We all know nutrition plays a key role in how we feel, but Dr Libby Weaver explains, it’s also integral to how we look. Dr Libby shares her advice on beauty from the inside out.
A beautician recently told me that what you put inside your body is so much more important that all the lotions and potions you could possibly put on the outside. How accurate is this statement?
I agree wholeheartedly. I like to say that beauty really is an inside job. What is happening on the outside – our skin – is a reflection of our inner health, so it seems crazy to me that so often the focus is on what we can do externally to our skin. What we put on our skin matters, of course, but in order to get the outcomes we seek, we must also address any challenges from the inside out. The skin needs certain nutrients and antioxidants to be at its radiant best so what we eat and drink really matters.
What are some of the most common beauty challenges people ask you about?
Most commonly I’m asked how to get beautiful, glowing skin and how to prevent premature ageing, but I also often get asked about thinning hair which seems to be a common challenge for many women these days. Acne driven by sex hormone imbalances is also very common.
How can we seek to heal common beauty challenges like acne, cellulite, dark circles and thinning hair from the inside out?
Each beauty challenge will be driven by a different internal biochemical process. I always say that to find the path to healing, we have to find the road we took to create the challenge. A fantastic first step is to focus on amping up our intake of vegetables, eat in a way that focuses on whole, real food and make water our main drink.
Our body prioritises our survival over our beauty and so nutrients go to life-protecting processes before they’re sent to the upkeep of our skin, hair and nails. If we’re not getting enough nutrients, we’re already on the back foot when it comes to providing our body with what it needs and our “beauty bits” will likely suffer
Diet’s also pretty key to how you feel on the inside as well, so how we can produce more mood-lifting anti-anxiety and anti-depressant hormones naturally?
Increasing our nutrient intake is, again a great place to start. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of plenty of plants when it comes to our health! One of our happy hormones, serotonin, is predominantly made in our gut so ensuring our digestion is working well can also go a long way to supporting the right amount of this mood-lifting hormone. Of course, it is through the gut that we also absorb all of our nutrients so this is yet another reason to look after your digestive processes.
When it comes to diet, what do you consider to be some of the real “superfoods” – the things you wouldn’t ever do without?
I consider all whole, real foods to be super but the real superstars are definitely vegetables. Brassica vegetables are standouts for the nutrients they offer that stimulate liver detoxification processes. I’m also a huge fan of parsley for its micronutrient and flavonoid content and I love lemons for their ability to support optimal stomach pH, which is essential for great digestion.
You always look amazing, what are some of your key beauty tips?
You are very kind, thank you. The way we nourish ourselves forms part of our beauty routine, like it or not, so focus on what you put inside your body (as well as what you avoid or minimise). We simply cannot fight the biological requirements of our body for nutrients. Embrace strategies that help you to manage your body’s stress response (diaphragmatic breathing is a great place to start). Be mindful about what you put on your skin—opt for natural or organic skincare products that don’t add to the load your liver needs to process.
Practice gratitude and appreciation for your amazing body and what it allows you to do and experience in life. What if your beauty challenges were simply messages from your body, asking you to eat, drink, move, think, breathe, believe or perceive in a new way? Try to see them as the gifts that they are.