207: When Your Skin Rashes Are A Wake Up Call... w/ Hanna Sillitoe

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Skin rashes can sometimes be a sign that our diet and lifestyle needs a change. While I am not a fan of very restrictive diets or long-term elimination diets, I do think dietary changes can be very helpful when trying to improve skin health.

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My guest today is Hanna Sillitoe, an author and skin healing expert based in Derbyshire, England.

Having personally suffered for twenty years with eczema and psoriasis, Hanna now works with people to help them heal naturally through diet and lifestyle change. She believes the gut is absolutely key in chronic skin conditions.

Hanna also has a natural skincare range to support healing, and she appeared on Dragon's Den (the equivalent of Shark Tank) where all five investors offered her investment.

Have your skin rashes been a wake up call? Tell me about it in the comments!

In this episode:

  • Hanna's skin story
  • How diet affects the skin
  • Juicing tips
  • How does Hanna feel about sprouts?
  • Why a balanced, not dogmatic, approach can be more successful


“I was slathering this stuff on all over the place with no real kind of thought to what we know now about topical steroid withdrawal, and carcinogenic coal tar products.” [3:49]

“The key is eat more antiinflammatory foods, try to eat less inflammatory foods.” [14:08]


Find Hanna online

Click HERE for 10% OFF your purchase of Hanna's skincare line (use code JENNIFERFUGO if discount does not automatically apply at checkout)

Healthy Skin Show ep. 100: How to Thrive Living With Psoriasis w/ Reena (aka Psoriasis_Thoughts)

Skin Healing Expert: Your 5 pillar plan for calm, clear skin

Radiant: Eat Your Way to Healthy Skin

Follow Hanna on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

207: When Your Skin Rashes Are A Wake Up Call… w/ Hanna Sillitoe FULL TRANSCRIPT

Jennifer: I am so excited to have you here today, Hanna. Thank you so much for joining us here on The Healthy Skin Show.

Hanna: You are welcome. I'm so excited to be here to share my story and my philosophy. I just cannot wait to have this conversation.

Jennifer: I have to give a shout out to Reena, she's not expecting this. But Reena, many of you may remember, Reena was on The Healthy Skin show. I forget, it was I think right before we hit episode 100. We'll have to link up to her episode in the show notes to this because she's such an inspiration, and she's who connected us, so I'm so grateful for Rena for doing that because it's really … It's so helpful when I get recommendations from listeners, or people that I know, and she loves your work. And I'm so glad now that are we connected and you're here. And so I wanted to have you share your story. What was going on with your skin that even brought you to where you are today? Because I think people really appreciate knowing that you don't just … It's not like you read about this in a book. You've literally have gone through it yourself. So Hanna, what is your skin story?

Hanna: Okay. So we're going to go back a long time now to when I was a teenager. And I was a typical teenager at school with acne. I got spots. And I was 14, 15 years old, and I kind of went through all the over the counter treatments that you get for spots, and they never really cleared up. They were kind of always there and always annoying. And you sort of get to those teenage years, where you start applying makeup to cover the spots. And I really hated them. And it didn't help that my friend at school, my best friend, had flawless skin, so it just made it even more noticeable that I was kind of having this battle.

Hanna: And then I hit 15, 16, it was exam time, life was really stressful as a teenager, and I started developing this little red rash all over my arms. And my parents took me to the doctor, and they actually misdiagnosed it as scabies. Now the doctor then did something that I think really did not help the ultimate long-term diagnosis. So he prescribed antibiotics. Now I believe that's possibly one of the worst things he could've done for me at the time because six months later, they eventually got the diagnosis correct through a dermatologist as psoriasis. And actually, from what I've learned since, this really originates in the gut.

Hanna: So by him prescribing antibiotics, I actually think he made a condition that was kind of there and was already … I had a genetic predisposition to this because it does run in the family, but I just think he made it a million times worse. So my arms flared up. I had these red patches. They were itchy and scaly and I didn't like them. And then I started with eczema on my elbows and the inside of my elbows. And my skin just kind of reflected all the teenage angst, frustration, anger, poor diet, everything that was going on. It was like it just reflected on the surface of my skin. And I battled that for the best part of two decades on a really kind of perpetual cycle of steroid treatments, coal tar shampoos, emollients, those greasy [inaudible 00:03:18] based aqueous creams. I think so many people who've been there can relate to this same cycle.

Hanna: And here in the UK, we're really fortunate because we have the NHS, so we have a National Health Service. You get prescribed these things and they don't cost anything, so I was literally walking out of the pharmacist with bags of this stuff, and nobody had really explained to me the potential side effects of these steroid treatments, and massaging coal tar into your scalp every day. And so because they didn't cost me anything and because I felt this was my solution, I was slathering this stuff on all over the place with no real kind of thought to what we know now about topical steroid withdrawal, and carcinogenic coal tar products.

Hanna: And so I never really noticed a significant improvement. I kind of applied these products, but there wasn't one time when I thought, “Wow, yes, I've kind of done something here or seen something different.” It always sort of managed it to a certain extent, but the probably was very definitely there. And I think the other thing that a lot of people within this community can relate to when you're struggling with a skin condition is that the mental health and the emotional side of things because it's not just about a physical pain, or the itching, or the condition itself. It's about really simple things like, as a young 20 year old, going shopping with your friends from uni, and I didn't want to go clothes shopping because those harsh bright lights, under which you're trying on dresses and T-shirts, I just hated my skin. I hated looking at it. I hated anybody pointing at it, or acknowledging it, or asking me what it was.

Hanna: Friends' summer weddings, I used to dread those invitations, thinking, “What am I going to wear? Because I'm either going to sit there sweltering in a little cashmere cardigan, whist everybody else is in sort of strapless summer frocks. Or I'm going to sit there in a short sleeved dress, and people are going to start asking me questions about my skin.” And it was always this constant presence that impacted where I went, what I did, who I dated. It kind of seemed to have this impact on every single aspect of my life. And that went on for two decades until I was in my mid 30s. My skin went absolutely crazy. It was just after Christmas, New Year's Eve, so a lot of alcohol involved. I'd just split with my boyfriend. I had problems with my business that I was running at the time.

Hanna: And again, it was this buildup of stress. I was in an unhappy place. My diet and my alcohol intake reflected that, which in turn just sent my skin crazy. And I sat there in the doctor's office miserable in January. And it was freezing cold. It was winter in the UK, which is never the best time for my skin because my skin just loves vitamin D and the sunshine. And I just sat there and I said, “I can't do this. The steroid creams are doing nothing. I don't want to use those greasy emollients anymore. I'm in my mid 30s. I've lived with this all my life. I want it gone.” And my doctor said, “I want to try a different medication. We've got an immunosuppressant drug called methotrexate.”

Hanna: And so I went away and thought about it because he said, “I want you to look at the side effects. And I have to tell you, we will be testing you on a regular basis for liver failure.” And I was like, “Whoa. Hang on a second.” And I Googled this drug, and it came up that it was a chemotherapy medication. And I remember sitting there thinking, “The doctor wants me on cancer drugs to heal my skin,” and this just seemed insane. Yes, it was affecting my job, my relationships, my every part of my social life. But really, cancer medication? And I think, I mean, that was just my wake up call. In that moment, I thought, “I don't want to do the drugs, but I don't want to live with this skin condition anymore.” And I think I realized at that stage that my health and skin had deteriorated to such an extent that they were talking about something so serious to get me well again.

Hanna: They wanted to suppress my immune system, and that didn't make sense to me because I thought, “If there's something wrong with my immune system, surely we want to regulate it. We don't want to suppress it. But I kind of started looking into alternatives from that moment because I knew that I had to do something. I couldn't go away and do absolutely nothing, so I turned the medication down. Then I started reading online about shiitake mushrooms and curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. And I was like, “Hang on a second. There are scientific studies that class these as immune modulators.” Now the doctor had told me throughout these 20 years that diet and food plays no role in your skin. But that was my wake up call because I thought, “You're telling me you want my immune system suppressing. Here are foods that can do this job without causing any side effects, yet you're saying diet isn't important.” And something changed and clicked in my mind just then.

Hanna: And I thought, “Okay, I'm going to start looking into this.” And I hadn't been online. I'd not researched for many, many years. When I first had this condition, there was an AOL chat room with five members in there talking about psoriasis. And all of a sudden, I was like, “I'm going back online and I'm going to look and see what people are saying and what people are talking about.” And I came across the stories of Joe Cross, who I'm sure you guys know in America, and Jason Vale, who is big into juicing here in the UK. And these guys had both healed their autoimmune conditions through juicing. And I was like, “Juicing, okay, I've got a juicer somewhere in the back of the cupboard because I did that as a diet fad for three days once.”

Hanna: And dragged the juicer out, and it kind of just snowballed this change from what was a glass of wine every night, which led to a full bottle a lot of the time, pizzas, junk food, constantly living on fast food because I was working too much and trying to kind of maintain the business that was failing, and just this hectic, chaotic lifestyle, to I'm going to take a month out, and I'm going to focus on me and self care and diet. And after those 28 days, bearing in mind the doctor wanted me on a chemotherapy drug, I went out and short sleeves for the first in years, and nobody said anything because you couldn't tell there was a problem on my skin.

Jennifer: Wow.

Hanna: And this was diet. And I was just like, “Nobody's talking about this.” This is insane, and I couldn't believe that after two decades of steroid treatments, emollients, all those horrible greasy creams, nobody had said, “You know what, you actually just need to change something from within.” And it's this simple. It's not easy because it wasn't an easy protocol to follow, but it's this simple. And they changed my life.

Jennifer: Can I ask you? Because there's something I think very interesting about your journey, and I see that a lot in other clients. It's like you have to almost rock bottom. I hate to use that phrase, but sometimes it's almost as if everything else has to not work anymore, and you have to get to a point where you're like, “It's too uncomfortable. It's too painful for me to stay this current course. And I actually need to do something else.” Do you find that sometimes people, it's sad, but sometimes people need things to get so bad that they're finally willing to give a major diet change, or whatever else they're going to do or try as an option for them moving forward?

Hanna: So much of the time, I was in denial. I was in my early 20s at university, and I read Dr. Pagano's book, and he talks about healing psoriasis through diet. And I remember reading that book and thinking, “I've got enough to cope with, with this skin condition, and you want me to live on apples for a week. No chance. I'm not doing it.” I remember feeling so angry that I already had to change so much of my life that all I wanted was the magic pill, the magic injection, something to make it go away. I didn't want to do any hard work. I just wanted a simple drug that was going to get rid of this condition for me. And so I think a lot of the time it's about, first of all, you're trusting your doctor, so you're asking your doctor for an answer.

Hanna: And I remember that as a teenager. My doctor, I sat in the office that day, and he said, “It's psoriasis, and there's no cure for that.” And I remember thinking, “Hang on a second. You're my doctor. Just tell me what to apply, what to take, to make this condition go away.” And a lot of the time, we talk about diet and Eastern medicine, traditional medicine as the alternative. But actually, what if we see that as the first port of call, and then consider pharmaceuticals as the alternative. But it's exactly as you say. So much of the time, our mentality is the other way. We all try every drug, every cream, everything else, until we hit that point where we're like, “I cannot do this anymore.”

Hanna: And then you go, “Okay, now something has to drastically change.” And I needed to hit that point to do something I don't think I would've done if I hadn't gotten to that stage, if my doctor hadn't offered me such a serious medication, nothing in my life would've changed. I would've carried on, bumbling through, using alcohol to numb the stress, failed relationships. I would've just carried on in that same unhealthy cycle. Something had to stop and something had to change.

Jennifer: I think you make a really amazing point there. I don't know that any other guest on the show actually has made this point, that you're right, a lot of times diet, when a patient or someone will ask their doctor, I mean, I even asked when I had eczema. I was like, “Is there anything else I should change in my diet?” No, no. Diet won't help. And I disagree. I'm going to be honest, and I think we share the same philosophy on this, that we have to be very careful that we don't get into this disordered eating pattern that can be common in different skin communities, and that is a bit of a danger.

Jennifer: But diet does matter. What you consume does matter. So I would love to hear some of the things that you recommend as first steps. Let's talk to the person who is coming out of the dermatologist office in your shoes, really frustrated. They're like, “I don't get it. I just keep getting offered more meds. I'm finally open now. I'm willing to make some changes.” What do you think are some of the … I mean, obviously, clean up your diet. But are there some specific foods that they could consider adding into their diet and some things they could add in, as opposed to take out, that we could … I like the idea of crowding out the more unhealthy or out of balance type lifestyle and dietary choices. So what could we add into our diets to help?

Hanna: So I think first of all, a really simple place to start is the fact that eczema, psoriasis, acne, these are all inflammatory skin conditions. So what we're trying to focus on are antiinflammatory foods. And you can Google those and you'll find a whole list of antiinflammatory foods. And so the key is eat more antiinflammatory foods, try to eat less inflammatory foods. If you just start making those small changes, that can be really helpful. In terms of what to add in, I'm always, always going to talk about juicing because I think for me, that was a game changer. Reading Jason's story, reading the story of Joe Cross, watching those movies, that really kind of changed something in my mindset.

Hanna: And for anybody who doesn't like the taste of kale, thinks spinach is the devil's work, hates broccoli, and does not want these greens on their plate, and I know there are so many people in that situation, you know what, I talk to them. And I say, “Okay, you need to start incorporating lots of leafy … ” “Oh, I don't eat leafy greens.” So you think, “Okay. Well, begin by juicing them.” Now, when you juice, and I'm not talking about blended smoothies because nobody wants to drink a thick spinach shake, even I don't want to drink that stuff. But if we're talking here about juicing, literally extracting the juice from cold pressed fruit and veg, add some apples, add a little bit of lemon, and it will taste amazing.

Hanna: Now I have parents who encourage their children to do this when they're suffering with eczema, children who live on a diet of chicken nuggets and chips, and will not eat their vegetables, but they love the juicer. They love the action of juicing. They love drinking the juice. It tastes good, and it's a fantastic way to get some many vitamins and nutrients into our system at a cellular level, so we're literally feeding the body. We're asking nothing in return in terms of digestion. So your body is getting all these incredible nutrients, and you can begin at breakfast. So you can literally drink your green juice alongside whatever you normally have for breakfast. And I don't care if that's pop tarts, or coco pops, or whichever unhealthy cereal you have, you are already making an amazing change by doing that.

Hanna: Now if you're then gradually going to begin taking further steps and maybe switching those unhealthy cereals of muesli with almond milk and some fresh fruit, that's wonderful. But if the first step is just that green juice, that's already going to be a whole ton more nutrients that you were getting before. Lots of water, that's my other tip, loads of water. None of us drink enough water. That's another really simple one to stay hydrated. Our skin is desperate for that hydration. And as I say, focusing on those antiinflammatory foods over the inflammatory ones is just a really simple place to begin.

Jennifer: So can I ask you something about juicing? Because I know that I have these questions, and I think listeners might too. So first of all, what I hear you saying is not to just do a juice cleanse. We're not replacing. It's not like you go out and say, “Okay. I'm just going to start drinking juice all the time and forget about the food.” That's not what you're suggesting, number one. But how would you start? If you were to recommend to somebody to start juicing, and they were going to make a green juice, so maybe an apple, throwing in a lemon. Obviously, organic is better than a non organic, but do what is within your budget and available to you. But what would be … Do you literally juice a whole head of kale that you buy at the grocery store? Practically speaking, walk us through what it would be like. I know this is very simplistic, but there's probably some people listening to this who literally don't know how to do this, and it seems like a huge mountain to climb.

Hanna: Yeah, absolutely. And when I started with juicing, it was the same. I was like, “I put spinach in there, and that's going to come out as liquid.” I had no idea. And when I started, it was very much alongside what I ate. And since then, I have done juice cleanses, which are fantastic. But I think to begin on a juice cleanse is quite a lot to ask somebody to do. So to begin with in the morning, you might grab a handful of spinach or a handful of kale. Go for what's available, as you say, seasonably, locally, something that's not too expensive. You might like to use the stem of a broccoli head. So if you're going to throw broccoli into your stir fry, keep hold of the stem because you can put that in the juicer as well.

Hanna: And what I would say is put those things into the glass first, and then add maybe one or two apples and some lemon, and stir it all together, and make it so that it's palatable for you because if you're starting this process and you're used to very sweet drinks, you are going to need more apples or pears in that juice to make it palatable, and that's okay. Then gradually begin reducing the fruit and upping the vegetable content, so you're getting loads of those nutrients from those leafy greens. But yeah, I would say don't be afraid. Just experiment with it. There's nothing that can really go wrong if you're going to throw a load of greens in there, some cucumber for hydration, celery. Unless you really dislike the taste of these vegetables, because some of them, like celery can be quite an acquired taste and can be quite strong tasting.

Hanna: But for the most part, once you've added some apples or pears and some lemon, it completely disguises the taste of the vegetables. And it just tastes like a really fresh green juice. I would always say add some ice because that always makes it taste better for me, and maybe if you really like mint leaves, or cilantro, coriander leaves, or anything like that because they have benefits as well, and it completely changes the taste of the juice. Don't be afraid to experiment. Buy those vegetables, throw them in, and just give it a go and see what you enjoy to begin that process.

Jennifer: And could someone maybe make a juice on Monday, and make a bunch of it, and then have it for two or three days? Or is it something where you recommend that they would have to make it fresh every single day?

Hanna: So in an ideal world, if you can get up and make it fresh every single day, that would be amazing. Now for me, that's not a problem. Washing the juicer is the problem. I hate washing that machine. So making the juice is really quick and simple, but nobody enjoys washing the juicer. So I would say make it on a Sunday, and you can probably keep it for two or three days. But the best thing to do is to either freeze it, which means you can keep it for two or three months, so that's going to give a much longer shelf life on the juice. And you might just take it out of the freezer the night before and have it in the fridge ready to go to work the next day, or you can make batches for the day, depending on how many juices you're going to drink. And always add lemon or lime because then you've got a natural preservative in there as well, which is going to help keep the juice fresher for longer.

Hanna: To be honest, it's not so much the nutrient loss because you are going to get some of that over that period of time. It's more the taste and the color. A fresh green vibrant juice is exciting to drink. But give it a day or two, and it kind of turns a brown sludgy color and nobody wants to drink that stuff, so the fresher the better. But again, we've got to live with this as any every day lifestyle, and I want to make it manageable. So freeze it if you need to, add lemon or lime for preservatives. Just make it as simple as possible to make it part of your everyday routine.

Jennifer: I love that. And I actually really appreciate your honesty because I have a juicer in my closet, and the reason I don't do it is because of cleaning it. It takes so long. So that is very helpful. Any thoughts on adding, especially as people come into the springtime of wherever they live, any thoughts on adding sprouts into their diet? Do you feel like sprouts can be a good addition? I love encouraging people to add sprouts, or broccoli sprouts specifically. But I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

Hanna: Absolutely. And I think no matter where you are in the world, whatever is available to you, locally grown and seasonal food is always best. And usually, you can find the organic food if it's within season is quite reasonably priced. If we start importing foods from all over the world, that's when the price can rise and you start to be tempted to buy the non organic because it's less expensive. So I would say try everything, and also, try different ways of cooking it because I used to hate kale. That was my pet hate green leafy vegetable. But then I learned about crispy kale, and I thought, “This is my favorite vegetable to eat.”

Hanna: Or even with kale, massaging in some extra virgin olive oil, some lemon, and some salt, and literally massaging the leaves for 10 minutes, and then adding the kale to a salad. It goes from this awful tough vegetable that your parents used to make you eat, to actually something really light and zingy and fresh that you can enjoy as part of a salad. So experiment, don't be afraid to learn, check out recipes. There are so many different chefs on YouTube making these amazing plant based dishes. And begin to try different ways to enjoy food, rather than kind of sticking to the same old excessively boiled Brussels sprouts that kind of taste bland and yucky. You know?

Jennifer: I hear you on that. I am all about when I go to the grocery store, one fun thing that I do for myself is I will buy a vegetable, or a spice, or something that I've never tried before, and then I will Google how to cook it and find recipes that look enticing, or just to experiment because you're right, sometimes it's the way you prepare it. Sometimes, especially if it's not something I'm familiar with from a cultural perspective, I grew up with mostly Italian food because that's my heritage. And so trying different cuisines, ethnic cuisines and different ways that different cultures prepare different things has actually broadly expanded my palate because there just may not be a recipe that my family ever would use a particular vegetable in because it's just not traditional. So I think that-

Hanna: Exactly. And over here as well, we get organic veg box delivery. I don't know if you guys get that. But then you don't have a choice, it's whatever arrives on the day. And I think that's so wonderful because some of the things they put in there, I would never have picked up in the grocers. I would never have come home with that. But actually, it does as you say, encourage me. And sometimes they put little recipe cards in there, or sometimes I have to Google it. But I'm like, “Okay. What do I do with this now?” Yeah, then it encourages me to try different things too.

Jennifer: It does. And I actually want to touch on something because there's something about you that I really appreciate that we've talked about before our interview today. And I mentioned it earlier, was about disordered eating habits. And I know that you are much more on the plant based side. But the thing that I appreciate about you is that you're not dogmatic about your approach. You're about helping people find their own way, which I think sometimes gets lost in the conversations online, where it's like, “This is the one way.” But yet, you've also seen how people can get very confused and overwhelmed, and to a point where they no longer even trust themselves, or their decisions around food. What do you have to say about this conversation where people can sometimes get really stuck into feeling like it's this way or the highway with food?

Hanna: I think the press and the media don't help here sometimes because whenever they share my story, they always really want to go on the vegan aspect, and they want to go, “Vegan diet cured my skin,” because it's kind of a buzzword. And I always say, “I don't want to put people off,” because sometimes they read the word vegan and think, “I can't do that. I can never follow a vegan diet.” And I don't want people to think that this is about restriction and never being able to enjoy the foods that they're eating right now ever again. So for me, this is definitely about balance. And I remember at the time after I healed my skin, so I'd done a juicing diet, I'd stuck to really light kind of soups and salads. I needed to lose weight at the time because I'd been eating such a poor diet, so the weight had come off and my skin was clear. And I was so paranoid about eating anything that was going to trigger a reaction. So for a long time, I had this really kind of narrow group of foods. And I used to go to restaurants and speak to the waiters and say, “Listen, could you ask the chef please to make sure that this isn't in the food, and that isn't in the food.”

Hanna: I was never kind of embarrassed about it, but I was always just quite strict about it. And if I wasn't sure about something, I would literally sit there with a side plate of broccoli instead of enjoying a meal like everybody else because I was so worried. And now I look back and think I was massively depriving myself and really not doing myself any favors, but it had become a psychological issue that I thought, “What if I have something that overnight triggers my skin?” And of course, now all these years later, because it's been seven years since I cleared my skin completely, I realize that actually, there is a balance to be struck and a balance to be found. And I know that if I went out tonight and ate a huge tub of Ben and Jerry's and got myself a massive takeaway pizza, listen, I'm not going to feel good for it. My stomach is going to bloat. I'm going to feel awful.

Hanna: The next day, I'll probably wake up feeling like I've got a hangover. But at the same time, my skin isn't going to crazy because my baseline level of health is now there. And I've worked really hard to kind of get to that stage. So I know that if I want to, in inverted commas, cheat, I would be able to. But for me, it's about finding a balance that's workable going forward. And it's not about saying, “This is a good food. This is a bad food. You can never eat this, and you should always eat this.” If I want to enjoy a takeaway with friends, if I want to enjoy a slice of cake at a friend's birthday party, I'm not going to stress about it because actually, the stress can have a worse impact upon your skin than the action of eating the sugar or the dairy itself. So I think unless you've got any serious allergies, where you're celiac, or you've got a serious lactose intolerance, actually finding that balance is fine.

Hanna: And people a lot of the time say to me, “Well, when do I do that? When do I find the balance?” For me, I would say, “Look, elimination diets are wonderful. And if you're able to do that and live on a fairly restricted kind of regime to work out what your triggers and flares are, that's amazing.” But if you're going to say to me, “I've done this for one week, and I'm so miserable, I'm just going to go back to eating junk,” I would rather you found a balance all the way through, and said, “I'm going to make these gradual changes.”

Hanna: So in the end after my whole experience, and wrote two books. And my first book, Radiant, is this really strict 28 day plan, which involves a juice cleanse and soups and salads, and then gradually introducing healthy meals. And I was getting lots of messages from people saying, “I tried your Radiant diet, and I failed.” And my heart just went, “Ba doom,” because I thought, “I don't want anybody to feel they failed.” We already feel bad enough living with this skin condition. And so my second book, Skin Healing Expert, came about because of that because I didn't want anybody to feel like a failure. So it's a much more gradual step by step program, whereby you can set little goals and targets. You can make additions, rather than constantly eliminate this, eliminate this.

Hanna: Actually, it's about gradually adding things in, making simple swaps, and just kind of doing these little tiny baby steps that ultimately are going to lead you to the same place. It might just take that little bit longer. But that's okay if it's more long-term sustainable for you.

Jennifer: I think that is such a wise message. And I also think too, for anyone listening to this, they could dive into your books, and even just take, say, “Once a week, I'm going to test out a new recipe. I'm going to add in new things. Right? It's about adding in new things and slowly allowing them to become a habit if that's really the best for you. Now some people, they need to rip the Band-Aid off. That's just their personality type. But I think for most people, they gravitate toward these very strict rules and then don't know how to operate outside of them once they get to a healthier, I'll put healthier in air quotes, place. And that's where now when you become afraid of food, you become afraid of eating. And you can't, oh, goodness, you can't enjoy food anymore. And there becomes this fear around everything. Is there soybean? Was this fried in soybean oil? Does this have this? You get to a point where that's not healthy.

Hanna: That was me. That was me. It was me. And I am that all or nothing person that you described. I am the Band-Aid ripping off person. And I guess that's why I wrote Radiant because for me, it really was, I'd gone from this extreme of alcohol, parties, smoking, drinking, this negative extreme, to now I'm the girl that does Ironman Triathlete competitions, and literally went from one extreme to the other, and it really was that stark. But that's me as a personality, and I am just like that. And I've kind of accepted who I am and how I work. But I know for so many people, that just isn't achievable, and that was the point in kind of making this step by step, keeping it balanced, and saying it hasn't got to be all or nothing. Any little change, any positive change you can make towards healing your skin naturally is amazing.

Hanna: So if you think that by adding that green juice in on a Monday morning, you are not going to be seeing miraculous results, that's okay. Just begin there and just know that perhaps by the end of the week, there's something else you'll want to do. Maybe the juice will give you enough energy to go and take that walk in nature for half an hour. Every little step, so that what we're doing is destroying that negative cycle and actually building up a positive cycle of better sleep, more exercise, a calmer mind, all these things that add up to a healthy diet, healthy sleep, healthy mentality, and ultimately healthy skin.

Jennifer: Yeah. And you also have a skincare line as well that we'll link to your shop in the show notes, so that if people are interested in checking it out, they can do so. We'll have a coupon code there, so if anyone wants to go purchase it. It's so neat because you were on … It's Dragon's Den, correct, in the UK? Which is like Shark Tank here in the US.

Hanna: We call it Dragon's Den. Exactly the same principle. And the reason that I developed the skincare was because people were constantly asking me, “I've changed my diet. I'm exercising. What am I applying on the surface of my skin?” And my advice was always dead sea salt baths and coconut oil. And I did that for a long time myself because it was really beneficial. But then of course, people were saying, “But what do I use as my regular moisturizer or serum?” And actually, what I wanted to do with the range that I've developed, which is incredible, I got to work with these amazing scientists, whereby we were able to develop natural spray, so the whole range is 100% natural, no steroids, no kind of pharmaceuticals, or anything that's going to trigger problems. It's declarable allergen free. And we've really gone for products that are going to address the very things that used to frustrate me about my skin. So we've got a soothing spray. The itching at night used to drive me mad, and this soothing spray is amazing.

Hanna: So you literally spray it on the skin and it breaks that itch, scratch cycle. Products that are kind of really effective and address that desperate need that I had when I was in that position. And being able to do that with the range as we go on, creating natural sunscreens, because I used to hate applying sunscreen to my skin. I used to see my psoriasis flare underneath the chemicals that I was putting on. Natural shampoos and conditioners, intensive scalp oils because, oh my gosh, I never wore back because it was like having dandruff constantly falling on my shoulders with scalp psoriasis. So all these different things that I wish somebody had created for me, now I'm able to create for everybody else, and that's amazing. And the fact that I've now got two dragons on board to help me is fantastic.

Jennifer: Well, that's so exciting. And like I said, we're going to put a link to everything and a coupon code in the show notes for this episode. That way, for anyone who wants to go try out any of your products, it's really easy for them to find and do so. And I just want to thank you so much for coming on the show. I remember when we were trying to make this work out, that we were like, “Let's figure out what we're going to talk about.” And I feel like there's so much overlap. And the one thing that I love about having conversations like this is finding … I just love helping people who are struggling right now to figure out what's the best way to go, giving them all the options, so they can start making better choices for themselves. Everybody's journey is going to look different. For some people, they might have a sensitivity to certain vegetables. But they could try other ones, and those might work.

Jennifer: And I actually really appreciate you for sharing the idea of adding some juicing. This is a good reminder for me too. But I really love that you have this nuanced approach. I think nuance is so important when everyone in the world wants black and white, 120 characters or less of this is how life is, and we know that's not true. So I just deeply-

Hanna: It just doesn't work in real life. And I think all you have to do is look at the pictures on my Instagram, the before and after pictures that people send me of their healing journey, and the process that they've gone through. And you think, “If I can achieve that for as many people as possible, and make it accessible for as many people as possible, that's my mission.” Not to turn the whole world vegan, not to have people living on these restricted diets, just to make this achievable for as many people across the world as possible. That's the aim.

Jennifer: I love it. I love it. Yay. I'm so glad you were able to join me today, Hanna. I really appreciate you for being here.

Hanna: Thank you so much. I've had a great conversation.

“I was slathering this stuff on all over the place with no real kind of thought to what we know now about topical steroid withdrawal, and carcinogenic coal tar products.”