When we experience skin issues it can seem like we've been punished for some unknown wrong. Your skin is interdependent on the health of your body and vice versa (and if you're thinking 'but why my face?!', the answer is your face can be giving you a clue as to where you need to investigate...more about that on an upcoming post). When I talk skin with anyone, I think [know]; I'm really talking emotional health and dietary intake. I'm chatting with them about how they feel in the present, reactions that occur from situations in their childhood, health issues that stem back to puberty and the way they are handling Life right now. It's all connected.
Being the largest organ of our body it is regulated by the optimum functioning of all other organs of the body. That's why your Naturopath or chosen health practitioner will probably want to check in on your overall health, recent life history and hopefully talk with you about your constitution by exploring your history from birth, childhood and adolescence.
Because our skin is an elaborate system, connected to our gut and blood, hormones and aerobic functions; you can't simply 'use this cream' and expect it all to be ok forever and ever. That's not reality. That's a daydream or a marketing blurb.
Skin goes through a process of 14 to 28 days to replace its cells. To put the idea of gut health in context with skin health, the cells lining our stomach and intestinal tract last less than 7 days (meaning new cells are created each week or so)...that's good news as repair can be quick and bring results within a short span of time. ("woohoo!")
But that's if the issue IS with the gut health...
Chronic skin issues like acne, rosacea, eczema and premature ageing, can be an accumulative condition, brought on by several imbalances, that have damaged the homeostatic (the balance and connection of independent elements producing optimal function) environment of our body.
Just as we need to regularly maintain the cleanliness of our living spaces, the hygiene of our kitchens & bathrooms, the routine mechanical requirements for our vehicles, etc... our skin needs maintenance which includes adjustments for the way our lives flux and flow. Imbalance causes dysfunction, but awareness creates the ability to take notice and make adjustments before the situation gets out of control. Ok, so that's all great in hindsight, but what do you do 'now' for the situation you are in?
Identify whether your skin has been under stress for over three months. If so, you most likely will get best results with a consultation via a natural health practitioner. If it is a long term condition please consider seeing a qualified naturopath and having selected tests done to show up any glaring vitamin deficiencies. This enables the best possible diagnosis and treatment plan. Short term conditions may be easily rectified with more self care, gentle amounts of detox and a change in products.
If your condition comes and goes it may be connected to a naturally occurring hormonal flux, so keep a diary for the next few months and record your skin condition daily, noting your menstrual cycle, your dietary intake and everyday stressors. You may simply pick up on the fact that you need more rest during time period 'a', 'b' or 'c', and can schedule in downtime days around those episodes. This is different for every woman. Some need that downtime around ovulation, others during menses. Only by tracking your symptoms will you really 'see' how you are reacting to your cycle. And gentlemen, you also have a hormonal cycle, so journaling will be just as effective for you.
Begin a gentle detox from the known culprits; wheat, dairy, alcohol, processed meat, preservatives/additives, colours and flavourings, and load up on fresher quick snacks. People often reach for convenience foods when they are hungry, or busy, or both; but it takes absolutely no time to 'prepare' a banana, a punnet of seasonal berries or a bunch of grapes. Just eat them and keep going. Packaged food usually requires preservatives to prolong shelf life and these are quite often 'triggers' for underlying allergies, causing inflammation and imbalances throughout the body and emotions. Taking in good fats from fish, avocado, nuts and eggs also increases our skin health and resilience to free radicals in everyday pollutants like smog, indoor aircon and domestic chemical use.
While we do require some stress to create metabolic functions in the body, our overall wellbeing relies on balance and calm. We need oxygenation/blood circulation from exercise/activity and the hormonal activations from being excited/happy/interested/passionate about things, as well as deep contentment, deep breaths and time for reflection.
Achieving that in today's world is becoming more difficult, but, it is a matter of giving yourself and your health priority listing. You can't 'do more' if your energy reserves are flat as a dead battery. You won't achieve confidence if you don't feel confident in your own skin. What happens is the 'crash and burn' scenario...which leads to a defeat of sorts, and also, a recovery stage. As I am hard-wired to consider preventative measures rather than reparative ones, I vastly prefer 'maintenance mode' as a standard operating procedure for Life. What about you?
If you are inclined to receive more help with your skincare with natural, holistic protocols, have a look at booking a Skincare Your Way consultation with me. These are tailored web appointments lasting for up to an hour, where we can discuss your needs, and find a solution for you to go forward with. They also come with a pretty handy lifetime discount code ;)
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