Calm your Skin
I'm lucky enough to have been blessed with great genes so have rarely suffered any disturbing skin issues or overt sensitivity, but know many others aren't quite so fortunate. Our skin can rear up at any time but most especially during the hormonal fluctuations of teenage and middle years and during periods of stress. We know now that what we eat largely dictates how well our body feels, looks and operates - so our skin, being the visible us to the greater world, really tells it all.
When it comes to skin sensitivity and inflammation, balance is key, in both what we eat and what we apply on our skin. If your skin is acting up then treat it kindly - don't over exfoliate in the belief that the harder you work the more the aggravation will disappear. It will get worse! Instead use a gentle foaming or pure natural oil-based cleanser, remembering that less is more. Be very careful with the products you use too, as they may be too harsh during this very sensitive time. Avoid highly fragranced skincare and any products packed with a list of added extras, most especially sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate (SLS) as these will exacerbate eczema and other irritation. In essence - the purer and simpler the better. More to come on simple skin masks - so do keep an eye out.
Keep your hands away from your face (except when applying skincare obviously!) and don't spray perfume directly onto yours skin - spray through your hair or on your clothes, or even better through your scarf, if you wear one. Best to speak with a dermatologist or other skin specialist with experience in this area. And remember, when it comes to product, less is more.
Eat to heal
What you eat becomes even more important too as sugar, processed and other acid-forming foods (think meat, cheese, beer, coffee, fried foods amongst others) can further aggravate an already distressed skin. So calm and gently rebalance with plenty of green vegetables, cucumber, soy lecithin, avocado (a storehouse of essential fats and vitamin E), fresh beetroot, oily fish, nuts, seeds (think sunflower, chia, flax), unrefined grains, garlic, ginger. Ensure you have plenty of natural plant oils and essential fatty acids (EFAs) as they are anti-inflammatory while also helping to restore lipid level and prevent dryness and flaking and don't forger the mighty turmeric - possibly the most potent anti-inflammatory food of all - plenty of ways to use it too (see here and here for starters).
And of course, as you will already know if you have been following my blog, the gut holds the key to overall health - our skin included - so feed it well and if you haven't already tried making kefir (or other fermented goodies) check out my blog and include just a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV as foodies call it!) - more on this here.
This is the time when gentle calming oils come into their own - think evening primrose (if capsule just break the outer shell and rub the oil over your skin), borage seed (starflower), flaxseed oil (perfect addition to foods and juices too) and lavender. Vitamin E is a powerful skin healer widely used to treat post-operation scarring. ONLY buy pure and natural oils. In my experience the best way to do this is to only buy from reputable sources. If you need further advice on this - please drop me a note.
Kate's Skin Soother
This juice is packed with skin soothing goodness. It's so easy to make and tastes fab! it's on my GLOW list (see here and here).
You need: ½ cucumber - 4 stalks celery - 1 cup pineapple chunks (skin and hard core removed) and/or 1 kiwi - ½ lime - 1cm fresh turmeric, peeled - 3 cm fresh ginger, peeled - 250ml/1 full cup coconut water
Blend all ingredients. If consistency is a little thick just add a little more coconut water or a few ice cubes. Serve in a tall glass over ice cubes.
Please, please be kind to your skin - it's the only only you have!
Photo courtesy of Modern Botany