Fight the Effects of Inflamm-Aging

When I began my career as a beauty editor I wanted to learn as much as I could about the science of skin. I remember one day-long conference, organized by a major beauty company, where we watched PowerPoint presentations on the dramatic aging effects of sun damage, smoking, and tanning. For years, I learned how to counteract those external agers with cutting-edge skincare. In those days UV rays and smoke were probably the biggest beauty dangers on my radar.

I had a lot to learn.

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Whole Foods Debuts a New Way to Rate Your Produce

The criteria I use for judging my produce has seriously evolved in my years of grocery shopping. Where I once sought some combination of the cheapest or best-looking fruit and veggies in the market, I've learned to look for organic, accepting its higher prices and more frequent imperfections. Today Whole Foods begins pushing our collective produce considerations a few steps further, with a new rating system that takes into account factors like water conservation, worker wages, overall sustainability and waste. Of course, organic will still be a major focus, but Whole Foods will also weigh the use of certain pesticides—those that they deem prohibited or restricted, vs others that are less so.

Other factors measured in the new Whole Foods Market system:

  • sustainability
  • pest management
  • pollinator protection
  • worker wages
  • water conservation and protection
  • soil health
  • ecosystems
  • biodiversity
  • waste, recycling and packaging
  • energy
  • climate

According to Whole Foods, "The ratings will also reward suppliers for certification by a number of leading social and environmental standards including:  Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Protected Harvest, and Demeter Biodynamic certification."

What you'll see in-store is a 'good,' 'better' or 'best' rating on produce and flowers:

What do you think of the new rating system? Do you feel like it will help you make more informed produce choices?

Produce photo via Aaron van Dorn

Get Your Silkiest Skin Ever

Youthful skin is not only wrinkle-free, it’s smooth as silk. And while it might feel effortless to maintain soft cheeks in your younger years, at some point (earlier than we expect!) the natural shedding of our skin cells— an essential process for smooth, glowing skin— begins its decline. Warm weather signals an uptick in our cell turnover (the rate at which our skin cells naturally loosen and fall off, revealing new skin underneath), but that doesn't mean that your skin will always be smooth and glowing in the summer. The sunscreen we’re applying daily to prevent wrinkles can exacerbate textural issues when it mixes with sweat and makeup. The result is a dull, uneven, clogged complexion.

But we’re not stuck with rough. My prescription for your silkiest skin ever is a combo of beauty foods, products and practices to restore the smoothness of your cheeks. This regimen helps even your skin, head to toe, so other problem areas like your shoulders and décolleté will benefit as well.

Get younger-looking skin right now with these four steps:

1.     Boost the skin-smoothing vitamin A in your diet. This multitasking beauty nutrient is essential for balancing the sebum production in our skin, repairing and renewing our cells, and encouraging natural cell turnover. Excellent seasonal sources of vitamin A include greens (dandelion, collards, romaine, kale and spinach are great picks), carrots, cantaloupe, red peppers and peas. Be sure to add some healthy fats to your vitamin A-rich foods to help you absorb the fat-soluble nutrition.  

2.     Reduce inflammation. Lowering aging inflammation is always a good idea for your skin (since it contributes to wrinkles, redness and blemishes), but it’s especially important for maintaining a smooth, happy complexion. Reduce the quantity of inflammatory foods in your diet (I call them the Beauty Betrayers, and you can find a complete list in my book Eat Pretty), like refined sugar and processed foods.

3.     Practice more frequent (but gentle!) manual exfoliation. Using a soft muslin cloth or gentle washcloth to slough off dead cells and stubborn sunscreen can transform the texture of your skin. The trick is to slow down and never tug, rub or pull. Soak your cloth in warm water, wring it out, and use it to wipe your face, along your jawline and down your neck to your collarbone once a day or a few times a week after you cleanse.

4.     Find a scrub or enzyme exfoliant that pairs well with your skin. Some scrubs and alpha hydroxy acids can be harsh on skin, and leave them more susceptible to sunburns. If you have reactive skin, try honey or an enzyme exfoliant formulated for sensitive skin as a gently exfoliating mask. And if your skin can handle a little more intensity, go for a stronger enzyme exfoliant (pineapple, papaya, honey and berries are naturally exfoliating ingredients) or a scrub. Both skin types can also benefit from the use of skin care that contains retinols to increase cell turnover‑ask your dermatologist about those, or look for a gentle, over-the-counter version.


Image ©J E Theriot

Eat Pretty Vocabulary: Healthy Vanity

noun. [hel-thee van-i-tee]

The desire to look and feel your best. Healthy vanity inspires you to seek out ways to better your beauty and body.

 We see vanity as such a negative quality, but, at the other end of the spectrum, neglecting our appearance is also negative, and it has unwanted effects on our emotional and physical health. When you’re driven to improve your diet and lifestyle in order to look and feel your best, you’re not vain— and tapping into your healthy vanity reminds you of that.

From Eat Pretty:

"The Eat Pretty lifestyle will remake your relationship with food and change your understanding of your beauty and body. At the same time, you'll build an antiaging lifestyle that supports you today, not to mention when you're forty, fifty, sixty and beyond. Just what force inspires us to make these changes, and to better our beauty and body? To me it's a universal quality that I call 'healthy vanity'— although there's nothing vain about it. Healthy vanity is our desire to look and feel our best, and to show that best self to the world. It's the beauty we were born to have. Now is your time to own it."

Eat Pretty: My Second Baby Arrives Today!

Dear readers,

As I write this post, I'm propped against the island in my kitchen, with a 1-month old baby strapped to my chest. My multitasking skills have been put to the test over the past few weeks as I worked, with every free moment, to get the word out about the launch of another baby that I've been working on for over 2 years: Eat Pretty.

Back in the fall of 2011, when I first decided to pitch the idea for a book about the fundamentals of beauty nutrition (brimming with fresh, colorful, delicious recipes that would make any reader want to pack her diet with beautifying foods), I had no idea that it would enter the world at very the same time as my little boy, Jack. I've been through a range of emotions this month, from elation to exhaustion, from extreme stress to overwhelming peace. My little boy was born. And now, the book is here.

I want this book to empower and inspire, to transform the way you view simple daily activities like snacking, sleeping, exercising and caring for your skin, and to give you tools and information that hasn't been made available to you before. The Eat Pretty approach to beauty helped me out of a deep beauty rut, at a time when breakouts, eczema, allergies, digestive issues and weight gain were a daily frustration. I want you to have access to this information too, so you never have to feel stuck, or less than your best.

Even if I haven't been able to make this, the launch day for Eat Pretty, into a blockbuster celebration, there has already been so much amazing feedback and love for this book, and it's allowed me to share it in ways I never expected. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to so many in the beauty and health community, and to so many members of the media who have picked up Eat Pretty, loved the info inside, and chose to share it with others. Your endorsement of the book means more than I can ever express!

I hope you, my readers, will pick up a copy as well, since this book was written for YOU! It's filled with over 200 pages of information that is absolutely essential in understanding your body and beauty— the info inside gives you the tools to look and feel your best by creating a lifestyle that supports you as an individual. Inside, you'll find a book broken down by seasons, with grocery shopping lists,  beauty intentions, and pampering rituals that help you embrace all that nature has to offer you during each season of the year. The book wouldn't be complete without an explanation of the nutritional info that will transform your skin, hair, nails, mood and weight, and chapters that help you connect your digestion, hormone balance, sleep patterns, emotional wellbeing and pH balance to your appearance. It's the information I sought years ago, and couldn't find.

Now it's in one place, in one pretty package.

Thank you for your support of Eat Pretty!

In beauty and health,



Sleep-deprived, makeup free, hair in a messy mommy ponytail— and happy as ever holding my two babies!

Beauty Is Wellness Cheat Sheet: Eczema

          Got dry, flaky, kinda-like-sawdust skin?  Is it eczema?  (Image 
Andreanna Moya Photography)

What's a Beauty Is Wellness Cheat Sheet? It's your in-depth guide to a common beauty concern— from weight gain to skin redness, acne and thinning hair— and your plan to remedy it from the inside out. Like everything at Beauty Is Wellness, beauty foods are the foundation, and healthy habits and products support you on your path to gorgeous.

The Beauty Issue:

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis

This common skin issue (which often flares up during the cold, dry winter) ranges from mild to quite harsh. It can be dry and scaly, moist and blistery, or it can bleed and form rough callouses. It's common to get eczema near joints (behind knees, inside elbows) and on legs and arms.

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Everything You Need to Know About Spa-ing, in Pictures


I'm sure you remember your very first spa visit— you weren't sure what to expect, you had no idea what articles of clothing to take off or keep on, and you probably felt pretty awkward in general. For most of us, being a spa newbie takes away from the overall enjoyment and relaxation of the experience. And guess what? This awkwardness doesn't automatically go away on your second visit, especially if a trip to the spa is an infrequent indulgence. But it doesn't have to be this way!

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Digestive Helper? Testing GoodBelly Probiotic Products


Digestive health is one of the secrets to great skin, but I'll be honest— not all of my readers and clients are excited about eating probiotic-rich sauerkraut, kimchi and miso. So I'm always on the lookout for tastier ways to boost the healthy bacteria in our gut, and I jumped at the chance to sample a few of GoodBelly's probiotic-packed offerings.

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