As you know by now HOC is not shy when it comes to sharing the best of the best in vibrant health and that is why we took no shortcuts when we journeyed to visit Stephanie Lauren Brown in the city that never sleeps for tips on how to take care of our skin when we don’t get enough! Stephanie knows how to substantially improve skin with more than fourteen years of studies in conjunction with Ayurveda, and coupled with her magic touch. She can tell just from looking at you what lifestyle your body is living and give you suggestions that give results!
Stephanie, if only all facials could be as sweet as yours. When we think of your approach to skin, the first word that comes to mind is effective. Experiencing your customized holistic facial in NYC further encouraged us to care for our skin from the inside out.
What are ten ways you can take control over you skin right now in preparation for the holidays?
1. Start with hydration. We all know that drinking water is important, but when the temperature gets low, a key move you can make to keep yourself hydrated is forgoing ice altogether and instead, sip on hot water throughout the day. Throw a slice of lemon or orange in there for a little extra flavor if drinking hot water doesn't sound appealing. Hot water encourages your digestive system to relax and keeps all of your channels open to hydrate more deeply.
2. Exfoliate! The face and the body are probably ready for a more intense exfoliation after all of the time spent outdoors in the summer. For the body, I like to mix up a little organic sugar with sesame oil to make a scrub, and then take it into the shower with me. And depending on how intense the weather is where you live, exfoliate your face with caution. If you do too much, you'll end up causing more harm than good. This is a good time of year to begin a nighttime retinol treatment, which can exfoliate gently and help improve just about every skin concern imaginable - fine lines, sun spots, breakouts, etc. I adore Marie Veronique's gentle and natural versions.
3. Up your internal omega intake with foods like salmon, sardines, anchovies, nuts, and seeds. These foods are important for just about all of the body's organs and functions, but your skin, in particular, will thank you.
4. Massage your face. We really should be taking the time each day to do this, as the immediate and long term benefits are so great. Massage not only assists our skin in working more effectively, but improves the actual health of the skin by boosting circulation and oxygenation of the muscles. We hold a lot of tension in our facial muscles, especially around the jaw and in the forehead, so consciously relaxing these muscles relieves stress there and can prevent fine lines from forming. This is why I typically spend nearly an hour or more massaging the faces of my clients! Over time, the muscles lift, TMJ pain disappears, and the skin congests less. It's probably the single most important thing you can do for your skin, period.
5. At night, the skin can absorb and assimilate nutrients more effectively than during the daytime, so it's imperative to take the time with your evening skincare routine. Make sure you're effectively removing your makeup, then cleansing, followed by toning and then massaging in your serums. Layer on a heathy dose of a balm or moisturizer and wake up to happier skin, every morning.
6. If you live in a dry climate, consider a humidifier next to your bed while you sleep to increase the amount of water in the air, and therefore, in your skin.
7. There are a lot of health trends that come and go, but one that I can really get behind is the bone broth craze. There are so many good minerals, vitamins, and nutrients in there that we can't get from any other source in nature- I really try to encourage everyone to get on board with this. Some of my vegan clients have reluctantly tried this and have seen major improvements with a lot of different symptoms- from indigestion and leaky gut to joint pain and arthritis. Can't recommend it enough!
8. Sleep is so essential and it's always staggering to see the research on how many of us aren't sleeping well consistently. More than anything, it helps to regulate our body's hormones and basically affects every angle of our overall well-being, including the skin's health. If you're not sleeping well, make it your highest priority.
9. By now we are all aware of how much stress can age us prematurely, so at this point it's just a matter of finding little ways to alleviate stress as we experience it on a daily basis. This is why having a few breathing practices are so helpful - we can do them anywhere and at any time. Breathing is generally at the heart of many meditation techniques and discovering at least one that works for you is key to keeping hormones balanced and the skin radiant.
10. Get a facial! At a minimum, I recommend getting at least one facial with each seasonal change annually. This is especially important if you live somewhere with dramatic seasonal changes so that you can get a professional's stamp of approval on seasonally-appropriate products for home use, which can be different for everyone. Find an Esthetician who aligns with your values and uses products that you are interested in using so that they can be an effective part of your team.
Article by: Karli Quinn
Stephanie Lauren Brown is a passionate Holistic Skin Therapist whose work focuses on nurturing the skin from the inside out.
After personally battling cystic acne for ten years, Stephanie understands how frustrating and self-deprecating troubled skin can be. Years of internal antibiotic use combined with harsh, chemically-laden prescription creams and aggressive facial procedures made her wonder why no one or nothing had seemed to make a substantial improvement in her skin. It was then she decided to explore what might be causing this chronic condition, and began a deep, lifelong study of the body and its processes.
Over fifteen years of studies have refined Stephanie's abilities to assist clients who are suffering from troubled skin utilizing natural ingredients and practiced techniques. She has been a working Certified Massage Therapist since 2002, and is a Certified Ayurvedic Health Educator through the California College of Ayurveda and the Ayurvedic Institute since 2006. Stephanie is also an Aveda-trained holistic Esthetician and has completed multiple advanced body and skin therapy trainings throughout her career in a variety of healing modalities including Marma point therapy, Pancha Karma and traditional Ayurvedic body therapies, Acupressure, Reflexology, manual lymph drainage, Myofascial release, and Reiki. She holds Aesthetic Licenses in both New York and California. Stephanie combines the most effective techniques in her treatments in addition to thoughtful lifestyle coaching to assist each client on their path to vibrant health.