Welcome back! And welcome if you are new here 💕💕💕
Remember my Natural Beauties series? I have a great addition to the awesome ladies mix – please step forward Natasha from The Clear Skin Essentials. I follow her for a decade, ever since she was making raw food videos. A lot has happened since, she now lives in another part of the world, Bali, and is happily married with two beautiful children. We share green beauty love, she uses all natural products and is very knowledgeable about skin. I am so happy to present the interview with her!
💕 Please introduce Yourself?
My name is Natasha St. Michael, I am a certified health coach specializing in helping women clear up adult acne and breakouts through diet and skin care.
Up until my early 30s I had struggle with terrible adult acne. Through that challenge, I developed a deep passion for skin care. I desperately wanted to clear up my skin, and I was willing to do anything. It wasn’t until I started improving my diet and adopting a much gentler approach to skin care, did I finally start getting results. Once I figured out what to change in my diet and skin care routine, my skin cleared up pretty quickly. It felt like a miracle, and my obsession with skin care grew even deeper. I wanted to share what I had learned with others. I eventually went back to school to study integrative nutrition and got my certification as a holistic health coach. In 2015 I started The CLEAR SKIN Essentials website and YouTube channel. I wanted to create an online resource to connect and help women along their skin care journey. It started as an acne website offering diet and skin care tips for women dealing with breakouts and adult acne, and has since expanded covering more skin care topics including natural anti-aging, hyperpigmentation/melasma, skin care demos and routines, product reviews and recommendations.
💕 How has going natural and non toxic in your beauty regimen changed your overall health and beauty?
Up until my early 30s I suffered from terrible adult acne from Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The older I got, the worse the acne became.
The best skin care advice I was ever given was from a dermatologist. She recommended I cut everything out of my skincare routine and just use a mild cleanser. Minimizing my skincare routine made a big difference with the acne and the health of my skin. It didn’t completely get rid of the acne, but my skin was far less irritated, more balanced, and healed a lot faster.
I then replaced the mild cleanser with using a smooth raw honey to wash my face and got even better results. This helped reduce the acne breakouts, helped fade acne marks and scars, and made my skin brighter and smoother.
I went on to using just honey on my face for about 5 years (even after I cleared up the acne). Later in my mid-30s was when I introduced some skin care products back into my routine. I could feel the difference between using mainstream products versus natural.
I find my skin responds much better to clean beauty and natural skin care products. They feel better on my skin, more comfortable to wear. A big trigger for my acne was synthetic fragrance, chemical UV filters, and some petroleum-based ingredients. I would get acne, hives, dermatitis, and rashes. It’s much easier using clean beauty and natural skin care products that automatically don’t use these ingredients.
💕 Three things that make You happy?
1- Anything “self care”. It could be be as simple as taking a shower or doing some exercise. Doing something to take care of myself inspires me. It refreshes me, give me a moment to myself, and re-energizes me to keep moving forward.
2- A clean home. I can’t think if my living environment is dirty, cluttered or disorganized. There’s something about waking up in the morning to a clean house. It’s a perfect way to start the day. I find it to be quite freeing. I make clearer decisions, and feel much less overwhelmed.
3- Green juice – It’s admittedly a pain to make, but when I drink a fresh green vegetable juice every day, I feel better. Emotionally and physically. Plus it inspires me to make healthier choices with my food and taking care of myself. Our actions can have a domino effect, so one healthy choice can prompt more.
💕 What is the best advice You’ve been given?
“You can’t please everyone”
I remind myself this all the time. I find it quite freeing. Not everyone will like me, and that’s ok. I rather live a life true to myself, then trying to win everyone’s approval. Being consumed with what people will think can be stifling and draining.
💕 What people inspire You?
Warm and friendly people. Kindness is gold.
💕 What are Your three (or five) can’t-live-without-it green beauty products? Picture please 😊
- Living Libations – Frankincense Best Skin Ever and Rose Renewal + Frankincense Firming Fluid (Using these two products together got rid of my melasma. Use the Frankincense Best Skin Ever as your cleanser, followed by the Rose Renewal + Frankincense Firming Fluid as a treatment serum).
- Suntegrity – 5in1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen + Primer (This is the best mineral sunscreen. It truly protects your skin from the sun. Plus, it’s a primer, moisturizer and sunscreen built into one. I never get breakouts from it and I find it soothes and balances my skin).
- Annmarie Skin Care – Minerals Multi Purpose Foundation (You add this pigmented mineral powder to your own skincare to make a tinted moisturize or foundation. Its genius! Plus it’s made with only 4 ingredients making it safe for acne prone skin).
- Oskia – Renaissance Mask (I absolutely love this mask. It has lactic acid that gently exfoliates your skin leaving it soft, smooth, bright, and hydrated).
- VERDURA naturalternatives – Blue Fairy Concentrate (This is the best spot treatment ever. Most pimples treatments don’t work for me, but this one does).
💕 Your best DIY recipe?
Dry Oil Cleansing
This is a perfect cleansing method for dry, irritated, maturing, or sensitive skin types. You are cleansing your face with an oil, but not using water.
Basically, you apply an oil or oil blend to dry skin, work it into your skin, and remove it with a soft cotton cloth. The best way to remove the oil is with very light and gentle sweeping or blotting motions with a dry cotton cloth/flannel.
This cleansing technique works great at removing surface build up, dirt, debris and even makeup and sunscreen.
And since you aren’t using water, it’s a lot less drying. So if you have dry, irritated, or sensitive skin and you like oil cleansing, I strongly recommend trying it without water. And if you have maturing skin that is showing lines, wrinkles and needs a little plumping – definitely try this (best anti-aging secret ever!).
💕 What do You like and dislike about yourself?
I like that I’m an optimist. I naturally believe in the good in things, that everything will work out. I’m also very focused, and put my all into everything I do. What I don’t like is that I’m VERY sensitive. My feelings get hurt very easily. I can take everything too personally.
💕 Your proudest achievement?
My biggest achievement has been to live a life true to myself. I really believe in making the “impossible” possible. In many ways, that’s what my life has been about. Here’s a few things I’m really proud of:
Before I got into natural health, I was a fine artist for a decade. I had great success as an artist at a very young age, and received many prestigious grants and awards, exhibited internationally, and had my artwork featured in books, magazines and tv. Both the Museum of Quebec and City of Montreal own my art work.
In my mid 20s I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I had cysts covering both ovaries and was told I was infertile and wouldn’t be able to have children. In my early 30s, I reversed PCOs naturally through making massive changes to my diet and lifestyle. It wasn’t easy, but I reversed the condition including healing my ovaries of the cysts and clearing up adult acne. I later went on to having 2 children naturally, and am PCOS-free and acne-free.
In my mid-30s I decided to embark on life long dream of moving to Southeast Asia. To most people this was kind of crazy, but this was my dream since I was a teenager and something I intuitively needed to do. I was running my coaching practise online, and as long as I had an internet connection, I could live anywhere. So I moved to Bali. I ended up meeting my husband here, and we now have 2 kids. It’s been almost a decade I’ve been living Bali, it is home.
💕 What are You currently reading?
I have 2 kids under 7, so these days the only books I’m reading are children’s books. Maybe in a few years I will have more time to curl up to a good book (ah, I miss those days!).
💕 What food do You like to cook/eat?
My husband is Balinese, so I cook a lot of Indonesian food. I love learning how to make new dishes. I especially like making curries and sauces from scratch with a lot of different spices. We are fortunate to have such fresh food here.
💕 If You were to formulate a natural skincare or beauty product, what it would be?
If I had a magic wand and could formulate something that really works, I would formulate a product that gets rid of scars.
I know how debilitating scars can be. It can deeply affect your confidence and self esteem.
I had open heart surgery when I was 5 (I was born with a heart defect). I have a big scar from the surgery, and it has affected my confidence my whole life, especially when I was a child and young adult.
I also have old acne scars on my face and neck. A lot of them healed and faded, but as I’m getting older and my skin is starting to lose elasticity, the old scars and damaged tissue is starting to appear again.
Having something that is safe and effective to fade scars would be a dream come true. I know for a lot of people it would be life changing.
💕 Your guilty pleasure?
Coffee. I love coffee, but it can be terrible for my skin (and my sleep). It’s one of those things that keeps creeping back into my life. I can go without it for years and suddenly pick it up again like I never stopped.
💕 Your top tips for being healthy and happy?
What’s most important is enjoying the process. It’s not about doing things perfectly or overwhelming yourself with too much. Start with one thing and try to be consistent. When you enjoy the journey of getting healthy, it’s much easier to stick with it. And over time, you’ll naturally want to do more.
I also believe it’s important to surround yourself with people or things that inspire you. If you don’t have anyone particularly inspiring in your life, then go and do things that attract like-minded people. Sometimes we need to move out of our comfort zone to make things happen.
💕 What scents excite You?
Gardenia. It’s my favourite flower and scent. I have a Gardenia tree outside my window and the scent is mesmerizing.
💕 What is Your mantra in life?
We regret more what we don’t do, than what we do.
💕Favorite affirmation if You have one?
The universe has got my back.
💕 What’s Your favorite beauty trend at the moment?
Exfoliating acids and enzymes. If you want immediate results, using a mask, toner or serum containing exfoliating acids or enzymes will instantly brighten and smooth your skin. I find using exfoliating acids or enzymes to be much gentler than scrubs, and better results too. I particularly like lactic acid.
💕 Once an week for my health…
We try to go to the beach at least once a week. My husband and I and the kids go at the end of the day right before sundown. We go for a nice long walk and watch the sunset. There’s something about the beach. It’s the one place where everyone is happy and having a good time. I find going to the beach really helps to de-stress, clear my mind, and just have a break. I always feel refreshed afterwards, and I sleep better too.
💕 Crazy health idea that actually works?
Drink mint water to get rid of hormonal acne. It works!!
There’s been studies showing that drinking spearmint tea every day can be effective in balancing hormones in women with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This helps to reduce the side effects (like acne) coming from a hormone imbalance .
I’ve had hundreds of clients and subscribers with and without PCOS get amazing skin clearing results drinking mint water or mint tea. I prefer the mint water because it’s as effective as the tea, but won’t stain your teeth.
It’s very simple to make. All you do is fill a large water bottle or pitcher with water and add a few sprigs of fresh spearmint. Let the mint soak in the water and drink the water throughout the day. Aim to drink at least one litre of mint water every day. Within 5-7 days you should see a difference in your skin. This is particularly good for cystic or hormonal acne.
If you don’t have access to fresh mint, you can drink 2-3 cups of spearmint tea every day.
💕 What do You do to de-stress?
Listen to my favourite music and sing along (my favourite de-stressing album is Red Hot Chilli Peppers Stadium Arcadium).
💕 Last thing you do at night?
I go over everything I accomplished that day.
💕 Tell us a secret!
I don’t know how to drive a car.
💕A few words to Green Life In Dublin readers?
Go for your dreams, life is too short. If you fall, keep getting back up. It’s in challenging times that we create golden memories.
That’s all for today, see You here next Tueday.