As the founder and creator of natural skincare brand Edible Beauty, naturopath and nutritionist Anna Mitsios understands the link between what you put into your body and your skin health….
As the founder and creator of natural skincare brand Edible Beauty, naturopath and nutritionist Anna Mitsios understands the link between what you put into your body and your skin health. We sit down with Anna to learn more about her literally good-enough-to-eat skincare range, the best plant-based foods for youthful skin, holistic skincare, and whether processed food really makes you break out!
We love that Edible Beauty is literally that; made with natural ingredients that are safe and good enough to eat! What inspired you to create this unique skincare range?
About six years ago I transitioned from a career in finance to naturopathy. After my diagnosis as a Type 1 diabetic at the age of 18, I became very passionate about the incredible ability of natural herbs, diet and supplements to manage my health condition. I also became conscious of endocrine disrupting toxins in the beauty products I was using.
The Edible Beauty range was created four years ago whilst working at a natural fertility clinic. I was recommending that in addition to changes to their food and lifestyle routines, my patients make changes to their personal care products. I was shocked to find that there were very few options available for skincare products that were natural as well as luxurious and therapeutic.
As a result, I embarked on creating my own range of skincare products. I was literally whipping shea butter, cocoa butter and rose water in my mother’s cake mixer and started sharing my creations with friends and family. After lots of research, courses, cosmetic chemist meetings, the Edible Beauty Australia skincare range was born, along with the Edible Beauty tea range which uses herbal formulas to address health issues from the inside.
Walk us through your daily skincare routine.
I always start and end the day with the Edible Beauty No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk: a purifying cleansing milk which is ultra-fresh and hydrating. It always feels good massaging it into my skin and smelling [its] beautiful fresh citrus aromas first thing in the morning. I spritz our No.2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist after coming out of the shower: the steam from the shower helps to open pores which allows the mist to be absorbed better. This mist is not only uplifting but also hydrating and oil balancing, which works perfectly for my combination skin!
I [then apply] our Probiotic Radiant Tonic booster as I have a tendency to get redness and rosacea; this really calms my skin and takes the edge out of the redness. I always follow with [our antioxidant-rich] No.3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum: an essential when it comes to protecting the skin from external stressors and UV damage. It provides a punch of vitamin C…fantastic for boosting collagen production. If my skin has been on the dry side, I will use our & Snowflower Illuminating Face Oil just prior to the No.4 Vanilla Silk Lotion: a quick way to fix dry, full skin.
In the evenings I follow a similar routine however will also use an eye cream and the Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse mask every other night; the perfect overnight fix for my skin!
What have consumer reactions to your brands been like?
The most overwhelming response we have received from our customers is that they are incredibly surprised at how therapeutic our skincare is. We receive such wonderful reviews around the dramatic skincare changes that people experience when they start to practice a toxin-free beauty regime! It is always incredibly uplifting to hear this as speaks for the ability of natural botanicals to work therapeutically and as effectively, if not more so, than their conventional counterparts.
You acknowledge that healthy skin is very much something that comes from the inside-out. What are five plant-based foods you swear by for youthful, glowing skin?
- Ground flaxseed meal: flaxseed is rich in fibre and lignans which have a wonderful ability to help to bind and remove undesired hormones as well as regulate the gut, both which reduce toxin build up and keep the skin looking radiant!
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage: these contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates – including indole-3-carbinol – which help break down harmful and excessive hormones.
- Turmeric: a stand out superfood, liver tonic and gut health booster. Studies show that it has an incredible ability to reduce inflammation and promote healthy gut bacteria. I recommend that people use turmeric in their general cooking and even add it to their smoothies, but always adding a fat like coconut or olive oil to the powder to ensure that it is properly absorbed.
- Bitter foods such as dandelion root, rocket and radicchio: these stimulate the production of liver enzymes which work to encourage detoxification, improve insulin sensitivity and liver health which are all instrumental in balancing hormones and curbing breakouts. These foods are great to include in salads.
- Aloe vera: a beautiful plant that can be consumed as a drink or powder. It has been used for centuries to promote a healthy gut and radiant skin.
Are there any lifestyle practices you implement to support your health and wellbeing, and in turn, your skin?
…Drinking plenty of water [is] crucial to keeping your complexion in tip-top shape! I recommend…[aiming to] guzzle at least two litres of water daily. Skin cells respond very well to extra hydration and you will be surprised at the increase in plumpness and skin luminosity you will see when your body is adequately hydrated. You can add lemon juice and chlorophyll to improve hydration…Herbal tea is another great option.
…Getting enough sleep ensures that your cortisol production is kept in check and that insulin levels do not spike along with a rise in cortisol. Insulin spikes are associated with increased oil production which is why you may be more prone to experiencing breakouts when you are not getting enough sleep. Sleeping also ensures that your skin is given the time to repair and regenerate [daily].
Processed food and skin breakouts: is there really a link?
What we into our bodies has a lot to do with our outer radiance and glow. Whilst it is often considered a myth that eating sugar and dairy contributes to angry skin, what most people often report when “cleaning up” their diet is that their skin is one of the first places they notice a dramatic and positive change. From a scientific perspective this makes a lot of sense – our skin is our largest organ and one of the elimination pathways of the body.
If we consume a lot of processed foods which contain additives, sugars and unhealthy fats (or components that are difficult for the body to break down, such as casein and lactose in dairy), it puts pressure on our digestive systems and contributes to toxins that need to be expelled, some of which will occur via the skin. This can result in breakouts, hormonal imbalances that cause deeper acne, and an all-round lacklustre complexion. Many processed foods are also high on the glycemic index, meaning they cause spikes in our insulin levels which leads to excessive sebum (oil) production in the skin, which clogs the pores and results in blackheads, pimples, and acne flare ups.
Your most popular Edible Beauty product?
One of my [favourites is our] & Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse…it provides a brilliant quick fix for the skin literally overnight. The mask contains pink clay, zeolite, avocado oil and Snowflower Seed. Unlike most clay masks, it is hydrating and purifying rather than peeling and drying so you can allow it to work its magic whilst you sleep…a must-have product to prevent morning face puffiness or dull skin after an indulgent night out eating and drinking. It is also works to correct an oily T-zone or hormonal acne breakouts.
Your three ‘secrets’ for healthy, happy skin?
…Stop feeding the “bad guys” in your belly. The bad flora in your gut thrive on sugar, dairy and processed grains which can wreak havoc with hormones, promote insulin resistance and create free radicals which zap your body of beautifying nutrients, accelerate aging and promote excess sebum production which leads to acne and breakouts. You can combat this by increasing your consumption of greens, fermented foods and prebiotics.
On the outside, I recommend that people pay attention to what they are feeding their skin. By providing your skin with an abundance of nutrient rich pure foods and antioxidants it will be provided with everything it needs to repair, regenerate and flourish…[Eliminating synthetic ingredients] also ensures that the skin’s PH balance is maintained and that irritation, allergens and toxic substances are reduced.
My third secret would have to be ensuring that you are living life to the fullest! Spending time outdoors for healthy doses of vitamin D, getting at least eight hours of sleep (especially sleep before midnight, which counts for two hours in terms of the therapeutic quality of sleep), and…not [sweating] the small stuff! Undue stress and cortisol can really wreak havoc with oil balance and skin radiance. Healthy, happy skin definitely reflects a healthy, happy approach to life!
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