Stress is part of our everyday lifestyle, that is a given. But did you know that stress can also have an effect on your skin? It causes a chemical response in your body and that is why your skin sometimes becomes more sensitive and reactive during stressful times. With stress, your body produces cortisol, causing your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This can make it hard for your skin problem to heal.
Stress can also cause the following skin problems:
• Skin rashes
• A flare-up of fever blisters
After a long and stressful day at work, most women don’t feel like doing their normal skin care routine, which can aggravate skin problems even further.
Here are some simple, easy steps that can help your skin during stressful periods:
• Make time for you skincare routine at night. Cleanse, tone and hydrate. If you leave a mask on for 10 minutes, it also gives you also time to switch off and relax.
• Regular exercise is very good, not just for your skin, but for the rest of your body too.
• Make time for yourself and do something that you enjoy and that will help you to relax – book a day with friends at a spa and get a facial that will also help with your skin problem.
• Yoga is wonderful method for relaxing.
• Last but not the least ENOUGH SLEEP is also very important. Aim for at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.
SEA SALT SCRUB to calm irritated skin:
• 1/8 cup coarse granules of sea salt (do not use normal table salt)
• A drizzle of apple cider vinegar (non-filtered, organic is the best) – it acts as an astringent
• 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped mint- mint may help with any inflammation present.
Combine salt and mint in a small bowl and drizzle enough vinegar to soften the mixture.
Stir to form a thick paste.
Gently massage into skin and rinse well with warm water.
It’s the beginning of 2014 so here’s a few tips to end those bad habits and start the New Year looking good and feeling GREAT!!!!
Do It Yourself Detox:
Kiwi and Grape Fruit Juice Recipe
Mix 225 grams kiwi fruits with 70 grams grapefruit and 60 ml of water, until the drink is smooth. Both kiwis and grapefruits are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, as well as high in fibre, which theoretically helps clear the body of toxins. Fibre has long been known to help promote good digestion and a healthy body and with the added benefit of vitamin C and antioxidants, the drink is meant to provide your body with many of the necessary nutrients, while clearing out bad toxins. Many detoxifying drinks are high in antioxidants as they promote liver health. As we all know, the liver functions as one of the body’s natural detox organs.
When to detox
Most people decide to go on a detox after the December holidays when lots of food and drinks have taken their toll. It might be a good idea to use your own body as an alarm clock. Our bodies go through natural cycles, like the changing seasons. If there are specific times of the year when your body feels sluggish and bloated, it would be worth doing a detox.
What to eat
Changing your diet may be the most important aspect of your detox. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and dairy products. Drink purified cold water or hot water with lemon and honey, which helps flush your system of toxins. Try eating organic food during your detox. Avoid sugar and starches, as this makes you feel more sluggish and can also retain fat. Remember that fat holds on to toxins for longer than muscles do.
6 New Year’s resolutions that everyone should have:
1. Ladies, please leave that spot!
We all know that it isn’t pleasant to have a pimple and so many people believe that picking at it wouldn’t affect the skin. Sadly they are wrong.
• What causes a pimple? An inflamed blemish happens when the pore becomes engorged with excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria.
• What happens when you squeeze a pimple? When you squeeze a pimple, you may force the debris from the pore deeper into the follicle. This can cause the follicle wall to rupture and spill infected material into the dermis (the innermost section of the skin).
If you are prone to break outs, try a new skin product, more suitable for your skin type and make an effort to keep your hands away from your face.
2. Wash you face before jumping into bed at night
After a long day at work everyone is guilty of falling into bed without removing your make up.
• Fact is: Old make up clogs up pores, causing acne and leaving bacteria on your face. If eye makeup is not removed daily, there is an increased possibility of an allergic reaction or contact irritation. This could also cause an eye infection, which can be painful.
• Your skin “fixes” itself while you sleep and if you leave make up on, your skin absorbs all the chemicals from the make up.
3. Look after your nails:
Nails are seen by so many poeple on a daily basis, so MAKE A GREAT IMPRESSION!! Common causes of fingernail or toenail changes include trauma, aging, infection, and skin diseases. Diet is generally not responsible for abnormal nail changes, unless the person is suffering from severe malnutrition.
• Trauma: Can induce horizontal fingernail ridges (beau lines), bleeding (hemorrhage) under the nail plate, and white streaks or spots (leukonychia).
• Splitting or layering of the nail plate (onychoschizia): Is caused by having hands that are constantly wet, frequent use and removal of nail polish or artificial nails and continuous mild trauma (e.g. from habitual finger tapping).
Spoil yourself by going for reagular manicures and pedicures. Invest in a good manicure kit and always remember to use a base and top coat!
4. Protect yor skin:
Our skin needs protection to keep it looking great!
• Long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin. To protect it, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays are at their harshest. And remember that clouds don’t block UV rays.
• Beware that ultraviolet rays generally reflect off water, sand, snow and any light-colored surface such as concrete, so be diligent in applying sunscreen when you’re around these surfaces.
• And in winter make sure to use enough moisturizer!
5. Throw out old cosmetics:
Anything over a year should be thrown OUT!! Cosmetics have a limited lifespan. Using cosmetics that are old can cause several problems. Older cosmetics may harbor bacteria that may lead to breakouts or even infections. The color in some cosmetics may change over time, and a foundation that used to work perfectly may become too dark. Some “all natural products” will also not last as long as other types of cosmetics.
The recommendations listed below are guidelines
• Items that last for up to two years include face powder, powder blush, powder bronzer, powder eye shadow, lipstick, lip liner, and pencil eyeliner. While pencil eyeliners should remain safe for up to two years, you can sharpen the pencil regularly so that a clean surface is exposed.
• Cosmetics that should be replaced after one year include oil free foundation, cream foundation, compact powder, concealer, cream blush, lip gloss and nail polish.
• Replace liquid eyeliner and mascara every three months.
AND REMEMBER LADIES……
Make sure that you get regular exercise. This promotes healthy blood flow and cuts down on body fat.
Have you got any beauty-related new years resolutions? Please share them with me!
You may not have deep frown lines or crow’s feet, but if you feel like you are ageing, chances are that it is thanks to uneven skin tone. Now, we’re not talking a sweet smidgen of freckles over your nose, but the bigger, uneven brown patches on the face, hands, décolletage and shoulder areas. These ageing dark spots are known as pigmentation.
Pigmentation means coloring. Your skin gets its colour from a pigment called melanin. If your body makes too much melanin, your skin gets darker.
The main cause of dark spots is from sun damage. Years of sun exposure can result in hyperpigmentation – the darkening of an area of skin caused by increased melanin. The extent of sun damage depends largely on a person’s skin colour and his or her history of long-term, or intense, sun exposure.
Light individuals – Dark spots from early sun damage occurring in light-skinned individuals tend to be more superficial, affecting only the top layer of skin.
Darker individuals – The most common pigmentation problems occurring in darker skin tones are melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Melasma, also known as Hormonal Pigmentation, is a significant problem for South African women. It is a chronic skin condition that occurs on the face in the form of brown patches that needs lifelong treatment. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a condition in which an injury or inflammation to the skin causes increased pigment production. PIH occurs in darker-skinned individuals and like melasma, can be difficult to treat when it involves a deeper skin layer. The most common cause of this type of pigmentation is acne, but it also can result from psoriasis, a burn, or an injury.
Other factors that cause pigmentation are Addison’s disease, pregnancy, the birth control pill, picking at the skin, certain medications such as anti-biotics and it can be heredity.
One of the best ways to avoid pigmentation is to apply a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30+, which will block both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen needs to be applied regularly if you are outdoors.
Topical creams that contain alpha hydroxyl acid, hydroxyl quinine, azelic acid or kojic acid can be used together with a sunscreen.
If creams do not work there are a number of other treatment options available such a microdermabrasion, chemical peels or fractional lasers.
Anyone who is experiencing changes in their skin tone should see a board-certified dermatologist for proper diagnosis and to start a customized treatment regimen. There are a few home care remedies that could also be tried, although the success of these treatment options is unknown.
Home care remedy
• Peel an avocado, mash it up and apply the juice on pigmented skin.
• Mix a few drops of lime juice with honey and leave it on for 10 minutes.
• Massage cocoa butter on affected skin twice a day for about 2 to 3 weeks.
But as always, prevention is better than cure!
Learning to embrace a more natural lifestyle and living a healthier life is as simple as getting back to the basics. In a crazy, fast-paced world, it is vital to balance your life with as much nature, passion and healing as possible. Efforts to “go green” are being put into motion on a constant basis, but some people want more than that. If you are looking to return to a simpler way of living, consider moving beyond green and “going natural.” Here we offer some basic steps that will help you on your way to leading a beautifully simplistic and more natural life.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR EARTHY SIDE
This means getting outside! Get your hands dirty. Walk barefoot. Plan a long hike. In order to really get in touch with nature, you have to get rid of the “unnatural” in your life, even if only for one afternoon a week. Head out to the woods, a farm, a beach, or a mountain and just BE. No books, no magazines and of course no on/off button. This mental “slow down” is a huge investment you can make in yourself. You need to connect with Mother Nature as much as possible in order to stay grounded and at peace with yourself.
MAKE GOOD FOOD CHOICES
The food that we choose to eat affects more than just our bodies. The lives of the farmers and workers who produce the food, the soil and water that grow the food and the plant, animal and microbial life of the farm are all affected. When we prioritize high quality, sustainably produced ingredients, we are showing our respect for the Earth and its resources. When we choose to buy products in season, particularly from local producers, we honor the cycle of the seasons and the people who nurture our food. Try shopping at your local farmer’s market or food co-op. If you live in a place that doesn’t have easy access to local foods, try planting a small garden with some of your favorite herbs or vegetables. You might be surprised to find how much more connected you feel to the natural world while preparing a fresh tomato salad, made from sun ripe tomatoes you just plucked.
CHOOSE NATURAL WAYS TO CLEAN YOUR BODY AND HOME
Our bodies absorb things internally and externally. The chemicals that we come into contact with can seep into our bodies through our skin, making it vitally important to carefully consider the products you use in your home. It is amazing how much cleaning can be accomplished with simple products like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. You might also be interested in caring for your body with things like almond oil or coconut oil, which are nourishing to the body, without containing additives or chemicals. You can add essential oils to both body and surface cleaners to make your home and yourself smell fantastic.
DEVELOP YOUR SPIRITUAL SIDE
Learning to be aware of your thoughts and actions help maintain a healthy attitude and a sense of truthfulness to your spirit. Pursuing passions in your spare time, especially ones that are physical or involve the arts will balance your mental, physical and spiritual sides – and keep your body in harmony with your thoughts. Be open, be truthful and learn to focus on doing what really makes you feel good!
STAY HOME MORE
This may seem like a weird item for our Natural Lifestyle list…but it doesn’t get much simpler or more natural than this. Stay home more. You’ll save money, your vehicles will last longer…and joy of joys…you may not feel so worn out all the time! When you spend more time at home, you’ll find that you are more rested and more relaxed…naturally.
And when you feel the need to get away, choose Elephant Plains Game Lodge. A place where you will become more in touch with nature through wonderful game viewing and bush walks. And while you’re here, come and have a relaxing treatment at the African Health Spa!
Stretch marks (known as Stria in dermatology) are a form of scarring on the skin. Stretch marks appear as linear streaks on parts of the skin that has been overstretched. They begin as flat, red lines and over time they appear as slightly depressed, white or silvery streaks. Stretch marks occur in the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin. The elastic fibers of the dermis are damaged, accompanied by inflammation, which results in the forming of scars.
Stretch marks are caused by rapid and excessive increase in body mass and also during pregnancy, when the belly expands. They may also be influenced by excessive use of steroids, body building and hormonal changes, associated with puberty and hormone replacement therapy. Genetics can also play a role in the occurrence stretch marks
Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but are most likely to emerge where larger amounts of fat are stored such as the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, back, thighs, hips and buttocks.
When stretch marks show up, it is best to treat them as early as possible – when they are still red or purple. Once stretch marks have passed to the later stages (where they become white or silvery), they are much more challenging to treat.
It is vital to moisturize! Skin becomes more pliable and supple and therefore better able to stretch, when it is hydrated. Moisturize 3 to 4 times a day with products that contain cocoa or shea butter.
There are many products that claim to repair stretch marks, but only a few of them work effectively.
Here is a list of products that are available for stretch marks:
• Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid. It works on stretch marks by boosting collagen production.
• Wheat germ oil: Research has shown that wheat germ oil helps improve stretch marks in their early phase.
• Vitamin C: Certain formulations of vitamin C may increase collagen production and may help during the early stages of stretch marks. For the most effective results, combine with glycolic acid. Vitamin C supplements may also be effective.
Other treatments available to improve the appearance of existing stretch marks include laser treatments and dermabrasion. But as with all things, prevention is better than cure, so keep your skin moisturized and try to avoid excessive weight gain.
I hope that you have found this article informative. Look out for next month’s article: pigmentation.