As we step into summer, I've been asked lots recently to share an average day in terms of the supplements I take and foods I eat to maintain clear skin. I'm more than happy to do so, but I should point out, there is no such thing as average in my life!! Just like everybody else, some days I exercise lots, other days I prefer a lie in. Most days I'm super healthy but, just like you, I do enjoy a takeaway at weekends.
Cheesy as it sounds, life is about balance. I don't use this as an excuse to eat heaps of junk food guilt free, but it does mean I'm not going to deny myself a big wedge of cake at a friends birthday party!
There are some changes I've stuck to for life. I quit drinking seven years ago and never went back. I don't enjoy the feeling of hangovers and knowing myself as well as I do, it wouldn't be long before the 'odd glass' becomes the odd bottle each week! That doesn't mean you should quit forever too, it's about finding your balance.
If you're right at the beginning of your journey to clear skin, you might want to be more cautious about having 'cheat' days. But if having the occasional off-plan foods makes things more manageable for you, then go for it. None of us like to feel miserable and deprived, and I certainly don't want this journey to feel like that for you. Keep your focus on the end goal and stick to an 80/20 rule, with 80% of the foods you eat being skin friendly and healthy, and 20% more relaxed.
It's spring and the sun is rising before 6am. That usually means I am too! I never set an alarm, but I do love an early start when the sky is blue and the sun is shining. For me, it feels as though I'm sneaking in half a day before the rest of the world wakes up. My routine begins the same way each morning:
- Cup of Skin Purity Tea
- Spoonful of Multi Strain Biotic
- Shot cup of water with 20 drops of Milk Thistle Tincture
This is before I even have a shower, make a juice or eat breakfast! My Skin Purity Tea is a blend of red clover, burdock, chamomile, calendula and nettle. Each ingredient has been carefully selected to help support clear skin from within.
Fast becoming a best-seller on the website, I would not be without my probiotic shot! I'm lucky, we began developing the blend over a year ago, so I've been taking it since we started working on the ingredients. It kept my skin smooth and clear through winter - which is always the roughest time for me.
One of my absolute favorite beauty hacks for clear skin is milk thistle. Our skin often reflects what's going on internally for us, and if we struggle with a build up of toxins in any of our channels of elimination, we might notice this reflecting in other parts of our system. Constipation, skin reddening and a generally fatigued, foggy feeling are the first signs something isn't quite right. The key to milk thistle’s powerful properties is an antioxidant called silymarin which helps prevent toxins from binding in the liver.
Liver toxins are not just associated with alcohol consumption. Medicines, too much salt, environmental overload and a poor diet can all contribute. If the liver is struggling, and not able to work quickly enough to eliminate excess toxins, it might resort to other organs of elimination - like the skin - for assistance. This is how we sometimes see flare ups in skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea or eczema. It’s vital to ensure our immune system and liver have the correct tools (in terms of vitamins and minerals) to fight viruses and battle excess toxins to avoid imbalance and flares.
Morning Skincare Routine
Shower time, I'm so excited to be trialling shower oils at the moment! I hate using foaming gels as they really dry my skin out. We're working on a solution - watch this space! Naturally I always use my Shampoo and Conditioner. I hate not washing my hair every day, and these products are gentle enough to do so without stripping nutrients.
Post-shower I massage in Body Cream with Chia and use Skin Saviour Balm to hydrate any particularly dry patches. I wash my face with a Hydrating Cleanser, then apply massage in Vitamin D Face Cream which is fantastic to help us absorb and metabolise more of this skin boosting sunshine vitamin! If my skin is feeling especially dry (my skin is often on the dry side) I'll use a few drops of Intensive Night Serum and Skin Saviour Balm on my lips.
I barely wear any makeup most days, but I do love Dr Hauschka tinted day cream if I need a colour boost. And Dr Hauschka full foundation (I'm using the Chestnut shade at the moment) if I need extra coverage. Besides that, I little mascara and a slick of lip balm and I'm good.
Water Throughout the Day
I always fill my 1 litre water bottle first thing and make it my mission to ensure I've finished two full bottles by the time I go to bed. If I'm exercising lots and the weather is warm, this can sometimes end up being three full bottles. When you're working to clear your skin, or to maintain clear skin, water is vital. Hydrating well throughout the day helps our body's to flush toxins, which in turn leads to healthier skin. Studies show that drinking just two cups a day can increase blood flow to the skin, which helps to reduce redness and gives us an even, radiant tone.
I love my green juice! It's a fantastic way to get heaps of leafy green vitamins into my system right at the beginning of my day. I mix up the blend, but it's usually a combination of either spinach or kale, some cucumber for hydration, a little ginger and apple or ginger for sweetness. If you're pushed for time, it's ok to make this the night before, or bulk juice on a weekend and freeze for up to three months.
Green Juice Recipe
- Handful of spinach
- 2 celery stalks
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 apples
- Half a lemon
- Small chunk of ginger
Note: This is for a JUICE recipe, NOT a smoothie! See this blog post.
Sometimes I'll stick to a green juice alone, but if I know I have a long day ahead or if I'm out for a hike first thing, I'll add something else in. Today it was a bowl of muesli (I buy mine from Unicorn - my local organic shop). Be careful with shop bought muesli blends as they can sometimes contain added sugar. You can always make your own. My favourite milk right now is oatly whole milk (this is not gluten free, so avoid if you're celiac).
Adding berries, nuts and seeds to muesli not only makes it taste delicious, it adds omegas, selenium, zinc and other nutrients in a quick and simple spoonful.
Alongside breakfast is where I would usually take my vitamins. I used to make sure I supplemented with B12, Zinc, Selenium, D3 and Magnesium. At the moment I'm just taking B12, because I'm getting the rest of my important nutrients from food. During winter, I definitely like to make sure I'm taking D3, as the lack of sunlight in the UK means my skin misses out big time. My favourite brand is Wild Nutrition because they offer really great quality, food sourced supplements. Check them out here and reach out directly to them if you have any questions. The team are really helpful.
I personally love to exercise at the beginning of the day. There are some days when this just isn't practical, but for the most part I try to get out early and love knowing my steps are sorted before I've begun my working day. Hiking and biking are my favourite exercise through summer, not just for my body, but for cleansing my mind as well. There's something really lovely about experiencing quiet, peaceful mornings with the sun rising and birds tweeting. I vary my routes and mix up the terrain. Some mornings it's a hilly mountain hike, other days it might be a circuit along the canal. The ducklings are just hatching, so the canal is one of my favourite walks right now!
My distance varies too. Some mornings I'll happily hike a tough 10km over the hills, other days it's a 5km flat circuit with a friend. I use the Runkeeper free app with my Apple watch and iPhone health tracker to monitor steps. I'm not fanatical about it, but for me it provides a quick and simple visual to ensure I'm on track and lets my check progress over the course of the week, rather than stressing about each day.
I drink lots of fresh water on my hike and always pack a banana and apple or too to keep me going.
Most of us are able to make lunch at home right now, but there were lots of days (pre-lockdown) when I'd have to prepare something in the morning to make sure I had something healthy on the go. I love Seedful bread. Not only is it gluten free, it's absolutely crammed with nothing but skin friendly ingredients, nuts, seeds and more. Today's lunch was two slices of toasted Seedful with smashed avocado. I mash my avo with a squeeze of lime and tiny pinch of salt!
If I'm sat working at my laptop all day, I do love a healthy snack I can pick at! Today's was a box of cherries, but I love blueberries and raspberries too. Cherries are a brilliant source of antioxidants and crammed full of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.
Just because potatoes (nightshades) aren't an option for me, I still love crisps! Today's were these Sour Cream and Chives Quinoa snacks. Made with quinoa, pea and lentil flour, they taste great and they're perfect for picnics!
Two hikes in one day! This is most definitely not an everyday occurrence, but the weather was beautiful and my friend invited me to walk to her horse with her. A much shorter 3km walk, we took plenty of water.
My absolute favourite snack, and well earned after burning all those calories! Three rice cakes smothered with almond butter and topped with sliced banana.
You can checkout my actual dinner by clicking this Instagram link! A quick and simple Noodle & Greens stir fry, with kale, tenderstem broccoli and wakame noodles. I love how fast this is to throw together and the flavour is just delicious. I would usually add some mushrooms or tempeh for additional protein, but I desperately need to do a Tesco shop!! If you eat fish, you might like to serve this alongside a fillet of wild caught salmon.
I don't eat dessert every night, although I do love something sweet after dinner. Tonight it was a rhubarb and chia seed custard pot. Rhubarb is growing in abundance in my garden right now and I love it's tangy flavour. You can find the recipe here.
As much as I love my early starts, I equally love my early bedtime! I try to avoid snacking too late, because I hate that bloated tummy feeling. My evening snacks are usually a handful of nuts and dried fruit or a few pieces of dark chocolate. Tonight I ate brazil nuts - excellent for selenium, and a handful of raisins which are a great blood purifier, perfect for keeping those pesky overnight pimples at bay!
Bedtime Skincare Routine
I'm mortified at how often throughout my twenties I'd go to bed with makeup still on! These days I'm fastidious about my nighttime cleansing routine. It's quick and simple, I wash with Hydrating Cleanser, then apply my Intensive Night Serum to my face and Intensive Night Balm to dry heels and elbows.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into my day! As I mentioned right at the beginning, my days are really flexible and I certainly don't stress if I haven't managed to exercise quite as much or worry over whether I've eaten too much of something and not enough of something else. I'm confident that my balance is always tipped towards healthy and that keeps my base level of health strong, which in turn I credit with keeping my skin clear and radiant.
If you have any questions, please do post them in the comments below.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Had to get that out the way first! Wow Hanna what can I say but a massive thank you! I came across your book ‘Radiance’ whilst looking for a quick cure (daily occurrence) for my affliction and thank god it was this book!!! I am a woman of 58 years of age and have suffered with psoriasis my whole life. I come from a very large family, 9 children and had a normal childhood. I remember when I first started noticing the beginning stages of my skin disorder, which was when I was about 11. I was a very active child, running, swimming, volleyball. Everyday I would be doing some sort of activity. Then one day I seemed to be overwhelmingly tired, which was completely unheard of for me! I soon stopped all my activities, as the fatigue over took me. My mum decided to take me to the doctors, who told me I was ‘Anaemic’ and so prescribed me iron tablets. These did work and I then started to feel a whole lot better and eventually started my activities once more. It was when I finished the medication that I noticed small dry patches on my skin and scalp, which eventually covered my whole body – I mean everywhere. After numerous visits to the doctors, creams and shampoo’s, I was eventually taken into hospital, where I stayed for 6 weeks. I was bathed everyday in coal tar baths, then covered in this Salicyic Acid stuff, powdered and then bandaged. I actually looked like a mummy. My scalp was washed with awful smelly coal tar shampoo, then ointment was slathered on (I will never forget the scrapping of the comb on my scalp to relieve me of the lesions) HORRIFIC! Getting back to your book, which has given me a fabulous insight in to why food is in fact is the trigger to my skin problem. The reason I know this, is I have followed your eating plan for nearly 6 weeks and the difference in my skin has been amazing!! I mean absolutely amazing, plus I feel great and look great! My partner and family keep commenting on how glowy my skin looks. I have lost weight (nearly 2st). I actually thought going vegan would be really difficult, but for me it was a now or never situation. I have your ‘Intensive Scalp Oil, Shampoo and Condition, which are super amazing – my scalp has never itched since I started using them. There is no redness, just ever so slightly dry, but I know its going. My hands were an embarrassment, they were covered and being a corporate trainer made my life hell, always trying to hide my hands or cover up the red dry skin with foundation! I would love to share the before and after pictures, but I’m not sure how to do this yet. The salt scrubs and coconut oil have worked a treat. I have even got all the oils to create my own skin care, which I am going to be doing this weekend. Your recipes are delicious and I think I have had most of your salads and soups. I am now on the mains and even more excited to keep the momentum going. Glad to say I now have your 2nd book and am getting even more excited. Thank You Hannah from the bottom of my heart – Jacs x
Hey Charanjit, I’m so happy you find this blog useful! Take things a step at a time. It can feel overwhelming when our skin is flaring and we’re desperate to do anything we can to calm it down. B12 is fantastic if you’re following a plant-based diet. And yes, I use Wild Nutrition for my vitamins as they’re ‘food sourced’ and fantastic quality. Hope this helps and thank you for your kind words. Hanna x
Hi Hanna, your insight into your day is brilliant and gives good guidance for beginners on this journey. I am suffering with skin issues as my eczema has flared up and am reacting to anything and everything.
I have both your books and some of your products..
You have mentioned B12. Is this from Wild Nutrition?
I find your posts and recipes very inspiring.