skin elixir blog
NOURISH THE SKIN YOU'RE IN
Today we get the low down and top tips to nourish the skin you're in from herbalist, and 'Women At the Table' member, Debbie Lourenco.
1. What do you do as part of a regular routine to look after yourself?
I start most days with a mug of hot water (no lemon at the moment) as according to the Ayurvedic tradition, hot water helps to get the system going. I do drink coffee but that is usually mid-morning although I have recently tried to cut down. Every morning I prepare a litre flask with equal measures of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds which makes up a lovely digestive tea that I sip throughout the day in addition to my normal water. I love to cook and as I work shifts I don’t always have a lot of time so I like to keep things simple with steamed or roasted veggies together with a protein (fish or chicken). I have found that as I am getting older, I’m getting a very sweet tooth! But again, I will rather bake my own cakes or go for a good quality dark chocolate so I don’t feel too guilty about it!
I have a lovely dog so my exercise is mainly long walks by the river or in the woods which is great as I have no excuse to not get outside into the fresh air. As far as my skin is concerned, I again try to keep it simple with as natural as possible and I absolutely love rose water as a toner, it is heavenly! I haven’t used foundation for almost a year now and although I don’t have perfect skin, it is nice to have some natural colour to my skin from being outside.
2. What are the key things you have found that nurture self-nourishment?
This is something that I am still struggling with. I have recently requalified as a Herbalist as I work shifts in a very corporate environment and I have wanted to get out of it for a very long time. I would really love to just have a happy balance between work and home life but then, don’t we all? I am trying to surround myself with like-minded people (as that is not the case at work) as I think that is important and to just follow my instinct and be true to myself but I must admit, it’s a lot harder when you try to put it into practice, but I will get there. It’s all part of learning and growing and I am loving it even though at times I think that I should just stay with the devil I know instead of embarking on a new path but I think that is just natural and I try not to be too hard on myself.
One thing that I have found really helpful is the practice of gratitude. Just starting and ending the day with a few words of gratitude is a lovely way of staying grounded and reminding me how lucky I am to finally be on the way to doing what I want to do.
3. What could you do more of to nourish the skin you’re in?
I would love to be able to indulge in regular facials or massages. I have a friend who does manual lymphatic facials which are divine but I just don’t have them regularly enough so would love to improve on that as the skin feels amazing afterwards.
4. What top tips have you got to give others around your working life to stay on top?
I’m not sure I have any top tips as I’m myself trying to find that balance. For myself, I have found that what prevents me from staying on top of things is fear! Fear of not being good enough, fear of people will think about me and generally fear of just going for it which leads to procrastination! This has kept me up at night and I’m sure I’m not the only one but I think that this is going to be my biggest challenge. I know I can do it but I just have to believe it, and to know it and then anything is possible.
I also think that as women, we don’t support each other enough which is a shame. There is so much competition out there to be the best mother, wife, cook, cleaner etc but what happened to just supporting each other and being proud of all our achievements. I think this is where the fear comes in at times. That’s why I think it’s important to surround yourself with supportive people who are happy when you are up and thriving and who will also be there for you if you fall and I am so lucky to be able to say that I have such people around me.
5. What are the things you couldn’t live without that are key to your happiness and your nourishment?
My herbs! Ha but it is true. For me, if I haven’t had something herbal in my day whether it is a tea or just going out and walking past a plant then I feel as if I have missed something. My flat is covered with cuttings and seeds that I am hoping will flourish and my fiancé just giggles at the countless pots that are scattered everywhere, bless him. I just love watching new sprouting plants or flowers or watching anything grow and blossom. It is an amazing reminder of life and how precious and simple it is.
Another thing is my bed as I am such a light sleeper and having a good night sleep is so important with regards to your emotions and energy levels. We recently invested in a good quality bed and it has made such a difference to my sleep that when I go away (even for a night), I miss my bed so much! So, I really believe in keeping things simple, a good quality bed, my herbs and a positive attitude together with good intentions in life are what I need (and aim for) to feel nourished.
I am 39 years old and I just recently qualified as a Herbalist as I want to get out of the unhealthy corporate environment that I have worked in for the past 14 years. I am also embarking on an Acupuncture course in the autumn which I am really looking forward to so there is a fair bit going on. At the moment, I am trying to figure out how exactly to go about herbalism, working and studying again so there will be a balancing act for sure going on. I don’t have children but I have a wonderful dog called Dottie who has accompanied me on many herbal walks and a fiancé who is wonderfully supportive and positive when it comes to my new path. Although I love everything natural and holistic, I also think that life is too short to restrict yourself and so if I want a glass of wine then I will have one (or two) and if the chocolate fudge cake on the menu looks good then I am going to have it. My motto at the moment is to be kind to yourself and others and try not to judge.
Our Skin Elixir blog will feature ideas to nourish the skin you're in.