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During my first decade as a beauty therapist in the 1980’s I tried to treat skin with topical treatments and products alone. 

That was fine when I was dealing with basically strong and healthy skin. But as soon as I was faced with sensitive or inflamed skin, or skin disorders like acne or rosacea, I was out of my depth. Eventually I became so disillusioned that I left the career I loved and did the 9-5 office thing.

I returned to the beauty industry two years later, determined to find answers, and providentially came across the woman who would become my mentor – Janice Sarre Smith, naturopath and holistic skincare therapist.


Through Jan, I discovered a respectful way of working with skin that preserved the integrity of the protective top layer of the skin (the stratum corneum). 

AND, I discovered how absolutely essential skin nutrition was.

Topical skincare is important but true skin transformation is only possible when we nourish the skin from within.

Your skin is created from within. Your visible skin is the end result of a process that begins deep in the skin layers and is influenced by your diet, your lifestyle, your gut health and your stress resilience. It’s not going too far to say that your skin is a reflection of your life.

During my 15 year career as a dermo-nutritionist and skin health therapist I have learnt that:

  • Gut health is directly connected to skin health. 
  • Dull, inflamed or spotty skin are indicators that your body is not getting enough of the nutrients it needs, or that poor diet is actively working against a clear, glowing complexion.
  • EFA’s are essential for preventing and treating break outs, for clearing congestion, for moisturising dry skin and for promoting a smooth texture and luminous glow.
  • Fibroblasts (anti-ageing cells that produce collagen and elastin) require a regular supply of key nutrients and a deficiency in just one nutrient will limit anti-ageing activity.
  • You can’t heal a constipated skin. Acne and congested skin are exacerbated by a build-up of toxicity caused by a sluggish digestive system.  
  • Congesting foods fuel acne from within and need to be removed for progress to be made.
  • Heating foods exacerbate inflamed skin conditions and need to be removed from the diet to give the skin a chance to calm and heal.
  • Bestow skin nutrition boosters can fill the nutrient gaps in our modern diets and ensure our skin has the vital nutrients it needs to heal and thrive.
  • Self-care rituals are vital for skin health and wellbeing. 

So, whether you are looking to heal sensitive or challenged skin, or take healthy skin from good to glow, skin nutrition is a vital piece of the puzzle. Remember…

What you put on your skin is only half the story.

The power of nutrition to transform our skin from within can never be overestimated. Janine Tait – holistic skin coach and skin-nutritionist has been championing the wellness trend in beauty therapy for decades. In this piece, she shares why it is important for therapists and their clients to become educated in the art of dermo-nutrition.

When you run into a problem with your skin, what is the first thing you do?  Most women instinctively look for a new skincare product or treatment. While of course, the right topical skincare strategy is essential, it is still only half of the story.

True skin transformation is only possible when we work from the inside out with skin nutrition.  Our skin needs a wide range of nutrients in order to thrive, heal and resist premature ageing.  Dull, lifeless, inflamed or spotty skin are indications that your body is not getting enough of the nutrients it needs for health, or that poor diet is actively working against a clear, glowing complexion.

Discovering how to change the skin at a cellular level through skin nutrition was a game changer for me, and I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with beauty therapists and their clients.

The Problem with Our Modern Diet

Even if we eat a basically healthy diet, we are still fighting an uphill battle against modern food production methods. The fruit and vegetables our grandparents ate were very different in nutritional quality to what we eat today.  For starters, they usually grew their own fruit and vegetables themselves in compost rich soils. Food scraps went straight back into the soil which ensured that the plants were rich in the vitamins and minerals our body needs.

Today, the produce we buy from the supermarket is often not locally grown.  By the time our food reaches us and is stored for months, many of the nutrients are degraded.  On top of that, most of our soils are fed with fertiliser, not compost.  Fertiliser provides only a limited range of nutrients compared to the organic feast that compost fed plants offer.

I encourage my clients to eat a balanced diet with plenty of locally grown, organic produce –  but even the best diet often needs a boost.

Key Nutrients for Anti-Ageing

When I studied dermo-nutrition (nutritional medicine), I discovered that there are specific nutrients the skin requires to produce good quality collagen and elastin. The fibroblast cells are basically anti-ageing factories, pumping out collagen and elastin – if, and only if, they have the key nutrients required to produce them.  Some of these key nutrients are copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, silicon, zinc, iron, Vitamins A, C, K, E, B-complex, bio-flavanoids and amino acids. That’s a long list of nutrients, and if your body is low in even one of them, it will limit the amount of collagen and elastin your skin cells can produce.

I recommend my clients harness the power of super-foods to fill the nutritional gaps left by our modern diet and provide these key nutrients.  Super-foods like organic cold pressed flaxseed, pumpkin and coconut flour, blackcurrant extract, organic spirulina and kelp, alfalfa leaf and organic wheat leaf – which between them contain an extraordinary amount of nutritional value for skin.

EFA’s Moisturise Your Skin From Within

When I began working from within, one of the first things I learnt was that Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) deficiencies are the most common cause of skin problems. Because EFA’s are responsible for oil regulation, a deficiency can present as either oily or dry skin and will contribute to premature ageing.

A good quality EFA supplement will moisturise your skin from the inside out by feeding the skin cell at the deepest layer of the epidermis. As this cell progresses to the upper layers of the skin it releases its beautiful oils creating plump, supple, smooth, glowing skin.

Both omega 6 and omega 3 families of fats are crucial for healthy skin.  Good sources of omega 6 are safflower oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seeds, almond and wheat-germ.  Good sources of omega 3 are cold water fish, flax oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and wheatgerm.

These edible oils are best utilized by our bodies when they are delivered in liquid form rather than in capsules. As a liquid they can be mixed into smoothies or dressings for a daily skin boost. This pre-emulsifies the precious fats and makes it twice as likely they will be absorbed by our digestive system and made available to our skin.

Nourish Your Skin From Within

So, if your skin is not as good as you would like it to be, first of all, take a good, honest look at your diet and secondly take a look at skin super-food blends.  They are designed to complement topical skincare and to naturally support a clear, glowing complexion.  Like all wellness journeys, learning to work holistically requires change, patience and dedication in the beginning, but it is truly a beautiful way to live.

  • May 7, 2020

Bestow Beauty From Beneath is a plant-based, dietary supplement for skin health.  

It is important to use supplements just as their name suggests: to supplement a healthy diet. Bestow Beauty From Beneath daily capsules supply organic, plant-based nutrients that can be low in our modern diet. 

When it came time to decide exactly which minerals and vitamins to include in the formulation, I had to think carefully. There is a limit to what you can physically fit in one capsule. I had to choose wisely how I would spend that space. 

How did I go about that decision? 

  1. I listed all the nutrients that our skin requires for optimum health and beauty.
  2. I prioritised the nutrients that are hard to get enough of from our diet. 

For example, zinc is an important skin nutrient that most people are low in. Why? Because New Zealand soils are deficient in this mineral. To address this, I have put two different variants of zinc into Bestow Beauty from Beneath capsules.Boron is another mineral that is low in a wide range of New Zealand soils. Surprisingly, it is not often included in dietary supplements. This was an important one to include.

A Selection of Nutrients Included in Bestow Beauty From Beneath

Boron helps to accelerate and improve wound healing. It also activates fibroblasts, which produce collagen and help to form strong, supple skin.

Copper helps with the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the skin.

Carotenoids promote wound healing and stimulate the production of collagen, our anti-wrinkle fibre.

Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen. It is an important anti-oxidant and assists with wound healing.

Vitamin E helps to keep your skin looking younger by inhibiting cellular ageing caused by oxidation.

Vitamin B2 works together with B6 to promote healthy skin. It treats cracks at the corners of the mouth and helps to improve eczema. 

Vitamin B3 improves blood circulation to nourish skin. Deficiencies in B3 can lead to dermatitis.

Vitamin B5 assists in the building of healthy skin cells and helps to prevent dryness.

Vitamin B6 works in conjunction with vitamin B2. It helps prevent various skin disorders.

Selenium is a vital antioxidant that is essential for skin elasticity.

Zinc aids in skin healing and strengthening and helps to prevent acne-scarring. It is vital for the production of collagen.

Q.  Can’t I just take any dietary supplement for my skin?  

What does it mean that Bestow Beauty From Beneath is skin-specific?

A. One of the reasons we developed Bestow skin nutrition products is because most dietary supplements don’t contain nutrients in the right proportions for skin health

In particular, B-vitamins are often supplied in the wrong ratios for skin. For example, B2 is often provided at far too low levels to support skin health. When other B vitamins are out of balance with B2, you can experience B2 deficiency symptoms, such as fine cracks developing at the corner of your mouth. 

Bestow Beauty From Beneath not only contains the perfect balance of B-vitamins for skin health. It also contains a blend of the nutrients that are required for beautiful skin and healthy collagen production. 

With daily use many people find that their skin looks better, heals faster and ages slower. As a bonus, this dietary supplement can also improve energy levels and promote a greater feeling of wellbeing.

Team It Up

Bestow Beauty From Beneath and Bestow Beauty Oil are companion products.  

To fulfil your skin’s daily key nutrient needs, you also need a daily intake Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).  Bestow Beauty Oils provide a skin-friendly blend of this important skin nutrient. One tablespoon per day helps to moisturise your skin from within and promotes soft, clear, glowing skin.  The B-vitamins in Bestow Beauty from Beneath help to optimise EFA absorption.  If you add these two Bestow products to a healthy diet, you will be providing your body with everything it needs to produce healthy, glowing skin from within.

  • April 29, 2020


400g of chicken thighs
½ onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of Chicken Bone Broth
1 ½ cups of sauerkraut (homemade or bought)
6 kale leaves, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped

2 servings


In a large lidded frypan, add olive oil and brown chicken on both sides over a medium to high heat. This should take about five minutes each side. Remove chicken and turn heat down to low. Add onion and garlic and cook for five minutes. Add bone broth, sauerkraut, kale and sweet potato and simmer for five minutes. Add chicken back into the pan, place lid on and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

Add in the spinach and parsley, stir, simmer for another two minutes and serve.

Serves 2


Want more delicious recipes like this? You’ll find them in The Gut-Skin Connection.

  • April 29, 2020

The power of your beliefs on your physical body and your ultimate reality is only just being understood. 


Beliefs or mindsets allow us to react to recurring situations in our lives without having to re-analyse them each time we encounter them. For example if we find ourselves in a dark alley in a questionable part of town, we may automatically react as if we are in danger without even much conscious thought. Our bodies will flood with adrenalin, our heart will pound and we will become hyper alert. This is a perfect example of how a belief can impact physically on your body.


Alia Crum, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University, and her team have done a lot of work in the area of beliefs and their impact on our physical reality. They have even shown that drinking a smoothie you believe to be high in calories, will decrease the level of hunger hormones in your blood much more than drinking one you believe is low in calories. Even when number of calories is exactly the same in both drinks! Now that is the power of the mind.

Our beliefs are powerful!  We now know they influence our bodies responses and our physical reality. But some beliefs are damaging and it’s now thought that our mindset around stress could be one of those negative beliefs.

What is your mindset about stress?  Do you believe that stress is debilitating, undermines your health and should be avoided?  Or do you believe instead that it is protective of your health, helps you grow and learn and should be embraced?


Whatever your belief is, the physical outcome of your stress is likely to reflect your mindset.  This was first discovered in one rather famous study carried out in 1998. In this particular study 30,000 people were questioned about the amount of stress they had experienced in the past year and their beliefs around that stress. They were then divided into three groups:


  1. Those that experienced little stress
  2. Those that experienced a lot of stress and believed it to be negative for their health
  3. Those that experienced a lot of stress but believed it to be positive for their health


Eight years later, researchers looked at the results, who still lived and who had died. Not surprisingly those people who had experienced very little stress over this time lived longer than those who had experienced a lot of stress but, here’s the catch. This was only true if those stressed people believed that stress was bad for them! Much to the surprise of everyone, the group that suffered the least fatalities of all groups was the people who had experienced the most stress but believed it was good for them.

The take home message from this study was that stress kills, but only if you believe does! If you believe it offers benefits to your health, you are likely to live longer.

The power of our beliefs is becoming more evident. They’ve the ability to influence your health and wellbeing. If you think your beliefs around stress need a re-think, read ‘The Upside of Stress’ by Kelly McGonigal or alternatively here’s a link to a free 45 minute online intervention. It’s free to do through the Stanford University.


This quick little activity will ensure you get the very best out of stress!

  • April 2, 2020