Victoria Jewel (@jewelwellness) is a licensed Esthetician and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who approaches skincare through a root cause lens, teaching about ways to support our innate capacity for a sense of vitality that radiates outward. She has been on her own deep healing journey and working with clients for the past six years with tremendous results, from beauty to way beyond.
R+B: Thank you for being here, Victoria! Your page has become a safe haven for those of us wanting to engage in conversations about beauty that are nuanced, and which also move beyond the skin-deep. Can you share a bit about your path and how it has led you to hold space so uniquely?
VJ: I’m so honored to be here! From childhood to adulthood I struggled with acne, eczema, severe digestive issues, restless leg syndrome, histamine intolerance, allergies, painful periods, dairy and gluten intolerance, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and more... I was going from fad diet to the next, expensive dermatologist visits, itchy steroid creams, antibiotics, experimental DIY’s and hundreds of dollars wasted on skincare products and supplements that left me disappointed.
There were times I wore jackets in the summer to hide my eczema, stayed in bed for weeks, skipped meals to avoid digestive flare-ups, and was living off antihistamines. I mean, my health was truly in the gutter... Yet my blood work was “normal.”
When I became an esthetician and started doing facials I realized this was a common theme for others too. We were all listening to the beauty industry and health industry and it was failing us. Myself and most of my clients were using high quality products with all the science backed synthetic ingredients, getting regular microdermabrasion or chemical peels, cutting out dairy and red meat, eating more leafy greens, drinking a ton of water, trying to sleep well... Yet we were all ending up nowhere with our skin and health struggles.
I became really frustrated, not just for myself, but for my clients too!
Overtime I went back to basics and I learned exactly how the skin and body functions, ditched the standards of conventional beauty, AND focused on the internal factors at play. I realized that the real problem was that I wasn’t addressing my symptoms at the root. It all comes back to the health of the body as a WHOLE. Skin health is a reflection of your internal health and that’s now how I work with clients!
R+B: I think so many of us can relate to the journey feeling like a long and winding road, so thank you for going there so vulnerably with us. You recently had a great share from a TCM perspective about Spring, acne, and the Liver. I love that you brought in the emotional correspondence here, connecting an overburdened Liver to anger and acne. It’s still amazing to me how healing ripples out in multiple directions… how tending to the Liver can help release anger and reduce the burden on our elimination pathways—a burden that can manifest through the skin. Can you elaborate on the energetics at play here, between acne and our emotions?
VJ: I love looking at acne from many different angles because no client has ever been the same, even if they look similar on paperwork. Energetics are so important because we hold a lot of our emotions in our face. This emotional stagnation can be a cause for acne, wrinkles, imbalanced sebum, and even sagging skin.
When looking at face mapping and some of these organs associated with points on the face it’s important to remember that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, organs are also tied to emotions. For example, imbalance in the lungs can represent sadness or grief rather than dysfunction in the actual lungs themselves... Anger with the liver, fear with the kidneys, joy with the heart, and worry with the spleen are common ones.
We see this represented on the forehead (liver/anger), under the eyes (kidneys/fear and liver/anger), the cheeks (spleen/worry and lungs/grief), the nose and above the lip (heart/joy or lack thereof), and so on. Of course this isn’t the end all be all, everyone is different and needs to be treated as such!
When we think about it, what do these emotions ultimately bring? Stress.
Chronic stress (chronic cortisol) is the main root cause when it comes to acne. Stress in the body can cause a decreased metabolic rate, thyroid metabolism defects, sluggish detoxification, poor digestion, and abnormal hormonal ratios which all have an effect on the skin. It’s basically a ripple effect that can wreak havoc on the entire body. High amounts of cortisol can even break down the skin’s collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles.
Our skin’s sebaceous glands actually have their own micro nervous system that involves the release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) which stimulates oil production in the skin. Hello, acne. Stress can also stimulate our nervous system, which can cause skin itchiness.
In a lifestyle sense, when I’ve seen clients treat their skin out of anger or fear, they simply start over-doing it. They’ll use way too many harsh actives, synthetics, and over-exfoliate, which all can further exacerbate the skin condition they are attempting to improve.
The skin is not our enemy and it actually works really hard for us. Our skin protects us every day from external lifestyle factors through the skin barrier, provides sebum and lipids to moisturize and lock in hydration, and your acid mantle fights acne-causing bacteria. So instead of manipulating our skin we should be supporting these inherent functions by being gentle and
using nourishing simple ingredients. Most of all, we need to be patient! Healthy skin is not going to happen overnight.
R+B: These connections you’re illuminating are so important and as an acupuncturist, I agree that the face and our skin reflect so much of our inner emotional landscapes. I’m now feeling very curious about your perspective on confidence… what does it mean to you and what are some ways you find supportive in its cultivation?
VJ: You know, confidence is tough... Oftentimes when I ask clients “what will having clear skin mean to you?” I get the response “to be more confident,” “to feel beautiful,” or “to be more comfortable in my own skin.”
All of this is great! But let’s really think about what this means for a minute because most of my clients have suffered with acne for 10+ years...
What could 10+ years of denying yourself the feeling of confidence and beauty look like?
How many times throughout those ten years have you missed out on social situations? Relationships? Going after what you want?
Has acne become the reason you are unhappy and stagnant in life? Has acne represented your level of value?
Is acne *truly* the reason you feel unworthy... or is it something deeper? This is where addressing trauma or stored emotions can come back into play. I've had a lot of clients who have recalled times from childhood that their mothers critiqued the way they looked, how they were dressed, how they did their makeup, or told them to “suck it in” for a family photo.
Cultivating self-confidence is taking the time to peel back those layers and find what having acne has meant for you, or what others have made it look like. If you’ve ever been given the advice of washing your pillow cases, phone, or face more... Maybe you’ve associated acne with being “dirty” which is really powerful to dissect and often a shocker for my clients to hear. Because the truth is having acne doesn’t mean you’re dirty or doing something “wrong.”
Just remember, it’s not always the acne itself that causes the lack of self-confidence. Don’t allow acne to dim your light; true radiance is what you embody.
R+B: Radiance is our birthright, and really goes so much deeper than our appearance but, as you have shared, is deeply intertwined with our sense of inherent value. On that note, I appreciate your attention to clean skincare, but also your recognition that much of our appearance is cultivated within. While we both are careful to honor bio-individuality, what would you say are some beauty-nourishing foods to incorporate specifically during this season when skin issues tend to flare up?
VJ: I always tell my clients they can’t go wrong with sticking to local and seasonal whole food ingredients! This is going to be the best for your skin all year round. This may look different for everyone based on where they live and their climate. I like to follow the Traditional Chinese Medicine recommendations, too. For spring this looks like focusing on green foods (green is the color of spring) and sour/pungent foods (sour is the flavor of spring). I’ve been loving a warm ginger and lemon tea (feeds good gut bugs and stimulates digestion), matcha lattes (antioxidant rich/anti-inflammatory to improve skin complexion and supports glucose metabolism for balanced blood sugar), and overall just eating more liver-supportive foods, which are great when you’re struggling with a skin flare-up. Liver supportive foods are going to be bright and colorful, like seasonal leafy greens (especially arugula and dandelion), apples, beets, carrots, and more!
R+B: It says a lot that so many of us have come back to some of the simpler lifestyle changes, like eating seasonally. We’ve also been seeing your incredible homemade beautifying elixirs. Would you be willing to share the recipe for one of your ruby-hued creations?
VJ: When the sun is out and it’s nice and warm, I’ve been loving a cup of iced hibiscus and rose tea mixed with 1 tsp of Root and Bones Beauty Blend, 1⁄4 tsp of Perfect Supplements Acerola Cherry, a touch of honey to balance out the tart flavors, and topping it with a hefty splash of Sunwink Sparkling Tonic (Hibiscus Mint or Lemon Rose are my favorites). Bonus points if you spray it with a digestive bitter which really gives it that fancy mocktail vibe!
R+B: Sounds divine! I am so ready for warmer weather and refreshing recipes! Please tell us a bit about some of the internal actions of these ingredients, and how they support our external radiance.
VJ: Hibiscus and rose are huge favorites for me. They are both rich in antioxidants and polyphenols to promote youthful, even-toned skin and help prevent damage to cells caused by the buildup of free radicals. Hibiscus is often called the anti-aging plant and is believed to produce more collagen molecules (probably due to being packed with antioxidants like vitamin C). Hibiscus is also known to boost liver health and keep it working efficiently, which as we mentioned, Spring is an amazing time to focus on all the liver love! In TCM rose is known to be associated with the liver and spleen, which can help with PMS symptoms, mood swings, digestion, and more!
Your Beauty Blend is luxurious, promotes radiance, and is antioxidant-rich, too, making it great for skin health. Tremella mushroom for plump, hydrated, and juicy skin (one of nature's forms of hyaluronic acid) and pearl which contains the antioxidant superoxide dismutase for collagen production and other nutrients like calcium, zinc and iron. Alongside antioxidant-rich goji berries and schisandra. Overall, an amazing whole food skin supplement for that extra beauty boost. Well done ;)
The Acerola Cherry powder provides even more antioxidants and vitamin C to this beauty-enhancing tea. Lately I’m all about the vitamin C and antioxidants as they are so good for not only our skin, but for the liver as well. And as you can tell, I’m really focusing on liver love during this season.
Both Sunwink tonic flavors have vitamin C and antioxidants while also providing digestive support and stress relief. But honestly I use it because it’s fun, bubbly, and tastes so good!
R+B: Thank you so much for the kind words and thorough explanation! What are some of your other go-to herbal allies for enhancing beauty? Maybe you can share a bit about the actions that make it so, and whether each one is for internal or topical use, too!
VJ: We’ve covered a lot of my favorites like matcha, ginger, hibiscus, rose, tremella mushroom, and pearl which can all be used topically (besides ginger – may cause irritation and burning) and internally for their amazing skin benefits. But I also love marshmallow root, chamomile, lavender, and nettle!
Marshmallow root secretes mucilage, a polysaccharide rich substance with an incredible ability to hydrate. It is also known to be soothing, softening, and anti inflammatory to the skin. It is one of nature's forms of hyaluronic acid and works so well in masks or serums. Internally, marshmallow root is soothing to the digestive system and can be used for repairing the gut lining, lowering inflammation in the gut, and improving gut transit time making it an easy tea to incorporate for those who struggle with gut related skin conditions.
Chamomile is powerful but delicate and gentle for reactive, inflamed, irritated, or problem skin. It is extremely cooling, soothing, and calming to the skin while still being astringent, leaving behind a clear even toned complexion. I love it in hydrosols, masks or infused oils. Internally, chamomile is effective at promoting better digestion and is known for its calming properties which can reduce stress and promote better sleep. Chamomile contains anti-inflammatory properties and a high antioxidant count which may prevent damage to the cells in your pancreas by lowering blood sugar levels.
Lavender is anti- inflammatory, calming, and cooling to the skin. It promotes healthy cell function, and has a balancing effect on sebum production and overall health of the skin's microbiome. This is another one that’s great in hydrosols, masks, or infused oils. Internally, lavender promotes deeper sleep and a healthy nervous system.
Nettle tightens and firms the skin as it acts as an astringent, regulates natural sebum production, treats acne, and promotes healthy skin function. Internally, nettle is the ultimate detox mineral rich tea. Full of flavonoids, vitamins (A, B, C, D, and E), and minerals. Nettle can boost the immune system, support the liver, protect the heart, nourish the adrenals, and optimize digestion which will promote healthy skin from within.
R+B: We share some favorite herbal allies, and I love that you include such classic and accessible herbs! I appreciate your attention to accessibility, as it’s a huge part of the reason I do what I do… there are so many points of entry to feeling better and more confident and I just want everyone to feel invited to start where they can. You have a new course coming out soon, called Nourished Skin. What can people expect from this exciting new container to dive deep with you?
VJ: I created this course for those who want to go beyond skin-deep. This will be an in-depth course discussing all things topical and internal, because they are both important pieces to the puzzle of truly radiant skin.
This will be for those who want to navigate the overwhelming world of skincare and nutrition without harsh topicals or restrictive diets. You’ll learn exactly how your skin and body works so you feel empowered to take care of your skin AND health at home.
By the end of the course you will understand how to remove disrupting skin products and replace them with nourishing ingredients, how to cultivate your own unique skin ritual, weave through marketing hype, and have a genuine understanding of the foundations of health and how they affect our skin and overall vitality such as nutrient dense diet, digestion and elimination, blood sugar regulation, hormonal balance, minerals and hydration, and lifestyle factors (sleep, stress/emotions, supportive movement, less screen time and more sunshine, etc).
You’ll be able to tailor it to your own unique journey and finally address skin concerns like acne while supporting your body as a whole, so that you can experience clear skin, strong hair and nails, periods that are regular and pain-free, balanced hormones, consistent energy, smooth digestion, better sleep, and so much more. This is REAL skin care and I’m so excited to share it!
R+B: It sounds absolutely incredible, and like such a game-changing gift of a journey! Thank you so very much for your insightful answers and for sharing such valuable information with the community.
If you would like more information about Victoria, visit her website:
She also has a Skin Freebie https://www.victoriajewelwellness.com/skinfreebie