Recent Posts by Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Vata Ayurvedic Skin Type Guide

Not sure what Ayurvedic type (dosha) is? Take our quiz to find out!

As a Vata dosha (or Ayurvedic type), you are no stranger to feeling like a leaf blowing in the wind, from one thing to the next.  You are creative, introspective, and social, but can be plagued with anxiety, uncertainty, and fear.  You are slim and have a pretty light appetite. Your energy comes in bursts and you can tire out easily if you don’t take care of yourself. Your Vata skin is similar to your Vata body — dry, cold, and a bit uneven.  When you’re in balance, you look and feel like a million bucks.  But when you’re not — when you forget to eat, don’t drink enough water, skimp on sleep, get stressed out and overwhelmed, overdo it with travel — your skin (and your gut) are the first places that show it.

VATA SKIN TYPE

Just like a Vata-type body, Vata skin is characterized by dryness and coldness. Thin, dry, and prone to patchiness and premature aging, Vata skin needs warmth and moisture (particularly from oils) to balance it out and keep it happy.  Other Vata skin characteristics are:

  • small pores
  • dark circles under the eyes
  • leathery or uneven texture
  • dark spots or uneven skin tone
  • cold hands and feet
  • dry, cracked lips and hands

The number one best treatment for Vata skin is oil.  Oil, oil, oil.  Oil keeps Vata skin hydrated, lustrous, and can even help to heal other symptoms of the Vata constitution, like constipation and anxiety.

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How to Restore Your Gut After Antibiotics

How to Restore Your Gut After Antibiotics | The Organic Beauty BlogMy early 20’s were characterized by a few things: opera, boys, NYC, and digestive issues.  Though the origins of my digestive disorder were a medical mystery at the time, in retrospect, I can pretty confidently point the finger at the overuse of antibiotics (due to recurrent UTI’s thanks to.. boys) that completely wiped out my intestinal flora.  My symptoms ranged from stomach aches, sudden extreme weight gain, and food cravings to depressed mood, fatigue, and headaches.  I was miserable, and my doctor’s could do nothing to help me.

DID YOU KNOW?

Candida overgrowth can cause so much bodily and mental drama, including:
  • gas, bloating and distention
  • food sensitivities
  • sugar and carb cravings
  • alcohol cravings
  • diarrhea and/or constipation
  • indigestion
  • brain fog
  • chronic fatigue
  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • depression
  • irritability
  • migraines or headaches
  • impaired focus and concentration
  • attention deficit and/or hyperactivity
  • mood swings
  • oral thrush
  • bad breath
  • recurrent UTI’s
  • persistent cough
  • frequent ear infections
  • recurring sinusitis
  • frequent colds
  • sore throat
  • chronic pain
  • joint pain
  • muscle weakness
  • vaginitis
  • anal itching
  • PMS
  • low libido
  • skin rashes
  • acne
  • toe or fingernail fungus
  • eczema
  • hypersensitivity to fragrances and/or other chemicals

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What’s Your Ayurvedic Skin Type? (and why you should care)

What's Your Ayurvedic Skin Type | The Organic Beauty Blog

With so much amazing natural skincare to choose from out there, there is no longer any shortage of lovely, organic and chemical-free products to feed your skin.  But just because a product is all-natural doesn’t mean it’s going to work for YOUR skin.  Determining the best products for your unique, individual complexion is more than just choosing between lines for dry, oily, or combination skin. There is so much more intricacy in different skin types, and really knowing your skin can mean the difference between results that are just ok (or even bordering on ineffective) and straight-up gorgeous skin.

The qualities of our skin, and the types of products that really help it stay healthy and beautiful, are directly related to our body type, our digestion, and our constitution in general.  This bio-individuality is where Ayurveda really shines, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why I have been practicing this ancient healing philosophy for 8 years now (and I’m never going back).

Our Ayurvedic constitution (or dosha) gives us invaluable insight into how our bodies work and what we need to thrive — from the specific foods to eat more of or avoid to stay energized and healthy, to the herbs and supplements that will really keep our systems in balance, to the beauty and self-care products that will keep us looking young and radiant.

Click here to discover your dosha!

Your Ayurvedic skin type will generally correspond to your dosha, but in some rare cases, it may stray from your general constitution if there is a particular imbalance your body is currently dealing with.  

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Skin Food for Mama and Baby + Giveaway

I am a sucker for skincare that is good (and clean) enough to eat, so when I find a line of products that’s made entirely of organic botanicals, with not a single additive, preservative or chemical in sight, I get giddy.

Bee All Natural has a lovely line of products that are not only so clean and natural you could eat them (thought to be clear, I generally don’t recommend eating your skincare), but are absolutely jam packed with skin feeding nutrients to soothe, protect, nourish, and heal.  Every single organic ingredient has been carefully selected for it’s skin feeding properties, and after using the line on myself and my little on for the last month or so, I can attest to the difference that level of attention to detail makes.Skin Food for Mama and Baby | The Organic Beauty Blog

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3 Ways To Relieve Stress with Flowers

This post comes to us from Emily at The Bouqs Company.  We love The Bouqs Co. for their eco-friendly, sustainable farming practices, support of boutique artisan florists, and gorgeous, unfussy arrangements.

3 Ways To Relieve Stress with Flowers | The Organic Beauty BlogIf I told you that you could relieve stress by simply placing some fresh flowers or plants within your surroundings, would you believe me? A few sunflowers or daffodils arranged in a mason jar on your bedside or in your office will leave you feeling more optimistic and motivated to tackle the day’s challenges. We feel this way because we associate the color yellow with the sun’s rays, which naturally helps us feel happier. In fact, “flower power,” as Chinese healers have referred to it, gives us the ability to control the flower’s emotions and the secret is held within the flower’s color. It’s not just bright yellow sunflowers that improve our mood, all kinds of flowers and their colors can provide positive health benefits.

Here are a few ways to add more stress relieving flowers and plants into your daily lifestyle:

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I meditated every day for a month… here’s what happened.

I meditated for a month.. Here's what happened | The Organic Beauty Blog

About 6 years ago, after many failed attempts, I decided I was finally going to learn to meditate.  I had tried so many times before, with no success (or so I thought).  I was convinced that I just wasn’t the type of person that could meditate.  But being a generally anxious person, prone to a heightened stress response, I knew I had to give it another go.  So I signed up for a free online 28 day meditation series led by two people I loved (from a distance, at least): Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey.  Not too shabby a combo, right?

After much a frustrating first two weeks, which felt like me “meditating” meant sitting there trying not to think about all the shit on my mind, but then thinking about it anyway, and realizing that I just spent 10 minutes thinking about my to-do list…. le sigh.  But suddenly, a little over two weeks in, I realized that I had turned a corner. I was able focus on my breath and the mantra for longer, bring myself back from distractions faster, and finally reap the benefits of meditation.

Though I’ve done several Meditation Challenges since then, and meditated on my own sporadically, I have not had a solid one month streak in many years, certainly not since becoming a mama. So with the mounting stressors over the last few months of being a work-from-home mom with a strong-willed, precocious toddler, starting an intensive year-long Ayurvedic practitioner program, and starting a new business with my husband (more on that later), I was starting to feel my meditation practice calling to me again.

My neck and shoulders were perpetually tight, I was feeling bouts of anxiety, my patience with my kid and husband was dwindling, and I felt like I was developing much more of a temper than I would like.  Something had to change.

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How to get through the rest of winter

How to get through the rest of winter | The Organic Beauty BlogAs we head into this final stretch of winter, we all seem to be getting a little fed up with the cold and the havoc it can wreak on our bodies and minds.  I moved all the way across the country from New York to sunny Santa Monica to escape winter, and even here, in the temperate 60 degree winter temperature range, my feet are cold, I’m sipping hot tea all day long, and I’m pretty much living in my long, chunky knits.

Cold weather, even Santa Monica-style cold weather, can dry us out, stress us out, make us feel depressed and unmotivated, and majorly hamper our glow factor.  But with a few Ayurvedic tips and tricks, we can heat things up, boost our mood and immunity, and get through the rest of winter with our glow on!

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The perfect oil for all your skin glazing needs

The Perfect Oil for Skin Glazing | The Organic Beauty BlogSPONSORED POST

Ok, confession time.  I am a lazy beauty addict.  As in, if a beauty routine is going to take me more than 5 minutes, I’m out.  So when skin glazing hit the world of beauty trends this last year, you know I was first in line to get on board.

For the uninitiated, skin glazing is the ultimate in effortless, lit-from-within, glowing beauty.  And best of all, it doesn’t involve contouring, caking on layer upon layer of makeup, sparkly pearlescent highlighters, or an hour of primping.  It’s basically the anti-makeup.. and guess what? You leave the house looking healthy, glowing, youthful, effortless, and decidedly UN-Kardashian.

Skin glazing is a simple, 2-3 step process:

  1. After cleansing and toning your skin, spritz with a natural face mist

  2. While skin is still wet, mix your moisturizer (preferably one with SPF) with an awesome natural face oil and press firmly onto your skin (don’t rub!)

  3. For added dewiness, add another spritz of your face mist before heading out.

Et voila.  You’re done.  No makeup, no highlighters, just gorgeous, glowing, healthy skin.  Amazing, right?  I haven’t worn a spot of makeup on my face (except for mascara, cuz girl you know I’m never leaving the house without that) in weeks.

The key to this magical formula, however, is a really good face oil.  Since you’re wearing so few products on your face, your face oil should do double (or triple!) duty as a antioxidant serum, anti-aging hydrator, and mega glow-inducer.  Luckily for us all, I’ve found just the thing!

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Food Labeling Guide: Organic, Grass-Fed, Free-Range, or Cage-Free?

Food Labeling Guide | The Organic Beauty BlogWhether or not to consume animal protein is a very personal decision.  We need to take into account out individual bodies, lifestyles, and ethics when deciding where we stand.  In my mid-20’s, I made the choice to become mostly vegetarian (or pescatarian, as it were– I ate fish every once in a while).  There were many factors that led to my decision — I was dating a vegan chef at the time who really opened my eyes to the ethics and health factors involved in my meat-eating lifestyle.  When I cut out animal protein, I felt so much healthier, lighter, even possibly happier. After about 6 years of my pescatarian lifestyle, I made the decision to start eating some animal protein again when I was pregnant.  I was craving it, and found that my pregnant body responded really well to some chicken once a week and a grass-fed burger once a month.  Obviously, being pregnant, I put a huge emphasis on only eating fresh, organic, non-GMO foods, and that applied even stronger to my animal protein choices.   But I was startled to discover that food labeling isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

One of the most common questions I get from my clients is about food labeling, especially when it comes to consuming animal products.  By now, we all know the problems with conventionally farmed meat and dairy (the hormones, antibiotics, inhumane practices, etc.), but with all the different varieties of “happy meat” out there, how do you know which is best?  Most people think that many common food labels are interchangeable — free-range is just another word for cage-free, right?  All that really matters is that it’s organic, right??  If I buy my meat or eggs at Whole Foods, it has to be ok, righhhht???  Turns out, wrong.

There are substantial differences in the stringency of regulations regarding all the common food labels.  For example, I was shocked to discover that “free-range” chickens need only have access to the outdoors, but there is no guarantee that they will actually spend any time free-ranging at all.  And did you know that wild-caught seafood is not always better than farmed?

To make the healthiest choices for our selves, our families, and our planet, we need to be armed with knowledge about what exactly we are putting in our bodies.  Below is my simple, straight-forward food labeling guide to help you pick the best foods to put on your table.

So what do I choose for myself and my family?

Always organic and non-GMO everything, especially animal protein.  We eat free-range organic chicken a few times a week, wild caught Alaskan salmon or Pacific Dover Sole once or twice a week, and pasture-raised eggs maybe 2-3 times a week.  The majority of our diet is still plant-based.  I’m not going to lie, I still struggle with eating animal protein and feeding it to our kid (we decided to include some animal protein in her diet due to some growth issues and food sensitivities that limited her protein options).  I imagine once our little one is a bit older, we’ll all go back to our old pescatarian ways.  But for now, I can feel confident that I am minimizing the impact our choices are having on our health and the planet by picking the healthiest and cleanest foods we can.

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What you can do in your 30’s to look (and feel) better in your 40’s

SPONSORED POST
BY: STACEY GAVIN, FARMACY BEAUTY

They say 40 is the new 30, and we think it’s by design; with a slew of new health and beauty boosters available that are backed by science and nature, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t look and feel your best as you get older. If you’re savvy about it — which you are, since you’re reading this! — you can take a few simple steps in your 30s to ensure that you feel like you’re in your prime at age 40 and beyond. Here’s what you can do to look and feel great in your 40s.

What you can do in your 30's to look (and feel) better in your 40's | The Organic Beauty Blog

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