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Beautiful Skin Tips from a Naturopath

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Fall is here, bringing with it cool wind, falling leaves and, for many of us, changes in our skin. With over $2.2 billion being spent annually on beauty and skin care ads, making decisions about how to keep your skin type healthy can be down right confusing. 

So let's explore the three most common skin concerns oily, dry or sensitive, and aging to find out common causes and practical things you can do to help balance your specific skin type.

1. Oily Skin: 

Oily skin is prone to blackheads, acne, and blemishes. Your skin may look shiny with limited dry patches.

There are three common culprits for oily skin:

  1. Hormones: Certain hormones (such as androgens which ramp up during puberty) cause your skin to produce excess oil. The excess oil sits on the skin, allowing bacteria to flourish and acne to form.
  2. Stress: When cortisol (your body’s stress hormone) is elevated, your skin can’t repair as quickly; collagen and elastin in the dermis weaken and your skin is more prone to inflammation and blemishes.
  3. Naked Skin: One of the key selling points of many skin care products is their ability to strip oil from your skin. However, when oils are stripped from your skin, your body responds by making even more oil, creating a vicious cycle of oil production.

Natural oils can help soothe and heal your skin. Yes, even oily skin! Many oils, like tea tree and coconut oil, the added bonus of anti-microbial properties that can decrease bacteria on the skin, decreasing the chance of getting acne or blackheads. Lavender and Arnica are wonderful at reducing the redness of skin from blemishes. And by adding these healthy oils to your skin, you are assisting in breaking the cycle of oil stripping and production for your skin, too!

2. Dry or Sensitive Skin

If you have dry or sensitive skin, there's a good chance you've experienced dry and/or itchy spots. You may also have red patches, or even been diagnosed with a skin condition, like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea.

There are three common reasons for dry or sensitive skin:

  1. Detoxification Support: Your liver is the main detoxification organ. It helps process and clean your blood, getting rid of used hormones and metabolites. However, the liver can get overwhelmed by all the work that it has to do and may call on the other organs to lend a hand! The skin, which is considered the largest “emunctory” (detoxification) organ of your body, will often be that helping hand. As your skin becomes overworked helping detoxify your body, it can become inflamed and very sensitive.
  2. Thyroid Imbalance: The Thyroid is an endocrine (hormone producing) gland in your neck. It helps regulate your metabolism, body temperature, growth, and so much more. If thyroid your thyroid is out of balance, it can cause your skin to become dry.
  3. Allergies and Sensitivities: While allergies cause immediate skin reactions like hives, sensitivities can cause other skin responses that build up over time. Toxins in the environment, certain foods in your diet, and additives in home and beauty products may all cause skin reactions, like chronic skin rashes and eczema.

Calendula and Arnica Oils are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, with calendula excelling at encouraging skin health. Chamomile and lavender wonderful to calm inflamed skin.

3. Aging Skin

If you have aging skin, chances are that you have a higher occurrence of wrinkles, and your skin may feel thinner and less elastic.

The most common reason for aging skin is that the dermis (the middle layer of your skin) starts to lose some of its integrity. Collagen and elastic fibres in the skin don’t regenerate quite as quickly, which causes your skin to become thinner, sensitive, and looser.

So what can you use to slow the signs of aging? Rosehip Seed Oil is a natural moisturizer and promotes tissue regeneration to help heal scars and wrinkles. Geranium oil helps to tighten skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Frankincense has been found to encourage healthy cellular functioning.

Regardless of your age and skin type, it is important to stay hydrated, eat a diet rich in vitamin and mineral packed vegetable and fruit and protect your skin from the sun.

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Dr. Robyn Land, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor and yoga teacher with a clinical practice in East Vancouver, BC. Her company, Local Health & Corporate Wellness, brings on-site healthcare and wellness lectures to workplaces around the Lower Mainland area. You can find out more about Dr. Land at www.drrobynland.com


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