Consider this: Skin is the largest organ in our body, and it absorbs 70% of everything that's applied to its surface. When New Zealand native Lucy Vincent realized many of the "natural" beauty products she used were really not natural at all, she went about creating her own. "I was amazed at the scarcity of highly active products that didn't contain suspect ingredients and were also sustainably minded," she says. "I couldn't understand why a brand couldn't deliver on these three principles." Enter Sans [Ceuticals], a collection of plant-based skincare and beauty essentials that are natural, environmentally sound, and above all, effective.
Great skin isn't achieved by using the right products in isolation, though. Raised in the wild's of the UK's Lake District by her chef mother, Vincent knows that luminous skin and strong hair is also dependent on the foods you eat. "Nourishment from the inside out has been a guiding principle," she says, pointing to a collection of holistic recipes she created to complement the product line. Given her inside-out approach and nature-first mantra, we tapped Vincent to find out what ingredients and products are on her list for healthy skin and strong hair. Heads up—these are the fruits, vegetables, and supplements she fills her cart with for the best results.
It's no secret that dehydration can wreak havoc on your skin but Vincent has a homemade remedy to counter it. "Mild dehydration can make skin look dull and lackluster," she explains. "Add a small sprinkle of Himalayan salt to your water to boost hydration and alkalinize the water." This hero ingredient improves hydration by providing trace minerals and can also balance blood sugar levels.
Vincent is careful to include vitamin C–rich foods in her diet such as strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. "Vitamin C is essential as it stimulates collagen production—this what gives skin integrity, firmness, and elasticity," she says.
Eggs are a rich source of both protein and zinc, which are essential for healthy hair. "A diet rich in high-quality, naturally occurring protein will do wonders for your hair. If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, research shows protein abounds in more than just animal sources. Protein-rich foods include Greek yogurt, kale, peanuts, beans, peas, lentils, tofu, chicken and turkey," she says. Zinc is crucial as it boosts tissue growth and repair, and helps maintain production of oil-secreting glands on the scalp that help your hair grow. Other zinc-rich foods include chickpeas and wheat germ.
"I recently discovered sea buckthorn capsules, which contain omega 7—the closest thing to your own natural sebum," says Vincent. "It's the best internal moisturizer, highly anti-inflammatory (more so than fish oil), and great for your skin."
Methylsulfonylmethane, aka MSM, is a sulfur that is naturally present in our bodies, as well as in certain plants. "It enhances collagen and keratin, fundamental building blocks for both skin, hair, and nails," she explains. "It's also particularly high in the amino acid cysteine, a key element responsible for rebuilding skin and hair tissue." MSM-rich foods include tomatoes, legumes, Swiss chard, and corn.
"Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a trace element that helps the body make selenoproteins, which regulate reproduction, metabolism, DNA synthesis, and immunity," says Vincent. "Selenium also stimulates hair follicles to encourage new growth."
Her Go-To Products:
There you have it—follow Vincent's advice and we see smoother skin and glossier hair in your near future.