Hold a single rose petal in your hand and you will realize that beauty isn’t relegated to spectacular waterfalls and dramatic sunsets. – Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder in their new book, Radical Beauty.
Throughout nature, there are boundless varieties of pure beauty in all shapes and forms. Yet among women, beauty has come to be some sort of ideal that’s only attainable through slathering on high-performance products, splurging on luxury spa treatments and adopting intense fitness regimens.
But Chopra and Snyder say women need not go to such great pains to conform to aesthetic standards set forth by the media. Their book breaks down how to radiate beauty from the inside-out through a holistic practice that involves caring for the mind, body and spirit.
And the benefits go far beyond just getting the best skin ever. The “six pillars” detailed in the book—which outline everything from beautifying foods to how to detox your skincare to radiance-boosting breathwork—help women restore natural harmony within themselves. From the approachable (a recipe for a “glowing green smoothie” that we want to drink every day) to the esoteric (finally we know how to balance our Ayurvedic doshas), this is truly the natural beauty bible we’ve been waiting for.
No need to be a self-proclaimed holistic healer to appreciate the knowledge Chopra and Snyder drop—this book is for organic beauty connoisseurs and wellness newbies alike. You know hose women who look so effortlessly joyful and comfortable in their skin that they’re almost magnetic? That’ll be you in a minute. We’ve digested a few of the book’s best tips so you can start to nourish yourself to achieve your highest level of inner and outer beauty.
Pillar 1: Internal Nourishment
What you eat absolutely shows up on your skin, but it goes even deeper than that. According to Chopra and Snyder, digestive health is the core of total-body wellness. Your gut is home to friendly bacteria that keep everything in check—from your immunity to your mental health.
Eating processed foods can create an imbalance that affects your complexion, energy, focus and mood. And if you’re feeling mental and emotional strain from not eating well, this can impair the body’s ability to regulate inflammation, which accelerates aging and is the root cause of many chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia and even cancer.
How to shift
Ditch processed foods, refined sugars, dairy and excess protein in favor of more fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods are naturally detoxifying, while also providing ample antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporate healthy fats from seeds, coconut oil and avocados, too—they do an inside job to condition your skin, hair and nails.
Pillar 2: External Nourishment
Women’s beauty cabinets are filled with arsenals of products that promise to banish wrinkles and amp up radiance, but at what cost? The truth is, many conventional skincare potions harbor chemicals—artificial dyes, propylene glycol, parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate, to name a few—that can be toxic to our nervous systems and disrupt our hormones, among other side effects. Skin absorbs most of what you put on it, so it’s a good idea to avoid synthetic ingredients as much as possible and choose natural, plant-based alternatives instead.
How to shift
Incorporate plant-based oils like Kora Organics rosehip seed oil and Aura Cacia grapeseed oil into your skincare. They possess potent antioxidants that neutralize free radicals to fight wrinkles. Contrary to popular belief, facial oils like these won’t cause breakouts—they’re non comedogenic.
Pillar 3: Peak Beauty Sleep
Seems like a no-brainer, but getting enough sleep is one of the keys to good health. Our society seems to pride itself on working more and sleeping less, but this grind has detrimental effects on your vitality. The body rejuvenates itself with restorative functions like muscle growth, tissue repair and protein synthesis while at rest. This is especially important to our largest organ: skin. Sleepless nights are known to dull the complexion and cause under-eye bags, and you’re also more likely to age faster and become hormonally imbalanced, leading to more breakouts.
How to shift
Try to clock in eight hours of uninterrupted snooze time every single night; some people might even feel their best after nine or 10 hours, so listen to your body. If it seems impossible to fit that into your busy schedule, something’s gotta give—it might be that nightly Netflix binge, but it’ll be worth it.
Pillar 4: Primal Beauty
Humans are a part of nature, so living in harmony with its rhythms and energies is our optimal state and promotes a high level of well-being. But modern lifestyle has generally put us out of sync with the natural forces surrounding us. There are lots of simple ways to reconnect and realign: spending a few moments outside each day, taking time to admire a sunrise or sunset, or even eating seasonal produce can inspire a closer relationship with nature.
How to shift
Here’s a fun challenge: Familiarize yourself with the moon’s cycles (they’re about 29 to 30 days long) and let yourself be guided by its powers the way the ocean’s tides are. Treat a new moon like the New Year—it’s an ideal time to detox or adopt new habits. The full moon (about 14 days after a new moon) signifies completion, so set deadlines for creative projects around this time.
Pillar 5: Beautiful Movement
Exercise is essential for whole-body wellness, but no need to torture yourself. Chopra and Snyder believe a healthy exercise regimen doesn’t have to be all about numbers (e.g. steps, heart rate, calories burned). Fluid movement throughout each day can give you more energy, strength, better circulation, improved self-esteem and body image, and more. So, if you don’t feel like spending hours at the gym or busting your butt at SoulCycle, take a walk with a friend or dance your heart out at the next Friday-night fete—both of those count!
How to shift
Try practicing yoga a few times a week. Incorporate some of the best detoxifying poses detailed in the book:
- Mountain pose
- Supine twist
- Pyramid pose
- Chair pose
- Extended triangle pose
- Cobra pose
- Bow pose
- Boat pose
- Bridge pose
- Seated forward fold
- Head-to-knee forward bend
- Plow pose
- Shoulder stand
Pillar 6: Spiritual Beauty
Inner beauty is one of the most powerful forms of beauty because it’s the light that radiates from within every single person. When you’re aligned spiritually, you have self-love, which you also project onto others. Without this, negative emotions like chronic anger, worry and fear can easily take over. These are inflammatory and also spike your stress levels, often manifesting as problem skin and weight gain.
How to shift
Start a daily meditation practice to enrich your spiritual beauty. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment—it can be five or 10 minutes. Here’s how: Sit upright, close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. If your mind wanders, gently come back to the breath. If you’d like to incorporate a mantra, Chopra and Snyder offer this one: So Hum. It translates to ‘I am that (all of creation).’ Mentally recite this mantra as you breathe. Those few moments a day help give you space to be kind to yourself and others and boost your magnetic presence.
Ready to start on your path to radical beauty? No need to tackle all six pillars at once. In the book, each pillar offers so many ways to shift your approach to beauty, all of which address total-body wellness. You’ll have to read it to unfold all of the amazing wisdom.