Meet our Beauty Contributor
Tekahentakhwa, “Holding the Earth”
I’m Tara Tarbell. I’m a Mohawk mother and grandmother from Akwesasne, a cancer survivor and founder of Niawen Skincare. I’m so excited to be here and share my knowledge, experiences and tips for self-empowerment, with each of you, in our Rematriation Magazine beauty and wellness column: Indigenously, You!
Niawen = gratitude, thankfulness, a thank you
Indigenously You= living as your deep-down, true self
We are grateful for YOU! And we invite you to be grateful too: for your beauty, your purpose, your talents and your relationships. We see you and you are enough, so love yourself unapologetically.
Here’s a bit about me.
At 37 years old, I was married with two tween children staring into the face of a possible, untimely death. I found out that I had end Stage II kidney cancer. I stared into the mirror at a crossroads in life and in health. I screamed until I couldn’t recognize myself. My eyes flooded, creating salty rivers on my cheeks, and I screamed over and over at the top of my lungs. I am not going to die, I am not going to die, I AM NOT GOING TO DIE! I had a choice to make. I could either be a “poor me” or triumph and fight to look forward with a positive attitude. I chose the latter!
After that mirror meltdown, I devoted myself to finding empowerment through positive thoughts and feelings. At times my fears and anxieties came out, but not as often as my best self shined through. I learned that mindset is everything. I focused on personal healing and my recovery led me to developing and founding my own Indigenous-centered skincare line: Niawen Skincare.
Now, I’m sharing all that I’ve learned along the way with you!
In honor of our water theme this month, let’s talk about the relationship between ohnekanos (water) and our skin! Spoiler alert: the key to natural beauty is water!
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Seems like we should take care of it, right? Dermatologists know that the most significant impact on our skin — even more than the cosmetics we use (which, of course, do make a difference) — is our diet. So, what diet should we implement to make our skin look great? One that includes lots of H₂O!
In addition to nourishing our bodies with the proteins, fruits and veggies that we need, drinking water is an easy way to keep our skin feeling great. Our body is made up of 60% water; therefore, it’s logical that any lack of sufficient water intake will affect our appearance. This is also why drinking water is undoubtedly the easiest and most efficient way of preventing signs of aging, maintaining smooth skin and keeping the body healthy.
How does water affect our skin?
Water eliminates the toxins in our body that are stored up daily through contact with pollutants, tobacco smoke, stress and other sources of free radical formation. Concretely, free radicals are the principal cause of skin diseases and premature aging.
Water not only gives skin a more youthful appearance, but it also eliminates all of the elements which cause the appearance of acne. Acne is formed by the accumulation of bacteria, oil, dead skin and dirt on the skin. Even for those with oily skin and problems with acne, water is needed to wash away both internal and external impurities.
Additionally, water helps vitamins and nutrients to easily flow throughout the body. It collaborates with all of the body’s organs to distribute vitamins E, C and B₁₂ which help maintain skin that appears youthful and smooth.
How much water do I need to drink daily?
Normally, it’s recommended that a person drink at least a liter and a half of water, although many dermatologists recommend increasing the dose to two or three liters daily.
When is it essential to drink water?
It’s very important to drink and recuperate lost fluid after exercising or sunbathing. Don’t forget that water is good not only for your organism but also for your outward appearance.
We need water inside and water outside of the body.
When cleansing facial skin or the body, it’s best that the water be lukewarm. Very hot water can dry out the skin excessively, but at an adequate temperature, its cleansing power is enormous.
Drink water first thing in the morning;
it will help eliminate a puffy or swollen face.
We would love to answer any questions you might have about beauty and wellness on our podcast: Indigenously, You! email [email protected]