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Your fall checklist for staying radiant and healthy as the temps drop


fall checklist radical beauty deepak chopra kimberly snyder
Photo: Stocksnap/Lesly B. Juarez
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In their first collaboration together, Deepak Chopra, MD, and Kimberly Snyder want to take you to a new kind of beauty school—offering an enormous amount of Ayurveda-inspired, spiritually informed get-gorgeous advice all in one place, with Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself From the Inside Out. The book comes out September 20—but here,exclusively for Well+Good readers, they share an excerpt from Radical Beauty: a checklist for staying radiantly healthy throughout the fall.

The beauty of fall is seen in the full range of colors among Mother Nature’s changing leaves. The air gets crisper, and the wind can pick up, making it important to protect your skin and body. You may find yourself craving less coconut water and more hot teas and elixirs to feel balanced, as well as hot, nourishing meals you may have largely avoided in the summer.

From an energetic standpoint, it’s important to take measures to feel grounded, as vata, the air-based element, dominates the fall season. When imbalanced, this can exacerbate stress and anxiety, which is particularly true if activities dramatically increase after a leisurely summer.

Here are the best fall beauty practices:

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• It’s the natural time of year to start eating more grounding, warm cooked meals again, so be sure to adjust your dietary rotation accordingly.

• Brussels sprouts, turnips, daikon radish, cauliflower, and mushrooms are some of the vegetables you’ll find in season in the fall, so be sure to take advantage and find creative and simple ways to cook and enjoy these fortifying foods.

• Quinoa, brown rice, and amaranth are great gluten-free grains to incorporate this time of year, especially if eaten with lots of vegetables.

• Sip on lemon balm, chamomile, valerian root, ashwagandha or holy basil/tulsi teas, which are fantastic for helping you destress and unwind. You can source these teas, which can often be found combined in “anti-anxiety” formulations, at health stores.

• The drying wind and drop in humidity may make your skin feel rougher. Be sure to spend a little more time with your abhyanga practice [of self-massage using sesame or coconut oil], which is also good for pacifying excess vata, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious when imbalanced. Abhyanga is a great practice to help alleviate stress.

• Since vata, or the air element, is so prevalent in the fall, you may experience some constipation. This is a symptom of vata being out of balance. Be sure to eat lots of fibrous foods, take some magnesium-oxygen supplements (such as Detoxy +) as needed to help keep things moving, and eat mindfully and slowly, always chewing well.

fall checklist radical beauty deepak chopra kimberly snyder
Photo: Stocksnap/Ian Schneider

• Be sure to protect your skin from the quickening changes of the weather, including dry wind. Use scarves and gloves to protect your hands, neck, and face during walks or periods outside, keeping out drafts that can lead to chapping and excessive dryness.

• Your skin may need extra nourishment with the change of seasons, and it might start to feel drier. The Radically Timeless Beauty Mask is particularly excellent at this time of year: Combine one tablespoon of raw, organic honey; one teaspoon of almond oil; and one teaspoon of rose water—and leave it on your face for 15–20 minutes, then rinse.

• Be sure to protect your delicate lips, which may become increasingly chapped. Apply lip balms regularly that contain natural ingredients such as shea butter, olive oil, and vitamin E. Avoid lip balms that contain petroleum-based, synthetic ingredients (which you don’t want to continually ingest, an inevitable occurrence with anything you put on your lips).

Take time to cultivate nurturing, grounding activities such as meditation, massages, spending time at home reading, or whatever makes you feel soothed.

• Since you might have gotten your fair share (or more!) of sun, salt water, and chlorine over the summer, your skin might feel a bit taxed. Try going back to a gentle sugar scrub and adding more coconut oil if you feel that your skin needs extra lubrication.

• Avoid using stripping soaps on your skin in the shower. Choose all-natural, mild, and simple cleansers with essential oils instead of potentially irritating artificial fragrances.

• With the cooler temperatures and chilly wind, it’s time to switch back to thicker moisturizers with an oil base, which can feel more hydrating and protective.

• Pay extra attention to your hands. They have the long winter ahead of them with lots of potential cold and wind exposure. Be sure to keep your hands moisturized with a good hand cream (shea butter or other natural ingredient based), and reapply often, especially after washing your hands.

Pay extra attention to your hands. They have the long winter ahead of them with lots of potential cold and wind exposure.

• After the leisure of summer, you may feel an increased swirl of activities in the fall: kids going back to school, increased work projects, or newfound intensity in hitting goals by the end of the year. Be sure to balance the stress. Make it a priority to create downtime for yourself as the holidays gear up so you don’t feel overwhelmed and resort to stress eating or other unhealthy outlets. Take time to cultivate nurturing, grounding activities such as meditation, massages, spending time at home reading, or whatever makes you feel soothed.

Making an effort to gracefully acknowledge the energy shifts as the earth makes her yearly progression around the sun and to shift your daily lifestyle routines in accordance with the different seasons is an important way to maximize your health, energy, and expression of beauty.

Whether we are aware of it or not, we are impacted by the larger energy influences of our environment. Why not recognize, embrace, and align with them to your advantage? You only have heightened beauty and a greater sense of energy to attain. Start applying these modifications for the season you are in right now to feel more in tune with the collective universal energy of which you are intrinsically part.

For more fall intel, check out our Fall Fitness Preview to make the most of that back-to-school feeling (long after graduation). And P.S. these are the nine activewear pieces you’re going to see everywhere this season.