Claudia Gilani is a holistic health practitioner based in Los Angeles and the founder of Healing The Source. Through her practice, she guides individuals to heal the root cause of their chronic symptoms, rather than simply suppressing them with "quick fix" treatments. As an experienced herbalist, she is dedicated to helping others improve their health and well-being through using food, herbs, movement, and emotional wellness.
As a holistic health practitioner, one of the most frequent issues I encounter in my practice is clients struggling with skin problems. Whether it's acne, eczema, or simply dry and dull skin, it can be disheartening and frustrating. I personally struggled with acne for over 12 years, and it was not an easy journey. However, the good news is that by making a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can greatly improve the health and appearance of your skin without resorting to "quick fix" treatments that only suppress your symptoms rather than healing them. Here are my top three tips for achieving radiant and healthy skin:
(Disclaimer, always ask your physician before taking any herbs to make sure they are right for you!)
There are some herbs that we can use to help reduce and even clear skin issues. Red clover is an herb believed to have anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing properties. It can help reduce inflammation and regulate oil production in the skin and is a rich source of antioxidants. Red clover is available in a variety of different preparations including teas, tinctures, capsules and extracts. I like to enjoy it in tea form. You can buy the tea from your local health food store or you can order the loose leaves in bulk online. When buying tea it’s important to look for companies that offer organic herbs, don’t bleach their tea bags, and are nylon-free.
Burdock root is another herb believed to have detoxifying properties, which can help purify the blood, reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of the skin, it is also known to reduce sebum production and prevent acne. I like to buy burdock root powder and put it in my smoothies! I think smoothies are great because you can consume multiple herbs at once in a delicious drinkable way! You can also buy the root and grind it up in a blender yourself to make a fresh powder. Burdock root contains inulin, a natural dietary fiber, and is also used to improve digestion. In fact, recent studies confirm that burdock has prebiotic properties that could improve digestive health which helps lead to clearer skin.
Cleavers is an herb believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, it helps reduce inflammation, clear toxins from the skin and is a natural diuretic which can flush out toxins from the body, helping to clear the skin. This herb is also available in different forms like capsules, tinctures or teas. I prefer to take it as a glycerin tincture. Cleavers are known to enhance the function of the lymphatic system which makes it a great option for assisting in achieving clear skin.
You should consult with your doctor before starting any herbs. As they can interact with certain prescriptions. Especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Oil cleansing is a method of using natural oils to cleanse the skin. It works by using a blend of natural oils that are gentle and non-comedogenic, to dissolve and remove impurities and excess sebum from the skin. This is particularly helpful for those who struggle with acne because acne-prone skin often has an overproduction of sebum which can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Oil cleansing can help balance and regulate the skin's oil production, remove impurities, and reduce redness and inflammation associated with acne. Jojoba oil or Sea Buckthorn are great examples of oil cleansers that work great for acne-prone skin. The following is my personal process:
Apply the oil: Start by applying the oil to your dry face, using your fingertips to gently massage it into your skin. Take your time and make sure you cover your entire face including your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin
Add water: Once you have massaged the oil into your skin, wet a washcloth with warm water and place it over your face. Leave the cloth on for a minute to allow the warmth to open up your pores and loosen any dirt or impurities (not too hot!).
Remove the oil: Use the washcloth to gently wipe the oil off your face, being careful not to scrub too hard or damage your skin. You may need to repeat this step a few times to remove the oil.
Rinse your face: Once you have removed all the oil, rinse your face with warm water to remove any remaining residue.
NOTE: You can also follow with a gentle gel cleanser if you feel like the need.
Drinking enough liquids throughout the day is essential for maintaining healthy skin. When we are dehydrated, our skin can appear dull and lifeless, is more prone to wrinkles and fine lines, and does not support the elimination of metabolic wastes and toxins from our bodies. The body is very intelligent - it is always naturally detoxing and cleansing, but if we don’t support it with what it needs, our skin becomes our “third kidney” and expresses warning signs with skin issues such as acne. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of filtered (with minerals added back in) or spring water a day, and try to avoid beverages that dehydrate you, such as alcohol and caffeine. Even better, add fresh, non-concentrated astringent juices to your water like lemons, limes, cranberry, and pomegranate to help pull out the waste!
When healing your acne it’s also important to take your nervous system into account. Try not to drink coffee first thing in the morning, especially not on an empty stomach. This can spike your cortisol levels and drain your adrenal glands. Your nervous system will take a big hit from this and you won't be setting yourself up for a successful day. It’s best to have your coffee after you’ve had the chance to eat something. Our nervous system can also be greatly affected by scrolling through social media so it’s important to look at our habits as well as emotional health when we are on this journey to clear skin.
PS don't forget to not only filter the water you drink but also the water you wash your face with!
Did you know that tap water often contains chlorine and other chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause dryness and itching? These chemicals can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it more susceptible to damage and aging.
But that's not all! Tap water can also contain bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause infections and allergic reactions. These microorganisms can also clog pores and cause acne and other skin problems.
And let's not forget about heavy metals such as lead and copper, which can be harmful to the skin and overall health. These metals can also cause discoloration and damage to the skin, making it look dull and lifeless.
That's why using filtered water is so important! By using filtered water, we can ensure that the water is free from impurities and is safe for our skin. It will also help to maintain the pH balance of the skin, which is essential for maintaining its health and beauty. Personally, I love using my FilterBaby because it makes sure the water I wash my face with is safe and healthy for my skin. It's a simple and effective way to protect my skin and make sure I look and feel my best!
Claudia hosts a podcast called the Healing The Source Podcast where she shares her personal health journey and interviews alternative medicine professionals and enthusiasts. Furthermore, Claudia is passionate about clean living and shares her knowledge of clean products with her clients and followers, helping them make informed decisions about the products they use in their daily lives.