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The Wellness Questionnaire with Naeemah Ruffin, DPM, Founder and CEO of Bellantz

Get to know the Face Fitness Doctor and how she maintains harmony in her life

Using her medical education and surgical training to create an effective face fitness program, Naeemah Ruffin, DPM, is transforming the faces of women and men with her noninvasive approach—involving lifting and toning facial muscles—to achieve a more youthful appearance. Founder and CEO of the skincare line Bellantz, she is also an assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Today, she works with clients to create glowing and healthy skin through her face exercises and natural and organic skincare line. Here, she shares some of the ways she nurtures her own wellbeing.

What does wellness mean to you?

Wellness to me is living in a state where my spirit, mind, and body are in harmony with one another. If any one of these are out of balance, the other two will be as well. I strive to maintain order and balance in my life by ensuring that I give equal attention to all three areas. I first start off with my spirit to ensure it is in harmony with God. Then I focus on ensuring that my mind and physical wellbeing are nurtured. Moving my body with dance and exercise improves my overall health, and I focus my mind on things that are pure, lovely, and noble that will bring it peace.

What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?

One of my favorite things to do is to spend time in nature. I love taking long walks in wooded areas or along an ocean coastline. I enjoy studying the patterns in nature, and I love watching animals in their natural habitat. There is something divine in the creation of all things in nature that connect me to God and to myself. Observing nature brings me back to the way things are and not what I think they should be, and it grounds me in the present moment. Nature is a great teacher in that it reveals how simple and clear life is when it is closest to its natural state. This is a constant reminder for me that sometimes the answers I am seeking are simple and not overly complex.

Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?

I love to dance ballet. I began taking classes when I was six years old, and it has been an important part of my life and contributes to my wellbeing. When I dance, whether I am in a class, at home, or outside, I feel joy as I move my body to my favorite ballet music. Ballet has a specific system of movements that along with beautiful orchestral music can enable one to feel a liberating sense of freedom and pleasure. Recently, when the pandemic caused my ballet classes to move online, it was difficult not having my teacher provide corrections in person, and it was difficult not being able to feel the energy of the other dancers. However, it pushed me to connect my mind and body movements more deeply to the music without the usual class distractions.

I will be 52 this year, and I feel that ballet has been beneficial at keeping my body lean and limber and my mind sharp. I see ballet dancers in their 70s and 80s, and I continue to be impressed with their strong muscle tone, quick impulses, seamless coordination, and the musicality they still possess.

What is your favorite healthy beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and do you have any insider tips for preparing it?

My favorite healthy beverage is kombucha, a fermented tea that has been around for centuries. Around 15 years ago, I was looking to add more fermented foods and beverages to my diet to improve my gut health. I learned about kombucha through a co-worker of mine who would make homemade batches and bring some to me at work. I was immediately hooked. Shortly thereafter, I started making my own batches of kombucha. I have found that the key to preparing a good batch at home is to ensure that the room is completely dark, the room temperature is stable, and the fermentation process is not interrupted.

What is your greatest wellness achievement?

My greatest wellness achievement has been starting my own natural and organic skincare line. I have been a skincare enthusiast since I was nine years old when my mom bought me my first set of skincare products. As a breast cancer survivor, I am very particular about what I put on my skin. After struggling for years to find skincare products that I could trust and that are both clean and effective, I decided to launch my own skincare line, Bellantz Clinical Skincare. Bellantz Skincare provides skincare products that influence good gene expression with scientifically proven natural and organic plant extracts that are ethically and sustainably sourced from around the world. The products deliver clinical results by restoring skin to a youthful, radiant, smooth, hydrated, and nourished appearance. The ingredients include plant-based stem cells, peptides, fruit extracts, antioxidants, brighteners, and natural hydrators and are manufactured in small batches to enable product freshness and potency.

What do you think is the most exciting wellness innovation you have recently discovered?

I have recently started using light-emitting diode (LED) therapy at home, and I absolutely love it. NASA was the first to create LED technology, and it has taken my self-care facial routine to the next level. LED enhances my face exercise practice and boosts the benefits of my skincare products. The light rejuvenates my skin, gives it a radiant glow, and the warmth from the light is very soothing. I first experienced LED during a facial at a spa and later received a full body LED treatment. I left feeling so rejuvenated that I thought “why not use this at home?” Now LED light therapy is a staple in my weekly face care routine.

What is your favorite self-care routine?

I love giving myself at-home facials. I literally take out all the “bells and whistles,” including listening to my favorite relaxing music. First, I give my facial muscles a workout with one of my face exercise routines. Then I use a facial steamer to relax my facial muscles and open my pores to take in my treatment masks. Next, I use my handheld LED light therapy device with my skincare serums and then apply my moisturizer. I cap off my treatment with gentle strokes from my jade roller and gua sha. I try to set aside time at least two to three times per month to refresh and rejuvenate with this special self-care routine, and I encourage others to do the same.

What aspect of your wellbeing do you struggle with the most, or would most like to improve?

The world has become increasingly chaotic, and sometimes I find it challenging to stay positive in tough situations. I recently discovered the concept of Positive Intelligence (PQ). The practice provides tools and techniques to help individuals improve their mental fitness. I have found the PQ training to be extremely helpful in providing positive ways to look at life’s challenging situations and effectively deal with difficult people. This has helped me have less stressful times during the day and has helped me become more disciplined in seeing the gifts and opportunities in every situation.

About The Author
Heather-Mikesell-author-1

Heather, co-founder of Well Defined and the former editor-in-chief of American Spa, is an award-winning journalist and content strategist, skilled in writing, copyediting, and media relations. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to Elite Traveler, Islands, Kiwi, Luxury Travel Advisor, Organic Spa, Porthole Cruise, Travel Agent, abcnews.com, jetsetter.com, outside.com, and wellandgood.com, in addition to various custom publications. She is frequently called upon to comment on various spa and wellness trends for various media outlets.