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November 7, 2011

Fit Gal’s Simple Skin Care Regimen

A few weeks ago, I was asked to chat about “Healthy Halloween” (is that even possible??) on the Local Fox 8 station, where I was lucky to meet Michelle Witherby in the green room. She was going on right after my spot to talk about organic and natural skin care. We chatted for a while about fitness and all thing natural, and afterwards we connected–where else–on Twitter :)  She is a wealth of knowledge and I asked her if she might contribute a guest blog for about what fitness women can do for their skin. As serious fitness ladies, we are constantly working out, sweating, showering, sweating again, showering again lol that sometimes our skin and hair can get neglected. Michelle agreed to put together a quickie to-do list for fit gals’ skin care, so hopefully this can help us all–including me–understand how to better take care of our skin, not just our muscles!! Thank you Michelle for taking the time to put this together! Here she is!

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”  ~Coco Chanel

 Skin care is a topic that I thrive in talking about, specifically safe skincare.  Collectively, what we feed our body; mind and skin are in tandem, all incredibly important.

Sports & exercise has always been a constant in my life as I come from a family of really athletic people! Being on-the-go and competing in some capacity was a huge part of our youth and for me and most of my family, is still the same today. Being athletic, I tried over the years to be mindful of what I ate and how I treated my body.

However it wasn’t until a shift occurred in me that I became increasingly aware of what I was exposing my body too internally & externally, hence I made some important changes in my life routine.  One of those important changes was in the skin/personal care products I used and made the switch to non-toxic & safe products. Taking care of our skin is just as vital and important to staying young & beautiful as good nutrition and working out. Each of these elements, collectively, arrives at two important factors; staying healthy & being well!

So as fitness driven women, let’s talk more about the skin and ideas on specific skin care regiments that “fit” your needs so we can keep you staying beautiful.

I’m sure many of you have heard how your skin looks more vibrant and fresh after a good work out. Exercise is great for both our bodies and our skin.  Exercise as we know gets our hearts pumping, increases blood flow & oxygen, and promotes healthy circulation which directly benefits every organ in our body- especially our body’s largest organ, our skin!

So how do we continue on with these benefits to keep our skin vibrant & fresh?  The answer? A thorough skin care regime… and since I know I’m speaking to some seriously busy ladies here, I am going to layout a “must have” yet “minimalist” approach to taking good care of your skin. 

Facial Cleanser:

Skin is a magnet for oil & dirt particles. Cleansers not only wash away dirt, oil and bacteria but they also nourish the skin.  Cleansers are also stellar for cleaning our pores – blocked pores, dirty pores and an excess of oil production can lead to acne.

I recommend using a cleanser packed with:

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • Essential fatty acids

Each can help to repair damaged cells, promote cellular- renewal and again fight free-radicals.  You want a cleanser that washes away impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Steer clear of cleansers (and skin care products in general) that contain:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Sulfates
  • Soaps and/or harsh detergents
  • Alcohol

Opt for safe, all-natural or organic brands. Make sure to massage in your cleanser with small circular motions for approx. 15-20 seconds and rinse with cool/cold water.  Hot water dehydrates the skin!

Application: morning/evening (more frequent if your schedule requires multiple workouts whereas your skin is prone to producing more oil & sweat) {note: some cleansers come with a natural exfoliate already built in – benefit: you get to clean and exfoliate in one easy step.  Suitable for normal/dry/oily skin, not recommended for sensitive skin}

Facial Toner:

A toner should do exactly what it says, tone the skin.  Which is perfect right; you’re toning your bodies so the same should ring true for your skin?! We lose a lot of moisture from our bodies when working out due to sweating.   A natural/organic toner provides:

  • Hydration to thirsty skin
  • Minimizes  pores (another key to looking youthful)
  • Helps to calm the skin by reducing redness
  • Leaves skin radiant

Toners come can come in either a mist or liquid form which can be applied right to the face.  Look for all-natural ingredients like:

  • sodium hyalaronate
  • alfalfa seed extract
  • pomegranate
  • witch hazel

All in which feed & nourish our skin.

Application: morning/evening {note: the great thing about mists is that you can spritz throughout the day as needed – you can find mine in my purse or yoga bag at all times}


Moisturizers act as a skin protector; protection from the elements and environmental stressors.  You want a moisturizer to:

  • Be Light-weight
  • Improve moisture retention
  • Thoroughly hydrate the skin

Wonderful all-natural ingredients to look for are:

  •  aloe vera
  • vitamin E
  • other antioxidants like argan oil
  • sodium hyalaronate

Application: morning/evening

Facial Masks

Personally masks are one of my favorite treats in pampering the skin.  It’s a worthy type of pampering – one that does wonders.  Many of us can’t make the time or afford the luxury of a spa facial as much as we would like.  Giving our skin an extra dose of TLC can help in fighting the signs of aging.  So what are the benefits of using a facial mask?

  •  Provides an intense dose of moisture to our cells at a deeper level
  • Empowers healthier complexions
  • Encourages softer skin and in most cases, stimulates collagen production.

Plus after applying a mask, you can feel it tighten by going to work in removing impurities from the skin.

Ingredients to look for:

  • all-natural or organic turmeric,
  • eucalyptus
  • pomegranate
  • white willow extract
  • mineral clays

Application: 1-2 a week

It was such an honor to have been asked by Jill to contribute this week to JillFit!  Optimal wellness is something I know we all strive for and to connect with like minded women is a passion of mine.  I look forward to the opportunity to join in again on this journey of beautiful health with you all!  Until next time – Peace & Be Well.

 Michelle Witherby
Founder + CEO
Organic & Natural (O&N) Collective
Sustainable beauty & wellness apothecary

Business network member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, yogi, devoted traveler, food & wine enthusiast, ocean dweller, philanthropist, music guru & lover of an organic & sustainable lifestyle.

Connect with Michelle @
twitter: @organiccontessa

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