Talking SKIN with Natural Beauty Expert, Nadia Neumann
LET'S TALK SKIN!!!
This is one of my fav topics of all time, so you can imagine how excited I've been that you guys are so interested in learning more about it.
I mean, it's certainly relevant. What you put into your body has a MUCH bigger impact on your skin than anything you can put on it topically.
But I am no expert here, so I HAD to turn to my personal skin goddess, Nadia Neumann, author of Glow: The Nutritional Approach to Naturally Gorgeous Skin, from the brand Body Unburdened to give you the guys the LOW DOWN on natural skin care.
No fancy creams or weird ingredients here. Nothing that will pollute your body with crap. Let's get into it.
OK Nadia, introduce yourself - tell us everything important.
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 Glow: The Nutritional Approach to Naturally Gorgeous Skin.
I’m a firm believer that chocolate is a health food (well, my homemade and healthy chocolate at least) and that the greatest investment you will ever make is in your health (therefore, chocolate is a great investment). I’m obsessed with sweet potatoes, face masks, and my dry body brush. Oh and face oils. Like, all of the face oils EVER.
Tell me what got you so interested in natural beauty and living a totally non-toxic lifestyle.
Well, it all started when I learned about some of the unhealthy chemicals that are in so many personal care and cosmetic products. My sister came to me with an article about parabens and how they’re so widely used but have been linked to cancer, and I literally couldn't believe it. I couldn’t believe that these chemicals would be legally allowed if there was this potential risk.
But I did some more research and checked all of my personal care products – the science was there and (even scarier!) at least one member of the paraben family was in every single one of my products. It was a real eye-opener.
After that, I became a total nerd about learning as much as I could. I learned that the chemical and cosmetic industries in the US are barely regulated – that companies can use just about any ingredient they want without proving safety first. I learned that of the over 80,000 chemicals used in commerce today, 20% are kept a secret and only around 200 have ever been studied for safety. I learned that the average adult has over 700 of these
I learned that of the over 80,000 chemicals used in commerce today, 20% are kept a secret and only around 200 have ever been studied for safety. I learned that the average adult has over 700 of these man-made, industrial chemicals in her body and that babies nowadays are being born with over 200 of these chemicals already in their bodies (meaning they pass from mother to baby in utero).
Yep, were being born pre-polluted. And yep, it’s all pretty darn scary! But the good thing is that there are some really simple, practical ways we can all protect ourselves and reduce our exposure.
And this is exactly why I started studying your site like crazy. And speaking of your site, what made you start Body Unburdened and where did the name come from?
So you know those 700 manmade chemicals that are in each of our bodies? The term used to refer to these chemicals is body burden. And I started Body Unburdened (get it!?) to help educate others about the dangers of these chemicals, how they’re being exposed, and how to protect themselves by making safer choices.
It’s definitely evolved over time though. I still talk about non-toxic living a lot, but since becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner I also focus on the intricacies of health and nutrition.
Tell us about Glow - What inspired your new book?
I struggled with acne in my late teens and early twenties. It wasn’t a fun time – 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 the tremendous power of nutrition and internal health on the health and external appearance of the skin – the skin is a mirror that reflects internal imbalances, imbalances that can be set right with relatively simple dietary adjustments.
But this notion is, unfortunately, missing from most conversations in dermatology and medicine, and I’m on a mission to change that with my book. It’s meant to be a practical guide for taking control of your health and your skin, which are so intimately connected.
OK so let's get to the good stuff. If you could give us 3 things to eat or drink every day for glowing skin, what would they be?
Fresh produce would have to be the first. I know I know, it’s not fancy and is pretty obvious. But the bottom line is that the health of the skin is so intimately connected with the health of the body. And we all know that fresh fruits and veggies are key to a healthy body.
After produce would have to be fermented foods. More and more science is pointing to gut health as being so critical to health generally, and this includes skin health. Not only does good gut health allow our bodies to properly break down and actually make use of the nutrients in our food, but more importantly poor digestion and gut health cause the chronic inflammation that is so devastating to the skin – inciting common skin issues like acne, eczema, and premature aging.
The last would have to be fresh salmon or a high-quality omega-3 supplement (I prefer cod liver oil). Omega-3 essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatory super stars and so absolutely golden when it comes to the health of the skin.
And what about your go-to, natural products that you use on your face every day?
Vitamin C | I'm all about vitamin C - it's been proven to protect the skin from free radical damage and even reverse some of the signs of aging.
Face oils | There is just so much to say about face oils – they keep skin moisturized and supple, are filled with antioxidants, help to balance sebum production (so can actually make your skin less oily), and break up debris in pores. And it’s so simple to make a custom face oil blend with the essential oils and carrier oils that are best for your skin type.
Tinted Moisturizer | Since I’m definitely a minimalist/lazy, I love a good tinted moisturizer with mineral-based SPF. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen and Juice Beauty’s CC Cream both have great SPF coverage from zinc oxide and LOTS of skin-loving goodies to perfect and protect your skin. I still haven’t officially decided which one I love more!
Make-up | I’m obsessed with 100% Pure’s mascara, Beautycounter’s blush, Beautycounter’s lip sheers, and 100% Pure eyeshadow pot. These four – along with my tinted face moisturizer – make up my everyday look.
These are just my go-to products, but I do give a complete list of my favorites plus some natural beauty cult classics in The Natural Beauty Master List. It includes natural skincare, makeup, body care, and hair care products.
A lot of people think "natural" beauty products don't work as well or are too expensive - thoughts?
This may have been true back in the day, but now it’s a completely different story! There are SO many amazing natural beauty brands out there with products that perform phenomenally. Plus, a lot of ingredients that are so wonderful for your skin are completely natural – like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.
Most often in conventional skincare products, the unhealthy chemical ingredients are actually the stabilizers and preservatives, not the active ingredients.
Are natural beauty products more expensive than drugstore brands? Not always, but often. But like food, you get what you pay for. !
But it’s super important to watch out for green washing! A lot of companies are capitalizing on the increased demand for natural products by marketing their products in such a way that makes them seem natural and safe, when they’re really not.
Let's talk cocktails (always) - are there alcohol choices that are better or worse for your skin? (BE NICE!) Any fav skinny cocktail recipes?
Well, it’s not a cocktail, but I’m a big fan of certified-organic wine. Lots of antioxidants in there! And a lot more reasonably priced than you may think.
I also love a good stout, which has a good dose of B-vitamins. Samuel Smith makes a really great certified organic chocolate stout that seems pretty easy to come by.
Whatever you drink, just remember to hydrate during and after – for the sake of your body and skin!
Go to snacks?
I’m obsessed with plantain chips! Plantain chips and guac? Yum.
Also carrots dipped in Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo (made with avocado oil).
If there was ONE thing that everyone should be doing, eating, or applying for beautiful skin every single day....what would it be?
Oh boy. Just one!? OK well… fermented foods. (Eating them, not applying them to your skin! Though your skin does have its own microbiome and there are some awesome natural skincare product lines that are all about feeding the skin’s microbiome with topical probiotics. And plain yogurt does make for an awesome exfoliating face mask!) The gut is everything. It’s critical to physical health, mental health, and skin health.
What's next for Body Unburdened?
Right now, I’m working on expanding my nutritional therapy offerings. I currently take 1-on-1 clients but am developing a month-long group program to reach more people and at a more reasonable price point. I hope to have this available by this fall (2017).
And for years, I’ve dreamed of selling some of my homemade skincare products! So that’s in the works as well. I’m currently finalizing the recipes and hope also have these available within the next few months. And if you couldn’t guess, my face oil blends will be the first items for sale!
And I will be purchasing those face oils blends IMMEDIATELY. THANK YOU, Nadia for all that info. Ugh, I told you guys she has a wealth of knowledge around skin. I'm getting waaay more into putting natural products on my skin recently I'm definitely telling the difference.
Highly recommend her book, Glow, but I always recommend checking out her site - but be careful, you'll go down the rabbit-hole pretty quickly and won't be able to get out.
Not always a bad thing :)
I'm off to a blogger workout/cocktail event that I created a skinny whiskey cocktail for that I'm sure Nadia would not approve of. But here we are. #BalanceIGuess - Have a fun Saturday!
--Find Nadia's book here.
--And peep her website here.
--And if you want more on my skincare secrets: go here!