I’m in love with turnips and I didn’t know that until this week! I’ve never cooked with them before, because for some reason, I assumed that they were bitter like radishes. Au contraire! It’s mellow in flavor and actually quite delicious raw. For this recipe, I cook it like I would a potato in a gratin. However, the resulting dish has far fewer carbs but packs just as much taste! Enjoy!
True health (and beauty!) comes from within. Your skin is a reflection of what is going on inside. Breaking out is a product of hormone imbalances, a poor diet, stress or a combination of all these factors. If you aren’t eating right or dealing with stress properly, your skin may show it. And while some people eat fast food and drink sugary sodas on the reg and still have “perfect” facial skin, it just means the damage is affecting them internally and expressing itself in different ways. Don’t compare yourself!
If you aren’t happy with your skin and want to steer clear of antibiotics and dangerous chemicals that promise clear skin (but through sketchy means), try taking the truer approach that, albeit may take longer, will ensure lasting, natural results.
By eating a plant-based diet and becoming more “regular” through improved digestion, your cells will cleanse, revealing a more beautiful, glowing complexion as a reflection of your cleaner internal terrain. Prescription drugs, creams, and other external remedies will only mask the problem, not fix it.
However, once you get your diet in check, it is NEXT important to shield your facial skin from external factors that you can’t necessarily control – pollution, allergens, sun exposure, tap water, other people touching it, pillow cases, dry weather, humidity, etc. Plus, as you cleanse from the inside out, your skin will eliminate toxins through the skin, and it is crucial that you keep your skin as clean as possible so these toxins don’t clog your pores. You’ll need less make-up (but if you do continue to use make-up route, use this for reference: Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Natural, Everyday Make Up Look.
I recommend keeping it as simple and cheap as possible. The following five elements to facial skin care have transformed my complexion from one that was sensitive and blotchy and annoying to deal with to one that is now clear of a single blemish and consistently glowing!
** Click images for source **
1. BODY/FACE CLEANSER
No need to dish out the big bucks for this step. A simple $5 vegetable oil-based soap bar is all it takes. Look at the ingredients and make sure they are as crude as possible.
South of France soaps smell great and have many different scents – my favorites are the almond, green tea, pomegranate, and verbena varieties. They are great for the entire body and all you need to get rid of surface dirt.
Check out how pure and basic the ingredients are in these soaps.
This is a new addition to my facial regimen. I never used a toner until I moved to Turkey, where rose water is widely sold and heralded for its aromatic and pH benefits. You can find rose water easily online. If the rose water you find doesn’t come in a spray bottle form, just buy an empty spray bottle at a local pharmacy and fill it up to use. Or, you can pour a small swig in your palm and pat your face with the water prior to moisturizing.
This organic rose water is made from Alteya, a Bulgarian source. You will love the way your skin smells after applying this! It’s also a great refresher throughout the day, uplifting your complexion and your senses.
Seriously, there is absolutely no need to buy into these expensive exfoliator on the market. Yes, they’re organic and awesome and smell wonderful, but they are super expensive and not nearly as potent as what you can make in your own kitchen with some sugar and a drizzle or dab of something else, depending on your skin type.
The basic recipe is as such:
2 tablespoons of table sugar
+ 1 tbsp of honey for moisturizing
+ 1 tbsp of yogurt for soothing and cooling
+1 tbsp of lemon juice for detoxing/cleansing
Try to exfoliate at least 2-3 times per week to release dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, which will allow for deeper cleansing and clearer, more glowing skin!
4. BODY/FACE MOISTURIZER
My favorite body moisturizer is from Derma-E. The company keeps their products as natural and organic as possible and adhere to strict quality requirements.
My favorite facial moisturizer has changed over the years, as I find it to be THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. element of facial skin care, since it stays on your skin with you all day and your skin essentially absorbs it, so it’s important that it’s as high quality as possible. I used to pay a lot of money for Tata Harper’s serum, which I find smells amazing and is really effective, but at first it was far too much money to justify ($150 for 50 ml) .
However, because of its potency, you only use a little (dime size) at a time – not like pharmacy story brands where you passively lather on loads and loads. This stuff works and you notice the difference in your skin tone and texture after first use. The rebuilding moisturizer costs $100 for 50 ml, but my skin works well with just using the serum as a moisturizer. If your skin is drier, opt for the moisturizer. Both work great!
I am a Tata Harper fan, but I know there are many organic moisturizers on the market that are similarly effective and cheaper. Check out these websites for your fit in philosophy and cost.
5. NIGHT OIL
Before I go to bed, I spare excessive use of my Tata Harper products and apply an essential oil. Argan oil is by far the most effective and least oily and clogging feeling oil I’ve found yet. It’s praised for its healing effects, especially if you are dealing with wrinkles or scars, and it has sincerely changed my skin and done away with any scars from past break outs or that scar left behind from when my sister bit my nose when we were kids.
There are many organic argan oils on the market. Just be sure that the one you buy is 100% argan oil and not mixed with other things. It’s a slight expense, but the supply lasts awhile since you are supposed to be modest with application.
I hope this list inspires your facial skin care regimen. Keeping it consistent and basic will cut costs and avoid surprise skin break outs and acne scares. Keep in mind that because these products are so pure, they are potent – a little goes a long way!
In the name of beautiful skin, I wish you all fabulous summer complexions!
I made this cream recipe two days ago, using it as a frosting for my cupcakes, but it really deserves a post of its own. I have someone coming over for dinner tonight, and using that as an excuse to make this cream again, I decided to pair the it with carob syrup glazed baked sweet potatoes for a more lovely presentation. Carob syrup is pretty common in Istanbul, but maple syrup and molasses are alternatives that don’t affect the deliciousness of the outcome one bit.
You seriously have to make this! The sweet potato is baked until caramelized and the coolness of the coconut fig cream offers a pleasant contrast to the warmth and texture of the sweet potato. Altogether, they’re a match made in dessert heaven.
Figs: have 7.3 grams of fiber in just 1/2 cup, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, are packed with calcium for healthy bones, lower blood pressure due to its potassium content, are a great source of iron to help transport oxygen in the blood and to give your more energy and stave off sluggishness, are blood cleansers, and are so underrated (we should be eating them everyday!).
Coconut Fig Cream & Sweet Potato Tower
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (3 servings)
For the Base
- 1 sweet potato (thick)
- 2 tbsp carob syrup (maple syrup and molasses work well)
For the Cream
- 5 figs, soaked and drained
- 2 tbsp molasses or carob syrup
- 1/2 can (7 oz) of coconut milk (the thickest part)
Cut the sweet potato width-wise into 1-inch thick discs – this should make about 6. You want to cut an even number, for layering purposes when serving. Use a relatively wide potato.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, or until the potato is soft enough to be poked through completely with a fork without resistance. Let cool until room temperature, or pop into the freezer to hasten the process.
For the cream, simply blend all the ingredients together until well combined.
To serve, place one sweet potato piece as a base, top with a dollop of fig coconut cream, layer the cream with another wedge of sweet potato, and then top it all off with another dollop of cream. Drizzle with carob syrup.