In my clinic I work with many patients that have skin issues, not just eczema, acne or psoriasis but also generally dry, dehydrated or irritated skin. While I always treat each patient individually (there is no all-encompassing solution) there is one recipe that makes a huge difference in skin hydration, inflammation and sensitivity. I found this recipe from Karen Fischer’s fantastic book “The Healthy Skin Diet” but in clinic over the years I have adapted it to suit my patients.
Originally the recipe called for Flax Oil and certainly you can use this instead but I have found that naturally lemon-flavoured Omega 3 Fish Oil or Super D Cod Liver Oil are much more effective. Why you may ask?
Skin Healing Drink
This recipe is tried and true and is fantastic for anyone with sensitive, dry, dehydrated or inflamed skin. The lemon has an astringent effect which means it stimulates the liver to release bile into the digestive tract to be eliminated. The bile contains stored toxins so effectively you are dumping waste from your liver. The lecithin and fish oil prime your digestive system for the day, particularly your fat digestion so again supporting the liver. And of course water is just plain good for you and helps flush out daily waste particularly via your kidneys.
It also has the effect of super-saturating your body with essential fatty acids. So in addition to the excellent detox effect, flax seed oil supports the moisture holding capacity of your skin cells and has a anti-inflammatory effect thereby supporting your skin’s health. Feedback from client is that skin is generally less red and much more even toned since being on the Lemon Detox/Skin Healing Drink.
The recipe is as follows:
1/2 lemon (wash the outside)
1 teaspoon of soy lecithin (German is better than US variety)
1 teaspoon of naturally lemon flavoured Omega 3 Fish Oil or Cod Liver Oil
300mls of filtered water
Method: Squeeze in the lemon juice into the blender. Add the lecithin, oil and water. Blend for 1 minute until frothy. Pour and drink. Feel free to add other ingredients such as ginger or turmeric to spice up the flavour.
If you try out this recipe I would love to hear your feedback.Twitter It!
Over the years I have written a lot about serums, which is mainly because I think they are an essential skin care item. Why? Oil serums have many beneficial functions for the skin and can be blended to suit all skin types from oily, congested skin to dry and dehydrated skin. Of course it depends on the base oils used and their molecular structure…but more about that later.
I use an oil serum every night and have done so since I first discovered them. Way back when (about 10 years ago) I had blemish-prone, chemically sensitive and dehydrated skin. I didn’t leave the house without make up to cover my blotchy, reactive skin! Purely by chance I stumbled across Remedica and started using Sensitive Visage. Well I don’t think my skin knew what hit it (In a good way!). The red reactivity settled down very quickly and along with some internal work, my skin improved dramatically over the next 3 months. Ten years later, I think my skin is better than it was back then – even toned and hydrated and only very occasionally reactive (when I am doing things I shouldn’t).
The reason for the dramatic change was the oil and antioxidant rich serum. Basically my skin was starved of nutrients, water and good fats. The skin is designed to be selectively permeable. It absorbs fat soluble nutrients much more readily than water soluble ones. This is why you can use a toner but your skin still feels dry – your skin just isn’t absorbing the water based ingredients. Fat soluble oils are absorbed very easily and quickly by the skin. Once absorbed, the oils are incorporated into the cell membrane, helping to keep it flexible. A flexible cell membrane makes for a healthy cell as water and nutrients can get into the cell and toxins eliminated.
Oil based serums also help to correct the acid mantle, the protective layer of the skin that prevents moisture loss or TEWL (Trans epidermal water loss). I have written extensively about the things that disrupt the acid mantle before but to recap, they include hot water, swimming (so cold water also!), synthetic foaming cleansers and over frequent cleaning among others. Applying a serum regularly will help repair this barrier which means your skin is less likely to be dehydrated and sensitive. Please note, you need to give any skin repair program at least 6 weeks.
The other benefit of serums is that the oil based medium delivers other nutrients to the skin which are also important for cell protection. Fat soluble antioxidants protect the skin from free radical damage produced by sun exposure, pollution, chemicals in skin care and daily living. Even vitamin C, which is a water soluble vitamin has been changed to a fat soluble nutrient (by adding a fat soluble carrier) to make sure it absorbed and works effectively (don’t worry, it is still natural).
Oil absorption depends on the viscosity of the oil (thickness). Heavier oils such as macadamia, avocado and coconut remain on the skin surface longer which is better for dry skin types. Light oils such as rosehip, olive squalane and tamanu sink in more quickly without leaving a residue making them suitable for oily or congested skin types.
Our skin, like the rest of our body is resting and repairing at night. Oil serums are great to use at night to encourage this process.
I would love to hear what serums you love and how you use them.Twitter It!
The weather in Brisbane in the last week has been variable to say the least. The first few days my skin felt as dry as old leather. Fortunately for me it didn’t look that way but it made me realise that the humidity has dropped and finally the cooler weather is on its way. Skin dryness or dehydration occurs when the water and oils that form part of the protective layer are out of balance as it is the balance of sebum (skin oil) and perspiration that keeps the skin healthy. This can happen for various reasons that I have outlined below:
1. Evaporation of moisture through the skin. Factors that promote moisture evaporation include dry air (ie lack of humidity in winter, heating or air-conditioning), wind, and prolonged water exposure (swimming in pools or long showers).
2. Damage to the waterproof barrier or disruption of the acid mantle leaving the skin open to issues such as dehydration, roughness, infection, redness and irritation. Synthetic foaming agents such as sodium laurel sulphate are a significant cause of acid mantle disruption.
Choose a richer moisturiser. Generally if you just choose the next richest moisturiser up from your current one. Alternatively, try using your night cream during the day. If it sinks in without a greasy feel, then it is suitable for day use. A few good recommendations include:
3. The inside stuff. What you put into your body also has an impact in skin hydration. Reducing factors that have a diuretic effect such as alcohol and coffee will increase cellular hydration. It is also important to have adequate good fats in the diet. Good fats such as essential fatty acids (EFA’s) ensure the cell membrane remains flexible. This allows the cell to excrete toxins and cellular waste products and hold onto nutrients and water. EFAs also help to keep skin flexible and hydrated and promoting skin healing. Deep Sea fish are among the best source of EFAs including tuna, salmon, anchovies and sardines. Other good sources of EFA’s include avocado, nuts & seeds, flaxoil and Evening Primrose Oil. Keep in mind…
4. Ageing. As we age the production of sebum and natural oils lessens effectively reducing the water holding capacity of our skin. This leads to drier skin. You can counter this by using an oil based serum. Apply the serum under your moisturiser during the day (only use half a pump) or instead of a night cream. Any serum you use should sink into the skin completely within 5 minutes. Our product picks are:
5. Stress increases the likelihood of heightened neuro-sensory reaction in the skin. In situations such as this wind, touch and cosmetic brushes can cause irritation or redness. Managing stress can be quite individual and often required internal nervous system support as well as de-stressing practices such as yoga, breathing exercises or meditation. If your skin becomes red or irritated easily, particularly in dry cold weather, choose products scent free products and nourishing oils
Article by Jodie Smith from Bodecare
If you have stretch marks don’t give up, there is an easy and natural solution to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Stretch marks are a common problem that affect many: people of any race, any age and any gender. Generally stretch marks appear during sudden changes in body size, such as during pregnancy, puberty, or rapid weight-gain. Ninety percent of pregnant women will get stretch marks around their abdomen, hips and thighs.
Stretch marks can initially look like slightly purple or reddish coloured lines that lighten over time become a type of scar. Many people, especially women, struggle with trying to fade stretch marks. Dry body brushing is a natural remedy that can help reduce the appearance of both new and old stretch marks and eventually fading their appearance making them less noticeable.
How it works
Dry Body Brushing is a very powerful skin exfoliator. It penetrates deep into the pores to cleanse dirt, grime, dead cells and other toxins. It helps to keep the pores open for better absorption of lotions and assists with stimulation of sweat and oil glands, contributing to the restoration of moist, supple skin. Dry brushing also strengthens the skin pores by gentle stretching of connective tissues which stimulates collagen and elastin fibre production. The skin becomes more pliable due to increased moisture and tighter and firmer due to increased collagen.
Tips and Tricks for Dry Brushing:
Follow dry body brushing with some form of hydrotherapy, this may be a bath, shower, steam room, body mud mask or massage. When you have loose skin after pregnancy or weight loss, keeping it hydrated is an absolute must. Always apply an organic body lotion to nourish and feed the skin, this will help keep it supple and hydrated.
For extra healing power to the areas of concern apply organic body oil like Jojoba Oil or Rosehip Oil and massage into the skin. Rosehip is high in Vitamin C which helps to heal scars and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Hydrating the skin is really important to improve the skin’s elasticity. If your skin is undergoing a lot of stretching it is less likely to tear and create stretch marks if it’s hydrated.
While all of these tips can help you, make sure you give yourself time to heal and for your body to adjust to your new shape. Scar tissue can take a while to recover and with the help of this healthy routine your whole body will benefit from the results you achieve from dry body brushing.Twitter It!
Following on from Pure and Green Organic Part 1 of Good Enough 2 Eat, Part 2 focuses on pregnancy nutrition and skin care. This topic can be a bit of a minefield for women who want to reduce the risk of exposure to potentially toxic chemicals during pregnancy.Twitter It!
Get the Oscar winning look from Jennifer Lawrence using Ere Perez cosmetics.
The lovely Jennifer is set to become one of this decade’s biggest stars. At just 22 she’s already made a huge splash for her part in the film The Hunger Games, Winter’s Bone and X-Men: First Class, and now with a Best Actress Win for Silver Linings Playbook, her place in Hollywood’s A List has been secured, despite her little trip up the steps to collect her Oscar!
Jennifer is a natural beauty who exudes that youthful understated glamour we’d all love to emulate! Here’s how to get her look:
Just a hint of colour with either Clever Carrot Balm in Healthy, New Beautiful Beetroot Cheek and Lip Tint in Charm for some corally nudey stain, or the always perfect Real Rosehip Oil Lipbar in pretty pinky Love. For evenings use Rich Olive Oil Lipstick in the shimmery pinky tones of High Tea or Prom.Twitter It!
By Lisa Phipps – amazing creator of the REMEDICA range
Everyone is talking about squalane at the moment. Ahhh the “new kid on the block” so to speak. Well not really. This gem of oil has been coveted by women in the Japanese and Korean skin care market for decades. In fact REMEDICA has been formulating with olive squalane for the last 8 years and for several months has made it available in a pure form online.
Squalane is such a wonderful natural substance with both anti-oxidant and anti-irritancy properties (Lancet Oncology, October 2000, P 107–112); Technically however, this oil is not a fixed or whole oil, but a fraction of either shark liver, or in the case for vegans and the more animal friendly out there, from plants (olives). Its molecular structure is more similar to sebum than jojoba and is a wonderful, if not irreplaceable emollient, lipid restorer, pH balancer and overall skin soother and sebum balancer for almost all skin types and even those with more difficult pathologies, such as rosacea, very oily, dry acne, eczema and so on.
Why is this oil the “bee’s knees” of skin care maintenance and acid mantle health? Well, for those that remember my never ending rants from back as far as 2006 describing the “best foundation for a healthy skin” and I am not talking makeup, I was preaching the theory that what the ladies at the cosmetic counters would NOT tell you is the unglamorous truth – the healthiest skin – the skin most able to optimise the nutritional and functional value of topical moisturisers and treatments was a) a healthy balance of sebum and sweat (oil and water) of the epidermis. That is the protective outer layer – acid mantle.
The acid mantle relies on a finely tuned healthy pH which is designed to protect against disruptions such as protection against dehydration as well as protection against basic free radical damage and pathogens. The physical process of this process of balanced sebum and sweat is referred to in the cosmetic science industry as the Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF). And without a firm and healthy flow of these two elements (water and oil) our skin can suffer the consequences of symptoms as extreme as eczema or as mild as sensitive dry skin that simply does not seem to absorb or make use of topically applied facial products.
The oil components or “fat” components prevent loss of moisture (dehydration), and combined with the physical lubrication provide the skin with its ability to remain smooth and supple. This is the intercellular matrix or “first line of defence”. In combination with the natural process of sweating and eliminating toxins our skin also provides us with the mechanism for retaining a healthy and protective pH which in turn assists in protection against free radical and pathogenic attack. (Dermatologic Therapy, 2004, v 17, Supplement, pages 43-44).
Squalane is a naturally occurring constituent found within the skins healthy NMF and along with amino acids, cholesterol, phospholipids and glycosaminoglycans to name just a few co constituents, contributes to a higher integrity of the skin’s surface to remain hydrated, smooth, plump, glowing and radiant.
Squalane is not the only oil that mimics the lipid content of skin… there are other oils such as coconut, jojoba, lecithin (my absolute favourite natural hydrator) and sesame etc, However these oils on their own tend to not show such compatibule molecular structre in terms of absoption rate and pore health. The structure of squalane is so molecularly fine with absolutely no scent/odour that it blends and absorbs into the skin almost immediately leaving no greasy residue, causing no over stimulation of sebaceous glands and provides relief almost immediately.
By using ingredients such as squalane to support the skin natural defence and healing ability means that you are helping the intercellular matrix of the skin to stay intact and receptive to positive nutritional input rather than becoming less receptive and irritated.
REMEMBER the big thing is that the skin is designed naturally to repair, regenerate and replenish. If you starve the skin of oils, let alone oils (lipids) that provide NMF then your skin will suffer dryness and distress.
Important uses of squalane in skin care for men and women:
Oily skin – often the case of oily skin is “dry skin that produces excess sebum”. To help curb this in balance, I often recommend a few drops of either the oleo serum clair.visage (for hydration and balancing) or in the case of very oily /irritated skin, a few drops of squalane IMMEDIATELY AFTER WASHING THE SKIN/FACE. This will help, a) immediately restore lost oil from the skin and b) assist with the reinstatement of a healthier pH, which by the way WILL be raised or lowered no matter what type of cleanser or soap you use!
Dry and Irritated skin – applying squalane to a slightly damp skin after cleansing is the perfect way to restore lost lipids and help rebuild a healthy acid mantle by establishing the water/oil balance again. I often suggest after a week of using squalane day and night after washing that the skin will start to show great improvement in its ability to a) absorb other skin care moisturisers and serums and b) start to regulate its own sebum flow.
After Shaving for Men – a great way to get an instant relief from irritated, dry or tight feeling skin after shaving is to apply a few drops of squalane immediately after rinsing the skin. The application of squalane after shaving may also reduce the occurrence of annoying bumps and congestion from pore irritation.
Fine and delicate skin will also benefit from the use of squalane as quite often those with a finer complexion tend to stay clear of many oils and lubricants fearing a greasy or aggressive oiliness or clogged pores. Of course peanut oil from the pantry probably will not be such a good choice, but squalane is the perfect solution for supporting the skins ability to retain moisture and delay the signs of aging often caused by dehydration due to low NMF content.
Very hot /humid climates. Finally for those that live in oppressively hot climates where the use of any major oil or moisturiser is almost unbearable…well a lot of these folk will too end up having an oily but inherently dry or dehydrated skin. By adding squalane in pure form to their daily skin regime, a more supple, hydrated and smooth complexion is possible without the greasy or uncomfortable feeling of smothering the skin.
REMEDICA has been formulating with pure olive squalane for many years. We incorporate squalane as one of the key ingredients along with lecithin and tamanu oil in the oleo serum sensitive.visage or in its pure form sold as 30ml with a dropper for easy application.
Not only is this ingredient an absolute necessity in one form or another for healthy skin but it is also a joy to use as supplement to your everyday skin care regime.
There are so many articles and studies on the benefits of squalane as a NMF so don’t feel you have to take my word for it. Look it up and read as much as you can. This may save you a whole lot of time, sanity and most importantly so much money in the long run.
Lisa Phipps, founder and Managing Director at REMEDICA Australia Skincare.Twitter It!
Maintaining good health can feel like a big job sometimes, particularly on those days when we just feel like hitting the snooze button. The good news is that there are little things you can do, that take no more than 2 minutes that will make a difference to your health and wellbeing. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Add a dash of lemon to your water first thing in the morning. As you boil the kettle for tea or coffee, drink a glass of warm water and lemon juice. It helps to flush out toxins and prime your digestion for breakfast.
2. Dry brush. Two minutes of dry body brushing before a shower stimulates the lymphatic system which helps to clear toxins out of the body), gets your circulation moving and sloughs off dead skin cells allowing your skin to absorb moisturiser more effectively.
3. Add more antioxidants to your food. This is actually much more simple than it sounds. Some great suggestions include half a teaspoon of Tumeric for its anti-inflammatory effects, a cup of green tea, a dessert spoon of organic Tomato paste in your cooking (which is rich in lycopene), a handful of berries or some grated ginger and lemon tea.
4. Deep breathing. If you feel stressed, anxious or are just sick of driving in traffic take a few deep breaths. It can just be enough to break the cycle of thoughts contributing to your stress. Set the alarm on your phone a couple of times across the day with the message “remember to breathe”. Just those few moments will help you take the stress down a notch.
5. Call a friend. Connection is important to our wellbeing and it can be too easy to chat on Facebook instead of picking up the phone. Sometimes it is enough just to check in.
6. Take the stairs. Instead of choosing the elevator or the closest carpark, head for the stairwell of choose the carpark farthest away. The minutes of extra exercise all add up.
7. Hug someone! Make it someone you know . Physical contact is relaxing. Think of it as a handshake from the heart. Virgina Satir, who was often referred to as the mother of family therapy, determined that “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
I would love to hear any 2 minute health tips you have.Twitter It!
After 23 years of lobbying the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments has finally succeeded which means part of the world at least is a kinder and more humane place. Specifically the group has brought about a ban on the use of animals in cosmetics testing in all member countries of the European Union. This covers all personal care products from high-end to supermarket brands. The fantastic part about this is that it doesn’t just cover the end product but also includes a ban on testing individual product ingredients. Cosmetics sold in Europe will still be safety tested by agreed upon non-animal methods.
Standard animal testing in the US and Europe up until today, although not required by law can include:
So the big question is “does animal testing take place in Australia”. According to the RSPCA, “there is no testing of cosmetics involving animals conducted in Australia. However, the majority of cosmetic products sold here will contain ingredients that will have been tested on animals at some time.” So the changes in Europe will have a positive impact for Australia, particularly with relation to imported cosmetics. The next step for consumers is to either choose confirmed cruelty-free cosmetic providers (which buying from Vitale Natural Online certainly ensures) or if you do buy from overseas, choose cosmetics manufactured in Europe rather than the US or Asia.
In any case this is a huge step forward and will hopefully inspire change in other cosmetic manufacturing countries. Well done Europe.Twitter It!
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