Yalda Alaoui is the founder of the wellness platform Eat Burn Sleep. After being diagnosed with two auto-immune diseases: Anaemia and Ulcerative Colitis, Yalda embarked on an advanced health and nutrition research journey. Her findings in the fields of inflammation and gut health have allowed her to heal herself and help many in their healing & wellness journey.
Now a trained as a Naturopathic Nutritionist Yalda shares the details of her anti-inflammatory lifestyle with recipes, eating habits, workouts and wellness advice on her platform Eat Burn Sleep,
But her passion for wellness, health and skincare started at a young age, in Morocco, which inspired her method and her way of life!
Discover more about Yalda’s inspiring journey, her lifestyle, skincare routine and wellness tips in the interview with Diana (Skindays Co-Founder) below:
Diana: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and when you started taking care of your skin?
Yalda Alaoui: I grew up in Morocco, where there is a real culture of skincare which I started getting familiar with when I was 11 years old. This mainly consisted of visits to the hammam every week, where my skin was scrubbed, followed by a full body mask, before applying argan oil sometimes mixed with moisturiser.
I also remember doing homemade face masks with aloe vera when I was 11, going to the garden and cutting the aloe and putting it on our faces with my friends and family. So it was something that started early for me as I always had an understanding that looking after my skin was part of my culture and heritage.
DS: Can you tell us more about your skincare routine?
YA: I always wash my face with cold water in the morning, first thing when I wake up. My Moroccan grandfather was actually the one that taught me that and shared that it would de puff my face!
My skin is dry, so I prefer not to use a cleanser in the morning. After that, I use many products but with no particular structure. I use a lot of serums and at the moment, more specifically different types of hyaluronic acid ones. The rule I respect is starting with the thinner serums and then applying the ticker ones.
I give myself a little face massage whilst applying the serums and also use a roller, as well as a little device I put in my mouth to help activate the muscles in my skin. My children actually made fun of me and asked me if I was doing a workout for my face, to which I responded ” yes I do!”. As we spend a lot of time on our screen, our face is facing down, similarly to us crunching our shoulders. This is why it’s very important to include these types of exercises to open up your body.
During the day, it’s also important to release the tension in your jaw, as I believe this really influences your skin. Then I use a moisturiser, and always, always SPF no matter what!
“I give myself a little face massage whilst applying the serums,
as well as a little device I put in my mouth to help activate the muscles in my skin.”
DS: What is your favourite step in your skincare routine? And are there any particular types of skincare products you like using ?
YA: On my body, I tend to use natural products as the surface is greater and there is trans absorption. And again, similarly to the lifestyle I follow with my diet, it’s an 80/20 approach. I don’t obsess about it!
For my face, I don’t worry about that, as the surface is smaller. I am more focussed on whether I am getting the results I want and achieving my skin goals. What I have noticed for my skin, is that products that are too harsh such as high levels of retinol don’t work. Many of my friends swear by it, but for my skin maybe because it’s too dry, it does not make me glow and rather very dry.
DS: What do you believe about skincare now that you didn’t before?
YA: 10 years ago I was very much looking at the texture of a cream to see if it was a good fit for me. I now understand that the texture might sometimes be a more of a marketing feature, and actually the ingredients are what truly matters to see results. The other thing is, I am much more sensitive to products with heavy perfuming and not so keen on it.
DS: On your busiest days, what self-care is non-negotiable for you?
YA: I never leave the house without moisturiser and SPF, I cannot leave the house without those two. I feel naked without it!
“I never leave the house without moisturiser and SPF […] I feel naked without it!”
MOISTURISERS AND SPF FAVORITES
DS: What are your biggest concerns with your skin?
YA: I am lucky that I have never suffered from heavy skincare concerns, such as heavy acne. Of course at certain times of the month, or if I have not been good with my food it might still impact my skin a little bit.
My biggest challenge is probably pigmentation, which is genetic, my mother also suffers from it. But what I have learned is not to worry about it too much as it goes away with my inflammation goes down in my body, it’s completely linked to the liver and chronic inflammation. So it comes and goes, for instance days where I drink alcohol I can see it on my cheeks.
DS: Gut health is a strong focus for your method, how do you believe it impacts your skin?
YA: I follow an anti-inflammatory diet 80% of the time and liver detox twice a year. Because the liver is responsible for homeostasis and our hormones are strongly linked to the quality of our skin. People with acne, melasma, premature ageing, and hydration all of that will matter, That’s why it’s really important to follow the liver detox XX. As I have an anti-inflammatory lifestyle I only do it for 7 days, not 21 days. My skin is much more glowing, and my whole metabolism works better.
DS: What would be your strongest recommendations for dealing with hormonal imbalance and hormonal acne? :
YA: My strongest recommendation would be to improve your overall lifestyle: diet, the way you exercise, and the way you think. Stress has a strong impact on acne, psoriasis, because stress creates inflammation on the body.
In the case where you have stopped the pill for instance, or are looking to get pregnant, detoxifying your liver will help you get rid of any excess hormones. So after taking contraception if you have hormonal acne, a liver detox might help.
During contraception, or during IVF, egg freezing, lowering inflammation and detoxifying the liver will help reduce the side effects such as hormonal acne and help the body recover quicker. The beauty is that the body is designed to bounce back and heal! We are made to give support to our organs and get better. In a way, for such people I would say that they are lucky their skin is giving them a sign. Sometimes you can go on for a long time without a signal, and allow them to act quickly in terms of educated choices.
DS: What are your top 3 wellness tips – things that you could not live without!
- Walking – The first one is walking. Walking is so powerful, it’s the most underrated form of exercise there is. It is inflammatory, it stimulates creativity by tapping into the left side of the brain, and it is amazing for fat burning and preserving muscles. So my first tip would definitely be walking every day. When given a choice – WALK!
- Water – The second one, you have all heard it many times before I am sure! It is drinking water. If you don’t, your kidney function becomes less efficient, and the liver takes over the kidney function. This puts in the back burner 2 things, hormones homeostasis which is hormone balancing and lipolysis which is fat burning. So you can’t effectively have good skin (or lose weight!) if you don’t drink enough water.
- Sleep – And last but not least, it is sleep. Sleep is crucial to repair and rebalance the body. During sleep we produce 80 percent of our growth hormones, which are the hormones of youth, allowing us to burn fat. Our hunger and mood hormones get regulated during sleep, so 100 years ago, people would sleep 8/9 hours a day, which has not come down to 7 but I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
DS: And finally, what makes you feel most confident/your best self?
YA: Exercise! When I exercise my endorphins go up, my mood improves, I stand taller. It gives me a lot of confidence to exercise regularly as I feel better in my body and soul. I do all my workouts at home 🙂