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!
Article by Jodie Smith of Bodecare
“The vitality of internal organs, working properly, transcends your skin and brings radiance to your face.” Dry brushing your face with soft plant bristle can rejuvenate tired, dull skin.
The first layer of the skin, the one you see, is called the epidermis. The epidermis is composed of several layers of cells; the outermost of them is made of dead skin cells called the horny layer. Experiments with human cell cultures show normal cells stop dividing when they touch their neighbours. Consequently, to speed up the process of the reproduction of new cells, dead cells must be removed. That is why regular exfoliation can make the world of difference.
Exfoliation is one of the most important parts of a beauty regimen. Exfoliation rejuvenates skin when dead skin cells are removed, energizes your skin and improves circulation. All of these combined result in a better looking complexion.
Dry facial brushes are very effective at exfoliation, increasing circulation and draining away lymph congestion around the nose and eyes, relieving stress around your temples. The bristles have to be a soft plant bristle, like Jute. Jute is a very fine plant bristle that is delicate enough for the skin around the eyes but still very stimulating to drain away puffiness. The facial brush must not be harsh on facial skin, as it is can scratch and damage the skin. Bristles like Boar’s hair, coconut plant, Tampico plant are not suitable for delicate skin.
Most people dry body brush on their bodies but forget about the face. Gentle manual facial brushing will speed up cell turnover, maximize oxygen intake, strengthen the skin’s inner structure and reverse the effects of aging. The key is to use an organic moisturizing cream after brushing and to regularly use a Hydration Mask or Facial Oil 1-2 week to keep good hydration because the dry face brush exfoliates really well.
How to Dry Brush the Face
+ Use gentle upward movement to lift the facial muscles and lightly curve brush down to finish with a light brush stroke. It is in an upside down U shape. Light pressure up and soft stroke down. Brush approximately 7 strokes per area.
+ Starting from left to right side of face, work your way up the face from chin, lips, cheeks, side of nose, up around the eye lid and forehead.
+ Be careful never to stretch the skin. The first couple of months be extra gentle, the sensation should be pleasantly stimulating.
+ Stop immediately if it doesn’t feel good or your skin has an allergic reaction.
How to Dry Brush Neck and Décolletage
+Starting on left side hold brush just above breast line and brush upward to collarbone. Working from mid to outer décolletage. Repeat this on the right side. Brushing approximately 7 strokes per area.
+From left side, at the back side, base of neck very lightly brush up to the jaw line and curve down to the collarbone, the point at which the head and neck drain into the lymph nodes. Repeat 7 times. Then starting at base of neck brush up to chin, cover the neck. Repeat on right side.
+ At first the whole procedure should only take about a minute, gradually increase the time to a couple of minutes for a great massage to the face.
+Recommended to dry brush 1-2 per week to begin with until your skin gets use to dry brushing.
A lot of skin is sloughed off when dry brushing the face and décolletage so it is essential to look after your skin with a good moisturiser and use a hydration mask or facial oil 1-2 week also. You will notice an amazing improvement to your skin, increase skin tone, beautiful sheen and more hydrated.
Happy Brushing!Twitter It!
This article is from Annie Meredith, renowned Healer, Acupuncturist and creator of the Spirit of Woman Essences
As the need for a radical change in the way human beings think and behave becomes apparent in 21st Century comes a new range of essences, specifically designed by a woman, for women. The Spirit of Woman Australian Wild Flower Essences derive their potent energetic healing qualities from the Australian landscape.
Produced at Mt Nebo in South-Eastern Queensland, an environment that was an Aboriginal women’s birthing site for thousands of years, they carry the energy of the incoming Divine Feminine, the new consciousness sweeping the globe, which expresses the values of co-operation, nurturing, support, intuition and coming from the heart.
Mainstream thinking has traditionally been aligned for thousands of years with the Divine Masculine and the values of competition, self-determination, logical thinking and boundary containment. In the social environment, under this value system, women have not fared well.
They have been the ones to take major responsibility for contraception, at a cost to their body’s natural functioning. Many struggle with infertility, which is in epidemic proportions worldwide, leading to the need for Assisted Reproductive Technology. More and more women now routinely undergo unnatural birthing methods such as caesarean sections, which carry risk, while many women suffer from insecure and unfulfilling parenting because confidence in their essential mothering ability is low.
Spirit of Woman Australian Wild Flower Essences carry the potent ability to assist you, as women, to tune in to the energy of the feminine, by owning your powerful feminine biological inscription, and your inbuilt capacity to ensure optimum natural reproduction and parenting for yourselves and your children.
Your partner benefits too, in taking these beautiful essences. They help him to tune into the intimacy of birthing and nurturing through the early baby years and deep, meaningful involvement with his children as they grow through childhood.
Here are some of the ways they can help:
View the Spirit of Woman Parenting RangeTwitter It!
Signs of vitamin deficiencies show up firstly in the skin, hair and nails. The reason this occurs is due to the fact that in times of stress or low intake the body preferentially provides nutrition to the critical organs such as the heart, lungs and brain rather than the skin. So irritating skin issues such as cracks in the corners of the mouth or peri oral dermatitis may actually be signalling a nutrient deficiency rather than a disease state or skin condition.
Underlying causes for nutrient deficiencies are many and various but often come back to reduced intake or excess demand. Inadequate intake of water-soluble vitamins such as the B group and vitamin C is more common due to the fact that our body doesn’t store these vitamins. Any excess passes out on a daily basis. It makes sense then that an inadequate intake of B group and vitamin C rich foods could eventually lead to signs of deficiency. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, D and K are slower to show up as deficiency sigs as our body stores these nutrients in some cases for long fairly long periods. However, lack of dietary intake (or sunshine) will eventually use up stored resources and again eventually lead to lower levels.
The other factor that may lead to skin signs of deficiency is placing excess demands on our vitamin resources. Stress, environmental toxins, dietary excesses and ill health will all use vitamins up, sometimes faster than we are taking them in. Again the net result is lower levels.
A good dietary intake of both water and fat-soluble vitamins will help to maintain healthy and vibrant skin. For specific skin signs, the nutrient association and the food sources see the table below.
|Nutrient||Possible Skin Sign||Food Sources|
|Vitamin A||Rough, dry and scaly skin – particularly on the back of arms, thighs and buttocks. The carotenoid form of vitamin A will also help to improve skin colour i.e. give you a healthy glow.||Liver, cod liver oil, yellow, orange and red vegetables (plant source is carotenoids)|
|Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)||Bleeding gums, rough skin and easy bruising, poor wound healing, pinpoint broken capillaries particularly where extensive sun exposure has occurred e.g. face, neck and chest||Kiwi fruit, green capsicum, citrus fruits, paw paw, strawberries, berries, broccoli, sprouts|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||Inflamed eyelids, cracks and redness at the corner of the mouth (caution, this may also related to low iron so get your iron levels checked if B group supplementation doesn’t improve within 2 weeks), facial skin lesions with greasy scales, peri-oral dermatitis||Almonds, salmon, spinach, milk & milk products, eggs, oats, whole grains|
|Pantothenic Acid (B5)||Excessive sebum production particularly associated with acne||Avocado, mushrooms, lentils, milk & milk products, eggs, almonds|
|Pyridoxine (B6)||Scaly dermatitis, peri-oral dermatitis, cracks and redness in the corners of the mouth.||Bananas, tuna, avocado, spinach, mackerel, brown rice, Brussels Sprouts|
|Folates (B9)||Peri-oral dermatitis, cracks and redness in the corners of the mouth.||Lentils, spinach, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, paw paw, yellow corn|
|Vitamin D||Worsening of inflammatory skin conditions due to imbalanced immune function e.g. eczema and dermatitis||Cod liver oil, salmon, oysters, whole milk, egg yolk|
It is important to note that because fat soluble vitamins build up in the body, it is advisable to speak to a health care professional such as your doctor, naturopath or nutritionist before taking supplemental forms.
Please comment if you have any questions.Twitter It!
Its the time of year that I struggle to keep my lips smooth – dry lips are a mainstay and I find myself depositing lip balms (all Hurraw! at the moment) in various pockets and bags to make sure I always have one on hand. The fact I ride my bike most places doesn’t help as the wind really dries lips out.
So why do our lips become dry and get chapped? Unlike most of the skin our face (around the eyes are the other exception) our lips don’t produce sebum and therefore don’t have the same level of protection from the elements. In addition they don’t contain the same level of melanin (skin pigment) as the rest of our skin so they tend to burn instead of tan when exposed to the sun. Here is where lip balm comes in. It is important however, to read the ingredients on your lip balm as many contain ingredients that you just don’t want to be eating.
The ingredients you do want in your lip balm are these:
During this cooler, drier winter weather it can be a battle to maintain skin moisture, particularly if hot showers are a daily event. If you suffer from Eczema, Psoriasis, Dermatitis or Keratosis Pilaris (bumps that commonly occur on the back of arms) you will most likely find that your skin worsens and creams don’t hold moisture as effectively.
One way to overcome this is to use a richer cream in winter than you do for the rest of the year, one that contains Shea or Coconut butter as a base. While oils are great they don’t have the same moisture holding capacity as butters or waxes. So find a cream that contains both waxes or butters and oils and this should go some way to support the skin’s moisture holding capacity. My recommendations for richer skin creams include:
Dry Body Brushing will also significantly help improve skin health whether or not you have a pre-existing skin condition. Personally I have found my skin smoother and more hydrated than ever before due to regular skin brushing (3 times a week minimum) this dry season.
Jodie from Bodecare tells us below how dry brushing improves skin:
The skin is one of the major organs of the body, responsible for ridding the toxins from our system on a daily basis, working alongside the bowel, kidneys and lungs. If any of these elimination systems are not working properly, they will put an extra burden on the other organs. Dry Body Brushing assists the skin with it’s many functions like:
Key things to remember if you do suffer from a dry skin condition:
I for one am sold on dry body brushing. If you are having good results please let us know.Twitter It!
Every year I feel the change of season in my skin. It feels tighter, drier and any colour I achieved during summer starts to fade. The change of season has a big impact on the look and feel of our skin and no amount of makeup will make our skin look good if we haven’t done the prep work (or are genetically gifted) for the oncoming cold weather. Here is how to get prepared…
1. Start by changing your cleanser. If you are using a gel or foaming cleanser it will likely be too strong for the drier winter months. Use a cream cleanser such as La Mav Hydra Calm Cream Cleanser. For very dry, sensitive skin use Haven Scent Coconut Cream Cleanser or oil cleansing with Jojoba oil.
2. Scrub away dead skin cells. This allows the nutrients in your moisturiser or serum to penetrate more deeply as they don’t have to work through layers of dead skin cells. It also prevents your skin becoming clogged due to the richer ingredients used during the cooler months. Your skin will feel smoother and refreshed.
3. Use a Night Serum. Oils are so important for skin nutrition. They penetrate the skin more deeply carrying antioxidants and vitamins with them. Ensuring the cellular membrane of the skin cells is healthy allows nutrients and moisture to be retained within the cell and toxins to be effectively eliminated. Just what we want.
4. Keep your lips moist. Dry, chapped lips are a pain in winter. The wind and cold make it difficult for the thin skin of the lips to retain moisture. Give them a hand by applying lip balm regularly. Those containing beeswax will have greater moisture holding capacity that those based on oils alone.Twitter It!
This issue really makes me cross! Lead in lipsticks was highlighted as a significant issue in 2009. Surprisingly a recent review found that lead levels in lipstick hasn’t decreased, rather it has more than doubled from 2009 to 2011. Concerns about the impact of this toxic metal have arisen…again! The FDA states that “although we do not believe that the lead content found in our recent lipstick analyses poses a safety concern, we are evaluating whether there may be a need to recommend an upper limit for lead in lipstick in order to further protect the health and welfare of consumers.”
The issue with lead however is not that exposure to small amounts will cause an immediate issue, but rather that lead builds up in our body tissues over time. It is the the accumulated level of lead may be detrimental to our health and to the health of children or in the case of pregnant women, unborn babies.
While lipsticks may only contain small amounts of lead, in my opinion ANY lead in cosmetics is too much. So I have decided to Name & Shame the cosmetic companies that contain lead in their lipsticks. The FDA found the highest levels in lipsticks made by Procter & Gamble (Cover Girl brand), L’Oreal (L’Oreal and Maybelline brands), and Revlon. The lipsticks containing the most lead (measured in parts per million) are:
1. Maybelline Color Sensational, Pink Petal (7.9 ppm)
2. L’Oreal Colour Riche, Volcanic, (7.0 ppm)
3. NARS Semi-Matte, Red Lizard (4.93 ppm)
4. Cover Girl Queen Collection, Ruby Remix, (4.92 ppm)
5. Nars Semi-Matte, Funny Face (4.89 ppm)
6. L’Oreal Colour Riche, Tickled Pink (4.45 ppm)
7. L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor, Heroic (4.41 ppm)
8. Cover Girl Continuous Color, Warm Brick (4.28 ppm)
9. Maybelline Color Sensational, Mauve Me (4.23 ppm)
10. Stargazer Lipstick, #103 (4.12 ppm)
Time for change and lead-free lipstick.Twitter It!
Great new for lovers of all things natural and particularly those with acne – it would seem that benzoyl peroxide has been bested by a natural substance, Thyme. A recent study study by researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University tested three tinctures, thyme, marigold, and myrrh against the bacteria that causes acne. All were effective to some degree but interestingly the study found that thyme was more powerful against the acne-causing bacteria than benzoyl peroxide.
The researcher, Dr Gomez-Escalada had this to say “The problem with treatments containing benzoyl peroxide is the side-effects they are associated with. A burning sensation and skin irritation are not uncommon. Herbal preparations are less harsh on the skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties while our results suggest they can be just as, if not more, effective than chemical treatments.”
Well that is definitely good news! I would love to hear your stories. What have you tried on acne that has or hasn’t worked. And have you tried benzoyl peroxide? Another secret skin saver is dilute Tea Tree oil.Twitter It!
Free eBook for clear skin:
Receive this free eBook by clicking on this link: Glowing Skin