Skip to main content

Clear and beautiful skin starts from within

This small book is a gem. It is not the kind of book you read in one sitting. It is more of a reference book.

Cortisol control and the beauty connectionby Shawn Talbott, Ph.D

The subtitle says it all, "The all-natural, inside-out approach to reversing wrinkles, preventing acne and improving skin tone"

The book starts by explaining something called the FACE program, which is Free radicals, Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), Cortisol, and Eicosanoids.

And here is a reminder for me and those of you unfamiliar with the terms:

Free radicals- that has to do with oxidation.
Advanced glycation end-products- have to do with blood sugar levels.
Eicosanoids- have to do with inflammation.What these are and how the author came to discover the FACE program is explained in detail. It is actually a fascinating read. The cortisol beauty connection actually became apparent as a side effect of a weight loss program called SENSE ( Stress management, Exercise, Nutrition, Supplementation, and Evaluation.) Participants in this weight loss program found that they not only felt better but also looked better after completing the program.

To understand the importance of the FACE program for beautiful skin, here are a few points to keep in mind:

1.Excessive inflammation leads to accelerated skin damage and breakdown.

2. What causes inflammation? Amongst other things-oxidation causes inflammation at the cellular level. But what are the causes of oxidation? Well, that's the next one...glycation
(amongst other things)

3.Glycation is cellular damage by sugars which can lead to oxidation which in tern can lead to inflammation.

4.Stress can lead to glycation, which can lead to oxidation which can lead to inflammation. Confused?

How to put the FACE program in action is covered in a few pages of the book. Those pages include information on what not to eat, good fats and good carbs.

The title of chapter 2 is What's happening under the Skin: The collagen story. This chapter is very interesting. One thing that stuck with me is that the natural collagen turnover can be managed by controlling oxidation, inflammation, glycation, and stress.

It was this chapter and this book as a whole that helped me figure out why is that after I stopped the pill which I took for 4 years, my skin exploded with the worst acne ever. The pimples were not only on my face, but shoulders and chest. They stayed with me for one year and half. From that nightmare I was left with tons of acne scars which I have to this day. At the time of taking the pill, I was diagnosed with PCOS, so in plain English- I think that at that time oxidation, inflammation, glycation and stress were abundant. All this resulted in the destruction of collagen and my body was not capable of supporting the natural collagen turnover. Sigh...

Next, I want to share with you an interesting paragraph from the book on Supporting Nutrients ( Giving collagen a helping hand)
" The process by which amino acids are used by the body to produce healthy collagen fibers is a complicated one. Along the way, a number of specialized enzymes and active cofactors must be present in just the right amounts and just the right times for the whole process to operate optimally. Among these active cofactors are vitamins C, D, E, and B complex, as well as the minerals copper, zinc, manganese, and silicon, which are vital components of the collagen-production machinery. In addiction, there is a wide variety of non-nutrient factors, such as bromelain, boswellia, green tea, grape seed, and gotu kola, that may be able to enhance the process of connective tissue maintenance by reducing inflammation and improving circulation."

Collagen production may be complicated, but it seems doable, doesn't it? We need the above mentioned vitamins anyways.

So where do we start if we want to have a healthy skin? Cortisol control. This book recommends that we start with cortisol control because of its effect on inflammation, oxidation and glycation. In other words, we are to start with cortisol control because excessive exposure to cortisol through sleep deprivation and emotional stress leads to high levels of inflammation, oxidation and glycation.

Chapter five  of this book is on nutritional advice. Nothing new in this chapter. But the chapter after it, on supplements for cortisol control is particularly interesting to me. 13 supplements are explained. After the first time I read this book, I decided to try Ashwagandha. Big mistake. I took it for one week only and had such terrible palpitations I stopped taking the tablets. Was it a bad batch? The reviews on Amazon for that particular herb were amazing. Sadly, it didn't work for me. I will study this chapter again and decide on a different supplement for cortisol control.

The next chapter is on supplements for the control of oxidation. Various vitamins, herbs such as Gotu Kola and nutrients like Lycopene and Lutein are explained in detail.

In the next chapter, the focus is on supplements that can control glacation or the AGEs. Here I find information on chromium, zinc, vanadium, bitter melon, fenugreek etc.

Supplements for the control of eicosanoids include Essential fatty acids, evening primrose oil, borage oil, bromelain and papain, flaxseed oil etc. And in case you've forgotten ( just like me) what Eiconsanoids were: hormone-like cellular messengers. They can be bad or good apparently. It all depends on whether we eat more of the right types of fats and fewer of the wrong fats.

Interviews with experts from the beauty field follow as well as several pages with recipes. The book ends with the recommendation of regular exercise and there are several pages on stretches.

In conclusion, this is a lovely reference book packed with great advice that is easy to follow.

My checklist:

Supplements for the control of cortisol
Ashwagandha - tried and disliked.
I am not sure which one I will try next. Wait for an update on that.

Supplements for the control of oxidation
I take antioxidants in the form of vitamins.
Occasionally I take Lutein/Zeaxanthin  for my eyes.
I took Gotu Kola for a month, to see if it suits me. It was fine, I didn't notice any adverse side effects.
Next, I want to also take Green tea

Supplements for the control of AGEs
I already take multi-mineral complex with chromium, vanadium, and zinc.

Supplements for the control of eicosanoids
Bromelain and Papain is what I'd like to try.

Have you read any similar books on beauty? Please let me know in the comments section below.


Popular posts from this blog

Galactomyces & Bifidalacto Complex products+ Several UPDATES

Did I like using Manyo Factory Galactomyces niacin?

No. I will not repurchase Manyo Factory Galactomycesniacin again.

UPDATE:31/08/17 It has been 7 months since I wrote this post and in that time I've learnt that Niacin is a very well researched skin loving ingredient. I will be purchasing products containing Niacin :-) and hoping it will "shrink" my pores. 

UPDATE:28/11/2017 As mentioned in my previous update, I wanted to try a Niacin product and I chose Dr.Troub Skin Returning Niaten serum with 10% Niacinamide. I've been using it for 2 weeks now and so far so good. I think my pores look more refined, but it could be my wishful thinking that is tricking my eyes. Sadly, this product is only 30ml and at almost £20, I would not be repurchasing it. I hear that The Ordinary have a nice Niacinamide serum and cheaper.

Observations about applying the product and how it felt on the skin

Applying it (Manyo Factory Galactomycesniacin) felt like applying water. No scent, no colour,…

Best calming cream for acne prone skin- Sulwhasoo Herblinic EX Restorative Ampoules review

I first heard about the Sulwhasoo range from one of my favourite Youtubers- Lili. Her blog title is I am a beauty junky and that is also the name of her YouTube channel. I don't remember her reviewing the Herblinic EX Restorative Ampoules but when I researched several Sulwhasoo products she talked about, I found a couple of reviews on Herblinic and was intrigued enough to order samples from Ebay.  I bought 30 samples and they lasted me 15 days ( using them day and night).

From the very first application, my skin was nourished like never before. I could tell that this was one amazing product.

This honey like cream/serum is apparently packed with medicinal herbs which are said to  help nourish and  repair damaged skin. It smells herby and to me that scent is calming. It looks like honey but it spreads easily and little goes a long way. The application can be a bit sticky, but I don't mind that. One sample is enough for my face and neck.

After I used the first 30 samples, my skin…

Review: Cosrx BHA Blackhead power liquid and AHA whitehead power liquid

Update 6th July 2017: The post you will read below was written in January 2017. At the time my experience with Cosrx BHA and AHA was not positive. But months later, I went back to trying these products with great results. To read my updates click on this link and that will take you to my post "Using the previously disliked Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid again? " which I published in May 2017.

For years I've been using Skin Doctors Gamma hydroxy cream and I've been pretty happy with it. It is a skin resurfacing cream containing both AHAs (glycolic and lactic acid) and BHA (salicylic acid). It keeps my oily acne prone skin  free form congestion and pimples. There are only two things I don't like about this cream- the price and how "oily" it feels on the skin. 

I read several positive reviews of Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and AHA7 Whitehead Power Liquid and wanted to try them. I thought that if I could transition to using them instead of the Skin Do…