A few months ago, Liz Wolfe of Cave Girl Eats and I were tweeting back and forth about something she had said on a recent Balanced Bites podcast.  She said some folks had been down on her because she would be charging money for her upcoming paleo guide to skin care.  I fussed at her because it was her work product and you wouldn’t likely hear two men talking about feeling bad for charging for something they’d worked hard to produce. Liz evidently popped over to the blog, checked out my posts on acne here and here, and asked me if I would like review copy of her book, Skintervention Guide : Purely Paleo Skincare.

(Shhhhh!  Don’t tell Liz I would have paid for the book and still given her a write up!)

I feel pretty passionately about what Liz is trying to do with this book.  But for those of you who aren’t familiar with her, let me tell you a little about her.

You can read a brief bio of her here.  She’s a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner which means she is all about whole, unprocessed, real food with a bent towards “ancestral” eating.

But, if you listen to the Balanced Bites podcast, read her blogs, or interface with her at one of her seminars or via social media, you will also know this about Liz: she is funny as all get out, she is passionate about what she does, she lives her professional life in a wholehearted way, AND she used to struggle with bad skin.

Before I get to the skin part, let me tell you what draws me to Liz and why, on numerous occasions, she has literally had me in tears while listening to her on the podcast.  It is clear from Liz’s body of work that she believes in the paradigm of nourishment.  She believes that people, but especially women, should not deprive their bodies in the name of vanity or good health.  Her message about food is life-affirming, health-promoting, based on science and yet utterly gracious.

So, why was I so surprised that her book about skin reflects the same values?

In retrospect, I think that says more about me and my journey than it does about Liz.  As I have said on this blog before, I am a 39-year-old women who wakes every morning and the first thing I do is feel my face to see what new cysts I acquired overnight.

It dawned on me while reading Skintervention, that the way many people feel about their bodies – it must be punished … why has it let me down? … why is it so simple for other people? … I hate it – is exactly how I feel about my face.

I’ve never been at war with my body, but man oh man have I gone nuclear over my face.

Skintervention is the book I wish I had read in my early 20s.  (If you happen to be in your early 20s, go buy it now.)  It sure would have saved me a lot of grief.

The e-book itself is divided into three major sections: Nutrition, Digestion, and Body & Skin Care.  Plus, you also get an extra book with easy recipes and a few pages summarizing the products and resources Liz discusses in the book.

Liz peppers the text with hyperlinks to products, blog posts she’s written, and other resources.  (I’m old school and like my reference books hard-bound, but these bonus links won me over!)  The guide is wildly interactive and that’s one of the many reasons it took me so very long to pore through it.

The other reason it took me awhile to get this review out is that I took copious notes.  I read with pen and paper in hand … told you I was old school … and copied some of the quotes I didn’t want to forget.  I’d like to share some of my favorite sentiments with you.

There’s this glorious affirmation:

…Beauty is the manifestation of HEALTH.

page 10

and this:

Doing without understanding is what made us into frustrated, money-drained, product-addicted zombies in the first place …

page 10

and this:

You have the right to know your skin better than anyone else.

page 16

and this gem:

This is no sacrifice (getting healthy never is) …

page 18

And, I am just barely out of the intro!

Here are some general ideas that Liz promotes in her book that I won’t quote directly, but just provide you so you get a feel for what she’s after in her conversation on Nutrition:

  • fuel with real food
  • differentiate marketing from food
  • when you have a craving, you have a deficiency
  • food is not just calories, it is nourishment

Liz also discusses general lifestyle factors that play into skin health such as stress and sleep.  (Oh goodness, you know I can’t even talk about that one yet!)

I could go on and on with more pearls from Liz in the Nutrition section, but truth be told, I already agreed with her on everything I read and I practice about 90% of it.  (Sleep … that’s not in my control right now.)  So while I loved what she’s written, it didn’t exactly break new ground for me.

So, I’m plowing through this great book, taking my notes and thinking about what to write in the review when BAM.  She gets me.

It was somewhere around page 112, and by now she is also featuring the wisdom of Trina Felber from Primal Life Organics who is an amazing resource about topical agents for the skin.  Here’s what I’ve written in my notes:

nourishing the skin & not fighting it

like diet / deprivation

See, here I am the one talking about paradigm shifts, being the best version of you and not some copycat of a professional, and re-imagining a different way to live, and all the while, I am waging a holy war against a key part of my own body.

I’m already a Primal Life Organics customer.  I use Trina’s amazing products, do a little OCM, seldom wear makeup, and did a huge overhaul of the bathroom a few weeks ago where I ditched nearly every product with multiple ingredients in it.  If we’re talking methods here, I am pretty hip to the Skintervention regimen.

But, I am not nearly there emotionally.  I am not anywhere close to a peace treaty with my face.  Heck, we’re not even at a point of détente.  But, I hear you, Liz.  I’m working on it.  And I’ll report back to you all in a few months with my progress.

(Meanwhile, who wouldn’t want to read a skin care guide where the author uses phrases like “tough kittens” and “awesome sauce?”  I mean … .)

To buy Skintervention Guide : Purely Paleo Skincare, go here.

(Oh, and something else … who wouldn’t want to buy a book on skincare where a portion of the proceeds benefit two nonprofits that the author and contributor selected as meaningful to them?  Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (Liz) and Breast Oasis (Trina)  I  mean … .)

11 Responses to “Is It Time for a Skintervention? : A Review of Liz Wolfe’s New e-Book”

  1. on 13 Feb 2013 at 10:32 amhot Nai Nai

    might be a stupid question but, can you get ebooks on your kindle or nook?

  2. on 13 Feb 2013 at 10:33 amKristine Rudolph

    Someone with more knowledge needs to chime in here but this comes as a PDF and you can email a PDF file to your kindle account and have it on your device. I read it on my iPad and it worked nicely.

  3. on 13 Feb 2013 at 12:50 pmLiz @ SkinterventionGuide

    Thank you so much for this beautiful review, Kristine! I’m touched and so thrilled to see which parts stood out to you. I hope it’s helpful in some way, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Ebooks can be read on kindle, nook, iPad, etc…via the way you did it, Kristine, or they can be directly unzipped and downloaded to devices using the app GoodReader, which is phenomenal! All of these instructions are on the SkinterventionGuide.com website support & checkout page 🙂

  4. on 13 Feb 2013 at 1:52 pmKate

    It depends on the format of the ebook and the specific device you have. I know at one point, Kindle could not use generic .epub files (the most universal of ebook formats) but that was a couple years ago (and there have been a few Kindle updates since then), which is why I purchased a Nook which can handle that.

    I’m not an expert on the topic but your device should have some information on what are acceptable file formats and what are not supported. Bottom line, you need to know the specific type of ebook format and if your specific device can support the file format.

  5. on 13 Feb 2013 at 2:14 pmcarmen

    Nice article! I am a true believer in the gut affecting the skin and have a client who struggles with acne as well. I will be recommending this book.

  6. on 13 Feb 2013 at 2:21 pmStephanie

    Not sure about the Nook, but the Kindle is a PDF reader, either email it or transfer the PDF to the documents folder of your Kindle. That is how I read the majority of the book. If you so choose, you can convert the PDF to a Kindle or Nook file using calibre (the book format will change though).

    I really think you hit the main point in the book with this review! I’ve struggled with the same emotional state towards my body for years now, and I am so glad that I decided to read this book. You can’t nourish your body or your face if you don’t properly love and care for it first, you’re not at war with it. I will also be trying to change my perspective as I adopt a healthier lifestyle (been working on it for the past two months now, I’m almost there).

  7. on 13 Feb 2013 at 2:45 pmKristine Rudolph

    Thanks to all for the e-reader info! (I did say I was old school!) My Kindle is first generation, so it lacks much of the functionality of the newer ones.

    Carmen, let me know what your client thinks and whether s/he finds the book helpful.

    Stephanie, thanks for stopping by and being a kindred spirit!

  8. on 13 Feb 2013 at 7:54 pmKelly

    Just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying all of your posts. I hate to hear that your skin issues continue to be a source of angst.

    While I don’t do a traditional OCM, I am fond of the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. I use it as a makeup remover when I’ve done a “full on face” or when my skin is feeling dehydrated. I will forewarn you that this is a super premium brand and is expensive, but it rinses completely away without having to use a hot washcloth (I’m wary of adding to the broken capillaries on my face).

    I clicked over to view the Primal Life Organics to see what they offered. Very interesting products, but Kelly LaRue, makeup artist, would sob uncontrollably if her drawer (it’s a really BIG drawer) of makeup had to be tossed. Always nice to explore and be educated on different products, though.

  9. on 13 Feb 2013 at 9:11 pmKristine Rudolph

    I will look into the Tatcha … very intriguing.

    I LOVE Kelly LaRue, makeup artist, and would never ask her to change her ways. 😉

  10. on 13 Feb 2013 at 9:12 pmKatherine

    I’m starting a list of things to address based on what I’ve read lately on your blog:
    1. Eat sardines
    2. How I stand (automatically put my ankles together, need to stand with my feet apart).
    3. Hang more.
    4. Read Skintervention Guide.
    5. Switch out my skincare products. (What do you recommend for children’s shampoo and body wash, btw?)
    I can hardly keep pace with everything I’m learning from you (this is a good thing).

  11. on 14 Feb 2013 at 7:13 amKristine Rudolph

    Liz doesn’t have kids so that’s not something she covered in any detail. But Trina of Primal Life Organics does and she is coming out with a kids’ line soon. I will definitely be trying some products.

    Over the past few months, I have made more of an effort to use straight oils on my kids’ skin as opposed to lotions. I feel like I have had good results with coconut oil on the baby and some almond oil and jojoba on the bigs. They’re not super-huge fans of it but it does take some adjusting.

    As for cleansers, I keep Dr. Bronner’s baby version in their bath. I use Peter Rabbit Organics Shampoo, too – http://www.diapers.com/html/sg/peter-rabbit-organics-baby-shampoo-and-wash.html – but have to say that I don’t love the feel of my kids’ hair (esp. my daughters) when I use it all the time. I am going to play around on this website that Liz provides – http://www.gfsoap.com – to see if I can’t find something better.

    I am also a fan of Northern Essence – http://www.northernessence.com/catalog.php?category=24 – especially for diaper care. Their products are cloth diaper friendly but also just really well-made. Their Better Butter Cream is divine.

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