Understanding Your Skin
David Stouder: Welcome to the Humanized podcast, all about personalizing your health. Today I’m your fill-in host, Dave Stouder. Next to me is Rebekah Kelley, who usually you see as a host, but she is our guest today. And we’re going to talk about Understanding Your Skin. Now, before I introduce Rebekah, I want to remind everyone, you should subscribe and get all our variety of casts, audio and transcription at HumanizedHealth.com. It’s all free, but if you subscribe, you know right away when our new podcasts come out. And I also want to give special thanks to our lead sponsor, Village Green Apothecary, where, by the way, I work there and you can come in and see Rebekah’s line of products, Virtue Skinfood. And you can access everything at MyVillageGgreen.com.
Now, besides being the host of Humanized Health podcast, Rebekah is a marketing consultant with expertise in health, wellness, and active lifestyle sectors. Her focus in life is to create the best self and develop a vibrant, energetic and strong body in alignment with a strong mind and spirit. Rebekah is passionate about sharing her experience and knowledge on healing and personal growth to the world, as well as continuing her learning journey with others – and I think you’ve all noticed that as you’ve seen Rebekah host our shows. And so she has created Virtue Skinfood. That’s a line of products using the wisdom of natural plant medicine and food grade nutrition to provide a line of optimal skincare products. It is the cleanest line I have ever seen. She originally developed products for her own use to help solve her skin sensitivity challenges. By following Rebekah’s unique and integrated wellness practices, anyone can have a healthier body, inside and out.
And I just want to comment, as we start this interview. I have watched you, you are a dedicated worker. You have so much going on, you stay really fit, and I’ve been in Village Green looking at your products. So, you must know a lot about skin, so that’s what we want to talk about.
Do you find that most people really understand how important their skin is to their overall health?
Rebekah Kelley: You know, David, I think it’s hit and miss, right? Because I think it’s so easy for us to take our skin for granted. And some people do pay attention, especially if they’re having skin issues. But I think a lot of times, myself included, it’s very easy to just expect your skin to continue to do its work, to protect you, to detox, to do all the things that you really depend upon it to do to look good, to feel good, and sometimes we can forget about it.
And I don’t think a lot of people even think about the fact that it actually is our largest organ. Right? And I think the numbers that I read were like 20 to 25 square feet of skin is on every body, every person. And it’s really the opportunity for our body to detox, but also to take in things. So, toxins, obviously, can take in. But you know, there’s a lot of medications now, and other things like hormone creams or nicotine, right? So if you put it right on your skin, your skin will absorb it.
We all know about keeping our skin hydrated. We don’t always think about doing it from actually drinking water. We think about putting lotions or something on it, but really, your skin is a map to what’s going on inside of your body. And I think whenever it starts to say things by creating rashes or breakouts or wrinkles, we start paying attention. But until then, probably not as much as we would like, do people really notice what our skin’s about.
David Stouder: Well, yeah, and I think we need to really focus in on the things you just said, that the skin is an organ. It has a function. It’s not just something that wraps up our bones and our organs and gives us an outward appearance. It is a very integral part of our health and it seems like it, like you say, we ignore it until it talks to us, till we get a rash, we go, wow, my skin’s so wrinkly, what’s going on?
Now, let’s talk about some of these things that our skin does that gets our attention. There’s so many things, like acne, pimples, wrinkles, rashes… Does that give us some clues about what’s going on inside our body?
Rebekah Kelley: Yeah, I think it’s really individualistic, right? I think it’s really important that each individual pay attention to what’s going on in their body. And sometimes we get so busy in life that if our skin starts giving us a little trouble, we might go to the dermatologist. We might put some cream on it. But we don’t always stop and really listen to what it has to say. So for instance, for me, I can always tell, especially in the winter, but sometimes in the summer when I’m not drinking enough water, my skin tells me first by actually being really dry. And so I have a lot of people come to me, because I have skincare line, saying my skin’s really dry, what do I put on it? And I always start with the first thing – how much water are you drinking? Because that makes a huge difference with your skin. Right? So it just talks to us in such little subtle ways. I can definitely tell a difference between having a couple of glasses of wine with my girlfriends’ book club. The next day, my skin just feels and looks a little bit different and it’s because it’s not well hydrated, it’s a little inflamed. So our skin’s constantly talking to us.
I know for me also, the reason why, of course, that I work on skin and think about skin is because my skin talks to me a lot. So I know I’ve actually taken even a different supplement and I’ll get a rash on my stomach. And I was like, wow, it’s because I took a time-release. I can’t handle time-release. Different people have to listen to their body and see, okay, what’s it saying to me? If you go to sleep and then you wake up the next day and your eyes are a little swollen, are you thinking, wow, did I maybe wash my laundry in something and now this is a toxin that I’m being exposed to, that I wasn’t being exposed to before? Maybe you stay at a hotel and you sleep on their sheets and you have a little bit of [a reaction] – do people think about that? I know I do. But it’s just something, your skin is always talking to you.
Things like eczema and psoriasis – those are all things your body’s basically saying it needs to detox, right? There’s other systems and issues that are backed up and they need to have a little bit of support. And so the skin, I believe for my skin anyway, it’s always talking to me and it’s about listening, but it’s very personal, right? I would have breakouts on my chin forever, until I actually quit dairy, and they’re gone. And it’s just little things like that sometimes, that you’ll be like, you tweak something, you’re like, wow. It’s creating a little bit of indigestion and it’s creating a little problem for me. And now if I ever break down and have some dairy, it comes right back.
David Stouder: Yeah. And I like the way that you’re focusing us on, we see something on the outside, on our skin, a rash, a blemish or whatever, and we want to look what’s going on on the inside. Because yeah, there’s things like poison Ivy that comes from the outside and gets on the skin and causes inflammation. But it seems to me that most skin issues, although they’re on the outside, they come from the inside. Not a hundred percent, but I like where you’re going with that, because I think that’s what we need to look at.
Now, there’s probably, like you said, it’s very personalized your skin and its health, but what are some of the main things people do or don’t do? You mentioned hydration that sort of caused their skin to start hollering at them, hey, take care of me.
Rebekah Kelley: Well, one of the obvious ones to me is a lot of times people really, I would say, overuse skincare products. Or they can scrub too hard. Cause a lot of times people think their skin’s just inherently dirty and they’ve just got to clean, clean, clean, and actually your skin is amazing at actually cleaning itself. It’s really about removing the environmental toxins. And that’s actually a very gentle thing to do. People, I think, more and more do realize that they need to protect their skin from sun, but I think a lot of times people do it with sunscreen, which also has a lot of chemicals and synthetics in it. It’s really hard to get a natural sunscreen. So while you’re doing a great job of protecting your skin from sun, you’re also putting something on your skin that it might not necessarily like. So I know for me, I’m a big hat wearer and long sleeve wearer in the sun.
People just don’t always think about, also, like when you go in the shower. In your shower a lot of people have city water or they have other water that has chlorine in it. So they’re daily putting on their skin the shower water, breathing it in. Nope, [they] don’t even think about that.
So there’s so many different things that are just really simple everyday living that really can create some challenges for the health of our skin. And we really want to be thoughtful. Like I actually put a filter on my shower water, and it makes a huge difference with my skin. It’s little simple things like that, that you can actually look in your environment and say, what can I do to really take care of myself? I have a hat that I roll up and carry in my backpack. So if I’m any place unexpectedly where it’s sunny, I can pop it out and put it over, and I protect myself. It’s just different things that we can think about and be smart about. What’s our environment, where are we going to be, and what can we do to take care of ourselves?
David Stouder: And if I may say, and having met you in person, your skin is a great example that you’re following your principles, I just want to say. We won’t talk about your age, but you have excellent skin.
Now, what are some of the, again, this is very personal and there’s a lot of things to be said, but you mentioned when you stopped dairy, blemishes on your chin cleared up. What are some of the key dietary things that people should look at that might be affecting their skin in a negative way?
Rebekah Kelley: There are so many, and because we’re such diverse individuals with different biochemical situations going on, it can really vary. So again, this is where I really think people should reflect and pay attention to what their body’s saying, right? You know how you feel after you eat something or drink something. But there are certainly some things that are kind of basic, which we discussed. Hydration. And kind of the key for that, a minimum to me is just making sure you’re getting like a half an ounce, I think, for every pound, was kind of the rule. I like to double that, myself. But it’s really, again, a very personal thing. But you can tell when you’re starting to feel a little dehydrated, right? You can kind of tell that that’s happening.
You also want to make sure to have a – I feel like I’m just preaching to the choir, of course, because of our listeners – but you know, you have a very diverse, colorful, diet with lots of dense nutrition, right? Because your skin really needs to have the support that your diet provides you. So you want dense nutrition. There’s a reason why, if you eat French fries, it can show up in your skin. Those oils are just really not good for our skin and different people have different responses and reactions. So it’s really hard, but the rule is, don’t eat the things that you know you shouldn’t eat, right? If you do eat them, most likely you’re going to see a difference. And I hate to say it, but I’m going to say it – sugar can be one that really affects skin. A lot of people will notice, when they lean a little bit on the dessert side, it’s a tendency to have breakouts. And also, if you get your body out of whack, there’s a lot of things that can happen around candida growth, et cetera.
So, it’s really about knowing what your body can and can’t handle. Eating as dense nutrition as you can, making sure that you hydrate. And again, I know I keep saying this over and over again, but really listen to your skin. Listen to what it has to say. It really wants to talk to you.
And also, be grateful. You were very nice to compliment my skin, David, but my skin, I’ve had a lot of trouble throughout my life. I started out with very bad cystic acne. I react to everything, as you can kind of tell from the way I talk about my environment, and I still travel with my own sheets because I can’t stay in a hotel if they’ve used the wrong laundry detergent. I really do listen to myself. And when my body says something, or if I wake up with swollen eyes, I’m grateful. If I get a breakout, I’m grateful. I know it sounds weird to say, but I’m grateful because my skin’s telling me what my overall health is. It’s the canary in the coal mine. And I just say to myself, okay, what’s going on? What have I done differently? What can I do? And then when it starts to glow again, I’m like, wow, okay, I’m back to doing what I need to do to take good care of myself. So your skin is like a great way of really measuring that and really listening.
David Stouder: Well, I’m going to steal a phrase there, because I think it’s a good one. When people come in, I guess you’ll remember, your skin is the canary in the coal mine.
Well, those were a lot of really valuable insights, Rebekah, and thank you. Now, as I tell you that, you can find out information at www.Virtue, just like the word, VirtueSkinfood.com, we can find Rebekah. Rebekah, I do want to have you back because I’d like to, with your knowledge of the skin and your own challenges with your skin, I want to have you back and talk about your actual skincare line. There are so many, a lot of good ones, but ask you what’s unique about yours.
So let me remind everybody again, subscribe to the podcast. It’s free. You can get all the Humanized videos, podcasts, transcriptions from all our thought leaders on personalized health at HumanizedHealth.com. Rebekah, thank you so much.
Rebekah Kelley: Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure to be on the other side, in the hot seat.