"Thank goodness I have perfect skin!" ........ said no one, ever!
Seriously, you don't hear that very often. Most of us struggle with at least one skin condition—whether it's oily skin, uneven skin, acne or other issues. If not, there wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar skin care industry.
Skin care and anti-aging is close to the hearts (and faces) of every woman. Fortunately, there is help for everyday skin problems. If your current treatments aren't working, keep reading for some new ideas.
When a pore gets clogged up with dead skin cells and oil, it develops a pimple. This is a very common occurrence making acne the most prevalent skin disorder. According to The National Institutes of Health, 80 percent of us experience acne at some point in our lives. https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/fall08/articles/fall08pg22-25.html
Acne can be an embarrassing part of adolescence or drag on for decades, leaving scars and pits in its wake. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that acne is becoming more common in mature women. Interesting! https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne
The following treatments and home remedies are recommended by dermatologists. If your acne is mild to moderate, I suggest trying the home remedies first.
Use non-abrasive cleansers and wash gently
Use only oil-free botanical products on your face
Use products that are noncomedogenic (won't clog pores)
Use a product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid (but be aware of the potential down side)
For severe acne, ask your doctor about prescription antibiotics or Isotretinoin
The long time acne treatment go-to, benzoyl peroxide, must be used carefully. It is designed to reduce the amount of oil produced by your skin. However, it has side effects that may not be welcome. Using too much can dry your skin out to the point of being irritated, red, flaky, and itchy. It can leave dark spots where the acne has healed which is undesirable.
Apple Cider Vinegar
3 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar
Dip cotton ball in mixture
Apply to pimples
Wait 10 seconds then rinse with water
Repeat as needed
Use a soft cloth with warm water to open pores
Put honey on pimples
Let sit for 20-30 minutes
Wipe off with warm water
Rinse with cold water (to close pores)
2 teaspoons oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
Add water to make a spreadable paste
Gently apply to pimples
Wash off with warm water
In a 2010 study, subjects who took zinc supplements experienced less acne. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1529-8019.2010.01342.x
Tea Tree Oil
In a 2007 study, Tea Tree Oil was shown to be effective at treating mild to moderate acne. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17314442 There are other newly discovered Aussie essential oils that have wonderful cleansing and restorative properties. Kunzea is one.
Minimizing Acne Scars
Perhaps your acne days are over but your skin did not escape unscathed. Here are some oils and other botanicals that can help heal and minimize scars. You can purchase products from Australiana Botanicals that contain these ingredients or use them on their own. Most essential oils need to be diluted in a carrier oil before being used topically. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application strength. Nerolina is particularly good for lightening and reducing scars.
Essential Oils: Lavender, Tea Tree, Citrus, Lemon Myrtle, Nerolina, Kunzea
Avocado or Manuka face mask
Dry, Flaky Skin
The first line of defense is to stop using products that are making your problem worse. Scrutinize your labels. Toss anything with sodium laurel (or laureth) sulfate, harsh alcohols, retinoids, or artificial fragrances. And use benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid with care and caution. Keep in mind some alcohols are necessary as product preservatives. Some level of preservatives are required by law and keep your products from spoiling. The good ones are botanical and mild. The bad ones are harsh and dry out you skin big time. You will be surprised at how many skin care companies use harsh preservatives. They are cheap and maximize profit but are not in your best interests.
When you have banished the usual suspects, try safe, botanical products designed to hydrate and nourish dry skin. Nourishment is key but few skin care companies focus, or even include, nutrition in their products. Like any other part of your body your skin needs nutrition to be healthy. Vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants are all good on the outside just as they are needed on the inside.
Following are some more things you can do to restore your skin's health and suppleness.
Raw juice a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables – drink a pint, or more, twice daily
My October 12, 2018 post delves deeper into this subject. https://www.australianaskin.com/blogs/test-blog-1
When people hit their forties, many are already starting to see dark spots. Years of sun exposure takes its toll. By their sixties, most people have them on their face, arms, and hands. Hence the term "age spots."
Be careful when choosing chemical skin lighteners—especially ones produced overseas. Some have chemicals that are banned by the US FDA. You know something is dangerous when it is prohibited by an agency that permits the use of many suspect ingredients. Incidentally, most of these ingredients are also banned in the EU as they are generally stricter than American regulatory bodies.
Watch for mercury, steroids, hydroquinone, and monobenzone. Lightening products work in one of two ways: 1) bleaching dark skin, and 2) curtailing the production of melanin. Mercury is a bleaching agent. Hydroquinone is a melanin inhibitor.
Natural Treatments for Dark Spots
Vitamin E oil
Apple cider vinegar
Ubiquinone or Coenzyme Q10 (not in any way the same thing as hydroquinone)
For quicker results, look for a safe, botanical product that strategically combines lighteners with moisturizers and toners. Australiana Botanicals has a number of very nice products, just for this.
Many adolescents think they are invincible. Teens who love bronze skin and soak in the rays sans-sunscreen on purpose don't understand the consequences. They won't become apparent a few years down the road when it's too late. Sun exposure and tanning beds cause premature wrinkles, dark spots, saggy and leathery looking skin, and uneven coloring. Even worse, UV exposure increases your risk of skin cancer. (It's an interesting reflection of our priorities if wrinkles are a stronger deterrent than cancer!)
Dermatologists recommend a variety of treatments depending on the specific UV-related problem. We have most of them in other sections of this article. These include spider veins, age spots, and wrinkles. In this section, we will address loose skin.
For sun-damaged saggy skin, you want to encourage cell turnover. You do this by exfoliating, promoting collagen production, improving elasticity, and reducing inflammation.
Look for safe anti-aging products that contain one or more of the following:
Coenzyme Q10 make sure it is undiluted pharmaceutical grade. Diluted cosmetic grade has much less effect)
Retinoids (a Vitamin A compound)
Alphy-hydroxy acids: glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid, lactic acid
Green tea extract
Plant stem cells
Vitamins C, E, K
Australian Sandalwood Seed Oil
It's important to use these products consistently instead of sporadically as the results are cumulative. Anti-aging products can also make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, so pair with a good sun protection product.
An interesting point to note here is the quality of the ingredients. Not all ingredients of the same name are of the same value. For example, COQ-10. Most, if not all, cosmetic companies use diluted cosmetic grade COQ-10 from China. Australiana Botanicals is the only skin care manufacturer that we know of to use undiluted, pharmaceutical grade manufactured in the USA. Looks the same on the label, but the performance on your skin is remarkably different.
Hyaluronic injectable fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, etc.)
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion
There's also cosmetic surgery, but I don't recommend taking grave health risks just to look younger. Seriously!
In this section, we are talking about uneven coloring. In the section on combination skin, we address skin that has both oily and dry areas.
Vitamins C and E oil (used topically)
Blotchiness (Hyperpigmentation and Melasma)
Look for products with the following ingredients:
Essential oils: Chamomile, Sandalwood, Lavender
Alternative Home Remedies
Vitamin E Oil
Oatmeal facial (see recipe in the section on dry skin)
Baking soda/water mask
Nutritional supplements: Vitamins C, B3, B12, E, Zinc supplements, Omega-3
Eat more foods with polyphenols
Apply plain yogurt to skin
Leave for 20 minutes
Rinse with warm water
Spider veins are sometimes called broken capillaries though this description isn't necessarily accurate. The small blood vessels might not be broken, they could simple be enlarged or brought closer to the surface of the skin.
What causes spider veins? There are many potential causes. UV rays suppress collagen production which thins the skin, making blood vessels more visible. (As if you needed another reason to wear sunscreen!) Because of this, the collagen stimulant Retinoid can be effective. Most of Australiana Botanicals products have high levels of nutrients, especially vitamin C, which stimulates the production of collagen.
Pregnancy-related hormonal imbalances can cause temporary spider veins which, thankfully, disappear after the baby arrives.
Spider veins often accompany excessive alcohol use. Any type of inflammatory condition—like rosacea—can trigger them. A forceful sneeze causes an immediate elevation in blood pressure which puts the blood vessels at risk of rupture.
If your parents have spider veins, you may be genetically predisposed. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
If you have spider veins, try these remedies:
Vitamin C supplements
Australiana Botanicals face creams with Kakadu Plum (highest known source of vitamin C on earth.
Intense pulse light
Combination Oily/Dry Skin
When your skin has multiple personalities, choosing products can be tricky. Follow these tips.
Don't shy away from moisturizers—just use an oil-free botanical product
Try an anti-aging serum instead of a traditional moisturizer, such as Australiana Botanicals Kakadu Plum Powerhouse Serum Concentrate
Don't touch your face
Use oil-blotting sheets during the day
Use a clay-based mask paired with botanical moisturizers—the clay helps to unclog pores in your oily areas while removing dead cells from the dry areas
Use sunscreen when outdoors
If your skin looks sallow, drink more water. This is important for overall health as well as the attractiveness of your skin.
Look for products with the following ingredients:
Green Tea extract
CO-Q10 (Ubiquinone) (remember about the diluted variety from China)
Vitamin C (Kakadu Plum has the highest known concentration)
Essential Oils: Lemongrass, Lavender, Sandalwood, Australian Sandalwood Seed Oil, Carrot Seed, Ylang Ylang, Fragonia™, Chamomile, Geranium, Tea Tree, Frankincense, Clary Sage,
While we're on the subject of skin—remember to check your moles regularly for changes in color or shape. If you notice any changes, make an appointment with your dermatologist ASAP! This could be an early warning system of melanoma.
Australiana Botanicals has developed a line of skin care that is designed to provide you with all the benefits of clean, fabulous skin without using any harmful chemicals or artificial ingredients. Our philosophy is different than our competitors. Other companies tend to use powerful chemicals to produce a fast, temporary effect, where you look less wrinkled and younger very quickly. But these are temporary effects and can be damaging to your skin over the longer term and can actually make you look older. This is not what we want.
Australiana Botanicals sets out to feed your skin with high levels of nourishment. Skin food if you will. When your skin is getting the proper nourishment it needs, it is healthier, looks better, appears younger and will age slower. The long term effect is increasing skin health and improving appearance that is long lasting. A very different approach but one that smart women are increasingly demanding.
Comments will be approved before showing up.