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  • The Featherneck Country Club! (Or, chicken coops: expectations vs. reality) (click here)
  • Podcast #107: special guest Michelle of Nom Nom Paleo! (click here)
  • Skincare Saturday at the Skintervention Guide Blog: Dry Brushing - what's all the hype about? (click here)
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When it comes to having healthy skin, I'm ALWAYS learning. Moreover, I'm ALWAYS experimenting to see what works and what doesn't. 

Not gonna lie: sometimes the results are disastrous. Sometimes, however, they're fantastic. These are a few of those strategies that have yielded FANTASTIC results - for minimum investment.

I usually have a few healthy skin favorites that I'm incorporating on the regular, in addition to the core, foundational goodies. Sometimes, these change, but right now, I've got some new skin-care staples I want to share.

As always, the foundation for healthy skin is good nutrition and well-managed digestion. I talk about this LOTS in the Skintervention Guideand I think you're pretty used to hearing it from me by now. (Don't worry - you don't have to buy the guide to learn more - I talk about good nutrition on the blog, and all of the above on the FREE Balanced Bites Podcast!)

So I suppose this Email Monday should be called Besides the critical puzzle pieces of nutrition and digestion that lay the foundation for healthy skin no matter who you are, here are my three current favorite pieces of advice for healthy skin.

Obviously, that's too long for an Email subject.

So here's what I'm loving right now. If you have anything to add, tweet me or post it to the facebook page!

Strategy #1: Dry Brushing

So far, I've found nothing more powerful in enhancing my skin's glow than dry brushing. It's becoming one of our favorites in the Skintervention community - we just devoted our Skincare Saturday to the topic, so be sure to check that out.

Dry brushing isn't just exfoliating. It can't be done in the shower, as the effects aren't the same (I know this from experience). It's really a circulation booster, and I've found it not just invigorating, but also health-promoting. 

Dry brushing daily for just a few minutes is an amazing way to start the day. And while I don't dry brush my face, it definitely impacts the skin of my mug. Observe my before-and-after:
Just kidding.

Strategy #2: Do LESS.

Too often, we think we have to do MORE to have better skin. This is absolutely not true. It's one of the reasons I don't recommend exfoliation for everyone - for some, it's too harsh and can hurt your skin.

You don't have to have eighteen different routines conducted every waking hour, on the hour, to care for your skin. The less you can manage to do, the more your skin can go about the business of HEALING and becoming less sensitive and angry.

These days, I just do a quick cloth wipe-down to cleanse in the morning. (I like using a Norwex cloth, as the embedded silver keeps it from harboring any wonky bacteria, but any microfiber cloth will do.) When I'm not wearing makeup, this is often the entirety of my cleansing routine in the evening as well. While I still do the oil cleansing method several times per week, I find that at this point in my journey, I can do even LESS when it comes to cleansing. I dab on some oil-based moisturizer (often from Primal Life Organics) and I'm good to go.

It sounds scary, I know - and sometimes your skin has to actually ADJUST to doing less. It's often used to such frequent pressure, manipulation and abuse - even with "natural" skin care routines - that it continues to respond as if it's being ambushed. This will pass.

Hat tip to a Skintervention Guide reader who shared her water-only routine for this realization.

Strategy #3: SLEEP, dammit!

Sleeping when it's dark, and getting ENOUGH sleep, is key.

I KNOW how difficult this one is. We are all so busy, and life (and the new season of The Vampire Diaries) keeps us up late. But proper sleep is a HUGE bugger to getting healthier skin. I see it way, way too often - even in myself.

It's not always possible to get great sleep during normal nighttime hours, and sometimes we have to work pretty hard at it. While I DEFINITELY don't advocate stressing about sleep management (stress is another bugger to healthy skin), I do recommend being proactive. If you're a shift worker, check out Nom Nom Paleo's post about strategizing sleep.

Have an earlier dinner, and record your favorite nighttime TV shows to watch early the following morning so you can wind down with the sun. Keep the lights low as the sun goes down. Whatever you like to do at night, see if you can do it as the sun comes up instead. 

THIS DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ALL-OR-NOTHING! ONE night per week of proper, good sleep is better than NO nights per week. You can feel GREAT about a single evening's sleep hygeine! (I'm so happy I got to work in the phrase "sleep hygeine.") Don't get caught up in feeling like if you can't do it 100% of the time, you can't do it at all. 
That goes for ALL of these strategies. Just do your best, when you can. Over time, everything becomes easier! Patience and persistence are the keys.

All right - now it's your turn! What are your tried-and-true, natural strategies for better skin? Let me know on the Facebook page.

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