Skin Care Routine and Healthy Diet
An Interview with Kat James, Holistic Beauty Expert and Best-selling Author
The warmer months are one of the most trying times for summer skincare to keep our skin protected, soft, and glowing. Simmering heat and blazing sun rays can be unforgiving to the skin. The raging temps, excessive humidity, or desert dryness can steal your natural radiance, leaving you with dull, oily, blemished skin.
Summer can also create havoc when it comes to keeping our skin nourished due to the mixture of humidity and heat. You see, this yo-yo from dry to humid weather aggregates dryness and increases the activity of the sebaceous glands that produce oil. In addition to that, the heat enlarges pores, increasing the chances for oil, dirt, and bacteria to get trapped.
To get some expert advice on summer skincare, we interviewed Kat James, nationally renowned holistic beauty and self-transformation expert and author of, The Truth About Beauty: Transform Your Looks and Life from the Inside Out!
Q. What is your overall philosophy on obtaining and maintaining healthy, beautiful skin?
A. First, stop the harm. Stop the aggressive tactics. Then, think “health,” internal ecology, and nutrition… and beauty will follow!
Q. How does heat and humidity (or dryness) of summer affect the skin?
A. Humid heat can be both good and bad. If you have a healthy microbiome, for example, humidity can delay wrinkling! If you have a poor inner ecology, heat can encourage acne or rashes—even infection.
Dry summer heat can make skin vulnerable to excessive water loss, irritation, and wrinkling, and in some cases, even cracking. Harsh cleansers that leave the skin feeling tight can make skin sensitive or prone to “rebound” oiliness. Heavy, synthetic emollients can block pores and interfere with the skin’s ability to regulate its moisture.
A cleansing routine free of drying detergents or irritating perfumes allows the skin to adjust naturally to the environment. Topically applied probiotics in a natural, emollient balm can also preserve the lipid barrier while supporting the natural acid mantle and beneficial bacterial culture that protects the skin.
Q. Should a person change their skin routine in summer?
A. In summer, there is less need for heavy creams, and one can generally strip their routine back to just serums and, perhaps, a light, probiotic balm to address any dryness or irritation. Those with problem areas of their skin should avoid heavy synthetic emollients, like mineral oil or petrolatum-based products.
Q. What about traveling to several different climates… does this affect the skin?
A. It might if you don’t adjust your routine according to the guidelines above. What affects the skin more during travel is the food one eats! Carbs and sugar, and mainly processed food, will wreak more havoc than most other factors.
Q. What products do you recommend and why?
A. I love several types of serums: seaweed, peptide, vitamin C serums in particular. But topical probiotics—especially when derived from a multi-year fermented extract, like Magoroku lotion from Essential Formulas, can be an all-purpose, anti-irritation balm wherever needed and applied on top of serums. A probiotic supplement with prebiotic (food for the good bacteria in the capsule) and post-biotic metabolites, such as Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics, has exceptional power to affect both internal ecology and general immune response (which also affects the skin) and external skin comfort and glow.
Q. How does diet play a role in healthy skin?
A. In every way! Whether it’s sugar, processed carbs, poor quality, pro-inflammatory fats (like high-linoleic acid oils), or synthetic food additives, what you eat can change the behavior of the skin more than almost any other factor. Lack of omega-3 fatty acids or CoQ10 can also compromise the skin’s texture and make you more vulnerable to sun damage. On the other hand, fermented foods decrease the sensitivity of one’s skin and susceptibility to autoimmune or digestive disruption-producing reactions by supporting healthier gut function.
Q. Any insider tips for summer skincare or makeup?
A. Stick with mineral makeup, which also provides natural sun protection. Avoid perfumes which are common irritants. Wear hats to avoid squinting. Use a non-drying, probiotic soap, like Kampuku Beauty Bar from Essential Formulas, to cleanse and deodorize your face and body in a gentler yet far more strategic way that supports the future health and ecology of your skin. The Kampuku Beauty Bar is also great for shaving (even in the most sensitive places) as it helps prevent razor bumps.