Packing a powerful antioxidant punch and using adaptogens like Maca to support hormonal health, this beauty smoothie combines all of my favourite ingredients for healthy glowing skin. Radiant skin absolutely starts from the inside, and it’s no secret that what we put into our bodies affects our health in many ways, including our skin. In fact, our skin is our largest organ and part of our first line of defense of our immune system, so it’s important to take care of it.
My struggle with acne
I suffered for years with painful acne, not only on my face but also on my back and chest. It affected my self-confidence and I remember times when I didn’t want to leave the house because of how my skin looked and how it made me feel.
Poor diet and lifestyle choices in my early twenties exacerbated the teenage acne I was already experiencing. Not too long after that I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome). With PCOS, unbalanced hormones, particularly high levels of androgens promotes the cycle of acne, and I saw my skin continually worsening.
I saw Doctors, Dermatologists, and Gynaecologists. I was put on the contraceptive pill and tried not only a number of harsh prescribed topical acne creams, but every type of skin treatment and skin care regime under the sun. Some of the topical creams were so harsh they bleached my towels and pillow cases and severely dried out my skin. Whilst some of it helped to clear some acne, I felt like I was damaging my skin in the process, and nothing really completely cleared up my skin.
How I cleared my skin
When I changed my diet and started taking care of my health, my skin began to improve. I focused on gut health, hormones and blood sugar control through healthy, good quality food and balanced meals. This includes lots of plant-based foods to get in as many micronutrients as I can, quality protein at every meal and healthy fats to support hormone production. I eliminated processed food, sugar and avoid too much dairy (yes this can worsen acne in some), gluten and refined carbs. I learnt that it wasn’t what I put on my skin, but what I put in my body that made a huge difference!
Although I sometimes still get small breakouts on my neck and jawline (thanks hormones!), it’s only minor and is the reality of having PCOS. I manage my PCOS naturally through a healthy diet and lifestyle, but I notice now when I go through periods of stress, lack of sleep, or anytime I eat sugar or refined carbs, too much dairy, or gluten (all things I generally avoid), my skin breaks out.
Harsh cleansers, products and skin care regimes are a thing of the past for me, and instead I use all natural gentle skin care products (Sukin Organics is my favourite skin care products).
Looking after your skin is really about learning what does and doesn’t work for your body and being consistent (and persistent) over time to allow your body to heal from the inside out.
What I love about the ingredients in this smoothie:
Maca Powder: One of my favourite superfoods and hormone balancing secrets, maca is a root native to Peru, which has long been used for its healing benefits. Maca is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with B vitamins for energy and nervous system support, vitamin C to support the skin, zinc to support hormones and healing, as well as calcium, phosphorus and iron. Maca is an adaptogen, which means it improves our body’s ability to handle stress and promotes homeostasis (balance). Furthermore, it is said to balance the endocrine system (hormones), which in turn can improve skin conditions.
Collagen Protein: Did you know collagen is the most abundant protein in our body? That collagen protein is used to create connective tissue? And, that connective tissue is part of the skin and gives skin it’s elastic strength? Thats how collagen can help improve the appearance and suppleness of our skin.
Beetroot (in the Velvet Latte powder): Beetroot contains glutathione which supports our body’s natural detoxification pathways, as well as a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer protective compound called betalain. Detoxification is important for our skin to eliminate toxins and clear congestion from the liver that could worsen acne. Beets are a rich source of vitamin C, folate, manganese, potassium, and iron. Vitamin C is found in high levels in the skin and protects the skin against oxidative stress (including from the sun) and ageing as well as needed for the synthesis of collagen.
Turmeric (in the Velvet Latte powder): Curcumin in turmeric protects the skin by reducing free radicals that can cause ageing. And as an anti-inflammatory, turmeric may also reduce skin inflammation. Studies have shown turmeric being used both internally and topically to treat and reduce the severity of skin conditions.
Beauty Food Smoothie (gf)
- 1 scoop (18g) ATP Science NoWhey BodyBalance Protein (hydrolysed collagen peptides)
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 tsp Nutra Organics Velvet Latte
- 1 tbls chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 2 tbls unsweetened coconut (flakes or shredded)
- 3/4 cup plant-based milk (e.g. coconut or almond) + a few ice cubes
- Put all ingredients into a blender or nutra bullet and blend.
- Sit down, relax an enjoy your smoothie!
This post is for information purposes only and is the experiences of the author. It is not meant for purposes of diagnosis or treatment of health conditions. Always seek advice from a qualified health care practitioner.