The Best Beauty Product Is a Healthy Lifestyle

07/16/2010 04:44 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

My burning question of late: when was the rule made that beauty, youth and radiance can only be achieved with a tube of lipstick, a jar of expensive crème, or a fragrance atomizer? Come to think of it, who made this rule in the first place? Surely it wasn't you or me. I'm willing to bet that it wasn't our mothers or our grandmothers either. This beauty illusion has been going on too long.

What's the real bottom line? Cosmetics gild and enhance what we already have, but no product will match the transformative effects of a healthy lifestyle. Good health habits are the foundation for achieving -- and maintaining -- your most radiant self. At heart we all know this, but we're after a shortcut -- a product, a diet, a beauty treatment, a pill -- that will eliminate the need for us to make a long-term commitment to ourselves. We just can't be bothered by all that healthy stuff. Who has time for it?

Here's the secret: wellness is a journey, but it's one that feels incredible. It takes time, but there's no time better spent. Listening to your body, treating yourself with care and seeing real results is infinitely more satisfying than applying a cream every night with the blind hope of staving off a wrinkle that has yet to appear.

What's one thing you can do today to actively support your youthfulness, inside and out? Here is a big one: choose anti-inflammatory foods. High-glycemic foods cause a pro-inflammatory rapid rise in blood sugar that will, over time, contribute to wrinkles, dull skin tone and texture, blemishes and sagging skin. Inflammation accelerates aging in all of our organs -- your skin just happens to be the one you can see! Being mindful to get anti-inflammatory foods into your diet brings about visible changes, not to mention other differences that you simply feel. Whole grains, legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits are just some of the anti-inflammatory foods that support your skin.

When we shift our focus beyond the beauty products, we see how incredibly empowering it is to make lifestyle choices that have a positive effect on the way we look and feel. For you, this could mean a meal you cook from fresh foods, a walk during your lunch hour or time to journal your thoughts at the end of the day. It's a dinner surrounded by friends and a quiet afternoon to read a book or get your hands dirty in a garden. It's the chance to see a glow in your complexion without relying on toxic cosmetics and it's the knowledge that you are reshaping yourself -- mentally, physically, emotionally -- one decision at a time. Wellness is also about playing an active part in the way you will look and feel into the future. Your body needs and deserves this care and you have the power to deliver.

Beauty is not a modern invention; it existed long before rouge pots and miracle skin tonics promised to make us better versions of ourselves. In many ways they did, and continue to do so. But they're no substitute for the knowledge we now have about the connection between beauty and wellness. Don't buy into the idea that any one product can make you the radiant person you wish to be. And don't doubt how much of an impact you can have on your appearance and your vitality by taking time for nutrition, exercise and self care. Only you can make this choice for yourself! If you're ready to move beyond the beauty illusion and get on track to look your best long-term, consider finding some support from a friend, a significant other or a health coach. And enjoy the path to wellness -- you'll certainly enjoy the rewards!

For personal Beauty & Health Coaching support, including advice on how to detox and pare down your beauty routine, contact me at Beauty Is Wellness. Or sign up for my newsletter for the latest information on beauty nutrition and natural personal care products.