My fabulous friend and designer extraordinaire, Stacey Bendet of fashion powerhouse Alice + Olivia, has kindly offered her definition of beauty… from the outside inward…
“I could tell you I swear by La Mer.
I could tell you I swear by Avene (an incredible French cold cream now sold at Duane Reade).
I could even tell you when it’s cold and dry I swear by good old Vaseline.
But the real skin secret is that the skin (everyone’s skin) is truly an exterior representation of our insides -what we eat, what we drink, what we breathe… and while the hedonists amongst the beauty blog readers might revolt, the best way to “get the glow” is by maintaining a healthy vitamin rich diet and a regular exercise (yoga!) routine.
When I was 15, I would get hives constantly. I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like my skin was burning off. My parents sent me to dermatologist after dermatologist, we changed detergents, we changed lotions, shampoos, everything… Nothing worked. Until I was sent to an allergist who figured out that I was allergic to several foods such as eggs and tomatoes and soy. He suggested an extreme change in diet (um, yes, I did spend the first 15 years of my life thinking that rice krispie treats and fruit loops were dietary staples!) The diet consisted of plain, all natural foods without additives and obviously without the foods my body was treating as toxins.
Within a few weeks, my hives were gone, my skin was clear, and within a few months I realized that I no longer had headaches or stomach aches. The change in diet and attention to food made me realize, at a young age, how everything we ingest affects how we feel internally and how we look externally. It also made me hyper aware of how foods affected how I felt both physically and mentally. More than ten years later I still keep to a very organic and simple vegetarian diet. My friends will attest to the fact that I never break out, my skin is often described as glowing, and I rarely get sick.
Although I am not a follower of a raw food diet, there are some principles that really teach you how foods affect your cellular health and in effect, how they affect your skin and body. Most people spend their day eating and drinking what can be described as radicals and toxins. Examples are meats, coffee, alcohol, sugars… these are all things that are difficult for the body to break down and harmful to your body’s cells. Conversely, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and teas that are high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and anti-oxidants helping to refuel, recharge, and refurbish. The body uses vitamins and minerals to nourish our organs, such as our hair, eyes and skin. Clear, glowing skin, strong nails and bright eyes are all signs of a healthy, well-nourished body. No matter how much cream you use or botox you do, at the end of the day, you need to pamper your insides just as you do your outside! A great book to read on all of this is EATING FOR BEAUTY by David Wolfe.”
QUICK TIPS ON WHAT TO EAT, DRINK AND DO FOR SUPER SKIN:
SUPERFOODS for the skin.
-GREENS (broccoli, spinach, seaweed, kale).
-BERRIES- berries are high in antioxidants that counteract free radicals that age the skin; blueberries are one of the most concentrated.
-SPROUTS & PAPAYA-some of the foods with the highest concentration of enzymes which help cellular growth and digestion.
**avoid foods heavy in fat and foods that are toxic to the body like meats and processed foods. Also, remember that overly cooked foods lose the majority of their nutritional value while raw or slightly cooked foods maintain a much higher concentration of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to refuel.
-GREEN TEA-my favorite is genmaicha, it is great for you skin and your immune system.
**Avoid coffee, soda, and diet drinks.
EXERCISE-Yoga and sex are great for the glow.
FACIALS-Monthly basic facials, peels, etc… I like the SkinCareLab in NYC.
MOISTURIZE- La Mer and Avene are my favorites, but Vaseline really does wonders for super chapped skin.
WEAR SUNBLOCK-the sun is the WORST thing you can do to your skin. If you want to look like your Balenciaga bag at age 30, keep tanning. If not, I swear by Anthelios a French sun block, (30, 50, or 60!) It’s not greasy and it’ll save you many a wrinkle! Get your glow with a little bronzer.