I’m interning with the blog Grass Fed Girl, and was given a copy of “Skintervention Guide” by Liz Wolfe to endorse. The endorsement can be found here, but my complete review (i.e. featuring criticisms as well as praise) follows.
I haven’t had this much oil on my face since I was a teenager. No, I didn’t fall face first into a cheese pizza. The truth is that I slathered oil all over my own face…because someone told me that washing my face with oil would make my skin clear and glowing. Sound crazy?
According to the book “Skintervention Guide,” it’s not.
Nutritionist Liz Wolfe’s new book explains how you can get a beautiful, radiant body by choosing the right foods and the right body-care routine. How does using oil to cleanse your face fit into that? We’ll get there.
Liz, who enlisted the expert advice from Primal Life Organics skincare founder Tina Felber, says there are three necessary tenants for achieving outward beauty (and inward health):
Anti-inflammatory, real foods are necessary for the health of your hair, skin, nails and teeth. Most of the recommendations are consistent with a primal or Weston A. Price philosophy: meats, vegetables, healthy fats, some nuts and fruits, healthy beverages, some raw dairy if you can tolerate it. The book explains how soy, low-fat foods and certain oils wreak havoc on your appearance, and why animal protein and vegetables are imperative. You’ll be walked through how to find the best meats, dairy and oils, and provided with links (oh, the magic of an e-book!) for purchasing some of the author’s top recommendations.
Included with your purchase is a helpful resource guide for finding specific food or beauty products mentioned, and a very simple list of non-intimidating recipes that even the most beginner of cooks can handle. The book is almost worth buying just for the recipes, which are perfect for creating quick, healthy and simple meals for one.
Just a few of the recipes you’ll find:
- Sweet Potato & Bacon
- Turkey-Apple Hash
- Easy Stuffed Peppers
- Taco Wraps
- Salmon Patty Salad
- Berries & Coconut milk (this is the recipe in its entirety: “You can handle this one.” You bet I can – but I’d never have thought of it on my own!)
“If you can’t use the nutrients you give your body, they can’t make your body healthier or more lovely.”
I’ve never seen digestion addressed in a book about skincare, but Liz makes an excellent case for why proper gut health is paramount to achieving a radiant glow. She explains how to assess your stomach acid production (and fix it, if needed), and outlines how poorly functioning digestive organs affect our skin and health – and how to support them for internal and external beauty.
Author Liz Wolfe
Safe and Effective Skin and Body Care
This is the longest section of the book, and for good reason: most of us are vigilant about avoiding chemically-laden foods, Liz writes, “yet we rarely audit the chemicals we put ON our bodies all day, every day, for our entire lives!”
What you put on your skin – your body’s largest organ – eventually makes its way into your body, so the idea that so many conventional skin and body care products contain harmful ingredients is appalling. At best, many of these ingredients are irritating; at worst, some are neurotoxins, have been linked to cancer, and/or can disrupt your hormones. Skincare expert Tina Felber explains the ins and out of skincare and advises us on how to deftly navigate the skincare aisle – even at “natural” grocery stores. Luckily, “Skintervention,” provides us with healthy, effective and often inexpensive DIY alternatives to many traditional products.
The book includes or links to recipes for easily making or buying many personal care products:
- Personal Lubricant
- Shampoo (or, rather, a “no-poo” alternative)
- Facial Masks
- Hair/dandruff Treatments
- Zit Zappers
Free how-to from the book: the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM):
The basic concept behind this increasingly popular method is that oil massaged into your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened in your pores. There are several options of oil you can choose from, and Liz purports the OCM is beneficial for everyone, even those with oily, acne-prone skin. As with the rest of the skincare portion of “Skintervention,” the oil cleansing method features three tiers for skincare, depending on how much time, effort and money you’re willing to invest in your regimen. The Basic Oil Cleansing Method (tier one) is as follows:
1. Massage oil on your face (jojoba, coconut, avocado, oil are all options).
2. Lay a hot (but not scalding), wet washcloth over your face for 30 seconds and allow the steam to open and cleanse your pores.
3. Wipe the oil off and continue on your merry way to flawless skin.
Testimonials and anecdotes may not be convincing enough for some people to make some of the major dietary and skincare changes this book recommends. For example, Liz advocates avoiding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) at all costs, simply because “the idea makes [the author] uncomfortable.” Recent, published studies give solid reasons for eschewing GMOs. Surely some of these could have been included, or the entire subject omitted. While I’d have preferred to see cited scientific research, the bulk of the material and suggestions are still solid.
The final 20 pages, a section entitled “Lies We’re Told – and Trina’s Takes” consist mainly of skincare expert Tina Felber decrying the dangers of skincare lines, even the so-called natural ones, and then praising and recommending products from her own line, Primal Life Organics. My own research into Primal Life Organics found it to be a fine option, so I’m sure the recommendations are warranted; even so, at times “Skintervention” reads like promotional material for Ms. Felber’s skincare brand, proving that it can be tricky to strike the right balance between maintaining credibility while also enlisting an expert who has a financial stake in your recommendations.
The Bottom Line
While neither a standalone reference for nutrition nor a replacement for your dermatologist, “Skintervention” is an outstanding resource and, in my mind, the best how-to beauty book available. A reader who is currently entrenched in the Standard American Diet may initially find Liz’s recommendations overwhelming – but the beauty of an e-book is that it’s always on hand and you can easily search for key words on your computer.
“I wanted healing, not a temporary solution!” Liz writes of embarking on her quest for healthy skin. Pick up a copy of “Skintervention,” and you will be well-equipped to begin your own journey towards lasting healing and beauty.
Skintervention Guide, by Liz Wolfe, is available for purchase here.