Ruth Griffin - Beauty boosters: Beauty from the Inside Out
A widely used, tongue-in-cheek beauty quote from Marie Stopes says: "I'm tired of all this beauty being skin deep nonsense. That's deep enough! What do you want, an adorable pancreas?" Well, yes actually…
Our skin is a litmus test for our inner body health - our visible "fingerprint" for the state of our overall well-being. If our skin, hair and nails are in poor nick, chances are our bodies and minds are screaming out for a bit of TLC. We can smooth on multiple lotions and potions, and buy every lipstick available, but where our health and beauty originates from is deeper down. It derives from what we're ingesting - food is the best beauty builder.
I've lost count of how many times I was asked as a model what my weight-loss secrets were. My answer is embarrassingly straightforward: I've never dieted, I simply eat food that Mother Nature, the soil and the sun had some hand in creating. No processed junk! I don't count calories; I count nutrients and see the benefits in my skin, hair and nails as a result.
I've fallen off the healthy wagon many times, especially since becoming a mother. I've come to realise that I can't fully nurture my son without minding myself. Sometimes I don't have a huge amount of time for that, so organic beauty supplements can give me a beauty dig out. Here, I've listed ten all-natural, organic food supplements that I've used as health and beauty boosters on and off throughout my modelling career. These are products that I trust from experience. Try to give them at least a two-month trial (two full skin cycles) before making a decision on whether they work for you or not. All are available from health food shops and pharmacies nationwide.
NB: Always read the labels carefully. Supplements should not replace a varied and balanced diet. Seek professional advice before using supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, suffer from allergies or are under medical supervision.
10 of the best natural health supplements
1. PLUMP IT
Plump Up the Volume Collagen
I've been taking collagen supplements for over a decade and see a dramatic difference in the plumpness of my skin, hair and even lips while taking it. Medcoll is an Irish brand fast becoming a global best-seller - it's the number one skin supplement in the Middle East.
Medcoll Derma, €40
2. OLD SMOOTHIE
Beauty Oil 100% Organic Beauty Oil Blend
Containing all the omega oils in addition to hemp, avocado, evening primrose and avocado oil, I take this in smoothies or simply on its own. Excellent for skin and especially for my nails, which tend to be weak and flaky.
Viridian 100% Organic beauty Oil, €13.45
3 KELP ME
Secret Weapon of the Sea - Kelp
This is my secret weapon in keeping my metabolism high. I'm taking organic sea kelp for 15 years - I think it is really underestimated, under utilised and set to become huge in the nutritional and beauty world. High in iodine, sea kelp assists our body's thyroid function and metabolic rate. A very potent supplement - consult your GP and pharmacist before taking.
Solgar Organic North Atlantic Kelp, €10.45
4. OUT OF THIS WORLD
Space Age Spirulina and Supergreens
Jam-packed with antioxidants, minerals, iron and protein, Spirulina is an algae that was judged to be a superfood by NASA no less - it recommended that it be cultivated on long-term space missions! As a vegetarian, I find it excellent for maintaining iron levels and blood flow for healthy skin. (Warning: this tastes very bad - but it's worth it, I promise!)
Synergy Natural 100% Organic Supergreens, €19.80
5. WELL GELL
Soothing Balm Aloe Vera
Celebrities like Victoria's Secret model Lily Aldridge and Victoria Beckham swear by the beauty benefits of drinking aloe. Amazing for aiding digestion and for hair re-growth - I used it after I had my son to help repair substantial hair loss after my pregnancy.
Real Aloe Gel Organic, €25
6. BLEND IN
Oil Slick Omega 3,6 & 9
This well known oil is a great source of essential fatty acids - our bodies cannot produce Omega 3 so we have to ingest it. My nails and hair and especially scalp always feel nourished and refreshed after taking Udo's.
7. SWEET HARMONY
Hormonal Harmoniser Starflower and Evening Primrose Oil
Excellent if you suffer from PMS, bad period pain and hormonal breakouts. Finn Murray, co-owner of Dublin's Hopsack Health Store, says he has seen an increase in women's hormonal issues and recommends this female orientated supplement. It's excellent for menopausal women - as is Gotu Kola and red clover.
Viridian Organic Herbal Female Complex, €30.80
8. GUT FEELING
Trust Your Gut - Acidophilus and Digestive Enzymes
Probiotics soothe the lining of our gut, aid digestion, help our liver function and improve energy levels. Recent studies have shown that the use of prebiotics significantly improve emotional and mental well-being, with scientists now describing our gut as the body's "second brain".
ORA Trust Your Gut Organic Probiotics with Prebiotics, €40, ora.organic
9. LOCKS GREAT
Hair Angel - Hubner Silicea
I'm often asked what hair extensions I use. I take it as a compliment but actually, I've never used them! I definitely notice when my diet is consistently really good, my hair is thicker and healthier This supplement helps too - Hubner Silicea contains high strength organic silicon and biotin with new studies showing the latter's ability to significantly improve hair thickness.
Hubner Silicea, €15.95
10 FULL FLUSH
Purifier Milk Thistle
This tincture is essential for ultimate liver function. I take this when I'm having consistent skin breakouts. I also take this when I know I'll be having a few glasses of wine and can't face a hangover! It helps the liver flush out the alcohol.
Solgar Milk Thistle, €18.95
Backstage Beauty with Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison is a nutritional therapist, bestselling author, food blogger and columnist. Her second book will be released in early September and will be jam packed with over 100 recipes targeted towards fitness, as well as lifestyle and fitness advice. Below, she shares with us the best way to Eat Yourself Beautiful
What is the best way to improve our skin?
Hydration and sufficient sleep are crucial. In terms of food, there are some key nutrients our skin especially loves - Vitamins A, C and E, which I've nicknamed 'Ace'. Excellent sources of these are sweet potatoes, spinach, melon, spinach, carrots, strawberries, citrus fruits, butternut squash, and healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds or coconut oil.
What are the best foods for strong nails?
Some of the very best foods for nail health are dark leafy green vegetables, lentils, kidney beans, broccoli, nuts and seeds and nut butters.
Are there special foods we can take to thicken hair?
Zinc, iron, biotin, sulphur and Vitamin A are important for building strong, healthy hair. I like to include nuts, seeds, garlic, quinoa, beans, legumes and leafy greens.
How do we avoid bloating and aid healthy weight loss?
Fill up on high-fibre, high nutrient but lower-calorie foods, including vegetables and fruit, before more energy-dense foods.
What is the best way to get rid of cellulite?
Focus on reducing intake of refined sugar and processed foods, and eating plenty of whole plant foods and lean protein. Another tip is to drink a large glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.
What are the best foods to address acne?
It's important for sufferers to greatly reduce or eliminate all processed foods, and to focus on a diet rich in fresh, high-fibre whole foods. These include colourful fruit and vegetables, lean protein, grains include quinoa, millet and brown rice and healthy sources of fat. I would encourage acne sufferers to eat plenty of zinc-rich foods, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, spinach, beans and mushrooms and a good probiotic capsule.
What is the best way to address ageing skin?
Fill up on water, dark green leafy vegetables, colourful veggies, berries, cruciferous vegetables, avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, quinoa, beans and legumes.
What is your beauty top tip?
I have seen a big difference in my skin from drinking a green smoothie almost every morning. My signature green smoothie in my book is called The Green Goddess Smoothie.
What is the ultimate beauty myth in your opinion?
That a cream or supplement will fix everything.