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7 crucial steps for skin health & wellbeing this autumn



With the seasons changing and our long summer coming to a close, you may notice how a sudden shift in climate affects your skin, mood and energy levels.


Emilie and I have experienced dryer skin, a more reflective state of mind and the urge to sleep longer.


With autumn upon us, here's some of my favourite bio-hacks to help you embrace these wonderful months that lie ahead with skin health & wellbeing as the focus.


Step 1: Cold showers/bathing


Stretching my feet out of the duvet this morning, I was unsure if today was the day to flick the heating back on.


And it pains me to say, when it comes to showering, there is one thing your skin could really do without. Burning hot water!


Despite our body's craving, it quickly strips our skin of its natural oils. This can cause your skin to dry out, which then sparks a chain reaction: dry skin equals a compromised moisture barrier, resulting in irritated and itchy skin.


If you can grim and bare it, cold water helps tighten and constrict the blood flow which gives your skin a healthier glow.


Even if it's only 20 seconds, your mind will relish the endorphins that are released, along with the stimulation of our parasympathetic nervous system, a network of nerves that relaxes your body after periods of stress or danger.


And if you have the stomach for it, winter bathing, aka cold water therapy, is amazing for reducing inflammation, increasing metabolism & improving immune response. For Londoners, locate your nearest lido, or start planning your next retreat into nature.


Step 2: Early sunlight exposure



Whether you work from home, or form part of the legion of commuters that travel into an office everyday - recent studies support the benefits of sunlight exposure in the morning.


Bright morning light tells your body to suppress melatonin production, increase cortisol production (which is good for you in healthy amounts) and serotonin. The early release of hormones can help prevent stress and more importantly, insomnia. Ample research also highlights serotonin's role in the treatment of depression.


For our skin, Vitamin D can be synthesised through a photosynthetic reaction triggered by exposure to UVB radiation (sunlight). The efficiency of production depends on the number of UVB photons that penetrate the skin, a process that can be muted by clothing, sunscreen, and the skin pigment melanin. Of course we recommend you use adequate sun protection in any weather.


Step 3: Incredible Superfoods


As I type this, I notice the calcium deficiency showing up on my finger nails. Thankfully, working in the world of organic botanicals, I have a few plant-based remedies at my disposal, and here's some:


Hibiscus, a nutrient-rich superfood made from the red petals of a hibiscus flower. High in fibre and a rich source of calcium, protein & iron, hibiscus has the power to boost your immune system and produce healthier looking skin & fingernails. I use Aduna's organic powder to make heart-warming tea.


Organic Mushroom Blend. Featuring the 7 most potent & nutrient-rich mushrooms, Reishi, Chaga, Shitake, Maitake, Lion's Mane, Cordyceps & White Fungus, we arrive at a super-fungi, packed full of protein, vitamin D, niacin & manganese. Like many mushrooms, these do magic. To touch on a few; Lion's Mane helps stimulate the growth of brain cells, Reishi & Cordyceps enhance your immune system function and Chaga helps your body adapt to stress.


To balance out the slightly bitter taste, we like to mix our mushroom blend with Cacao and organic honey. The hot cacao combination is divine, especially with it's mood-boosting compounds that support a wide range of benefits from skin health to reduced anxiety.


As plant-powered, sentient beings, we can link our ancestor's survival to the healing wisdom emanating from the African forests. Now to the heavy hitters!


Moringa, the miracle tree, has innumerous health benefits as one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world. To compare apples to apples, it's leaves have 7x more vitamin C than oranges and 15x more potassium than bananas. With its green earthy taste, we recommend mixing it into your sourdough mix, or smoothies. Try Aduna's organic moringa.


And when it comes to power, nothing packs a punch like a Baobab. Known as the holy tree across Africa, these living succulents produce fruit seeds that contain more anti-oxidant than any other whole fruit, along with a host of Vitamin A, D, E & F and Omega 3, 6 & 9 Fatty acids. Try sprinkling Aduna's organic Baobab powder on your breakfast cereal, or add to smoothies.


And finally, we recommend Kefir. Eating fermented foods like kefir can help increase the diversity of the beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome, the unique collection of microorganisms that live in your gut. This good bacteria can


also help the skin by reducing inflammation, and targeting conditions like rosacea, eczema and acne.


Step 4: Healthy, well-balanced diet



2 truisms. Our skin is our body’s largest organ. And we are what we eat.


To give your skin and body the best chance throughout the winter, it's vital that you give it what it needs to flourish.


Although inflation is biting at our heels, a supermarket experience doesn’t have to feel like open wallet surgery. Especially when you cut down, or like us, remove meat.


We like to focus on a range of organic, vegetarian ingredients with enough mix of protein, fibres, carbohydrates and fatty acids. You might be surprised, but a plant-based diet, is ample to keep you feeling healthy, agile and full!


This is what works for us, but remember each person is different.


Step 5: Headspace & exercise


Juggling your personal & professional life can be tricky. To manage your stress levels and get the best results out of your day, we recommend carving out at least 30 mins dedicated to the mind & body.


For us, the day starts with a simple 20 minute yoga & meditation. If your day allows for it, then we recommend spending more time. However, even taking 15 minutes will help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, releasing stress and clearing the mind. Try Boho Beautiful's easy morning yoga sequence here.


To get the heart rate up, even in the cooler weather, I aim to run, swim or HIIT before lunch everyday.


Increasing your blood circulation with cardio helps release a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients to your skin. This in turn helps skin cells regenerate, repairing and increasing collagen production.


Emilie and I stand behind this: the most efficient way to release toxins, is to go for a fast run, the longer the heart rate is up the better (without injury of course!)


Step 6: Early Nights



Slipping into a nice sleep routine is difficult. And it's been something I've struggled with since a child.


Recently, this is what’s helped me:


  1. Eating dinner earlier (to make sure your body is not digesting when you need rest)

  2. Less screen time, especially 2 hours before going to bed (read a book - your brain and eyelids will love you for it)

  3. Listen to something cathartic (ASMR or sleep meditation)


Step 7: Be kind to yourself



Life will always get in the way of our best laid plans.


Best advice, follow an easy routine. If you miss a few days, or a week - don’t worry, I'm sure you're giving it your all elsewhere.


Also know that, you can always come back to your routine. If it doesn't work for you, it is probably too complicated.


Make it something you look forward to, and before you know it, the winter has flown by and sick days are a thing of the past!




We are on a constant path of learning, so please do get in touch with your best health-hacks.


With love,

Ed






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