Recently I was diagnosed with PCOS (more on that later), and one of the effects of PCOS that I’ve been having is a, let’s call it, a diminishing beauty bank. By beauty, I mean vitality. My skin has been dry and blotchy, my rosacea had flared. My hair had been falling out dramatically and breaking, my eyelashes were weak and sparse, my nails were weak and brittle. A whole smorgasbord of signals that my body hadn’t been at it’s best, and reflected on my outer appearance. Because of this, I’ve been sampling different products intended to nourish skin, hair, nails, hair and overall glow. This is not a plastic surgery type of fix which will give me bigger boobs and a whiter smile, this is simply enhancing my skin, nails and hair and making me the best healthiest version of me. With my PCOS diagnosis, I have a medical protocol through my Dr. that I’ve been following (more on that in my PCOS post) and I’m not DIYing it, but in addition to my medication, I’ve been upping my supplement game. IF you have hormonal issues or you suspect you have PCOS, talk to your Dr. about it and run any supplements by them. Many herbal supplements (including ones popular for PCOS) can double up your medications so it’s always so important to let your Dr. know and probably your pharmacist too if you are taking anything herbal. This post kicks off a new section of this blog for health and wellness where I share with you different wellness recipes and rituals I’m trying out which have either helped or were a total bust.
I’ve been super curious about this brand Moon Juice that I’ve seen everywhere and in particular their Beauty Dust. I think I first heard about the brand on goop, Gwyneth uses these in her smoothies, and then saw the brand at Nordstrom and on Sephora.com and Urban Outfitters and in a variety of online articles. This type of herbal remedy was right up my alley because I’ve always been interested in supplements and natural remedies and I really liked that these dusts have a variety of ingredients that you can easily add into your smoothie. You could easily buy each individual ingredient at your local health food store but then you’d be taking a bunch of horse pills and tinctures and spending a fortune and pantry space real estate. This brand has the most potent version of these herbs in an elegant formulation that is frankly just fun to use.
I’ve tried a few of the herbs that are in this beauty dust before and I have to say that for such a tiny serving (1 teaspoon), this blend is very potent. This dust contains Lycium (Goji) Berry Powder, Schisandra Berry Powder, Rehmannia Root Extract, Ashwagandha Root and Leaf Extract, Amla Berry Extract, Pearl Extract, Stevia Leaf Extract. It tastes mildly of dirt and dust but 1 teaspoon in a smoothy is undetectable. The pearl extract is probably the most intriguing ingredient here. Besides the adaptogenic herbal properties in this dust, there are a lot of trace minerals and amino acids which are what really contributes to the ‘beauty inducing’ claims.
After I placed my moon juice order I realized that I should have also added in the tocotrienols. I had read a lot on this form of Vitamin E and thought I could just easily just find this product at my local health store, or Whole Foods. Well, let me tell you it’s pretty much impossible to find locally and I would have saved myself a lot of footwork and shipping had I just ordered from Moon Juice. You can buy a mixed tocopherol/tocotrienol Vitamin E supplement but the tocotrienol amount is minuscule and this is an especially expensive vitamin because of how it’s processed – and that is also why most health food stores don’t carry it. My local vitamin store had only one in and it was $39. Toco ‘powder’ is very rich in tocotrienols and vitamin D and it’s the most bioavailable form of vitamin E. This means that your body is able to absorb this and use it readily, and unlike tocopherol, tocotrienol is dispersed throughout your body much easier. Vitamin E has huge benefits for hair, nail and skin as well as cardiovascular health, and it soothes inflammation. You often see beauty products with Vitamin E (the lesser tocopherol) because it’s so great for skin, but I think it’s it’s most effective ingested regularily instead of used topically. Tocotrienol/Vitamin E is not a huge part of our diets and it’s found in very few foods such as rice bran and palm oil and avocado in trace amounts. A really great thing about buying the whole food powder vs the supplement is that its creamy and dissolves into coffee or water incredibly easily, and it tastes good. It tastes like blended sweatened oatmeal. You can use this to richen up a smoothies or a nut milk.
If you are in Canada, I was able to find a local company that has ‘tocos’ at an extremely affordable price. Check out The Gut Lab. I have noticed a huge difference in my skin taking this almost immediately. My hair is silky soft and smooth and the frizz is gone, and my skin is smooth and bouncy.
When my diet is on it’s A-game, I’m using a lot of protein supplements in my diet. If I’m doing Whole 30, I’m being mindful of getting plenty of whole food lean protein, and if I’m counting macros and calories I’m having to supplement with protein powders. I typically use whey protein and my most recent was a fermented whey that I really like. Whey feels really heavy in my stomach though and takes a long time for me to digest and causes some gastro issues. I was curious to try this one because it’s a rice-based protein, low glycemic has excellent macros. The addition of adaptogenic herbs and tocotrienols is such a bonus in this type of product. I also loved the blue color due to the blue-green algae which has been so huge on Instagram smoothie bowl photos. I’m not very familiar with algae as a supplement and it’s benefits but I believe there are tons of amino acids in it and minerals. Ashwagandha is an herb that helps with a lot of PCOS symptoms, so I was happy to have it in this protein as well as in the Beauty Dust. I had already been supplementing Ashwagandha in the form of capsules but I much prefer the Moon Juice brand for that. To be honest, the capsules I had been previously using made me really nauseous and the ashwagandha in these products isn’t bothering me at all – and I’m noticing the adaptogenic affects much more in the form of better sleep and more even moods.