Basically stated – dehydration occurs when more fluid leaves the body than enters it. The human body is around 75% water so it’s essential we replace the fluids we lose.

Most of us know that when we are dehydrated we get tired, headaches happened and constipation can occur.

But did you know that dehydration can affect our BRAIN?

When dehydration occurs, our blood flow slows meaning less oxygen is flowing through our body and brain. This then tells the hypothalamus to release an antidiuretic hormone and that hormone dictates how much water the kidneys store. Too much of this hormone can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting as well as coma and convulsions in severe cases.

As dehydration continues, cognitive function is impaired. It reduces your body’s ability to produce melatonin which then inhibits your ability to sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to depression, mood swings, weight fluctuations and brain fog.

Drinking enough water every day improves blood flow and oxygen, increases concentration, reduces headaches, regulates moods, flushes toxins, improves your skin and helps in weight management. Every body needs at least 1.5 litres of filtered water every day – and if you have caffeine or are sweating more than usual due to heat, you’ll need up to a litre more to compensate.

Although it’s true that only about 10% of the water you consume will end up benefiting your skin – it’s enough to stop your skin from drying out and aging poorly if you’re drinking at least 1.5L a day. Advanced skin treatments like skin needling and peels also heal faster if there’s enough water in the skin….so what are you waiting for? Get Hydrated!!

Do We Need to do a New Year Detox?

Well, this is an interesting question..there are literally hundreds of “health and wellness” companies that tell us NOW is the time to do our annual “body detox” and surprise, surprise…THEY have the product that’s going to detox you to within an inch of your life and you’ll never feel so good as you do after 3 months on their (very expensive) products!!

What’s happened to us over the years is that we have been conditioned to treat our body not only as the enemy but as something that needs constant fixing. Instead of learning about and trusting in our bodies, we bombard it with (quite frankly) shit that it doesn’t really need. I mean, do you honestly think that sitting in a bath of magnesium three times a week and massaging a $300 cellulite cream into our gorgeous, dimply thighs is going to make up for the fact that we haven’t eaten anything remotely green or raw since March?? 

On a daily basis we are bombarded with tonnes of chemicals that simply didn’t exist a hundred years ago and if they did, we didn’t consume them or apply them like we do nowadays.

The best ways to detox yourself are to do things that actually support your bodies health and open the pathways for sustainable detoxing (it shouldn’t be an annual effort! It should be encouraged daily).

Sweat. Sweat daily. Whether it’s due to exercise or heat (sauna, being outside on a hot day, warm spa or bath), sweating is the easiest way our body can remove toxins – and while you’re at it…consume AT LEAST one litre of water daily. More, if you’re exercising, pregnant or breastfeeding. Filtered or rainwater is best.

Eat proteins. Your body needs proteins…and get them in a natural form for easy processing. Your liver relies on protein to effectively eliminate poisons/toxins for your system so give it a helping hand (if you’re doing a juice cleanse, you’ll need to add protein for best results).

Get a massage. Yep, you heard it here first folks! Your lymphatic system is the main eliminator of toxins so give it a helping hand by getting a lovely massage (relaxation, lymphatic or lomi-lomi are best) regularly. Make sure you drink plenty of water afterwards to help the elimination process and take it a little bit easy afterwards so your body has the time to work it’s magic.

Eat real food. It’s literally THAT simple. And if you ONLY did this, your health would improve immediately and for the long term. Start your meals with a mouthful of kimchi, wait 30 minutes after you’ve finished eating before drinking anything and BOOM! Hello weight loss, hello healthy gut, hello clear skin.Controversial hey?!

Remove gluten. Gluten contains a protein that causes inflammation – even in those of us who aren’t coeliac. Inflammation causes disease. We don’t want that.

Can you think of other ways you could detox naturally?

Dermaplaning – What Is It?

Dermaplaning or dermablading or epidermal leveling – different names for the same thing.
Using a sterile (you hope!) scalpel to remove the fine, vellous hair on your face whilst also performing a good manual exfoliation of your skin.

That, essentially, is all it is. There are myths and fabrications about what this treatment can and can’t do and I’ll just spend a few minutes giving you the truth about it, if I may.
I recently heard that dermaplaning can cause terminal hair to grow. Rubbish.
The end.
What dermaplaning DOES do, however, is to cut the hair shaft so it FEELS thicker…because the soft, tapered end of your hair is no longer what you can see or feel on your face. In time it will feel softer as the hair gets longer. It won’t feel as “bristly”.

I also read that someone believes that exfoliating the skin manually (like with gentle micro dermabrasion or a gentle facial scrub) can increase cell turnover and age the skin faster. Hmmm. There’s a few pointers here that I have to first highlight. If you’ve smoked, drank and sunbathed all your life and never used a decent product on your skin – then suddenly have dermaplaning done or a micro then YES, you will notice your skin perks up and acts like a normal skin for a while as you’ve gotten rid of all that crappy built up skin blocking the good stuff underneath. You can’t really increase your cell turnover long term this way however.

Using a product like Vitamin A CAN increase your cell turnover… but usually only if your turnover is sluggish to start with!

There is some research that suggests that skin cells have a certain number of turnovers in them before they die…..and the more you peel or ablate your skin, the faster that time will come. A peel or ablation is VERY different to having a light manual exfoliation like dermaplaning though – so no need to stress!! And if you’re having one or two peels a year with good, sensible home care to support it – there is also no need to worry. 

Think about it – men shave their faces most days and tend to look younger in the bottom area of the face than women do……so surely that tells you something!

So shave, dermaplane and exfoliate away. Everything in moderation and nothing in excess – and your skin will love you for it!

How Can Vegetarians and Vegans Get More Collagen?

There’s not doubting it – the push towards a plant based diet has never been as popular as it is now. And it’s hardly surprising when you see how terrible and unsustainable the commercial meat market is. If buying your meat from supermarkets was your only option, you’d have to seriously think twice about wanting to support that industry.

Eating meat from reputable butchers who grass feed and finish their meat and allow all fowl to free roam is hopefully the way of the future and these gourmet butchers are definitely on the rise as we customers get more savvy with our ethical dollars. For some, the death of an animal will never be acceptable but for many others meat is a desirable food source and as long as they are supporting small, sustainable meat producers then they’re happy (I fall into this second category by the way). 

It’s relatively easy for meat eaters to get a wide range of nutrients from their diet, but if you’ve removed meat and meat products then it may pose more of a challenge. Unfortunately, a lot of plant based eaters don’t substitute these products with appropriate alternatives however with the age of Google, it’s now a lot easier to do your research (although it may be biased depending on what sites you’re looking at). 

The only thing I can talk about with any authority is sources of collagen. This is a nutrient that is found in our body and is produced in abundance until we are in our early 20s. After that, our production drops significantly and our body keeps it for is in our joints and around our organs (our body isn’t really concerned if our skin looks aged, damn it!!!). So, how do we get more collagen into our body to improve our skin?

Well, there’s two ways.

Firstly, controlled trauma to the skin. This is best done via skin needling. During wound healing, excess collagen is produced so that healing occurs quickly and effectively. When we skin needle, we create this trauma. Be aware though, there is a fine line between producing collagen and pushing too hard and producing collagenase (the enzyme that BREAKS DOWN collagen….not what we want!!) so it’s imperative that you have your skin needling done by a licensed professional.

Secondly, you can ingest collagen in powdered form. These are very popular now and can have quite a good result as long as you remember a couple of things…firstly, collagen powders are only effective if they come from an animal source. As at this time, there has been no proven benefit of any “vegan” collagen. Bovine is still the best, but marine collagen (from fish, not plants) is also effective. The molecule size also needs to come into play as it has to go through the gut lining to be shared out to the cells. The body (as a general rule) needs small molecule sizes of everything so that it can uptake a wide range of nutrients. Large molecular sizes cannot penetrate in our bodies – either from the inside or the outside. 

So, if you’re plant based and can’t take animal collagen – are there any other options for you? Yes. And it’s basic science.

The Beauty Chef makes a tonic called (funnily enough) Collagen. It does NOT contain actual collagen as The Beauty Chef is a vegan range. Instead, it contains a diverse range of pre- and probiotics to improve gut health. The thought being that if your gut is in great health, the collagen you DO produce will be top notch. So my suggestion would be – take Collagen tonic daily and have a course of 6 skin needling sessions. You’ll be producing your own collagen (the best option), you’ll be improving your skin health, you’ll be improving your gut health and as a by-product, the collagen you will be producing will be in the best condition that it can be…..giving you the best skin you can possibly have.