A Positive Approach to Healthy Eating and Skin Beauty

What you eat and how you eat are important to maintaining good health and beautiful skin. One approach to reaching this goal is to make a list of foods that nurture the skin – from green tea to salmon to colorful vegetables and Greek yogurt. Or you may make a list of foods to avoid – sugar and refined carbohydrates. Limiting your self to only “good” foods and denying yourself any alternatives, may be too narrow of an approach to meet your wellness goals.

Before embarking on a wellness quest Elyse Wagner first wants to know what your beliefs are. She partners with clients to understand their personal goals and helps them achieve them. We talked to Elyse to get her take on how food and our beliefs about food can nurture or disrupt our path to wellness. She is a certified nutritionist and positive psychology professional. As a wellness coach, she incorporates both science and what she calls “body wisdom.“

YASOU: Where do you begin with a new client who wants to make healthier choices?

EW: People may say they want to lose weight or improve their skin. I ask ‘Why?’ to understand what it means to them. What is the motivating factor – is it health, beauty, wellness or something else?

YASOU: What role does food play in maintaining health, beauty, and wellness?

EW: “Food feeds us physically, emotionally and spiritually. It also contains little pieces of information for the body. Does this food contain vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates? High quality food honors the body.”

YASOU: Modern nutrition science is uncovering insights about what we eat and how we look. What do you think?

EW: Our cells are meant to multiply and rejuvenate. Telomeres are strands of DNA at the ends of each of our chromosomes. They make it possible for cells to divide. The longer your telomeres, the better indicator it is for aging well. Fried, processed food decreases the length of telomeres and can speed up aging. Studies show that foods high in vitamins and anti-oxidants are strongly related to longer telomeres. Exercise and stress reduction are also cited for rebuilding telomeres.

YASOU: What are the biggest barriers that you see people confronting when trying to reach their wellness goals?

EW: They usually come to me with a surface complaint such as losing weight or looking younger. They don’t yet have the skills, strategy or self-confidence to make the necessary decisions that lead to a meaningful, sustainable lifestyle change.

YASOU: It’s hard to change, isn’t it?

EW: It is. I try to help people establish a mindset around their own value system. For example, if they are environmentally aware organic food choices may work well because it’s a part of what they value. The same goes for what they put on their skin.

YASOU: Why do you dislike the word “diet” so much?

EW: Healthy food choices are a lifestyle whereas diets are short-term and not sustainable.

YASOU: Why do you refer to how you eat rather than just what you eat?

EW: The digestive and nervous systems react to our state of being. If we are stressed, certain hormones are released. The nervous system goes into fight or flight mode, temporarily suppressing appetite. But if the stress continues cortisol is released and that increases appetite. Stress also seems to affect food choices with those high in fat and sugar being preferred. When we are joyful and surrounded by friends or family while eating that stress effect is countered.

YASOU: How important is being true to one’s self when on a wellness path?

EW: It’s so important to live your own truth. Life brings a lot of wear and tear to our bodies and minds. We need to give ourselves permission to move forward. What do you like? What makes you feel good? It differs for every person.

Thank you Elyse Wagner, you certainly offered us a positive perspective on reaching wellness goals. You can learn more about Elyse at www.MyKitchenShrink.com.

YASOU Products Reviewed By FutureDerm

We usually never post reviews on YASOU natural skin care and it’s products, but recently FutureDerm.com, which is an online marketplace that also covers scientific skincare and helps people make sense of marketing claims, reviewed YASOU hydrating body cream and YASOU vegan hand cream. The review was filled with so much great scientific information on our ingredients that we decided to repost it for you. Below you will find the review by Nicki Zevola Benvenuti.

I know most of us don’t pay much attention to body skincare during the summer months, other than sunscreen and (gasp) maybe some body oil. But come this time of year, we start to realize the sun and sand might have taken its toll, and the skin of our bodies might need some TLC.

YASOU Hydrating Body Cream and YASOU Hand Cream are two skincare products developed with a blend of science, natural ingredients, and the culture of Greece. Let me explain: The skincare line is plant-derived, gluten-free, and Leaping Bunny Certified. As loyal FutureDerm readers know, I’m typically less-than-enthusiastic about natural products, but the YASOU line also features the Calityl-O Complex, which consists of linoleic acids, oleic acids, palmitic acids, polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory components to help protect and soothe the skin.

Lastly, the founder, Theodora Novas, lived in Greece as a child and found initial pure, unique, organic ingredients from the farmers market in Archia Feneos, in the Peloponnese region near Corinth. Ingredients like natural essential oils, flowers, indigenous plants, and locally produced, organic beeswax are staples in the YASOU line. Through the founder’s heritage and training in cosmetic chemistry, aromatherapy and skincare, she has formulated a one-of-a-kind line that I’m happy to share with my readers. For reviews of the YASOU Hydrating Body Cream and YASOU Hand Cream, read on below!

YASOU Hydrating Body Cream

YASOU Hydrating Body Cream features a lot of skin beneficial ingredients, including Calendula officinalis, honey, and extra virgin olive oil.

First, let’s kick it off with Calendula officinalis. Studies have shown Calendula extract to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent, excellent for taking down redness and irritation (Skin Therapy Letters, 2000). What makes the calendula extract so beneficial is the high level of flavonoids – a type of antioxidants that are found within the plant. These antioxidants work to increase oxygen and blood flow to damaged skin allowing new tissue to grow. All of the powerful properties in this flower help heal your skin!

Next, although most people don’t think of honey as a particularly great skincare ingredient due to its sticky texture and viscosity, it does show some promise. Honey has three popular roles in skin care, according to scientific studies: cleansing, antibacterial, and wound-healing. When using a mixture of olive oil, beeswax and honey, 80% of eczema sufferers with eczema reported reduced itching, oozing, and scaling from their lesions, while 63% of patients with psoriasis also reported improved conditions (Complementary Therapies in Medicine).

As the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery points out, honey’s ability to heal patients’ lesions and wounds may be due in part to its hydrating properties and hydrogen peroxide. When coupled together, these properties give wounds and skin a moist environment where it can regrow skin cells (epithelization), promote granulate tissue growth (which is a sinewy tissue that covers fresh wounds), and overall healthy wound healing. Honey is also able to soothe inflammation and reduce edema (swelling), which improves the pain and irritation sufferers experience from cuts and lesions (Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery).

Lastly, extra virgin olive oil rounds out some of my favorite natural ingredients in YASOU Hydrating Body Cream. Extra-virgin olive oil is more pure, so it doesn’t go through the same synthetic process regular olive oil does. That is why you get twice the benefits with extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a spectacular ingredient with beneficial properties ranging from UV protective (Carcinogenesis, Toxicology) to anti-carcinogenic (The Lancet Oncology).

What makes olive oil so special is that it includes resveratrol, a natural protector of cellular activity; squalene, a natural hydrating agent; as well as three classes of distinct protective antioxidant polyphenols (simple phenols, secoridoids, and lignans).

Unlike many other skin care ingredients, olive oil is beneficial when ingested and when topically applied. [Read More: Tomatoes, Lemons, Olive Oil, and More: Are They Food, Skin Care, or Both?]

YASOU Vegan Hand Cream

YASOU Vegan Hand Cream also contains olive oil, but then it is also includes other spectacular ingredients like coconut oil, plant-derived panthenol, and jojoba oil.

First, let’s kick this review off with coconut oil. No, I don’t like coconut oil as much as some beauty bloggers do. Coconut oil is not an antibacterial, despite popular belief, so I won’t use coconut oil-based products without preservatives. (Luckily, YASOU Vegan Hand Cream does have a small amount of phenoxyethanol to keep bacteria and fungi at bay. The mastic essential oil also has some anti-fungal activity). I also typically don’t recommend coconut oil for the face because it contains high doses of lauric acid, which may cause acne for some people. However, YASOU Vegan Hand Cream is designed to be applied (you guessed it) on the hands, which have fewer oil glands and do not typically breakout with the use of lauric acid.

However, coconut oil does have its own benefits. Coconut oil is an emollient that’s gentle enough to use in baby formulas on infants’ thinner, more delicate skin (Indian Pediatrics). In fact, one study found it in 44.4% of products for newborns that they tested when looking for allergens (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology). Another study found that virgin coconut oil could be used for its antibacterial and emollient qualities to treat contact dermatitis (Dermatitis). It can also help to heal burn wounds, though the researchers did not uncover why exactly, hypothesizing that it is because coconut has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (Indian Journal of Pharmacology). And coconut does have some UV protection — blocking about 20% of UV (the study didn’t specify UVA or UVB)(Pharmacology Reviews), so take that with a grain of salt and use sunscreen anyway.

Panthenol is another great ingredient in YASOU Vegan Hand Cream.

Studies have indicated that Panthenol is good for speedy wound recovery (University of Maryland Medical Center). Panthenol is a special kind of moisturizer, called a humectant. What separates humectants from your every-day moisturizer is that it puts a protective film on your skin (or hair) while pulling in moisture from your surroundings and depositing it in layers of skin. For the best results, find a creram with 1-5% panthenol. Plus, panthenol is a great hair and nail-strengthening agent (Panthenol – The Beautifier). A study by Jerajangi et al. found that panthenol was also key in reducing skin dispigmentation (from scarring, pimples, etc) and reds (Indian Journal of Dermatology).

Bottom Line

Overall, YASOU Hydrating Body Cream and YASOU Hand Cream are two fantastic skincare products for the body, and I am a true fan. I highly recommend using these products to keep skin protected, hydrated, and feeling soft and smooth!

We hope you found FutureDerm.com‘s review as informative as we did. YASOU!