Larissa Mundwiler is a Holistic Esthetician who has been practicing for the past 5 years and has seen 1000’s of clients over the years. She is also a mother and wife who specializes in Gua Sha, lymphatic facial massage, facial cupping and facial sculpting.
She grew up tending to the garden with her Ukrainian and Polish grandmothers who instilled in her the importance of always looking at what is going on in the body internally to treat external concerns like skin issues.
She’s reiki and yoga certified which gives her a deep understanding of the body and what’s happening intuitively within. She’s a wellness junkie that will dive into any new wellness trend, while also having her daily and nightly rituals.
What is your number one priority for glowing skin that you share with your clients?
My number one recommendation is thinking about what you are putting into your body. Starting with water. Most people know you must drink water for healthy skin but do you know exactly how much water your specific body needs? The amount of water you should drink is actually based on your weight and activity level and varies for each of us. You can find a water intake calculator here to find out how much water you should actually be drinking. Interestingly, if you are drinking too much water you can actually disrupt the good bacteria in your body and this will affect your digestive system.
Most of us are not drinking enough water. Studies have found that dehydration can cause a decrease of up to 20% in skin firmness and a decrease of up to 28% in skin elasticity. Additionally, research has found that dehydration can cause a decrease of up to 17% in collagen production. So it’s important to know how much water is right for you.
What foods do you recommend for clear and glowing skin?
I am a true believer in eating whole foods. Growing up my grandmothers always made me drink bone broth and would bake fresh sourdough bread for us to eat. They also instilled the importance of fermented foods into my diet and that is something that is now normal practice for me and something I share with my clients.
Bone broth is a staple in my diet and it was the first food I introduced to my daughter who is now 16 months. It contains amino acids like glycine and proline, which help to heal and seal the gut lining. It can also help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, which can help to reduce symptoms of digestive issues. Bone broth is also a great source of minerals and electrolytes, which can help to balance the body’s pH levels and improve overall digestive health. A healthy gut is the path to healthy skin.
Try to stay away from sugars, dairy and processed foods. A well balanced diet does wonders for our largest organ! Skin thrives off of whole foods, fruits and veggies. Alcohol is also a big culprit to healthy and glowing skin. Alcohol causes inflammation and water retention which can lead to many other skin problems over time. Stay hydrated and eat the rainbow.
Why are Gua Sha and facial massage part of your secret tools to healthy, youthful skin?
Gua Sha and facial messages are a must! Studies have found that these modalities help smooth out fine lines, de-puff, improve skin texture, elevate any muscle tension and increase collagen production. Gua sha isn't just a massage it actually helps to drain the lymphatic system. Doing this on a regular basis will actually help to clear up acne and dry patches as well as improve the appearance of fine lines.
I have been doing facial massage in my practice for years. The difference between gua sha and facial massage is that I use my hands instead of the gua sha tool. This way I can massage deeper to contour the face. I was recently trained on the “Face Remodeling Technique and Buccal Facial”. This is where you use your hands and do an inner oral massage to contour and sculpt the face. The results are incredible.
How do you protect your skin barrier?
As someone who had struggled with acne for many years I realized that I was destroying my skin barrier with harsh and active ingredients. The first time I saw a holistic esthetician, many years ago before I started practicing, she told me to start cleansing my skin with honey to repair my skin barrier. I was scared at the time but I listened to her and I’m glad I did because my skin actually started healing. I still cleanse my face with honey to this day and I suggest this to many of my clients who are struggling with acne. Honey has natural anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties that make it beneficial for treating a variety of skin conditions. It can be used to help clear acne and reduce redness and inflammation, as well as moisturize and soothe the skin.
I wouldn’t have been able to achieve clear skin without a good, targeted skin care routine. Take the time to learn from a professional what your skin needs, it’s so important as we age to have the appropriate products. I love to use products from Eminence Organic’s and Osea- both holistic, natural products I stand by and trust.
How did you know your water was affecting your skin?
I’ve always been very concerned about the water I drink and it got me thinking, why would I wash my face with tap water if I won’t drink it. I did a deep dive into the tap water quality in my area and realized that it was loaded with heavy metals and chemicals that I knew were damaging my skin. I started using filtered water to wash my face and It’s been a game changer. Removing calcium and magnesium can help stop damaging your skin and repair your skin barrier to produce more collagen and maintain your skin's elasticity.
Lastly, incorporating monthly or bi monthly facials will help promote cell turnover, collagen production, lymphatic drainage, calm the central nervous system, deeply cleanse your pores and keep up that healthy glow and so much more.
- Gloor, M., et al. "Dehydration-induced changes in skin firmness and elasticity are related to changes in collagen synthesis." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 88, no. 3, 2008, pp. 827–8<
- 2017 Study: "The Anti-Aging Benefits of Gua Sha: A Systematic Review."