11/27/2012 02:17 pm ET

Beauty Secrets: 4 Steps to Ultimate Beauty


We are a nation obsessed with beauty. Our images of perfection come from models, celebrities and other iconic figures. People are constantly asking how the celebrities I work with stay so youthful and gorgeous. The secret is that maintaining true beauty -- most images we see in the press are altered -- requires more than anti-aging creams and under-the-eye wrinkle busters. It starts from within. To maintain true beauty, we need to start looking at how we act, what we eat and what we apply to our skin.

I have worked with many celebrities over the years, but the ones I have continued to work with have been those who radiate beauty from the inside out. In the limited time we have, I feel it is important to look at how and with whom we spend our days. I find myself attracted to spending time people who are "truly" the most beautiful.

One of the most iconic beauties is Kyra Sedgwick. Not only is she gorgeous on the outside, she also is a symbol for inner beauty. From our first meeting, I could see there was something more to her than her gorgeous looks and talent. She is a caring mother, a loving wife (it's not easy to be either in her line of work) and works hard to be a great person.

Beauty starts with how we think and feel. If we are unkind and stressed, it "shows." When we are compassionate and loving, that also shows. Beyond the work Kyra does on behalf of the environment and other causes near and dear to her heart, she also lives a clean and healthy lifestyle. She is conscious of what she puts into and on her body and educated about the effects of chemicals in cosmetics. The sum of her passions, demeanor, and care keep her glowing and radiant. So how can you achieve beauty that radiates from the inside out?

Here are the four parts to creating illuminating beauty that radiates from within.

Part One: How we feed our soul -- thoughts, actions, words

We have all had the experience of meeting someone who is stunningly beautiful and watching that beauty fade as an ugly personality is revealed. This phenomenon works both ways -- some people may not be gorgeous by traditional standard, but you'll notice everyone thinks they're beautiful. That's because personality shines through and can make an average-looking person appear luminous.

In an effort to help people achieve the results they are after when it comes to beauty, I encourage looking beyond what we are applying to our skin. Examine your thoughts and actions throughout they day. Be mindful of your words. I like to teach my clients to take three deep breaths (I call them pausing or reflection breaths) before responding in difficult situations. Be conscious about what you put into your mind and body.

Part Two: What we feed our bodies

Skin is our largest organ, and it needs to be nourished in order to maintain optimum health. The following are some skin-loving staples.


Considered a "super food," antioxidants not only have health benefits, they can also affect your appearance. Antioxidants protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are produced from things we cannot control (such as environmental exposures), and some we can (such as foods we eat and cigarettes). These free radicals damage cells, causing skin to age faster.

One of the best ways to get antioxidants is by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. You may have heard of the virtues of eating the rainbow every day, from apples to blueberries and everything in between -- if you keep this principle in mind, you can help ensure an ample supply of antioxidants in your diet.


These fatty acids are integral to glowing skin. They help keep the outer layer of skin "strong and intact" so toxins and pollutants are kept at bay. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include wild salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, sardines, and walnuts.

Part Three: How we treat our skin

Skin professionals know that everything we do shows up on your skin. We see it time and time again. Partying all night, drinking too much, junk food binges, stress, fatigue, dehydration, etc. all shows up in the mirror. On the other hand, we can see the glow and luster of youth in the faces of people who eat a healthy balanced diet, have moderate stress levels, adequate sleep, close friends and social time. To see this glow reflected in your mirror, moderate your exposure to damaging elements and make sure you do all the skin essentials, like getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water, exercising and laughing.

Part Four: What you apply to your skin

A healthy skin regimen is important. The younger you start the longer you can hold off the signs of aging. Think of buying skin care in the same light as purchasing food. Use the same critical inspection when it comes to cosmetic ingredients as you do when it come to what you will ingest. Some of what you put on your skin can enter your bloodstream, so it makes sense to use the same rigorous standards you apply to food quality when selecting skin care products.

You may find that changing or modifying these four aspects to enhance your skin will also enhance your joy, health, and zest for life. My clients say they never get more compliments then after a week of skin-loving techniques. Here are two of my favorite skin-loving recipes to nurture skin from the inside out. Enjoy!

Skin-Loving Kale Salad

This is one of my favorite recipes -- I could eat it every day! And the combinations are endless, so mix it up and keep it fun.

1 head kale
2 teaspoons Dr. Bonners Braggs
1 lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup *toasted pumpkin seeds
¼ cup *toasted sunflower seeds
1 avocado
1 cucumber
1/8 cup purple onion
*toast seeds by placing on a baking sheet and putting in a 400-degree oven until golden brown. Stir for even browning.

- tomatoes
- apple
- strawberries
- sesame seeds (any nuts or seeds)
- carrots
- celery
- balsamic vinegar... and anything you choose!

Wash and cut one bunch of kale. (Bite-size pieces are best. Also, take the steam and "vein" off and use for soup stock.)

Squeeze the juice of one lemon in the kale and massage the kale for 1-3 minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons Braggs (or to taste) and 1 teaspoon olive oil and mix well.

Dice avocado, cucumber and onion and toss in.

Add toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Skin-Loving Mask

While making your kale salad reserve 1/2 teaspoon of avocado, 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds and 1/8 teaspoon of kale. Place in a blender or food processer and puree. Apply to pre-washed face and neck (a larger batch makes a wonderful all-over body mask, and it is amazing on hands and feet), leave on for 5-15 minutes (or put on while in shower). Rinse of with warm water, pat dry and apply a few drops of olive oil.

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