Continuing on with our Mother’s month celebration, I had a fun chat with my mom to talk about her skincare and wellness rituals. For as long as I can remember, my mom has had skin as soft as a newborn baby. When I was growing up and dealing with stress zits and popping those pimples, I would admire her from afar - this woman who raised six kids and nurtured dozens more - how does she do it?! Read on to hear more about the secrets to her lovely skin!
1. What’s your age, cultural background and skin type?
I’m 60 years old, African American and my skin type is normal to dry.
2. Tell me about your skincare history. When and how did you become aware of the importance of skincare?
Well, to be honest with you, I wasn’t ever too focused on skincare. I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was about 23 or 24 years old. That being said, I’ve always had friends comment on my skin and how clear it is. They know that I’m really into raw foods and juicing. I would say that my skin health thus far is likely the byproduct of me being concentrated on consuming live nutrients, mostly in the form of juicing.
I wasn’t always into juicing and raw foods. In reality, for most of the first half of my life I was ignorant to the fact that we are what we eat. My initial discovery of the health found in plants came in my mid-thirties when I was pregnant with your brother. At the time I was reading a book written by a man who had lost his mother to colon cancer. When he found out that he had also contracted the same cancer, he began a prayerful search for a remedy. His search led him to believe that he also had colon cancer because his diet was not much different from his mom’s. His quest led him to the wonderful benefits of carrot juice.
It just so happened that while I was reading the book, I received a negative report about the child I was carrying. The doctors informed me that the child was going to be born with down syndrome and asked me what I wanted to do. Well, all I knew to do was to go home, pray and start juicing. I was drinking 32 ounces of carrot juice twice a day during this pregnancy. Explain it how you’d like, but your brother was born with no down syndrome and is a brilliant young man to this day.
Now I juice simply for the vibrancy that it gives me because I have a very active life.
3. What were some of the challenges you faced as you developed your wellness practice?
Back when I started juicing, we could not afford to buy organic foods. There was this juicing machine that was considered ‘pro’ at the time. My ex-husband and I decided to invest one of our tax refunds to make that purchase and I still have it today (though I’ve made quite a few upgrades to my juicing practice since then).
Also, even while I was learning about the power of raw foods and the importance of nutrients, I was still struggling with some bad eating habits. But I truly believed that in my efforts to do the right thing, I would be rewarded. Over the last ten years I’ve begun establishing a rhythm of detoxing, which has helped me so much. One such detox I enjoy and do multiple times throughout the year is drinking fresh squeezed lemon juice with a little bit of maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Doing this for a few days breaks all of the cravings for sugar and snacks. Also, I’ve experienced really great benefits from intermittent fasting, as this practice helps me stay away from excessive stuff that’s bad for you, but tastes so good.
4. Are there other things you do that might be contributing to your glowing skin?
I do drink a lot of water. I could easily drink 32 oz of cold water back to back. Because the quality of well water where I live is very poor, I’ve always been keen on sourcing high-quality filtered water. I’ve gotten very used to sourcing my water from a reverse osmosis system which significantly reduces contaminants and makes the water so refreshing to drink.
5. What encouragement can you share with those of us who are at various stages of skin and health improvement journeys?
My health routine has been more about sustaining energy and obtaining the nutrients necessary to live a full life. I want to give all of my cells live foods more than dead foods. Are there things that I still need to work on? Absolutely. But I’m still juicing and I set my mind and heart on saying that I’m going to get better. My parting words would be to start wherever you are and encourage yourself to never give up.