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!
Now I know the title of this may be a little dramatic because I do actually like Jojoba oil…a lot BUT I am also a little circumspect about any product that is posed as the new “wunderkind”. And so I am going to have a minor rant. This the contents of this article are motivated by two factors:
Both of these were actually positive representations about natural skin care and great for the industry but it sparked in me a week-long discontent that I just had to discuss…in public. My first issue is that we are all different. If there is one thing after working with hundreds of people with skin care issues that I know, it is that what works for some doesn’t always work for all.
So is Jojoba oil the answer to all of your skin care woes…maybe for some but not for all. Is Jojoba oil or any single oil going to be the only skin care product you need from now on? Well that depends on your skin type, your age, your personality, if you have any skin issues and even perhaps your budget.
Now while I love Jojoba oil – I use it as a cleanser in winter and it is one of the base oils in the night serum I use – I would not:
Obviously this post is about my personal choices not about what others should do however, I use my choices to illustrate the point above that we all have different skin care needs. Having said all of the above, Jojoba oil does have some marvelous qualities and I often recommend it for those with very sensitive skin as it provides light moisturising qualities without the likelihood of irritation: see Golden Goodness Jojoba Oil here for more.
Over this last winter my skin was a bit more dry than usual (hello stress!) and I was fishing about for something to help. I moved to a cream cleanser which was good but then ran out. So one night I grabbed a bottle of jojoba oil, massaged about 8-10 drops over my face and eye area and then gently wiped with a warm cloth. I was pleased at the time because it took off all of the mascara I had applied that day in one go (usually I have to give my eyes an extra wipe to avoid panda bear eyes). Over the next few nights I continue this routine and found that my skin hydration improved significantly. Fast forward 2 months and I am still using this cleansing technique and love it. Apart from increased hydration I have also found that the congestion I usually experience on my nose and chin has also improved – so happy about that!
While it feels counter-intuitive to cleanse with oil there is actually some reasoning to this method. Essentially, oil attracts and pulls fat soluble particles (those that mix with fat rather than water) including pollution, makeup and waste products from the skin. Eventually this has an effect on skin congestion including blackheads and whiteheads, as the oil mixes with sebum and follows its pathways down to skin cell and skin matrix levels destroying bacteria.
For acne and oily skin, this method can be used but it is important that the oil used is chosen carefully. Castor and Jojoba oils are ideal as they mix with sebum well and therefore help clear bacteria. However, molecularly heavy oils such as Coconut and Castor oil need to be diluted by mixing them with lighter oils such as grapeseed, jojoba or even Olive oil. So a blend of oils is generally a good idea. A 50-50 mix of Oilve and Castor or Jojoba and Castor is good for acne prone skin.
For dry or dehydrated skin, oil cleansing avoids the traditional use of foaming cleansers which can have too strong an effect on the skin’s protective barrier. The oil creates a moisturising barrier across the skin that allows the skin to function normally but holds moisture in. It also supports the acid mantle of the skin thereby eventually helping to balance oil production. This may also be a suitable method for sensitive skin, as there are no essential oils or artificial scents which are the most common irritating agents. For me, I just used pure Jojoba oil and didn’t worry about blending oils. However, if my skin were more congested, I would consider mixing Castor and Jojoba oil together.
The Oil Cleansing Method
If you have used the oil cleansing method, I would love to hear what your experience was. Good, bad…indifferent?Twitter It!
At Vitale we are often e-mailed about which Dry Body Brush to use. Our advice varies depending on skin sensitivity, whether or not the person has used a skin brush before and what areas of the body they want to skin brush. Jodie from Bodecare writes this about the range of natural brushes she has created:
All brushes are made of natural materials and vary in bristle firmness to cater for individual preferences. (The Vitale Natural Online Store every brush has details on what the brush is made of, dimensions and the firmness of the brush bristles.)
All Bodecare brush bristles are categorised under Extra Soft, Soft, Medium and Firm.
It is simply a choice of which brush meets your needs and comfort levels. View the range of Bodecare Brushes here.
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.
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!
This Summer has been great for me from the perspective of minimal sun exposure…we have had so much rain that it has only been in the last month that the sun has really had a chance to make an impact. I do sun myself in the early morning and late afternoon – I need the vitamin D and the emotional “shine” that comes from sunshine. But really, I am mostly freckle and sun-damage free. Good news for me however, I have had so many people ask me about skin brightening and preventing pigmentation – what works, is there anything natural, how long it takes and what to do to prevent dark spots and sun damage next Summer?
I have written an article about the individual ingredients that assist with skin brightening before. You can read that here: My Skin Lightening Experiment
In this blog I am going to review 3 skin-brightening products and discuss how they are best used. I will just note that I use the terms “lightening” or “brightening” with reference to pigmentation only as opposed to lightening the natural skin tone.
Prevention/Sun Damage: La Mav Brightening Complex – this product is more effective for evening out skin tone rather than lightening specific pigmentation areas. It is effective for helping to prevent sun damage and inhibiting melanin formation. Use this to prevent damage or for evening skin tone.
Melasma/Sun Spots/Small Area Sun Damage: Devita Skin Brightening Serum – this product is specifically designed to help fight the appearance of Hyperpigmentation that is primarily caused by hormones, birth control pill use, chemical peels, waxes etc. SBS works using the natural skin lighteners Kojic acid and Arbutin which work synergistically to help break-up hyperpigmentation, along with Emblica fruit extract, a proven skin lightener, all which help give the look of a balanced skin tone. SBS is applied to small areas or for spot application. One bottle will last up to 6 months.
Chemical Peel Discolouration/Large Facial Area Sun Damage: Devita Complex KBA – this is from the Devita professional Rx range. It has been formulated to lighten the appearance of skin, which has been discoloured from chemical peels, age spots, sun-spots and freckles. A cream rather than a serum, it spreads over the entire face rather than being used for spot or area application.
Remember any skin lightening treatment takes up to 8-10 weeks to see significant effects.
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