The concept of products that make an “instant” difference is I think for many women the Holy Grail…and yes, I would love to find it. Maybe I am impatient but I want to see a difference in my skin particularly when I wake up in the morning looking like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards (ok it doesn’t happen often but when it does, I want to put on a product that makes it all go away). Seriously though, skin cells take between 90-120 days to turn over (be replaced by new skin cells) so most skin care takes that amount of time to see a visible ongoing difference – this is how long it takes for real skin change/improvement to happen. I am not saying you won’t see changes sooner but anything less is usually temporary. However, as I have discovered there are some exceptions, products that give your skin a quick lift, often short-lived but enough so that I can walk out of the house without serious luggage under my eyes. So dear readers, here is my list of instant saviors and pick me ups:
I discovered the benefits of this cream one morning after a very late night. Despite reading the ingredients I hadn’t quite realised that it has a rapid effect on fine lines and wrinkles. The natural active Rhizobian gum, which is a hydrolysed biopolymer naturally produced by microorganisms living in plant roots has an immediate tightening effect on skin…it has been described as a Botox-like effect. The tightening effect lasts about 4 hours. The other ingredients in the product have ongoing skin nourishing effects so this product isn’t just about the short term effects….but it is a definite benefit!
Green Tea Spritz
Green Tea has a potent antioxidant effect as well as reducing inflammation on burnt or reddened skin. When stored in the fridge, the low temperature of the tea will also have a cooling effect on hot skin. For this reason it is ideal for those with rosacea or any skin redness, sunburn or irritation.
Make your own spritz at home by brewing quality organic green tea. Leave it for 5 minutes to steep then let cool. Once cool pour it into a spritz bottle and refrigerate. Use liberally as required. Each brew lasts about 3 days. Alternatively you can freeze the tea into ice cubes. Don’t apply a frozen cube directly to the skin. Wrap in a cloth and gently apply to the affected area. The cube will melt onto the skin having the same effect as the spritz.
Chamomile Tea Bags
This is another fantastic home remedy that is useful for sore, tired or puffy eyes. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and mild antimicrobial effects which help soothe sore eyes. You need to steep the bag for 3 minutes in hot water. You can either drink the tea or once cool, use it to bathe your eyes. Put the tea bags in the fridge and when you are ready, lie down and place one over each eye. Relax.
This oil and hydrosol based serum is a gentle nutritive for sensitive or inflamed/irritated skin. It contains a potent combination of anti-inflammatories (St John’s Wort, Chamomile) and antioxidants (Green Tea) which will help quickly reduce patchiness and redness and soothe irritation. Used long term, it will help strengthen damaged and chronically inflamed skin.
Now I know I bang on and on about the usefulness of the Lemon Detox Drink but it really is just so effective for increasing skin moisture – both oil and water content. The healthier the fatty membrane of the skin cell is, the more moisture it contains. One recent example of the success of this drink is a lady who came into to the store with chronic skin dryness. Her skin had been dry for years. Interestingly she wasn’t coming for skin care but for massage and it was the massage therapist who asked me what her client could do about it. I gave her client the recipe for this drink and a jar of Remedica Vanilla & Shea Body Butter and thought no more about it. The next week, the massage therapist had noticed a significant improvement in her clients skin since her visit the week before. The client, as you can imagine, was delighted and continues with her “skin hydration” program.
One of my fallback saviors for red, patchy or just tired skin is my mineral makeup. Usually I just brush on a light layer but if my skin is not looking its best, I know I can apply several layers of makeup without looking like I have spac-filled my face. To do this, I use a small multi brush and put a layer of Minerelle over any red, patchy or dark areas on my face e.g. under my eyes, over breakouts or broken capillaries. I then apply a light layer of makeup over the top using the powder brush and gently blend the colour in. Personally I cannot go past Minerelle as my favorite make up for both everyday use and the days I would rather not leave the house!
I know I mentioned this product above but it deserves its own segment. In Winter the skin on my body tends to dry out. I drink lots of water and have my good fats but the humidity in Brisbane is so low in contrast to the Summer months, that it really plays havoc with my skin. Remedica Vanilla & Shea Body Butter is my answer. Based on pure Shea butter it is so nourishing but without the greasy feel. And it smells great. I have done a video blog about this product which discusses the benefits of Shea butter in general. View the video here.
So they are my pick of instant skin pick-me-ups. I would LOVE to hear about yours. What home remedies or products do you use?Twitter It!
One of my favourite eco reads is Peppermint Magazine. It is full of excellent green and eco products, concepts and activities. Printed on recycled paper with soy ink it also smells great…I know this sounds weird but…well just smell it for yourself.
Edition 4 is about to sit newsagent stands (from November 19th). This edition is a Christmas Special featuring so much…including:
A green Wish List, recycled wrapping ideas and DIY pressies & decorations, a sustainable summer survival guide with everything you could need to help make lighter footprints on the sand (swimsuits, hats, shoes, beachbags, sunglasses…), ‘Green-Eyed Monster’ – a mini kids tshirt shoot, Model Citizens – models who are more than just a pretty face, an eco fabrics guide, a new vintage section featuring vintage swimsuits and also a vintage shopping ‘how-to’ guide, an exclusive interview with Daryl Hannah (celeb eco-activist), Hopenhagen – explaining Copenhagen and what you can do, an interview with Franny Armstrong – director of climate change doco The Age Of Stupid, a new arts section, Deborah Lindquist, Rachel Cassar, Heidi & Seek, The Uniform Project, Polli, lots and lots of beauty features, mountains of fashion, and more, more, more!
And congratulations for all those at Peppermint Magazine. Yesterday at the Publisher’s Australia Bell Magazine Awards in Sydney, Peppermint Magazine scooped up 3 awards – Best Sustainability in Publishing, Best Design in the ‘Consumer’ magazine category, and best overall Graphic Designer of the year.
It really is a great mag! And if you subscribe this month, you have the opportunity of receiving a $30 voucher for Vitale Natural!Twitter It!
More on deodorants and sweating…
This post is actually a response to a comment on the blog Aluminium & parabens in deodorant – no thanks! and it raised an issue I have often come across - some people sweat a lot regardless of temperature and deodorant use. It can be frustrating as not much seems to help and the sweat marks on shirts can be embaressing. This question is from one of our readers:
In my experience; I sweat at lot, all the time and all year round. Generally exhausting myself, hot & humid temps, but also, oddly enough, being in quite cold air conditioning makes me sweat under the arms (which I find strange). So there is nowhere to run!
I have tried almost everything and I can’t find anything that works too well, luckily I end up smelling like the deodorant I use & I don’t pong. I am using Redwins at the moment, it is okay I guess, waiting for it to dry on my skin is sometimes inconvenient. Rexona is crap, it’s like spraying talc and breathing it in too much is not pleasant either, I’m sorry I bought it in the first place.
I am also wondering, can clothing affect the smell of your sweat? I find if I am wearing my favourite shirts, that I’ve worn quite a lot, the fabric tends to get a quite pungent stench under the arms and it’s not nice. Quality of the fabric? Pesticides from the cotton?? I am not sure. Have you heard of this before?
Thankyou for sharing your wisdom!
In response, I replied:
Sweating year round, even in airconditioning is not as uncommon as you might think. From a naturopath perspective it is generally related to sympathetic nervous system dominance and can be managed or at least minimised by supporting the parasympathetic nervous system. To do this effectively it is worth seeing a naturopath just in case there are underlying factors that are contributing to sympathetic NS dominance. In my case (yes this was a problem for me in the past) Buteko breathing helped because it pushes the body into parasympathetic drive and these days I only sweat when the weather is hot. Buteko breathing is also good for stress and low grade anxiety.
Excess sweating can also be related to electrolyte inbalances that affect the water distribution in the cells leading to too much extra-cellular fluid (water outside the cells) and not enough intracellular fluid (water inside the cells). Using quality electrolyte drinks such as Endura in moderation can assist with correct fluid balance and minimise sweating. This is particuarly important if you sweat a lot in hot weather or after exercise.
From a nutritional perspective stimulants such as coffee and sugar will make the sweating worse so having a low GI diet certainly helps. Nutrients that support the parasympathetic nervous include choline, vitamin B5 and B1. The Lemon Detox Drink is an excellent source of choline and is a good way to increase your levels.
Sweating is not necessarily linked to body odour. As with the reader above sweat doesn’t necessarily smell strong, however, over time clothes will retain a smell that is difficult to get rid of. Body odour as opposed to sweating can be related to a diet high in animal products, particularly red meat. Cleansing your system by reducing red meat, doing a detox or using chlorophyll will help signficantly reduce body odour.
With regard to your clothing, yes the materials your clothes will affect the smell. Bamboo and synthetics can be particularly bad. Hot water washing (although not as environmentally sound) for the items of clothing in particular will help. Of course wearing loose cotton clothing can also help.
Deodorants, even anti-perspirants don’t generally help a great deal. I used to just go for one that smelt nice as like you there was no smell just the sweat. That is why I love the Lavera Wild Rose Spay – it smells like Rose perfume!
If you have any personal experience, things that have worked or other questions about this or any other topic please let me know.Twitter It!
Have you ever looked in the mirror the morning of a big event only to discover a huge pimple or noticed that your skin is unusually red and blotchy? Don’t stress, it will only make it worse! It could actually be the case that stress was the trigger for your breakout in the first place. Stress affects our lives in all ways, some motivational and positive, others subtle and more insidious. While not historically recognised as a contributing factor in skin conditions, there is now growing body of evidence to show that stress has potentially harmful effects on the skin. From acne to eczema research shows us that during times of acute stress, rashes and breakouts become worse, sometimes significantly so. It also points to the potential role of chronic low-grade stress as a causative factor in persistent skin conditions.
Stress can affect our appearance in a number of ways including increased perspiration, brittle nails, dry, thinning hair and sensitive more reactive skin. Where there is an existing skin condition, worsening can be seen in the following ways:
These effects are primarily caused by the impact of stress on skin permeability. In most chronic skin conditions there is an abnormality in the skin’s permeability barrier. The body responds by trying to repair the barrier and in the process initiates an inflammatory process in the deeper layers of the skin with the result of worsening skin symptoms. Even in people without existing skin conditions, stress has the ability to reduce skin permeability and increase dehydration and sensitivity. This may go some way to explaining why some people react to certain topical agent only some of the time; generally skin permeability is normal however during times of stress it is affected leaving skin more vulnerable to irritation.
When exposed to stress, hormonal and chemical levels increase. Hormones in the brain trigger the release of adrenalin and norepinephrine, creating the classic flight or fight response – our body’s are readying for an emergency, which most of the time doesn’t occur. Glucocorticoids are also released from the adrenal glands, and when stress is ongoing it leads to the decrease in skin barrier function. Interestingly, while a decreased barrier function often causes water loss, increased oil production can also occur due to the role of stress in the disruption of normal hormonal balance and an increase in substance P. So yes it is possible to have moisture dehydrated skin and be oily (usually through the T-zone) at the same time.
In addition to stress directly affecting skin permeability, chronic stress can also affect the functioning of the immune system. Stress down regulates the immune system making us more susceptible to infection. It also plays havoc with skin conditions that have immune involvement such as psoriasis, eczema, cold sores and shingles, most commonly causing worsening skin condition. Stressed individuals are also more likely to eat and sleep less healthily or be more likely to drink more alcohol further suppressing the immune system.
So how does stress reduction help with the treatment of skin conditions? Firstly, it helps by decreasing the release of
pro-inflammatory hormones, which results in less inflammation, redness and rash like symptoms. It also reduces blood vessel hyper-activity resulting in less frequent skin flushing, which is particularly important in rosacea. Time will see an improvement in skin permeability, which means greater hydration and less sensitivity. Oiliness will improve as hormones settle back to normal. This may take up to 3 months. Reducing stress will result overall in better condition both for those with existing skin disorders as well as those with normal skin.
Taking the time to incorporate some simple stress reducing techniques into your daily routine will help improve the condition of your skin:
happiness and wellbeing. In addition it increases circulation and therefore nutrition to your extremities, including your skin.
Related Articles:Twitter It!
Is your skin ready for summer? Summer is a time for sun, increased exercise and outdoor activity. After months of jackets and long pants, our skin needs a little bit of care before exposure to the Australian Summer sun. Advance preparation is a good idea before you pull out your summer clothing and expose your skin. Follow these guidelines so you are ready to smartly and safely enjoy the sun and make the most of your skin this season.
It is important to remember that skin behaves differently from season to season and so your skin care routine should change to suit the difference in weather. In many parts of Australia there are effectively only 2 seasons: dry and humid. Our skin reacts dramatically to changes in humidity and so using the same skin care routine all year round will not help maintain well hydrated skin.
As the humidity rises in summer so does the moisture content in our skin. This is great for those who tend to dry or dehydrated skin types. Skin will feel more supple and hydrated. For those with normal to oily skin, you will notice that oil production increases in the warmer months and if not careful, skin congestion may increase.
During the summer months all skin types require lighter moisturisers. It is best to avoid moisturisers rich in waxes and butters and favour lighter lotions as these will provide adequate moisture content without causing congestion. Depending on skin type, it is also a good idea to change your cleanser from a cream cleanser to a light foaming cleanser or gel (avoid cleansers containing sodium laurel suphate) as they tend to more effective for removing built up sebum (oil) as well as daily grime and pollution.
For those with normal to oily skin, use cleansing masks and gentle exfoliation to reduce the likelihood of blocked pores and congestion. For those with dehydrated skin use a night oil based serum followed by a lighter day moisturiser. This will ensure adequate skin hydration without resorting to heavy creams more suited to the cooler, drier months.
Remember, part of an effective skin care routine includes changing to suit the seasons.
In winter, our skin is largely covered up and so we tend to give it less care and attention. For this reason, summer skin preparation should always include full body exfoliation. Our bodies shed dead skin cells constantly which his results in a layer of dead skin cells. This layer of cells leaves your skin looking dull, dry and sometimes scaly. Applying moisturisers won’t help create glowing skin unless you remove the dead top layer and in fact, moisturisers won’t even penetrate the skin effectively until the dead cells are removed.
To exfoliate your skin effectively you can use an exfoliation mitt in the shower, a dry skin brush or a body scrub. Use a gentle circular motion on your entire body from the shoulders down and once complete, rinse clean (use a specific face exfoliator for your face and neck). Follow with moisturiser. Continue once or twice a week throughout the summer season and it will help maintain fresh, glowing skin.
The best anti-aging advice you will ever hear is to wear sunscreen. And yet, on any summer’s day at the beach you will still see Australians baking themselves under the harsh midday sun. If you want a glowing tan during summer there are alternative ways to achieve this look without damaging your skin. We will look at these options below. Firstly, when it comes to preventing sun damage there are some important things to remember:
A glowing tan is something that many Australians aspire to but in reality you are best to learn to love the colour of skin you were born with. There is no such thing as healthy tanning, however, if you plan to be out in the sun this summer, slowly introducing your skin to the sun is a good idea. Sun exposure in the early mornings and late afternoons allows your skin to gradually build up some colour without burning. Twenty minutes is enough time. Remember by the time your skin starts to feel hot, it is already burnt.
Faking it! If you decide to use fake tan, choose a natural one. In the last few years a number of all natural fake tanning lotions have emerged on the market and provide a healthier skin choice than synthetic chemical products. If you choose to fake tan, remember that you still need to apply sunscreen!
Water is essential for not only providing hydration to our internal organs but also for maintaining skin hydration. Increased sweating, exercise and outdoor activities mean that in the warmer months we can dehydrate quite quickly. By the time you register that you feel thirst, it is likely that you are already slightly dehydrated. The best way to avoid this is to sip water throughout the day ensuring your fluid levels are being continuously topped up. Invest in a good quality water bottle (avoid soft plastic as it leaches chemicals into the water) and take it with you so that you always have water on hand. Adequate hydration is an essential way to maintain skin vitality.
During the warmer months, we tend to want less hot, stodgy food and prefer lighter meals such as fresh fruit, salads, wraps, juices. When we eat, our body temperature increases and warm food will add to this effect. Raw and fresh foods will help keep us cooler during the summer months. Concentrate on colourful fruit and vegetables, lean protein and good oils as the basis of your summer eating. Not only are these foods ideal for the skin, supplying essential antioxidants and reducing inflammation, they are also sources of essential nutrition for the rest of your body.
There are a number of supplements that help provide optimal nutrition and maintain skin health year around…and not just during the summer months!
Beta-carotene – is the orange pigment found in carrots and green leafy vegetables. It is a powerful antioxidant and research has shown that it can help minimise the effect of certain free radicals induced by UV radiation from sunlight. Regular consumption of beta-carotene or beta-carotene rich foods can help to reduce skin aging from sun exposure. Dosage recommendation: 30mg Beta-carotene or mixed carotenoids per day.
Zinc – a deficiency of zinc can lead to skin problems and delayed wound healing. Zinc is essential for the cell division and protein synthesis so helps maintain skin integrity and resilience. Unless you have a skin condition or have low zinc levels, the zinc provided in an everyday multivitamin should be enough to support skin health (about 5-10mg per day)
Fish Oil – helps to maintain skin suppleness and elasticity as well as keeping a check on inflammatory processes. It is particularly useful to help manage inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and dry skin in general. For skin conditions 4-6g of fish oil per day is required. For maintenance and to help minimise dry skin, 1-2g per day is sufficient.
Grapeseed Extract – another powerful skin antioxidant, research shows that grapeseed extract enhances capillary strength and vascular function, reduces allergic and inflammatory responses in the skin and also reduces skin aging and the loss of elasticity. Dosage recommendation is 6-12g of Grapeseed extract per day.
Vitamin C – is an important antioxidant, quenching free radicals that cause skin aging. Vitamin C is also essential for collagen synthesis. Collagen provides the foundation matrix for cartilage, epethielial skin cells and connective tissue. When applied to the skin, Vitamin C stimulates cell renewal, collagen and elastin production and increases healthy circulation. Suggested dosage: 1000mg per day or as a topical application.
Summer is a time for fun in the sun. You can stay sun smart this summer and with these tips you can maintain healthy skin throughout the season.Twitter It!
I am a recent convert to eye creams but now that I am, I am addicted. My twice daily indulgence is applying the Haven Scent Rosehip Eye Cream to my eye area. However, there are many different choices when it comes to eye creams and each one tends to focus on a different eye issue be it puffiness, dark circles or fine lines and wrinkles. In this video I discuss which natural eye creams are better for each issue and how to choose which one is right for you….or if you even need one at all.
View our natural & organic eye creams.Twitter It!
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