What is Holistic Approach to Skincare? Interview with Holistic Beauty Coach Sophia Smith

The world we live in seems to be turned towards instant-gratification in every sense of the world. From fast fashion and trends that have little to no staying power and skincare fads that aim towards quick and effortless results to entire lifestyles that revolve around quick band-aid solutions to every problem. It’s incredibly rare to find people who are ready and willing to walk not one but ten extra miles, and who are aware that health and beauty are inextricably linked, that wellness is a life-long commitment. However, every now and then we do find someone that fits the bill, and today we have the pleasure of talking to the lovely and kind Sophia Smith, a beauty blogger and a fierce advocate of a holistic approach to health and beauty.

Words: Brigitte Evans

Image: Brigitte Evans

Image: Brigitte Evans

What factors contributed to you embracing a holistic approach to life?

Image: Brigitte Evans

Image: Brigitte Evans

Even though I’m mostly known as a beauty blogger, I actually didn’t embrace the holistic approach on account of its ‘beauty benefits’. In my teen years I struggled with asthma, and as it’s already known, it’s a condition that can be controlled but never cured. The attacks were very traumatic, especially when you’re a teenager and experience an attack in a classroom. My mother grew more and more concerned with the quality of life I would have so one day, after much research she found a homeopath and took me to see him. He asked me the silliest questions, now I can’t even recall what they were, I just remember thinking ‘what does this have to do with my symptoms?’. They were very personal questions, like the ones you would expect a therapist to make. I was highly skeptical, but decided to give the instructions a go. I had to take custom-made homeopathic medications, alter my diet completely. I was also told to wake up early and go to bed incredibly early. I found it all completely baffling, but after a while I was completely free. I hadn’t had an attack in years, and according to my doctor, I was cured. After that I started reading about homeopathy and holism, and came to understand the purpose of the ‘silly’ questions. You see, we are all different, and more importantly we are more than the sum of our parts, and holism does exactly that – treating something as whole, not as just a part. Everything is inextricably linked, and that’s when I realised – the food we eat, the life we lead, how we treat our bodies – it all reflects on our mental well-being, our spirits and even beauty.

What does a holistic lifestyle entail, for you at least?

I make it a priority to listen to my body. What we have to realise is that we are in fact all like snowflakes, and we’re all ‘wired’ differently, so my exact recipe isn’t likely to be suitable to someone else. However, there are a few basic principles, general ones that are virtually the same for everyone. Find the type of food that suits your body – healthy food of course. Perhaps it will sound like a cliché, but after my asthma treatment I came to realize that we truly are what we eat. Diet is incredibly important, for the body, your state of mind, mood and even the condition of things like your skin and hair. I make sure to prepare my own meals, and when I’m not in a position to, I always eat in restaurants I know use organic produce – this is paramount. I drink at least 2l of water, more when I’m on the go; the health and beauty benefits of simple hydration are incredible. Next in line is staying active. We’ve all been warned of sitting being the new smoking, and as a blogger I spend a large chunk of my day at the computer but I try to ‘neutralize’ that with yoga, jogging and meditation. There are certain yoga asanas that are virtually custom-made to increase blood flow to the face and help target different skin issues, so beauty-yoga is definitely real.

Does that mean you don’t follow skincare fads even one bit?

Yes and no. A misconception many people have when it comes to the holistic approach to skincare is that it’s devoid of topical solutions, which is untrue. The point is to nurture the beauty from within, so there is very little left to be done on the surface level. That means that I don’t have a twelve-step skincare regimen, as I truly require only the things that follow a minimalistic approach. I wash my face with just water in the morning, and use only a small number (two) products for my face – both organic of course. The first is the Noni Glow by Kora Organics which I learned about while reading an interview with Miranda Kerr. This oil is something I swear by, it’s incredibly nourishing and gives the skin a natural radiance and glow. Aside from that I only use the Dr.Hauschka Rose Day Cream to seal the deal and lock in moisture, and that’s it. You see, when you treat the entire body and mind, you don’t need much to bring out your natural beauty.

Do your simple views on beauty and lifestyle coincide with your stance on fashion?

Absolutely. I’m a sworn minimalist in every sense of the word. Not only does my color palette revolve around neutral hues and all the pieces I own follow the seemingly simple tailoring that is one of the essences of minimalism, but I’m also a firm believer in sustainable fashion. I donate clothing, don’t even own much of it, and in the recent years I’ve made it my goal to purchase items made from organic cotton, wool and that come from ethical brands, such as The Ark and Mirador.

Do you see sustainable fashion as the future?

Definitely yes, we see that designers and fast-fashion retailers are increasingly turning to it, so yes, I think the future is green, in both the beauty and fashion world.