[Back to the Wild] Nadine Artemis: Renegade Beauty Wisdom From the Wild Side of Life
You can access the full audio interview here. This was originally conducted with Alison Ramsay and Nadine Artemis as part of our Back to the Wild Summit. You can access the rest of the calls in this series under the “Natural Lifestyle” category at WISHRadio.com.
Alison: Beauty, we all have it and we all want more of it. And instead of it being your wildly vibrant authentic self shining out to the world in a rainbow of wellness, it has become a commodity. Something stolen, packaged up in pretty plastic pots laden with petrochemicals and synthetic perfumes, priced ridiculously high and pimped back to us with the subversive promises of love, desirability and even freedom and fame. An all round toxic experience.
But I challenge you to turn your eyes from those rows upon rows of so-called beauty products which fill the cosmetic counters of our department stores, and think of a field of wildflowers or a magnolia tree in full blossom or the intricate life that is nestled alongside a sparkly stream.
Which evokes more beauty for you? Just like we are what we eat, we are what we lather on our skin, spray on the nape of our neck and wash through our hair. We are what we breathe, bathe and bask in.
I’m really excited to welcome back Nadine Artemis, founder of the world’s best natural beauty care range, Living Libations, and the queen of wild and renegade beauty to regale us with her unending wisdom on how we should look to nature to heal and enhance our health and beauty.
Nadine, thank you so much for being here to get a little wild with us today.
Nadine: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.
Alison: Yeah, of course. We couldn’t do it without you. I’m really excited to get to speak with the woman responsible for making me feel like Aphrodite every day.
Nadine: Oh, that’s wonderful. That’s so great.
Alison: I have my Rose Poetic Pits on right now and it’s such an amazing smell that wafts up into my nose every day. I have to hold myself back from having a big sniff.
Nadine: Oh, we just – we just made this beautiful Neroli Poetic Pits with this Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood. It’s totally extravagant and exquisite and I’m just so in love with it. It’s just so fun – so fun to have a new one that I’m excited about.
Alison: Great. I’ll have to put it on my wish list. So I’d love to start by looking at the elements and how we can use them to enhance our wellbeing, focusing particularly on beauty. Now I know we all know that we feel great lying in our meadow or strolling through a rose garden, but it goes beyond just the sight and the sound and the smell of it. There are actual tangible, physiological benefits to doing this, right? Our body systems are actually undergoing healing processes while smelling flowers, breathing green air and sunning our skin. So I’d love to go deeper into this with you. Should we start with the big one, which is see is earth represented in the power of plants and petals?
Nadine: The power of plants and petals, like botanicals?
Alison: Yes. Yeah, if we could talk about the element of earth and how utilizing it enhances our beauty.
Nadine: Oh, yeah, that’s great. I mean really all the elements, we want to consider them as our friends and, you know obviously they really are essential for us to live when we look at the earth, air, water, fire – being the sun – essential to live by. But often with modern beauty I feel like there’s this, oh, the elements are what will harm your skin. You know? So we want to change that around and think of the elements as really what is essentially like lubricating our beauty. And of course there’s just so many offerings within the plant kingdom. It’s just boundless. And the earth itself obviously is great.
It’s great to be barefoot and walking on the earth as much as we can. There’s so many benefits to that. And then the plants. Oh my God, I don’t even know where to start. There’s so many friends that I have in the plant world.
But really, you know in general we want to be using that as our quote, unquote, active ingredients and as really the only things that are going on in and around our body. Because the opposite offering is really – at the end of the day, you know we can call them toxins and synthetics, but they’re all derived from – you know they’re all synthesized versions of sort of petroleum and coal tar derivatives and made in a lab. And, you know it’s a deep marketing that we’ve been accustomed to for decades, but really there’s nothing to offer your skin.
And in fact, you know clog the skin’s natural respiration ability.
We have to remember that the skin is an organ and there’s an inhalation and an exhalation to the skin. And we have to allow the skin to breathe for it to do its job. And for it to expire things out of our body every day, which happens without even our sort of, you know realizing it.
We might realize it more when we’re in the sauna, but you know there’s the exhalation of every pore and we don’t want to be filling that up with coal tar derivatives and methylparabens and all the rest of that gang.
Alison: Definitely. But there’s actually a physiological process that happens, right, when we use plant botanicals on our skin. Can you just talk to us a little bit about the physiological process?
Nadine: Yes. Well, again with each different botanical ingredient it would vary somewhat. But with the essential oils, with the aromatics, there’s a physiological component also with the molecules that when we inhale them – the pure essential oils – the molecules go up into our nose and affect – positively affect the hypothalamus. And the hypothalamus sends messages – chemical messages throughout the body. And then also those molecules travel into the larynx and into the blood vessels and they work on the body that way.
Even if you can’t smell, they’re still affecting the body. And that’s through the pathway of the nose and then also when they’re applied to the skin they go in and do their work in a good way too.
So again, they’re working with our body and not just getting stored in our body and in our fat cells, which is what most modern chemical ingredients are doing. They’re getting stored in our fat and literally making us fatter with xeno-estrogens that are destructing our endocrine system and then getting stored in our breasts and in our different fat areas.
So there’s a real difference there where you have something that’s – where the botanicals are working on the cellular level doing their different jobs – again, it depends what botanical ingredient we have. They’re working with the organs harmoniously, they’re working with the liver, they’re doing their job and then they’re leaving the body. So that’s really what you want is something, you know that’s actively working with you. Kind of like a partner in beauty, working with the body and not against it.
Alison: Wow. That’s amazing. I didn’t realize like the actual toxic beauty products are making us fat as well.
Nadine: Yeah. There actually is a new word for that and they’re called obesogens – which are things that are disrupting – yeah. So there are xeno-estrogens, which are foreign. They mimic our natural estrogen and they’re causing us to go into an estrogenic overload for both men and women.
Because, you know it might just not be in your cosmetics, it could be in, you know the plastic bottle of water. You know what I mean? Or they’re sort of coming from a few sources. But definitely for women because, you know statistically an average North American woman is applying like five pounds of these toxic ingredients in a year. And with some of the research I’ve done on breast health, 99 percent of the breast tissue sampled in one study had parabens in it.
And paraben is pretty much in every commercial ingredient, you know. So you have to think about things like our deodorants and really every single thing that’s going in our body. Because like I think if we see our skin we forget that it’s an organ, you know?
And that it is a way inside our body, and when we apply things to our skin sometimes that’s even more dangerous than ingesting it. So, you know that bottle, like a commercial bottle of shampoo that has chemicals in it, it’s actually more dangerous to apply it to the body than to swallow it.
Because when we’re ingesting toxins or something like soda pop or something, we have a process that helps to deal with that and break it down. We have the intestines, digestive enzymes, the liver and the kidneys that can all help to break down toxins. But when we’re applying things directly to our skin, like lotion, that goes right into our bloodstream.
Alison: Yeah. That’s crazy. And I also know we absorb more chlorine by showering than you do by drinking chlorinated water.
Nadine: Yes. That’s –
Alison: That’s insane.
Nadine: Every time I hear that I’m always like – it’s still, you know I’m just like wow, you know. And it’s true, but it’s still like we often think of our mouths as the only way in, you know?
Alison: Definitely. And I just love to make that discernment between what we’re putting on our skin and the physiological processes in our body because like you said, we do just think we slap it on our skin and all it’s affecting is our skin and our skin health and whether it’s making us glow or not. But it’s actually affecting all the systems in the body.
Nadine: And I think that’s slightly also to do with a mindset where we really externalized beauty and we think of it as very topical. And that we think of our skin as something that we’re going to apply things to and beauty is something that we’re applying to us, and we’re fixing ourselves to be beautiful, you know. And not sounding too cliché, but beauty is coming from within.
And that’s on an energetic level or like, you know when you just see somebody and they may not be a supermodel, but they’re radiating that because they’re smiling and they’ve got that twinkle in their eye. And then physically with skin especially, because you know that’s kind of hooked up with if we feel beautiful, that’s often with feeling like our skin is a way that we like to present it to the outside world.
And really, you know it’s very important what we’re putting on our skin, but the root of it is coming from the health of our endocrine system and our intestinal health and, you know the whole intestine-colon-digestive thing.
If there is acne, you know generally what most people are concerned about – even wrinkles, all that is really coming from like how we’re nourishing ourselves and what is our intestinal health like.
Alison: So our skin can be seen as a reflection of our inner health. Okay, so while we’re still on earth and talking about plants, let’s just say some of us at home wanted to start using some plants simply for ourselves. And I know you know a lot about a lot of different plants. But just say we wanted to get to know maybe two or three plants that we can use for our health and beauty, what would you recommend? And how could we start using them?
Nadine: Yeah. That’s a great question. I mean it also depends on where in the world you live, what kind of climate, so I’ll try and figure general. We’re growing seabuckthorn berries here, which are lovely for the skin, but I doubt a lot of people are. Of course there are a lot of foods that would be available. I mean you can just really apply so many different foods to your face and it’s lovely, depending on what you want to achieve. You know pine trees – I’m looking out across my lake and I’m seeing beautiful pine trees. Evergreen has got to be pretty much near everybody.
Nadine: Although not necessarily in Hawaii, but the evergreens are great and you can make, you know a tea out of that. And you can use that as a face toner, as a hair rinse. You can drink it too.
Nadine: You can drink it, pour it over your hair, you know use it for washing your face. That’s a beautiful thing to do.
You know clays are often near people and you can make wonderful masks with that. It’s great to combine oil with that though as I find the clays can be a bit drying, so you can mix it with some honey – not that that’s an oil, but clay and honey, clay and olive oil, those are beautiful to use.
Nadine: And you know really working with pure water. So if you have spring water in your area, spring water is so important too. You’ve got to save some for cleaning your face. If you have only tap water, like municipal tap water coming out of your tap, it’s very important to drink and bathe in pure water.
Alison: That was going to be my next question.
Nadine: Yeah. I was going to say, then I was oh, that’s an element.
Alison: Now let’s move into water, that’s great. So the benefits of cleansing, bathing and basking in particularly wild water.
Nadine: Yeah. I mean just, you know usually you can go to – I think you interviewed Daniel, and there’s findaspring.com – so take use of that resource. It’s very important. And if that’s not possible, then you know you definitely want to be filtering your water.
And so what is so key?
Because you know approximately 70 percent of our body is made of water and then of course each cell is a reflection of that. It’s like a little microcosm. And each cell is approximately 70 percent water. So we want to be imbibing on the purest of waters all the time because of that water lubrication and because the waters have minerals.
And when you’re drinking pure water you’re getting the minerals that you really need. So something like reverse osmosis water isn’t too good on long term because it’s devoid of minerals, and then the water is empty or hungry, so to speak. Then when you drink that water it actually draws minerals to it and you can be leaching minerals – your own minerals from your body.
So water is key for not just beauty, but life.
Alison: Yeah. And I guess the same as if you’re washing in chlorinated water, it’s also really beneficial if you live near a lake or a stream or if you’re lucky like me and live by the ocean, then swimming in that water as long as it’s not been polluted can be really beneficial as well.
Nadine: Oh, yeah. And then there’s the whole hot-cold, you know going in and out of hot and cold water. You could have a hot bath, then jump in the ocean and go back and forth. So that’s really great and stimulating for our skin, you know. And then there’s the water that’s in cosmetics, which is – there’s a lot of dilution going on – diluting all those chemicals. And then if using municipal tap water – and tap water has just so many chemicals in it.
And you know there could be things going on with your health and beauty. Because to me, really the words health and beauty are connected, they’re kind of one and the same. And it could be a simple thing, like changing your tap water, you know getting off municipal tap water.
And things like fluoride is just so aging, really, on a deep level with the body. One of the things it does is it makes collagen and our tissue and our skin stiff and bones soft. It enzymatically disrupts the body so much that bones get soft and tissues get stiff, which is the exact opposite of what we want going on. We want strong bones and soft, pliable skin.
So those things are really core, you know. That goes way down to the core level of your cells, things like chlorine and fluoride are very disruptive. Not to mention that many cities find, you know that there’s other chemicals in there, there could be fracking chemicals, there might be pharmaceutical chemicals. And if we can even think of – we have the terms of homeopathy, which is like when things are so diluted they become more potent and they’re in their diluted form. So we think we’re getting all these sort of really homeopathic versions of pharmaceuticals.
Alison: Yeah. It can be a little scary.
Alison: Yeah. So let’s also talk about the sun. Because the sun has become something that we’ve become a little bit afraid of in our modern day. And I know especially in my part of the world, in New Zealand and in Australia, there’s a whole campaign around the sun that starts when kids are small and especially if they start going to preschool or school.
We have something called Slip, Slap and Slop, which means slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, slop on the sunscreen. And I know it’s not good to be burned of course, but the sun is vital. We need it. It’s an absolute necessity.
So talk to us a little bit about the sun, Nadine.
Nadine: Yes, the sun. Oh, my mind is spinning right now. Where do we start? Well, let’s start with getting burned because like, you mentioned that. And here’s a really interesting fact. It’s easier for your DNA to heal, process, recover from a sunburn than it is for your DNA – your cells to deal with being in the sun with sunscreen.
Nadine: So it’s easier for your DNA and your cells to heal and recover from a sunburn than it is for your DNA and your cells to be – to process being in the sun with sunscreen. So that’s one thing. And there’s so many myths surrounding the sun, and I’m not totally sure when it started.
But yeah, kind of around the ‘60s and ‘70s. I mean – and sunscreens alone, so many have been banned, so many ingredients are banned in Europe, but not in North America. Or they’ll like, oh, not that, now we’ll use this. And currently the active ingredient in sunscreens is oxybenzene, which is not carcinogenic until it is exposed to sunlight.
Oxybenzene and many different other chemicals, I mean again we’ve got the issue with they’re disrupting hormones, they’re estrogenic, they are disruptive to the DNA. When we’re in the sun, the sun and our skin have a very special relationship and so when we’re applying sunscreen we are blocking getting vitamin D and we are inhibiting our skin’s ability to breathe.
And so it’s kind of like the difference between if you’re cooking – I don’t know if anybody remembers Pam – and you spray the pan with Pam and then we’re told to cook our food in that.
So you can do that or you can be in the sun with botanicals, things like seabuckthorn, virgin coconut oil and all these things help. They work and they harmonize the sun’s rays with your skin.
Not that we necessarily need a harmonizer but it can be good and it can extend the time in the sun. And of course so many plants have – not every plant has essential oils, but in plants that have essential oils in them, it’s part of their defense mechanism, part of their system for relating to the sun.
And they are chemo preventative and so they also act like that with our bodies. And many botanical ingredients – fatty oils, have a range of what you couldn’t think of as a sun – I like to say sun harmonizing factor because SPF, sun protection factor, is a term that is only designated to synthetic ingredients.
So we can’t actually say virgin coconut oil has an SPF of seven because that’s a rating system that’s designed for synthetic chemicals. But they do have something that’s similar and you can feel it out. Some people have actually analyzed it, but it’s still not legal to say that it has it. But there’s been studies done on like raspberry seed oil acts something like an SPF of 25.
And so olive oil, jojoba, virgin coconut oil really, you know they kind of that feel of an eight, nine, ten. They can extend your time in the sun. And again it depends on different people, how much vitamin D you have built in your system, how healthy you’re eating, how much water you’re drinking, how many beautiful rich antioxidants are you ingesting. All of this is contributing to allowing the sun to be more beneficial to you. So with all the fear around the sun we can ask ourselves, well, you know maybe I’ll just wear sunscreen and take vitamin D supplements, or maybe I’ll just like not go in the sun and take vitamin D supplements. And is a tan a healthy thing?
And you know I venture to say a tan is a healthy thing. And back in the 1920s with the research done by the Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Niels Finsen, and then somebody that expanded upon his work, which is Dr. Auguste Rollier, they claimed that the deeper the tan the better the cure.
Why he won the Nobel Prize and what Dr. Auguste Rollier was famous for was they were in a time when Europe was plagued by diseases of darkness, which included things like rickets and tuberculosis, which hundreds and thousands of people died from.
Because people were moving from the more rural settings and into the congested city life and they weren’t getting sunlight anymore. And there was no cure until, you know they realized they could use light. And what they were getting was using sunlight to cure these diseases, which also included wound healing. They were getting 100 percent cures. And this was over a few decades. And there were actually clinics in Lausanne, Switzerland where – there are these beautiful pictures – you could Google it – Lausanne, Switzerland.
Just do Auguste Rollier and like Lausanne and you’ll see these sort of hospital-like buildings and they’ve all got these verandas. So all these beds are like lined up like hospital beds outside with the sun shining on it. And it’s just so beautiful to see. And I’m like, wow, if we had hospitals like that where people were getting sunshine.
The statistics with vitamin D are staggering, just staggering. You know about when we have optimal vitamin D levels, how cancer is prevented by huge percentages. You know it depends on the type of cancer, it could be breast, colon, prostate and different ones like that, but I mean the rates dropped down by not just 5 percent, but we’re talking slashing it by 50 percent, 60 percent, you know depending on the study and what cancer it is. So it’s amazing.
And what we want to really look at is what are we – so we’re blaming the sun, but what are we offering the sun? What are we offering these rays, you know upon this altar? And we have to look it as a relationship because all we do is exist in relationship to the elements. And right now we’re not really offering the greatest specimens to these sun’s rays, you know.
We’re chock full of, you know chlorine and processed food and unhealthy fats, and we really thrive when we’re eating a – like the most important thing in our diets is the quality of our fat. And that is so important. And the quality of all the richly colored foods and the antioxidants.
But right now we’re very, you know we’re very fat depleted because we’re eating a lot of carbs and they’re not whole carbs. And we’re eating processed fats that are rancid and bleached – Mazola, canola, soy – are so the opposite of health it’s insane.
We’re cooking with that, we’re applying petroleum to our body and we’re putting ourselves out into the sun with just this chemical cocktail and then we’re baking in that. And that is not healthy at all. And we really want to understand the relationship that our skin has with the sun.
Because right now we think that our skin kind of crumbles under the sun’s rays. And what’s really important to open up to understanding is that our skin thrives with the sun’s rays. And that when the sun’s rays hit our skin, our skin converts nutrients from the sunbeams into beneficial healing serums and lubricants that lubricate the insides of our bodies, lubricate our endocrine system and really help us to thrive.
One thing I was really interested in with vitamin D from the work I’d done with breast health, I thought a lot about our breast receptors because they – you know like we have receptors all over our body. And again, that’s like a little microcosm of our relationship.
We’ve got like a lock and key system going on. So what’s going on with our breasts right now is the receptors are sort of picking up on everything that’s going in and around the environment and they’re picking up things we don’t want to.
Or our thyroids, when they’re not juicy and filled with iodine, you know we pick up more on radiation and we bring that more into our thyroid and then we have thyroid issues. And the breast receptors are the same. So looking at the level of receptors because essential oils also talk to the receptors in a healthy way, so it’s really all these sort of micro relationships in our body. And our body literally has thousands of vitamin D receptors. They’re in practically every single cell and we have, you know trillions of cells in our body. And they’re in our intestines, in our brain and in our breasts and many other areas.
We have vitamin D receptors. So I was thinking, what happens when these vitamin D receptors are not filled because we have a lot of that going on right now with the fear of the sun. And I found a really interesting study. It was like a pharmaceutical thing, but they were looking at the vitamin D receptors and what happens when they’re not filled and could they create a drug to fill it kind of thing.
But when our vitamin D receptors are not filled with vitamin D3, then they’re unable to produce these peptides that are essential for our immune system. And what happens is bacterial ligands go into the vitamin D receptors and shut the whole immune system down.
If these bacterial ligands – they’re like sticky bacteria – if they were like burglars they’d be like tripping the main alarm switch and then like walking right in and, you know shutting the whole thing down.
And then in exaggerated forms we get all of these anti-inflammatory diseases, like Epstein-Barr virus, different versions of HIV and the micro bacteria in tuberculosis, which is very interesting. Because if we think back to the Nobel Prize winner’s work, he was curing tuberculosis for the first time with sunlight.
And now we see if our bodies aren’t filled with the vitamin D3 in the vitamin D3 receptors, then our whole immune system begins to shut down. And that’s also interesting as to why having an optimal vitamin D level helps us to prevent cancer.
And so I just find that very fascinating. And when we look at the sun we also know that it’s as a broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral thing, as in literally you could, you know put something out in the sunshine to prevent mold.
Right? You know what I mean?
Like it cleanses on that level of a ray cleaning out an area. Like where the sun is shining every day you’re not going to get mold to that area and fungus, like mushrooms, they grow in the shady, moldy, damp areas.
And there’s an old Italian saying that “Where the sun does not enter, the doctor does.” Alison: Wow. That’s amazing.
Nadine: And so if we don’t have this vitamin D shining upon our bodies, then we have an issue. So some people need to take vitamin D3 supplements because we live, you know in colder climates and there may be months of the year where you need that. But the vitamin D that you would buy in the store – the very best quality – is a fatsoluble vitamin D3.
And so this takes us back to the relationship of our sun and our skin, where when those two connect there’s such a special element that gets created because we actually get created a water-soluble form of D3. And that is the type of D3 that’s able to travel in our bloodstream and it actually cleans the blood.
Nadine: So that’s essential too. And it creates a type of very healthy cholesterol sulfate that is essential for so many functions in our body. Another fun thing about being in the sun is that it actually tones the muscles without movement.
Which is a great way to workout.
Nadine: In Ancient Greece, the original Olympic athletes were required to sunbathe.
Nadine: And when Dr. Auguste Rollier found that he was like yeah, there’s a really cool thing that goes on because the muscles get toned without movement when they’re in the sun. Isn’t that a great way to work out?
So and then the thing where it all comes down to because it is so beneficial is like, okay, so how do we interact with the sun’s rays wisely. Because, you know there’s so many beautiful things on the planet, but we can overdo things even if they’re good.
Where there’s a certain amount of food that’s nourishing, but a certain amount it may be toxic. And it’s great to drink water, but if you drank many gallons of water a day your kidneys would not be happy at all even if it was from the spring of the gods. So we have to work with it. And so at the clinics in Switzerland, which ran for like 20 years – and I’ve seen beautiful pictures where there would be children with tuberculosis and their spines would be – their bones, you could just see deformity.
And then they would have a year of this sunning and the before and after pictures, and they’d have huge lesions of tuberculosis, like the skin wounds like open and, you know fleshy. All the wounds would be closed. They’d be tanned and they’d be like a little bit plumper, just like that really healthy plump sort of nice juicy child that you want to just squeeze because you know they won’t break if you squeeze them. And their spines were perfectly erect, which is so cool.
And it’s so beautiful to see that healing. And it makes so much sense because the sun makes fruit, it ripens flowers, it’s like growing everything that we need to survive. So it only makes sense that the sun is not actually evil and much needed for our wellbeing. And I think we can all – even if we’re afraid of the sun and we’ve bought into that whole system, I think we can all acknowledge that we feel better on sunny days. And you know it really – it’s hooked into our rhythms, it’s hooked into our circadian rhythms, and it makes crickets sing. And it’s just like, you know it’s like so essential. It’s almost, you know silly to question it because –Yeah. It’s been here a long time.
Nadine: So I was going to go back to wise interaction because then maybe everybody’s like okay, well tell us how to work with it. So the morning sun is great because, you know the rays are less strong. But you don’t have to get out of the sun at ten or at noon. And some people, if it’s all you can do is 15 minutes a day – and it’s not even like it’s sunny every single day everywhere. It’s okay, you can be out in the afternoon.
It’s just like that’s – you know you’re going to want to be – just like get your 15 minutes at two, that’s fine. But the sun up until solar noon is really beneficial. And so that could be 1:00 in your area depending on the time zone. I don’t even know how they work that whole thing with the spring and fall times and everything, but anyway. And so in the morning is really good and, you know if you’re concerned about your face – because I know like the skin on our face is a little more sensitive so to speak, like easily – like my cheeks will get redder before my calves, you know.
So, you know wear a hat and don’t – you don’t have to get your vitamin D through your face because it’s better to get it through other parts of your body. That doesn’t mean like we have to get away from the fact that we’re fearing it to be on our faces and that’s causing age spots because what causes age spots is eating polyunsaturated fatty acid, even at a level of 20 percent it’s huge.
It causes cancer, it causes age spots and hyperpigmentation. And there are studies that also show that children that wear sunscreens get more freckles and more moles. And so when we really look at the data it’s not supporting the sunscreen industry.
And what causes hyperpigmentation are hormonal imbalance, xenoestrogen, the pill, hormone replacement therapy and eating polyunsaturated fatty acids. Which if you’re eating any processed food it is generally 20 percent of the calorie that makes up that food. So those are the things you want to avoid. So that’s when you’re not interacting with the sun wisely.
And then there’s the whole thing with skin cancers where again, the studies show that melanoma appears on areas of the body that aren’t exposed to the sun. And melanoma is a serious thing and it’s lethal, so it’s a serious subject. But studies found that those that spent more time outside were less likely to get melanoma, that those that spent more recreational time or they worked outdoors, the more increase in recreational sunscreen use, their chances of developing melanoma dropped by 25 to 40 percent.
Nadine: They found that those that live closer to the equator were less likely to develop melanoma.
So the statistics really when you dig into them, are not showing that the sun causes melanoma. And there’s a really good book for those that really want to go into it, it’s a big book, it’s a scientific book and it was written by Dr. Ackerman, who was a founding father in the field of dermatopathology, which is the study of disease on the skin. So it’s a little more serious than a dermatologist. And he wrote a book called The Sun and the Epidemic of Melanoma: Myth on Myth.
And he really looked into that and he found that it’s a total myth.
There’s also a study in the ‘80s and it’s published in Lancet, and I believe it was Dr. Helen Shaw, and she found that outdoor workers were less likely to get melanoma and that the people that were more likely to get melanoma were people that worked under artificial and fluorescent lighting – were one of the causes. And that’s interesting too because that’s back in the ‘80s when we were even really – I mean we didn’t even really use computers, albeit at work to achieve our work. Now like there’s no work that happens without a computer.
And many people are sitting right in front of those video monitors all day and not getting actual sunlight. So again, really looking at the reality of these studies and seeing some other things. So the other thing too is like lubricating your body with beautiful botanicals – I make a great one called Everybody Loves the Sunshine and I’ve got every single botanical in there that is so deep and nourishing for the skin.
But again, you can just use virgin coconut oil, olive oil and you’re way ahead of the game. So, yeah, get it in the morning and build it up in the spring even when you think it might be too cold to get in the sun, just start it. And that combination of cold air and sunshine they found very healing in the Swiss Alps and they were even out in sun all day in the winter.
They just were wearing shorts and their whole bodies were exposed. And you want to build up that tan. You want to get that melanin going because that’s so healing, it’s very lubricating to the skin. There’s another book called Help in Sunlight that was written in the 1920s and they declared the sun to be the finest cosmetic and that it smoothes out the skin and it prevented wrinkles and it prevented acne.
They said nobody with enough sunshine would develop acne on their faces. And even in the 1920s Mademoiselle Cocoa Chanel said that a tan is the best fashion accessory.
I think now probably Chanel makes toxic skin care, but – So you want to work with those oils on your skin because they also help to heal and seal the deal. And if you did get too much sun exposure it’s the oils that are going to help you out of it – and aloe vera and lavender and they’re going to really heal that skin. And remember if you do get a burn that it was better than being in the sun for four hours with sunscreen.
Alison: That’s good to know.
Nadine: So yeah, build it up and keep it going. And then think of your skin like a solar panel and that that’s going to – you’re going to charge that solar panel to take you through the winter months and to take you through that in great health.
And then you want to keep – you know eat antioxidant foods and make sure you have plenty of iodine because that’s like the number one antioxidant. It’s like the richest anti – and the most primordial antioxidant in the world. And it’s great too because it’s a mineral and 70 percent of the world’s population is probably deficient in it, and it’s a very vital nutrient for our health and for being in the sun as well.
Yeah, eating right, drinking right, using the oils and then building up your tan slowly. And then you’ll really be able to be in the sun longer and you’ll see things change and you know you may have to start it for five minutes. In the clinics in Switzerland, they were just like it might just be, you know the feet for five minutes a day for one week.
Then they would move up to the knees, you know so do the whole bottom of the leg and that would be for another week. And then they would just build it up until the body can bring it in again. It’s kind of like if you’re not in the sun a lot and then you get out in the sun and you squint, right? Like if you’ve been in darkness all day and then you get outside and you’re like, whoa.
And it’s like we’ve got to allow our, you know the skin cells, the pores – they actually dilate and they open up to receive the sun. And it creates great things for heart health and it’s like on and on. It’s amazing what it does for the body.
So we’ve got to allow that reception and bring that reception in again and then remember that we’re offering this beautiful body to the sun and then we’re having a relationship with the sun. And it’s a beautiful thing. Also remember, what’s really interesting with these clinics too in Switzerland, they found that if the patient wore sunglasses the healing benefits would not happen. So we have to really limit our use of sunglasses.
They come in handy, you know for driving or as a hair accessory.
But we have to remember to also be in the sun without the sunglasses and allow that full spectrum of light to nourish our eyes. Because I don’t even think we know the full thing of that relationship too. I mean we see color because of the sun and its relationship to the way our eyes are structured.
So that relationship is very key and we want to nourish that and allow those rays in and you’ll find – one really great thing to do is to sun gaze. You can look directly at the sun for about 40 minutes as it’s rising and then about 40 minutes before it sets. And you can extend that time a bit too and get your eyes used to the sun. If you cover one eye – if you’re finding you can’t bring the full light of the sun in, then you just cover one eye and then that helps. And then you switch eyes and that really helps for eye health.
Alison: Wow. That’s amazing information, Nadine. There’s so many things I wanted to say. And I love your passion; that’s so wonderful. One thing I talked about with Daniel too is that he said we spend 99 percent of our time indoors. Like that’s crazy.
So that goes to show you how much we’re not getting the sunlight, right? And also from a re-wilding perspective, like we used to live outside before we became domesticated and moved into houses and buildings and stuff.
And every other species except for our domesticated pet friends, live outside. So to think that the sun is something that’s out to get you – it kind of doesn’t really add up when you look at it from that perspective. And as you said, it affects so many systems in our body.
And one thing I also noticed with my own – because I have two kids – is that in the winter it’s typically the time that most people do get the sniffles or flus or whatever. And before I understood about the sun I used to think it was because it got cold out. But it’s not because it gets cold really, it’s more because we have more cloud and less sunlight. The sun is – like we have less sunlight – our days are shorter and we might have more snow or in my part of the world more rain.
And I do notice that sometimes in the New Zealand winters we’ll have like three months of rain and then it’ll be cloudy for primarily the entire three months. And that will be the time that my kids if they get anything they get a cold.
And you know it’s all about your vitamin D, right? And your exposure to the sun.
Nadine: It is. Yes, but you can build it up. And I think like really what this lack of vitamin D thing is saying is like when we unplug from the sun, when we deny that connection, I mean we’re getting the life drained out of us.
It’s our relationship with the sun is a spark, you know and it’s ongoing and it needs to happen regularly. There’s this connection. And literally essential nutrients and lubricants are made when we connect our skin and the sun.
Alison: And it was so beautiful the way you described the sun – the skin receiving the sun.
Nadine: There was a Kahlil Gibran quote – he wrote that book called The Prophet, he wrote very poetic lyrical verse – prose. And he just said, Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.
Alison: That’s beautiful. I also just wanted to – I was just going to quickly ask you because we’ve spent a lot of time on the sun and I’d still love to ask you a few more things. Like what about wrinkles?
Is that mostly down to our diet? And I know you mentioned fluoride, but can we get wrinkles from the sun? Because that’s a big beauty driver for women especially as they put on these sunscreens on their face every day because they don’t want to get crow’s feet from the sun.
Nadine: No, not at all. One thing that causes wrinkles is dehydration. Another thing is hormonal balance. It’s key to have our progesterone and our estrogen balanced. And another key thing for that is – it is hooked up to the sun because when we lack K2, which is another vitamin – it’s very much connected to D3. K2 is like – to me K2 is like the D3 in a way. But the K2 to me is the nutrient we get from our food being in the sun.
You know what I mean? So it’s not D3, it’s K2, but it’s made from things that are from the sun. And right now we have food that is grown in the shadows. It’s grown in the shadows of factory farming, right? And from pesticides. And when pesticides are applied to a plant, do you know that that actually inhibits its photosynthesis process?
It disrupts its hormones. And so it is not having the same relationship that it needs to have with the sun. And we all know that non-organic food has less minerals and nutrients in it by a scientific profile. So food is grown in the shadows.
And, you know however you’re eating, whether it be Paleo or vegan or whatever, we need food that’s grown in the sun. We need our fruit ripened by the sun. And if we’re eating eggs or cheese or milk, all of those things we need to have 100 percent pastured – from pastured animals, which means they’re eating grass, which means the grass was grown in the sun. And those foods will have K2. And if we eat eggs, milk, butter from factory-farmed animals, they will have no K2 in it.
So K2 is again this food vitamin that is created from our relationship with the sun. And then back to wrinkles, if we have no K2 in our diet – it’s a lengthy scientific process to explain it, but there’s these – the fat-soluble vitamins of K2 and D3, they activate these matrix GLA-proteins in our skin. And these usher the minerals into our bones. So they’re like escorts to take that calcium and that magnesium into the bones. If we don’t have K2 in our diet, then the minerals stay in the blood serum and in the tissues.
And again that’s stiffening the tissues and letting our bones be soft. And they found – there’s a disease I forget the name of – I don’t know if it’s like a disease disease, but it’s a serious thing and it’s a severe form of wrinkling. So we’re not just talking like, you know, I’m 80 and I have a wrinkle. It’s a severe form of wrinkling. And when they studied that tissue it was completely devoid of K2.
It’s just another example of how we need the K2 in our diet. And that also comes from fermented foods. And a good source for vegans for K2, is natto, so most supplements are made from natto, which is a fermented soy. And so that is interesting too because we have a huge craze of taking these three supplements. But if we’re taking all that D3 and we’re activating those matrix GLA-proteins, but we’re not having the K2 to partner with it, we’re also going to be creating a wrinkling situation. I find that interesting.
Nadine: So, yes it is diet, but it does go back to the sun as well, so we need these sunproduced things. Yeah, but if you’re eating – you know the study from the Plastic Surgery Institute in Los Angeles found – they studied – interviewed a thousand women and the women that ate diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids showed aging 20 years beyond their age.
And mice that were fed 20 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids developed cancers, and the ones that didn’t – were fed no polyunsaturated fats, you know didn’t develop any cancer at all. So that’s important.
And literally it could be from dehydration, you know?
Like literally you could just be dry – dehydrated and dried out. So again it’s funny because we think of the sun – I mean it can be drying obviously, right? You know you have a drought – it is drying. But when we use the sun in this manner – and I’ve been experimenting more this year of really consistently working on my tan. Like it’s a great project.
And I can definitely say I just do feel more lubricated. It’s very interesting. You know? I just feel – yeah, more juicy. So we’ve got to work with it wisely to receive the benefits.
Nadine: And then we have to realize too, all those ingredients, they’re really wrinkle causing – – you know when we’re slathering on petroleum because so many things are petroleum derived. And I think I have an article on that on Tera’s blog. You know it’s like we see an ingredient, it doesn’t say petroleum, but they’re all derived from it.
You know it might temporarily puff up a wrinkle. And then too when we’re working with soap, I mean we should never be using soap on our face and on our body. And you’ve got to wash your pits and privates, that’s the only place you ever want to use a very natural soap.
We should never be using foaming cleansers and soap on our precious face skin and then trying to take out the dryness by adding some kind of petroleum lubricants on there. And so we’re like drying it out and then we’re trying to moisturize it again.
Alison: Beautiful. Thank you so much for that amazing information on the sun, Nadine. I’m sure many of us out there will never look at it the same again. So we haven’t done air yet. So I’d like to just quickly move onto air, and I also wanted to ask you about this beautiful newsletter that you put out through Living Libations about forest bathing. And I totally loved this.
Nadine: Oh yeah.
Alison: I wondered if you could talk to us about that newsletter and forest bathing and how breathing the fresh air in a forest is good for you.
Nadine: Yeah. Fresh air, standing on the earth, sunbathing, drinking a beautiful glass of spring water and there’s a great beauty routine. Well, we want to let the elements be our finest bathing attendants. And so really I mean it’s great when we can allow like things like the wind to like help our hair look better. You know what I mean? Rather than fighting it. We’re like oh, great, you know my hair is tasseled by the wind. There’s a Rumi quote that says, “The loose hair strands of a woman don’t have to be combed.” And I think that’s totally true.
So of course if I would go walk in the forest for an hour it would be like oh, yeah, of course, I always feel better. But of course they scientifically measured it. And they found that, you know the plant matter, which is – essential oils are basically the pheromones of the trees and the plants and the flowers, get into the bloodstream in a beneficial way. And I think that’s so cool. And so that’s what actually lowered heart rate, blood pressure, all that kind of stuff was when the people walked in the forest because they’re not only breathing fresh air but because literally there were gifts coming in that air from the trees and going into their lungs and going into their blood stream.
And you know you can also achieve that too by diffusing essential oils in your home or using a salt inhaler and really cleansing our lungs and getting those beneficial plant molecules into our body, not just through our skin but through inhalation. And that’s what that forest bathing thing was all about.
And you know it’s a great thing because we think of all the elements and you can bathe in them, not just water.
Sunbathing, forest bathing, there’s even people that moon bathe underneath the full moon. And so air is so important too. And really since our domestication our skin has changed, you know it has become more sensitive and all that kind of stuff. Because we used to brush against bushes and get the elements on it and all that kind of stuff. So that’s why skin brushing is also very important, which is kind of an air element because you’re brushing that skin.
And that’s really good for the circulatory systems and the lymph systems, which in Chinese medicine is thought of to be as the air of the body is when things travel around.
Alison: Beautiful. And I also always think of more tribal people who live closer to nature, like say the Inuit or the Mongolians or the Nepalese, like they live in rather harsh climates, and not that I’ve ever visited them, but in photos you never see them having problems with their skin. They don’t – you know they look vibrant and healthy and they don’t have lots of wrinkles and age spots and sagging.
Nadine: And acne.
Alison: Yeah. They’re glowing and their eyes are bright.
So, just to recap we need to just be outside more really, and eat clean food, organic food, whole food. And get outside to breathe the air, lie in the sun. If you have access to wild water that’s awesome. And drink clean water, go for walks in the forest, get all those ions into your body.
And if people want to learn more about you and your work, Nadine, like you said there’s a lot of information on our blog which we’ve been so fortunate to have you teach with us.
And people can find amazing, beautiful, healing, exquisite, botanical healing skincare and tooth care and hair care products on your website at www.livinglibations.com. And like I said at the beginning of the call, if you want to feel like Aphrodite, then you should get some of Nadine’s stuff. You also make an amazing medicinal chocolate, which is pretty out of this world. Even my two-year-old – I think that’s the only way I could get my two-year-old to eat cat’s claw and camu camu is through your chocolate.
Nadine: Yeah. Well, thank you.
Alison: Yes. Oh, well you deserve it. Thank you for all your beautiful hard work and sharing your vision with the world. Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Nadine: Yeah, just remembering to let nature be your finest beauty attendant. That’s pretty key.
Alison: Yeah. Okay, so I just have one last question for you before I can let you go. Nadine: Sure. Alison: And that is, what is your wild wish for the people listening to this call?
Nadine: My wild wish is for men, women and children to get outside and let nature be your guide.
Alison: Beautiful. And said so simply and so perfectly. Thank you so much, Nadine. It’s always such a pleasure listening to you spout your wisdom. Yeah, thank you so much for sharing your time with us. Nadine: Thank you.