Beauty Inside & Out - Creating Your Own Zen


Upon returning from eight glorious days in beautiful Portugal, I arrived home feeling a certain zen I haven’t felt in years. Although the holiday was relatively short, the sense of calm I felt over these eight days that was enough to feel recharged and refreshed. Some time away from the daily grind is good for the soul, body and mind. This led me to ask this question. Is happiness the answer to beauty? I’ve always believed that the most beautiful woman have a beauty that radiates from within. Taking care of your body, mind and soul and being surrounded by people that truly make you happy are important elements in my life.

So, if you can’t just jump on the next plane to Portugal, here are a few tips on how to create your own zen.

Start Running!

I started jogging a few years ago, in the beginning I wasn’t optimistic. I felt I didn’t have it in me to run long distances. I would have anxiety after only a few minutes because my lungs felt like they would collapse. Once I got past this anxiety, I felt the endorphins take over and soon running became like a drug. I saw the benefits, I felt more relaxed, more calm, energized. I started to see the difference in my skin too. Not only is there obvious cardiovascular benefits to running, but anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant. By increasing blood flow, running helps nourish skin cells and keeps them vital. It also helps flush debris out of the system. So, its like as though you're cleaning your skin from the inside.

Try Bikram Yoga

I started practicing Hatha Yoga over 6 years ago. I loved it and immediately felt and saw the benefits it had on my mind and body. I was recently introduced to Bikram yoga by my boyfriend. I’ve always wanted to try it but wasn’t sure I could survive a 90 minute session in 42 degrees. After the first session, I was a believer of the ‘Bikram glow’. Not only did I feel my stress and anxiety levels decrease, physically my skin became more soft, more clear. Even my eyes looked brighter. As you sweat, your pores are opened and cleaned. Allowing natural lanolin to release through the pores, softening and preserving your skin’s elasticity.

(Re)Discover Nature

One of the wonderful things about living in Paris is opportunity to discover all the beautiful parks and secret gardens, like my most recent discovery, the Albert Kahn Jardin in Boulogne Billancourt. One way to feel more zen is to connect yourself with nature.  A walk in the forest, park or garden may soothe the mind and, in the process relieve stress. There is a traditional Japanese practice called shinrin-yoku, where a reported 25 percent of people regularly spend time in contemplative time in nature as a form of recharging their batteries. 

Drink more water

Without a doubt, water helps to plump and hydrate the skin. As the bodies largest organ, just like any part of your body, your skin is made up of cells, and skin cells are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will lead your skin to looking dry, tight and dull. Drinking water is also known to improve your state of mind. Even mild dehydration has been shown to negatively impact moods.

Last but not least…..Love 

The healthy glow of being in love? It’s not just a myth. Those feelings you experience while falling in love reflect a physiological process that can benefit your skin unlike anything else. Oxytocin is the hormone of love; it is often referred to as the attachment hormone. Surges of oxytocin are responsible for the bonds between partners, between mother and child – and even people and their beloved pets. Oxytocin helps lower the body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can have a number of negative effects on the skin. 

- Leigh Notes | for beauty