January is a month of detoxes, crash diets, and makeup-for-the-holidays resolutions. But what if this year we take a more sustainable approach to nourishing body and mind? After all, it’s small habit changes that have the most powerful impact on our overall, long-term health.
Today, we speak with esthetician and health coach, Susana Salazar, on how cleansing can boost energy, speed up metabolism, and make our skin glow.
Splendid Spoon: Hi Susana! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Susana: Hi! I’ve been learning about nutrition, skincare, and wellness for over fifteen years. I believe in treating the skin and body holistically, to address the root cause of a problem, rather than suppressing the symptoms.
I know a lot about cleansing and detoxing through food: I’ve been experimenting on myself for over a decade [We thank you! — Ed]. For the last eight years, I’ve married my love for nutrition, skincare, and a non-toxic lifestyle, and have seen amazing results.
SS: What do you love most about working in the health and beauty industry?
Susana: I love that I can help people feel better, and live healthier, happier lives. I’ve helped many clients improve their skin by shifting their diet or adding certain supplements and self-care practices to their lifestyle.
SS: What one piece of advice can you give someone looking to refresh body and mind this January?
Susana: Set an intention to recognize any obstruction or stagnation in your life, and make space for a flow of life force to happen within you. This can be applied to any area of your life. Obstruction and stagnation can manifest in different ways: in the mind with toxic thoughts and patterns; emotionally with relationships or situations that don’t serve us and make us feel stuck; and in the body, whether you feel stuck in the digestive, circulatory (blood and lymph), or skeletal and muscular systems.
SS: How do you keep your skin glowing throughout winter?
Susana: Exfoliation, hydration and moisture! I love using exfoliating enzyme masks to smooth out the skin and get rid of dull, dead skin cells (Laurel’s Honey Berry Enzyme mask is amazing!).
I also drink lots of water and have a humidifier in my bedroom. The dry heat inside, plus the extreme cold outside, robs your skin of water, which accelerates the aging process: a humidifier helps prevent this.
Lastly, in addition to using a facial oil, I boost moisture with a shea butter-based balm. This seals hydration and moisture in the skin, and protects it from the harsh environment.
SS: Do you do a food cleanse?
Susana: When I lived in sunny Miami, I did juice cleanses three or four times a year. Since moving to New York 18 months ago, my cleansing practices have been modified due to the weather and speed of life.
I still love doing liquid cleanses to give the digestive system a break, and allow the detox organs to regenerate. I usually do five days of liquid cleansing. On these days I drink green juices and smoothies, vegan protein shakes, and light soups or broths, throughout the day.
I always support the detoxing process with cleansing practices such as colon hydrotherapy, dry brushing, oil pulling, tongue scraping, infrared sauna, massage, facials, and lots of movement, whether jumping on a rebounder (for lymph stimulation), yoga, walking, or a bootcamp class.
SS: What’s your cleansing skincare routine?
Susana: I have more of a beauty ritual at night: it grounds me at the end of the day. I use an oil-based cleanser, and use it to massage my face for few minutes to release tension, improve circulation, and promote lymph flow. After cleansing, I mist my face with a hydrosol to hydrate, balance the skin’s pH, and allow the next product to penetrate deeper. I then massage a face oil serum into face and neck (don’t forget the neck!).
Several times a week I practice gua sha (an ancient Chinese healing technique) with a jade tool. This massages and manipulates the face, addressing different skin needs, whether it be draining, detoxing, plumping, toning or sculpting.
SS: What recipe do you make when you want to feel cleansed and energized?
Susana: My homemade green juice, aka liquid sunshine! This chlorophyll- and enzyme-rich, alkaline green juice makes me feel alive, energized, and nourished. It’s a combination of kale, green apple, celery, cucumber, lemon, turmeric, and ginger.
SS: What do you do to switch off and create space for your thinking mind?
Susana: I meditate or do breathing exercises everyday. A good yoga class can also calm my mind. I find a lot of peaceful energy in simply being present, whether it’s feeling the wind on my face while I walk, looking up at the beautiful sky, or smiling at a stranger. In a city like New York, being present and connected to the small moments brings me great joy and helps me find peace of mind.
SS: What do you do to get grounded?
Susana: Anything involving self-care grounds me. I try to do something grounding every day, whether it’s taking a bath with crystals and essential oils, burning palo santo and lighting a candle, watching an interesting documentary, getting a massage or facial, taking my dog to the park, spending an afternoon with my son, or walking by the waterfront.
To get glowing and cleansed this winter, book an appointment with Susana here!