“It’s What’s On The Inside” – Not Just a Cliché Anymore
Uncouth Beauty Tips? Don’t mind if I do.
I’m giving people a new (and accurate) way to think about beauty regimens – it starts on the inside, and I don’t just mean what your mom told you when you go that classic second grade bowl cut we all fondly remember.
Literally, totally, and completely – every beauty concern you have now and in the future is actually a reflection of a physiological development, and your body is just trying to tell you what it needs, not punish you.
This is different from what we grew up hearing, certainly, and it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you, or you’re bad or gross or whatever. What it does mean is: stop beating yourself up over cellulite, acne, weight gain, or thinning brows. Know that any physical development has an underlying reason, and is comparable to a very informative, if not kind of annoying, text. I know appearance is a soft spot, and in a perfect world, none of us would care. I know you do though, because you’re human. I do too, and that’s 100% ok.
I also know that people go to great lengths to correct physical changes like dull skin, lines on the neck, brittle nails, and spots on the skin, etc. I often wish that people knew how simple (and effective) these things are to correct from a health standpoint, and that they don’t have to spend a trillion million dollars on expensive beauty protocols. There’s often a simple way to get the same or better results just by correcting a root cause that would in turn cause a domino effect of looking and feeling better along the way.
But one thing to note that these physical developments are not: AGING
Not aging. Nope, definitely not.
Seriously, take this in.
I see far too many people chalking up uncomfortable, stressful, even painful changes in their bodies to “ah, just getting older I guess.” NO. This is not the reason, this isn’t the reason for anything. Every change, every new development has an underlying cause, and even though we shouldn’t take them personally, we should take them seriously.
My point? As we age, we don’t age, we just accumulate shit that gets in the way of how our body is meant to work. It’s as simple as that. This applies to beauty, as well as digestion, energy, and general health – because yeah, they’re all connected. Attributing a new and frankly unfavorable change to aging is cheating yourself out of lifelong badass-ness you’re meant for. When you find the particular reason something came about (which is entirely possible, via a Naturopath) it is insanely simple and completely possible to keep it from progressing and more often than not, even reverse.
So this is what I’m here for. Right meow.
I am here to make you feel comfortable and secure in the fact that growing older isn’t like playing a game of Russian Roulette. You have a hell of a lot of control over your body, even things you might consider “natural” parts of aging. Your little outer shell of a bod is full of cause and effect, and with the right amount of knowledge and know-how, you don’t have to feel afraid of what it’s up to. I’m a huge believer in the idea that nothing is inherently permanent, and shifting your mind to think this way frees you up from a lot of bad feels – which is what I am a proponent of right here, right now.
I’m going to be digging into this with y’all right here on Uncouth Youth in an extended series – because what am I if not telling you the most useful, mindblowing, and completely uncouth health and beauty tips out there?
Obviously, though, I am no replacement for your very own Naturopath (aka someone who knows all of the correlations between physical symptoms and root causes), but what I am here for is to open eyes and hearts to how nonsensical your body is, give new mindsets around your appearance, and relay some tips and tricks to focus on inner as a vehicle for the outer – then you go whip up that makeup look you beautiful biyah.
First up are the two very first practices I ever picked up in the vein of taking care of my outer via my inner: Dry brushing and oil pulling
Simple, sweet, and good general practices to detox your body on the daily. Together they move the blood, clean the lymphatic system (I’ll explain that in a minute), brighten and clear the skin, reduce cellulite (because that’s a symptom too), improve overall oral health, reduce infection/decay, and whiten teeth naturally.
I started these babies up when I was in my early 20’s. I didn’t have dental insurance and thoroughly maintained that my servers wages wouldn’t allow surprise root canals. They also felt v good and nice, and teeth whitening and skin brightening ensued. So here we go:
Tools: Oil + your mouth (I use coconut, but traditionally sesame was/is used in Ayurveda)
First, put about 2-3 teaspoons of oil in your mouth. Now swish. Swish for 20 minutes.
For what godly reason would I want to do that, you ask.
Well you’re about to ditch the alcohol based mouthwash y’all, because this lil technique does what Listerine wishes it did.
Oil pulling has been used for approximately forever to pull impurities out of teeth and gums, kill bacteria, and there have even been reports of the healing of skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, headaches, hormone imbalances, infections, liver problems, etc, with oil pulling. This will only be the case, though, if oral infections/disease are the root cause of any of these issues, it isn’t a
Here’s how it works: oil and water don’t mix – but oil and oil, yeah those do. Since most organisms living in your mouth are encapsulated in a lipid (oil), when you swish those oils collide, hence pulling the germ-ies into your swishing medium. Mmm, savory.
So, it attracts and absorbs everything in your mouth that isn’t supposed to be there to seamlessly get rid of it, and has this way of leaving the nice, happy, helpful stuff to live its life in peace. It also nourishes and builds. Yeah, alcohol can’t do that shit.
And that’s that, sweet and simple. That’s all that’s needed to garner some pretty fab results; working with our physiology instead of against. In the way of health and beauty, start to think of the simplest solution as the best and most effective – cuz it really f*ckin is.
Do this first thing in the morning (it’s most effective then) before eating or drinking. Spit out after 20 minutes (preferably in the trash, drain clogging and stuff), and brush your teeth immediately after. I like to do this while I shower so it doesn’t get in the way of other morning work and stuff.
Contraindications: If you have a yellow-ish or white film on your tongue, generally bad breath, cottony feeling in the mouth, or the mouth feels immediately unclean again after brushing teeth, you have candida. You can do this method and it will help, but only on the surface. If these symptoms exist, the only way to truly improve your oral health will be to cleanse/eliminate the candida from your body. Your teeth will not whiten if you have candida, period, so oil pulling will be overwhelmingly more productive after eliminating this root issue.
Additionally, if you feel you might have cavities, you can remineralize them (aka give the tooth what it needs to rebuild itself) with a tooth powder – a fancy, natural tooth paste in an alternate form. Yes I’m serious, and it works. Don’t worry, I’ll explain all that in another post.
Now on to a little diddy I like to do every day:
Tools: A stiff body brush with natural bristles. Feel free to start with something a bit softer, after a while your skin will get used to brushing and you can graduate to something firmer. This is done right before you shower, not during. Hence dry brushing.
So the idea is, we are brushing all over our body; simultaneously cleansing and moving the lymphatic system through the skin (because stiff bristles), moving the blood, and giving ourselves a full-body exfoliation. I mean, a daily full body exfoliant in and of itself is pretty cool, but in doing so, you are giving the skin and lymphatic system a daily detox. This frees it up to be less inflamed, clearer, more even, and a generally glowy little ray of sunshine.
Backtracking: and yes, to explain that lymph.
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that doesn’t get a lot of publicity. Yeah, don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it. What it does, though, is help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other nasties you don’t want. It’s made up of lymphatic vessels, kind of like blood vessels, who’s primary function is to transport lymph.
Any questions? No, ok.
Lol, kidding. I won’t explain a thing with it’s derivative. Ok so, lymph is a fluid (containing mostly infection-fighting white blood cells) that moves waste from the cells and anything else the w.b.c.’s have cleared from your system. They bring it to the lymph nodes (in places like your neck, armpits, breasts, and groin) to be filtered out. This is why your neck and lymph nodes sometimes swell when you have an infection etc.
So it’s an important thing. It’s constantly keeping your body clean (or trying), and is very susceptible to being clogged or slowed.
Hence, Dry Brushing! Your L system loves this stuff, and has a direct correlation to the health and youthful quality of the skin. Essentially, you are allowing the skin to detox with a good scratch and rub. It can now more easily eliminate toxins out of the skin, which is one of the main detox organs believe it or not. The lymphatic system is also more easily able to carry away anything that is slowing it down, leaving even more room for the skin to be le badass.
So now that you’re clear on the backstory, this is how we do the thing:
Start at your feet, brushing upward. Always brush toward the heart, except in areas with a lot of lymph nodes (groin, neck, armpits, breasts) where you’ll brush the opposite way. On the stomach, another exception, you will do clockwise circles. About 8 strokes in each place, front, sides, and back of the limbs, is enough. Long motions are best, and pay special care to those condensed areas we just discussed, this is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Keep working your way up until you reach the neck, which we will end with rubbing the opposite way, if you remember.
You can also have a separate, softer brush for your face and do the same procedure for that delicate skin (it will love you).
Via this regimen you should feel refreshed and invigorated. Over time, this practice gives a satin-like, youthful glow to the skin. With everything out of it’s way, your skin can be what it naturally is, radiant af.
Contraindications: Don’t brush directly on acne, broken skin, or eczema. Brush around raised moles.
That’s that bb’s. Remember, these are not catch alls. It always depends on your specific root cause as to how much a particular regimen will help you. These quick and easy procedures have virtually no downsides, though, and are a great introduction to inward health as a profound vehicle for an outer glow up.
The by and by: Aging doesn’t age you, simple is best, and you don’t have to have expensive procedures to be “pretty”, you just have to know what’s causing what, and that will make the most impactful change of all (cough cough, see a naturopath)
Until we meet again,
Photos by Irinia Senina, Beijing, China