazy thick hair. It’s sort of wavy, but without a bit of help it tends to look all sorts of messy and very, very frizzy. My easy little secret to tame the frizz and fly-aways is to add 5 drops of rosehip oil to my hand, rub my palms together and evenly smooth the oil over the ends of my long hair. Avoid the roots as this will only make your hair look greasy. I find it works best if I do it on the days I wash my hair. The hair stays shiny and frizz-free until the next wash is due.
5. Oily does it
My bathroom shelf honestly resembles a kitchen. I recently ran out of sweet almond oil, so I replaced it with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil from my pantry. I love using oil to remove make-up. I simply pop a dash of oil onto a cotton pad and wipe my eyes clean first (works even on stubborn mascara but might take a few extra wipes to get clean) followed by another cotton pad to wipe the mineral-powder and blush of my face. The oil works as a carrier agent; gentle lifting and removing the make-up without drying or irritating your skin. Any oil will do the job; in the past I’ve tried anything from avocado (too yellow!) to macadamia and almond oil. Coconut oil didn’t work well for me as it stays too solid here in Melbourne. I always buy organic, cold-pressed oils. Once the make-up is off I rinse my face with warm water and follow up with a gentle, natural cream cleanser (I prefer and recommend the Jaqcueline Evans Skincare Castille Cream Cleanser). Your face will feel soft, clean and nourished.
6. Gloss, shine and strength
There is a natural way to avoid brittle, flakey nails and dry hair that grows slowly, breaks or plain falls out. It’s called gelatine and is hydrolysed from collagen, a protein found in bones, tendons and cartilage. If you drink plenty of bone broth you should already get a good dose in, but I didn’t notice a dramatic change until I started adding gelatine-powder to my daily diet. I like Great Lakes Gelatine or Bovine Jensen because they’re from grass-fed animals. This is important for the quality of the gelatine. I add a tablespoon to my smoothies. You can also make healthy gummies or fruit jellies. Some people even take it as capsules (I do when I’m on the road) or simply add the powder to their food. 1-2 tablespoons per day is plenty; any more might upset your stomach. Gelatine is not only healing for the intestines (making you healthier from the inside out), it’s also a very bio-available protein that’s easy for the body to utilise. My nails are thick and strong and my hair is glossy and grows as fast as 2 cm per month since I introduced gelatine to my diet. It’s one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to naturally improve the quality of your nails and hair.
7. Beauty sleep
It’s impossible to talk beauty without talking sleep. It’s called beauty-sleep for a reason! While we sleep, our body is repairing and restoring itself. Quality sleep ensures a healthy body fit to deal with the stressors life throws at us. One of my favourite tricks to ensure deep sleep, relaxed muscles and soft feet is magnesium. I add 1/2 cup of magnesium sulfate powder (also known as Epsom Salts) and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a foot soak and mix it all with hot water. Then I kick back on the couch, dip my feet in and keep them there for 25-30 minutes and relax. The vinegar will soften calluses, while the magnesium will get absorbed through the large pores in the skin on the soles of your feet. You will feel noticeably sleepy afterwards. I normally time it so I can go straight to bed after my cosy foot-soak. You can also do a full body soak in the bath-tub, but it obviously requires more salt and vinegar.
Feature image credit: bing.com
Ivy Thompson Bio
Ivy Thompson is the founder and Managing Director for Paleo in Melbourne (PiM). She started the business in 2011 to document her own lifestyle changes since ‘going Paleo’. PiM has evolved into not only being the go-to source for all things Paleo in Melbourne, Australia, but also to become a networking-hub that promotes relevant workshops, restaurants, events, products and services.
Follow Paleo in Melbourne: