Last updated May 5, 2021
Almost every woman is worried about how she looks and how the passing years impact her skin. She wants her best skin, radiant skin and she also wants to use more natural and organically produced products.
She doesn’t understand the labels on the pots of cream lining the beauty shelves, but she does know that fresh, bright and healthy skin can shift that ‘just OK’ feeling up a gear to one of real self-assurance and confidence.
Our skin is our largest organ and a powerful expression of what is happening inside our bodies, with that elusive glow so many of us strive for, being utterly dependent on the body’s internal balance.
GLOW: Your Complete Four-Week Guide to Healthy, Radiant Skin with 60 skin nourishing recipes nurtures this equilibrium.
The step-by-step guide cuts through the mountains of misinformation, offering scientifically grounded truths about how our skin works at a cellular level and bringing these facts to life, creating strong new foundations for radiant skin – for life.
The comprehensive plan is designed to be followed for four weeks for optimum results, with simple meal planners, easy-to-follow shopping lists and fresh, tasty and seasonal recipes.
Find Minted Farro and Three Bean Salad with Goat Cheese and Citrus Turmeric Salmon to vibrant Nachos with a Twist, autumnal Root Veggie Bowl, plus simple tips for the tastiest kombucha mocktails, supercharged GLOW shots and much more.
GLOW doesn’t promise perfect skin – no book can – but what it does commit to is helping you make the best of what you have in 4 weeks.
Ultimately it’s the difference between a good complexion and an amazing one, not to forget, a healthier heart, energized gut and brain too that comes with it!
Through the pages, Irish-born author Kate O’Brien empowers you to enjoy a lifelong love affair with eating well and looking great.
Own Your Skin: Kate’s Tips
Keep It Simple
Cull unnecessary steps and products because if you believe all the marketing talk, your days (and cash) could be spent on products you don’t need. This said, her three non-negotiables are: cleanse, tone and moisturize, without exception.
There is absolutely no point in spending money on beautifully packaged serums and creams unless you are working from a clean slate.
Aside from the fact that other products won’t penetrate effectively if the skin is not clean, imperfectly cleaned skin is also a fertile breeding ground for bugs etc. (think spots and more).
Lack of time is no excuse either, as an effective cleansing takes 2-3 minutes and will leave the skin clean, soothed, and prepped for overnight repair.
Work with Your Body’s Natural Rhythms
Research has shown that as our skin synchronizes with the body’s natural circadian rhythms, evening skin healing/repair can start as early as dusk, with the skin moving slowly into repair mode as the sun goes down.
It makes sense to remove the day’s grime and thoroughly cleanse the skin as early as possible in the evening to maximize skin repair through the night.
Easy on the Acids
Skin acids are omnipresent now in cleansers, toners, serums, masks and peels. Although they do help slough away dead skin cells, lending added radiance to the face, they also strip the skin and, in many cases, destroy the delicate skin barrier.
While peels have a place they are not for every day and not for every skin type; overuse leaves the skin thin and fragile.
“The older I grow, the gentler I am on my skin and in my life at large. I know harsh doesn’t work so have reduced the amount of acid I use, choosing gentle, more nourishing products that are kinder to my skin – and body,” says Kate.
Don’t Forget Your Neck
“Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth,” the late great Nora Ephron said.
Even if your face is glowing radiantly, a lined and sagging neck tells a lot. In her years of trialing skincare products, Kate has concluded that most neck creams are not worth their hefty price tag. What’s more, many are thick and show up as irritating red rings around the crease lines.
Invest in quality face oil, serum or cream with active anti-aging ingredients and apply on the neck in an upward motion towards the face using both hands.
Apply Sunscreen Daily
Sun is the single most significant cause of skin aging. So, regardless of the season and the weather, use a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) SPF 30 every day.
The term ‘beauty sleep’ isn’t thrown about for nothing, with continued research proving how important adequate restful sleep is for our skin – and our health at large.
Own Your Radiant Skin
Switch up your regime with the seasons or when you feel necessary (i.e., with hormonal changes). As the weather changes, so does our skin, with heavier products needed during the cooler winter months.
Pea and Edamame Hummus
Makes 1 medium bowl
¾ cup frozen peas, defrosted
¾ cup edamame beans, defrosted and shelled
1½ tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
juice of ¼ lemon
½ tsp ground cumin
large handful fresh coriander
- Put all the ingredients in a blender/mini food processor and blend into a coarse paste.
- Spoon into a bowl, cover and leave to chill in the fridge. Serve with salads, on the side, as a dip for vegetable sticks or on bread or crackers.
Minted Farro & Three-Bean Salad with Goat’s Cheese
1 cup roasted farro
3 cups water
large handful fresh mint leaves
¾ cup frozen edamame (or broad) beans, defrosted and shelled
¾ cup frozen petit pois, thawed
3 cups baby kale or baby spinach leaves
½ lime, juice only
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ avocado, peeled and sliced
5–6 cherry tomatoes, halved
⅓ cup goat’s cheese, cubed
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
handful chopped walnuts
sea salt and black pepper
handful fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- Rinse the farro and place in a medium saucepan with the water, mint leaves and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20–25 minutes or until the grain is tender. Drain and place in a large bowl, discarding the mint leaves.
- Meanwhile, put the edamame and peas in a small pot of boiling water and cook for 2–3 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water (to retain color and maximize nutrient content). Mix with farro.
- Add baby kale or spinach leaves. Drizzle lime juice and olive oil over the salad and toss to combine.
- Add the avocado, tomatoes and goat’s cheese, and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds, chopped walnuts and coriander, if using, on top.
Tip: you can substitute buckwheat for the farro – simply cook as with farro but for a shorter time.
Makes 1 large jar
2½ cups buckwheat
2½ cups rolled oats
2 cups chopped mixed nuts of choice (i.e., almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews)
1 cup mixed seeds (i.e., pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, flax, chia)
1 cup desiccated coconut
⅓ cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup maple syrup
1-2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp add-ins (i.e., goji berries, dried mango, banana chips)
- Preheat the oven to 140°C / 275°F.
- Combine all dry ingredients (except add-ins) in a large bowl.
- Place the coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup in a saucepan and heat until the coconut oil has melted. Pour over the dry mix and combine.
- Spread the mixture out in a thin layer on two large baking trays and bake for about 70 minutes. Leave to cool before mixing your add-ins.
- Granola can be kept in airtight jars or containers for up to three weeks.
Through many years of seeking sound skincare advice and writing about it in various publications across Australia, Europe and Asia—she lived in Hong Kong for 20 years—Kate O’Brien has been fortunate to interview renowned scientists, dermatologists and leading skin and health experts. Add to this her professional qualifications in nutrition and cosmetic science and her easy-to-follow GLOW plan for more radiant skin is the outcome.
Kate is the founding judge of the prestigious annual Asia Spa awards and judge of the Australian Society of Travel Writers awards. She returned to her Irish roots in 2013 and continues to experience, write and review within the Spa and Wellness Industry, and recently completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training qualification.
GLOW: Your Complete Four Week Plan to Healthy Radiant Skin combines Kate’s passions for nutrition and skincare with science-supported advice and delicious skin-nourishing, plant-based recipes for healthy, glowing, radiant skin and a vibrantly strong body and mind.