This is a great article from Deanne Bromham, our Vitale Life naturopath. When I decided to focus on writing and research, Deanne stepped into the fold and now treats many patients with skin conditions…with great results. She is patient and encouraging and her treatment are very effective. Below is what Deanne thinks the key issues are with skin problems including acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and skin pigmentation:
On the exterior skin conditions or damaged skin can be red, inflamed, cystic, rough, blotchy, painful, unbearably itchy, scaly and plaque like, lacking vibrancy, damaged, dry and wrinkling. Anyone who has a skin condition will quickly confide that it can destroy one’s self-confidence. After all, skin is the outer layer we present to the world. Skin problems affect the body’s surface physically as well as emotionally but we don’t always realise just how deep they run. This is why it is important to find a long-term solution that treats the cause of the problem and one that really works.
Skin problems are related to a dysfunction occurring deep within the body and this is the level they should be treated; a satisfactory solution means treating from the inside and outside. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked and strong anti-inflammatory creams are prescribed or in the case of acne retail creams and liquids that dry and strip the skin, only offering temporary relief.
It’s a little like looking into a pool of water, what you see on the surface is a true indication of what’s going on underneath. What is happening at the bottom and in the middle area of the water will ruminate to the surface, making it visually known what the general state of the deeper water is like. A client’s skin is an important factor I assess no matter why they have come to see me; it tells me a lot about the person’s overall health.
There are a few major players that affect how our skin looks:
Skin in very much affected by hormones; the finetuning of the stress hormone; cortisol, the blood sugar hormone; insulin and the reproductive hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone cannot be underestimated in their affect on the skin.
Diet plays a massive part in all problem skin and this can be the simplest way of getting quick improvement.
There is a big connection between skin and digestive health or the health of our intestinal tract. If the bacteria within our intestinal system are out of balance this will affect our skin. It is well understood that the bacteria at the centre of the body, the intestinal tract, set the status of bacteria in the skin. To correct the bacteria in the skin it is necessary to correct the bacterial status inside first and then the skin will reflect this.
The skin along with the lungs, bowel, liver, and kidney are all organs that assist the body in getting rid of waste products. They are well known as the 5 organs of elimination. When the development of a skin condition or even poor unhealthy looking skin has occurred it may be that one or more of the other organs of elimination are being overloaded and/or are under functioning. If the liver and bowel are unable to get rid of toxins the toxins will begin to find another route out of the body and this can be via the skin. A pleasant side effect of a professional gut repair and detoxification program is the noticeable difference in the appearance of the skin. One of the most common things clients say while on a gut repair and detoxification program is that all their friends have notice how good their skin is looking. If you’re going to clean the pool of water you will need to scrape leaves and scum off the top but you will also need to get the filter working continuously to clean out what’s in the middle and at the bottom.
One of the most important things to understand about getting your skin clear and beautiful is that the body is designed to heal itself. It is totally unnecessary for anyone to accept that this is a skin problem they have to learn to live with. The body in its natural rhythm is absolutely able to work so that we look and feel great. Anything other than this is a sign that a particular area of the body is not functioning as well as it should be or it is out of balance. Naturopathic assistance works on our insides to make our bodies, inside and outside, look and feel great. The body responds very well to this, easily lapping it up as it falls back into harmony.
Deanne, an experienced and skilled naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and iridologist says “As a clinician I assess each person’s skin on an individual basis while taking into consideration the rest of their health and the connection between the two. The use of iridology gives greater insight to their health weaknesses and constitution”. A treatment plan is given that shows what each individual’s skin requires. Results are usually seen as early as 2 weeks.
As you may know at Vitale we are trying out the new La Mav range of products and one that I have been getting feedback from the staff about is the Pore Refining Toner. La Mav describe this product as being good for skin that is prone to imbalance and congestion. As I haven’t personally tried this I pored (no pun intended) the ingredients to see why it was working so well and came up with a few ingredients of particular interest:
The base of this toner is aloe vera, glycerine and rose hydrosol which are all hydrating ingredients that don’t increase the likelihood of congestion. This is another product that goes on my list of “products I must try” as in summer or if I have been consuming rubbish food, congestion can be an issue for me.
I would love to hear any comments you may have about this product so please write us a review.
Dandruff is defined as the shedding of dead scalp skin cells exceed normal cell normal flaking. A small amount of flaking is common most of which is invisible to the naked eye and is washed away when we wash our hair. However, with dandruff, the skin cell turnover is unusually rapid (up to 8-10 times faster) and visible due to the cells clumping with oil before they shed. In addition, when the shedding is accompanied by redness and irritation it is more likely to be dandruff.
Triggers to an outbreak of dandruff include exposure to extreme hot and cold (hot showers in winter) but the underlying cause is the result of a combination of factors including the overgrowth of skin microorganisms known as Malassezia globsa, a fungus that is normally present on the skin surface of the scalp. Malassezia interacts with components in sebum creating and inflammatory response in the scalp of susceptible persons which results in excessive shedding of the top layer of the skin.
Extremes in temperature such as hot showers in cold weather may trigger an attack. Dandruff may also be the result of an allergic reaction to chemical hair products such as styling products, shampoos and hair oils.
The other common cause of redness and flaking of the scalp is seborrhoeic dermatitis, however this condition is not usually confined to the scalp alone and will commonly be occurs in the eyebrows and around the folds of the nose in addition to the scalp. This was not so for Claire and so strengthens the identification of dandruff in her case.
So to the treatment and management of dandruff. What you read next may surprise many of you…I recommended Claire go and get a commercial anti-dandruff shampoo containing either 1.5% selenium or 2% zinc. Yes the base of these products is full of synthetic ingredients but they are only used once, or twice at most and quickly break the cycle of inflammation and kill of the fungus overgrowth. In some cases with skin and scalp issues it is better to break a cycle quickly and then repair any damage and improve health to prevent reoccurrance. I think this is particularly so when the treatment is very effective and relatively harmless or short term.
In the meantime we worked to improve Claire’s diet and reduce her sugar intake, both of which are necessary to maintain a healthy scalp post-treatment. I also recommended Claire change her hair care products and she now uses natural “SLS-free” shampoo and conditioner, a gorgeous smelling hair oil which styles her hair at the same time as nourishing her scalp and a sugar-based hair spray for firmer hold when needed.
If you have had success with the treatment of dandruff I would love to hear what worked for you as well as any comments you may have about the treatment suggested above.
As I write this I am suffering from swollen glands, a split lip and mouth ulcer and a headache radiating down one side of my face and head. No don’t worry this isn’t a “poor me” blog (well maybe just a bit). I am telling you this because a. Roechelle forced me to and b. I cannot believe all of this pain stemmed from squeezing one little pimple! Yes that’s right folks – last Monday I had a rather large pimple come up on my lip and instead of leave it alone (which is hard when it is so obvious) I squeezed the heck out of it, so much so that I damaged my lip and it swelled leading to my current symptoms. Can you believe it! I call this the paper cut principle – how one little pimple can lead to such OTT symptoms reminds me of much a tiny paper cut can hurt so badly. Maybe I just have a low pain tolerance…
If I had a cold sore I would take Lysine, cut out chocolate and nuts (makes it worse) and apply a good cold sore cream or oil that contains Melissa officinalis (an anti-viral herb). As it isn’t a cold sore, I can’t do much but apply Paw Paw Ointment to my lip and hope that it clears up quickly. Until then I think I might go to bed!Twitter It!
LOHAS stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability which is essentially a socio-economic term that describes a segment of conscious shoppers i.e. people who not only consider their own personal benefit but the impact on the wider community and planet. In Australia this represents around 26 % of the adult population. However, this is a global trend and not only do I think the number of people that start making more conscious choices will rise, particularly in Australia where such a wide range of choices are available.
You can see evidence of this trend impacting on companies and brands alike particularly in the cosmetic industry where the trend towards natural & organic products has been taken further so it encompassess use of eco packaging materials, fair trade ingredients, stopping the use of palm oil or using sustainable plantation sources and choosing only cruelty free products.
At Vitale it is about ensuring coherence between what we say we do and what we actually do. We do this by:
I was prompted to write this little blurb by an article about LOHAS which got me thinking about how we as a company perform. Of course there is always room for improvement but I also think we have set a high standard for ourselves and we strive to achieve it in every way we can.
We would love to hear about areas we could improve so please have your say.Twitter It!
As you may know at Vitale we are huge fans of the Australian, certified organic range La Mav. Recently they have relaunched their range and made some great changes which are outlined below:
From La Mav founder, Tarj Mavi: “We are extremely satisfied with our product formulations which remain completely unchanged. The decision to update our core and secondary packaging was so that we could more closely reflect the essence of the brand – age defying results, inspired by skin science and delivered through nature.”
The new packaging is coloured coded to reflect the different product ranges and skin types:
Over the next few weeks I will review some of the new La Mav products and give you my thoughts. As always we would love to hear your thoughts once you have tried the products.
View the La Mav rangeTwitter It!
My excitement with the new La Mav range was tempered somewhat when I realized I couldn’t try all the new products at once (I really am still very excited). To really assess the range our Vitale Natural team has had to trial each product at a time. Some of the products we are already familiar with such as the favorite amongst staff and indeed, award winning Bio-A7 Firming Eye Lotion but others are new to us. Over the next few months we will reveal our thoughts on many of the new products but first I wanted to review another of my favorites: Argania Extract Lift and Firm Serum (Lift & Firm Serum for short). Lift & Firm Serum contains some key bio-active ingredients (and this is these are the ingredients that really get me excited as they are considered “active” and have real therapeutic benefits on the skin) including:
Of these, Argania Spinosa extract, Acacia Senegal and Rhozbian Gum have immediate effects on the skin acting like a flash balm by tightening and lifting skin which is ideal for tired skin around the eyes. Argania also has a long-term biological effect, working to reduce wrinkles particularly on the neck. My first experience of this product was one morning when I had had a late night and a very early start – I looked very tired and quite dehydrated which shows up around my eyes in particular. I thought this was the ideal opportunity to try out this product. I put it on and dashed out the door. Later that morning I checked out the progress and indeed I thought I looked better (I certainly looked better than I felt). Based on that response I have been using it under my moisturizer every day since and generally think my skin looks good. I can’t really notice a difference on my neck as yet as I am a bit haphazard about application in that area. Lift & Firm Serum goes really well with Hibiscus Extract Ultra-Lift Moisturiser.
If you have used this product please add your comments as we would love to hear what you think.Twitter It!
My love affair with topical oils for skin and indeed, hair continues with the recent discovery of Tamanu oil. Once again the Remedica brand that brought this amazing oil to my attention. Used in Sensitive Visage and now also available as 100% oil, Tamanu has extraordinarily high levels of essential fatty acids which means it is a powerful skin anti-inflammatory and the potential for a strong healing effect on damaged skin.
The oil is derived from the nut of the Calophyllum inophyllum, a large evergreen tree native to East Africa, coastal India, the South Pacific and even Australia. The oil is green coloured with a “moss” type odour. The green colour is due to the high level of antioxidant phytochemicals in the oil. The nutritional profile of the oil shows up to 38% omega 6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), 0.5% omega 3 EFAs and phytochemicals with healing, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and even anti-viral activity.
As part of my research about Tamanu oil I did a search on You Tube and came up with some interesting videos. There is an amazing progressive healing pictorials using Tamanu oil on a severe scald – it did make me cringe to look at the open burn but the outcome was amazing. If you have the stomach for it, click here. Please note, seek medical advice before applying anything to an open burn as the exposed flesh is so susceptible to infection.
It is not only new burns that benefit from Tamanu oil. A 9 week study looking at the effect of Tamanu oil on significant old scars (over one year or more) showed a reduction in both scar length and width. Twice daily application for a 6 week period was enough to show obvious improvement. I find this quite exciting as old scars are generally really quite hard to minimize and so this effect is quite significant.
Other research has shown the following benefits:
I know that we use Sensitive Visage to great effect on those with sensitive, dry and damaged skin but I would love to read comments from any reader that has used Tamanu oil for other skin issues.
Research reference: Dweck, A.C.: Calophyllum inophyllum – Tamanu oil the African, Asian, Polynesian and Pacific Panacea. International Journal of Cosmetic Science 24, 6, 1-8 (2002).Twitter It!
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