Today we’ll be talking about skin issues – acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dry/oily skin, scars, etc. Skin is a very versatile organ and responds quickly to many triggers. Let’s learn the causes of these skin issues, and some natural simple remedies that can help!
Eczema is essentially dry, irritated or inflamed skin, often associated with flaking and itchiness. Any skin troubles or rashes are usually an indication of something happening inside the body. Our skin is our largest elimination organ, after your colon. So think…..if your body is not digesting food properly and eliminating toxins efficiently from your colon, then this ‘waste’ will be eliminated through your skin. Gross….but cool, right? Cool in the sense that now you have a starting point to focus on healing skin troubles. Start with healing digestion – eliminate any food sensitivities (gluten or dairy maybe?) and excess sugar, and add in digestive enzymes and probiotics. Essential fatty acids like evening primrose oil or fish oil can help ease inflammation, both internally and externally. Finally, you can apply shae butter, chamomile salve, plantain or calendula oil, vitamin E, or flax oil. Vitamin D is always good for skin and we usually don’t get enough in the winter!
Rosacea is characterized by very red skin, usually on the cheeks, and is caused by dilated blood vessels under the skin. It can be caused by different things for each person; sometimes stress, diet, temperature, or vitamin deficiencies. In either case, there are things you can do to minimize the red look and hopefully heal these blood vessels. Evening primrose oil is great for reducing inflammation, as is rosehip seed oil. Seabuckthorn oil, calendula and chamomile are also anti-inflammatory. Aloe vera juice or gel can be cooling and soothing to the skin. Use clean, fragrance free soaps as to not irritate the delicate skin further. Finally, anything cooling like cold peppermint tea bags or cucumber slices can add hydration and feel nice on hot cheeks!
Scars are formed after injury to the skin tissue. The body’s healing process includes creating new skin cells and forming robust scar tissue overtop of damaged cells. Scars can be hard to erase but there are some remedies that have shown to be useful in decreasing the appearance: antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E, selenium or zinc are incredible at repairing damage to our cells. Rosehip oil is also well known for being very rich in vitamin C, aiding in scar tissue repair by increasing collagen production.
Acne, like eczema, is inflammation of the skin, characterized by pimples and skin blemishes. Often people have some sort of acne scenario during teenage years, when hormones are running wild. Some of these hormones stimulate the production of sebum, which is basically our natural oily skin covering. Blemishes happen when skin becomes too oily and bacteria get trapped. We want to try and decrease this over-active oil situation. First, look at digestion – support with enzymes, probiotics, eliminate sensitivities, sugar, and make sure you drink lots of water. Second, support blood and skin cleansing with herbs like burdock and red clover. Topical antibacterials like tea tree oil can be used on blemishes if needed. And try not to over wash your face or put too many things on it (aka makeup) – you want to let your skin breathe and work on balancing its natural acid levels.
Psoriasis is interesting as it is actually an auto-immune disorder, meaning something is off at the cellular level of the body. What happens is that the skin’s outer cells start growing and replicating really quickly, creating large patches of scaly skin. Essentially, you will have layers of a whole bunch of new skin cells, but not mature skin cells. It can be triggered by stress, injury, bacterial infection, or medications. There isn’t a cure, per say, but there are things you can do to help the symptoms of itchiness and dryness of the scaly skin. Vitamin D is essential for healthy skin cells, as is zinc and vitamin E. Primrose oil or flaxseed oil can help ease inflammation and itching. Antioxidants like vitamin C and N-Acetyl-Cysteine can help inhibit the growth of psoriatic cells.
I’m sure at one time or another we have classified ourself as either ‘combination skin’, ‘oily skin’, ‘dry skin’ or ‘sensitive skin’. This is easy to do but I’d like to remind everyone that our skin changes constantly, and you don’t need to identify yourself as any one skin type. Your skin is as unique and versatile as you are, so we should really be saying “I’m experiencing dry skin right now”, not “I am dry skin”. 🙂
dry = consider putting pure oil on your skin, for example rosehip, macadamia, or evening primrose. Remember to nourish from the inside with lots of water and good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds
oily = things that will help with excess oil include aloe vera, citrus fruits, apples, or even raw honey. Through diet you can consume lots of fermented items like kombucha or saurkraut to help replenish the good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut.
sensitive = buy cleaners and creams that are totally fragrance and chemical free. A good line is Andalou – Clarifying line. Anything with ingredients that will help calm inflammation is good, like rose water, chamomile, or marshmallow.
I dont have any pictures of my skin to show you but here’s a rose to remind you that
a) your skin replenishes itself every 28 days, just like a blooming rose!
b) you are beautiful like a rose!