Beauty really is an inside job. How many of us stop to consider that our outer layer is merely a reflection of inner processes, completely reliant on the health of the 50 trillion cells that you are made of? And the health of those cells is affected by everything from the food you eat, the nutrients present or missing from your blood, and the hormones and messages your body makes based on whether your thoughts are fearful or loving.
Think about that.
When most people think about improving their appearance, they usually focus on a product, another "quick fix". Yet when you consider the skin cells on your face are a small percentage of the total number of cells in the whole body, it seems crazy that we don't spend more time getting most of the cells functioning optimally, leading us to the outcomes we seek.
Throughout the pages of my new book Beauty From the Inside Out, I decipher beauty like never before, and I look at which levers to pull to help you create, recognise and deeply appreciate your beautiful shine. I explore your outer world - the food you choose, the nutrients you ingest, hydration, posture, movement, skin, hair and nails - and delve into your inner world of sex hormones, stress hormones, detox, digestion, elimination pathways, thyroid and pituitary functions, and how both worlds relate to your sparkle.
This is not a book teaching you how to cleanse, tone and moisturise. I look into the superstar beauty support that sleep offers, and at ways to make sure your sleep is restorative.
What your body needs to create lovely nails, lustrous hair, sparkling eyes, and clear, luminous skin is also explained, and how to deal with very specific bumps in the road, such as dark circles under the eyes, eczema, pimples, and hair that is falling out, just to name a few. Just as importantly, I explore your inner world, by taking a look at the emotional landscape because, for many, that is where the real elixir is.
Inner health and transformation has the power to affect your outer beauty by improving the health of your skin, transforming the shape and movement of your body, and allowing you to express a radiance that inspires those around you.
Throughout the book, beauty is often referred to as the "shine" or "sparkle"; for me beauty is a light in the heart. It is radiance. It is luminous and joyful, and it is inside every single precious human. Yet, regardless of her appearance, ask any woman if she thinks she is beautiful, and almost all women say "no", or she will ask if you think she looks okay. Many women get teary if you compliment them. The sentiments in Beauty From the Inside Out help women unlock and deeply appreciate their shine and allow them to share their gifts with the world.
As a society, our relationship with beauty is in crisis. We are told beauty exists only in certain forms, images and at certain ages. We can feel bombarded with images that lead us away from our own unique beauty and encourage us to try to look like someone else, rather than accept more of who we are.
Though adults can be affected by such messages, these messages can be particularly damaging to children and teenagers who so desperately want to be loved, approved of, considered special, and seen as beautiful.
From an emotional maturity perspective, wanting to fit in is natural at this age, and many teens today will tell you they believe they have to look good to fit in.
Equally damaging can be the perception that beauty is unattainable beyond a certain age.
These days youth is worshipped, and many people attempt to deny the ageing process.
Yet because of the advances of medicine, hygiene, and technology, we are living longer and the possibility of people who are alive now living to be 120 or 150 years of age is not far-fetched. Yet, by current definitions of youthful beauty, this means for less than about 15 per cent of your life, you'd tick the box for having half a chance to be beautiful. You must be joking!
With more time on this magnificent planet can come wisdom, emotional maturity, spiritual growth; knowing from past experience that - when the tough stuff is going on - it is all part of a bigger picture ou sometimes can't see. Why wait until you are older to learn this and then live from this trusting space? Regardless of age, however, if you are full of conflicts and tension, and are resistant to emotional growth, you'll tend to feel flat, doubt yourself, and have tougher challenges in relationships. Each stage of life offers us beautiful opportunities to experience our own inner and outer beauty.
Whether it's acknowledged or not, most women want to be beautiful. Everyone wants to look good. Yet most people believe they need to change something or even a multitude of things before beauty is possible - and even then it's only a maybe!
So why does beauty seem to have this mysterious pull? Why are we attracted to what we consider to be beautiful? Why is it that you seem to become a powerful magnet for people and opportunities when you feel beautiful? The reason beauty calls to us is it arises from love, which is itself the most nourishing and desired force in life. Beauty is the consequence of love. Think about that. And beauty therefore announces the presence of love, to which we are inherently drawn.
Would you believe me if I said your experience of your own beauty is dependent on you loving yourself? I am not saying that you just need to affirm that you love yourself and it's a done deal. Every human's greatest fear is that they are not enough, and that if they are not enough they won't be loved. We are born this way. It is Human Psychology 101, and hardwired into a part of our nervous system we cannot access with our thoughts.
The reason not being loved is our greatest fear, and one with which we are born, is because without love a human baby dies. Someone has to care for us enough to feed us and provide us with clothing and shelter. Other baby animals can forage for food and find shelter and survive. So this is not some artificial construct that develops over time - it is hardwired into our nervous system at our most fundamental level.
However, as adults, while a life with love in it is delicious, it is not critical on a physical level to our survival. We can obtain our own food, clothing, and shelter. Yet most adults still believe, unknowingly, that they must be loved, or liked, or fit in - whatever language you feel most comfortable using - to survive, which drives their desires and behaviour; hence their pursuit of beauty. If you are not careful, you could spend your whole life searching externally for love when it is, in fact, internally on offer to you, any time you choose to remember what you were born knowing: that you are beautiful and so very precious. You simply unlearned and stopped believing this.
Beauty From the Inside Out can remind you of what your heart already knows.
For more information about Dr Libby's new book Beauty From the Inside Out visit drlibby.com.