“Collagen supplements improve skin moisture, elasticity, and hydration when orally administered. Additionally, collagen reduces the wrinkling and roughness of the skin.”Hend Al-Atif, Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Fields of Dermatology and Cosmetics
Collagen is a protein that gives your skin its elasticity and strength. It’s an important ingredient in many anti-aging creams and products, but what does collagen do for your face? Let’s take a closer look at collagen and how it can benefit your skin.
Collagen’s role in the body
Collagen is not just a part of your skin and nails, it’s also found in other parts of your body, such as your bones and joints. It helps keep them strong and healthy. As you get older, you may start to experience problems with your bones and joints, this is due mostly to a decrease in collagen production. It’s inevitable and happens to everyone, so many people turn to taking collagen supplements. These supplements may help reduce the problems associated with aging.
Collagen supplements are a great way to keep your skin looking young and healthy. They are also a good way to keep your bones and joints healthy and strong as you get older. If you’re looking for a way to slow down the signs of aging, collagen supplements may be what you need.
When should I use collagen on my face?
Collagen peptides are a form of collagen that can be taken as a supplement. They work to increase skin hydration, reverse skin damage, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Collagen supplements can’t do all the work on their own, though, and should be used in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular skincare routine for best results.
Collagen supplements can be taken at any time of day, but they are most effective when used consistently. Right before bed is a great time to apply collagen to your face, as this is when your skin repairs and renews itself while you rest and if you set a designated time to do it everyday, you’ll be more likely to keep up with the routine and reap the greatest benefits!
The skin benefits of collagen
Collagen is used by the body to make skin firm, supple, and smooth. A study shows that taking collagen supplements helps reduce many forms of skin issues including wrinkles, stretch marks, and even scars. Topical creams that contain collagen may be useful in improving skin texture.
Using collagen products on your face can help improve your skin’s elasticity, hydration, and youthfulness. Collagen can also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and scars. If you’re looking for a way to keep your skin looking its best, collagen may be the answer!
How collagen breaks down
As we age, our collagen production decreases, which can lead to a variety of problems like wrinkles, sagging skin, and hair loss. This is because collagen is responsible for keeping our skin firm, supple, and smooth. Without it, our skin can’t look its best. Luckily, there are ways to increase collagen production and keep your skin looking its best!
One way to increase collagen production is by using products that contain collagen peptides. Collagen peptides are a form of collagen that can be taken as a supplement. They work to increase skin hydration, reverse skin damage, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Another way to keep your collagen levels up is by using products that contain retinol. Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that helps to stimulate collagen production. It can be found in over-the-counter skin care products as well as in prescription strength retinoids.
Which factors contribute to the loss of collagen in the skin?
With age, collagen starts to break down. Your genes can affect how quickly that degeneration occurs. Free radicals damage collagen, which is our skin’s enemy. Environmental factors, bad lifestyle habits, and a poor diet all cause free radical formation, which accelerates collagen breakdown.
We’ll talk about smoking for a moment. Smoking may allow free radicals to attack collagen fibers, making them weaker and of poorer quality. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the skins of smokers tend to look damaged and wrinkly, particularly around the mouth.
Protecting your natural collagen for healthy skin
Ultraviolet light from the sun causes collagen breakdown. Foods rich in antioxidants can prevent collagen breakdown and dermatologists recommend discussing skincare regimens balanced with a healthy diet if you have any concerns about your natural collagen production.
There are a few things you can do to help protect your collagen and keep your skin looking its best:
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher – this will help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants – these include fruits and vegetables like oranges, berries, tomatoes, and leafy greens.
- Avoid smoking – as we mentioned before, smoking can damage collagen fibers and accelerate the aging process.
- Get enough sleep – sleep is when your body repairs itself, so be sure to get 7-8 hours per night.
- Drink plenty of water – water helps to keep your skin hydrated and prevents free radicals from damaging collagen fibers.
Supplements help replace what’s naturally lost through aging
Collagen is the glue that holds your body together. Your body starts producing less collagen as you get older, and you need more collagen in your body to stay healthy. This is where supplements play their role. Adding collagen peptides to your diet may help replace what your body begins losing as you age.
Collagen peptides are a form of collagen that can help your body replace what it loses as you get older. As we age, our bodies start producing less collagen, which can lead to a variety of health problems. Adding collagen peptides to your diet may help keep your body healthy by providing it with the collagen it needs.
Do collagen supplements work?
While there is no hard, medical evidence that supplements are going to magically make you look 20 years younger, there have been plenty of basic studies that show a correlation between taking collagen supplements and improvements to skin, nails, hair growth, and even joint and digestive problems.
What about collagen creams?
Topical treatments like Retinol and Tretinoin are scientifically proven to promote collagen formation. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C can reverse the inflammation caused by damaged collagen.
Collagen creams are popular among people who want to improve the appearance of their skin. There are many different types of collagen creams on the market, and some of them are more effective than others. Retinol and Tretinoin are two ingredients that are scientifically proven to promote collagen formation. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C can reverse the inflammation caused by damaged collagen.
If you are looking for a collagen cream, be sure to look for one that contains Retinol. Retinol helps your face rebuild collagen by increasing the production of new skin cells. It also helps promote cell turnover to keep your skin looking younger and healthier.
These ingredients will help your skin to produce more collagen. You should also look for a cream that contains antioxidants such as Vitamin C, which can help to repair the damage.
How to restore collagen in the face
There are several things one can do to increase collagen in the face. Some people turn to expensive procedures, like collagen injections. However, there are less invasive and more affordable ways to increase collagen production.
Your daily diet is the building block for collagen support, and it’s critical to get this right. Ideally, you should eat a healthy diet that contains a wide range of nutrients and doesn’t cause your body to create inflammatory chemicals.
Food sources for pure collagen include chicken (with skin on), lean meats, beans, and lentils. You should also eat foods high in vitamins C and E (for collagen synthesis and cross-linking), as well as antioxidant nutrients such as polyphenols and tocopherols (to safeguard your collagen layer). Zinc is another important one as well.
Finally, you might also avoid high-sugar diets, which have been linked to collagen hardening and fragmentation.
This is more about maintaining your collagen than increasing it, but there are several things you may do to ensure that your collagen concentrations remain constant.
- Reduce stress. Cortisol levels rise when we are stressed, which research has shown can lower collagen production. When we’re worried, our bodies also send nutrients to the lungs and brain, so the skin doesn’t get as many resources to make adequate collagen.
- Sleep is a condition characterized by prolonged sleepiness and fatigue. Beauty sleep does exist: the REM cycle is when the body’s cells can do most of their cellular renewal, including collagen. During this time, the skin sees an increase in HGH (human growth hormone) in the nighttime sleep cycle. The release of HGH helps to reduce wrinkles and sagging.
- Quit smoking. Smoking causes collagen levels to drop by around 50 percent, and smokers also look about 10 years older
As previously said, use your head when it comes to sun protection. Natural light is an important component of a healthy lifestyle.
Collagen supplements have gained popularity as a skin health and longevity strategy. They are composed of collagen peptides or short-chain amino acids. They’re able to traverse the body and provide their health benefits after they’ve been absorbed, as demonstrated in studies.
You may anticipate benefits such as improved hydration, smoother skin, and higher quality skin if you have skin. Collagen can improve skin elasticity, making fine lines appear smaller in studies.
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial found that participants’ moisture levels in the skin were seven times higher than those who did not take collagen supplements.
Not all collagen pills are created equal, of course. You need to find a high-quality manufacturer who is honest about their manufacturing methods.
There are additional nutrients you may consider that promote collagen synthesis through alternate pathways. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start. Here are some of the most efficient options to look for:
- Vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene. These vitamins not only play an important role in collagen synthesis, but they are also essential cofactors for the synthesis of elastin and other proteins that give your skin its firmness. Vitamin C aids in the synthesis process by aiding in the formation of collagen, while vitamin E is an important fat-soluble vitamin required for proper collagen cross-linking. Both are essential molecules for skin health that provide additional inherent support.
- The antioxidant properties of astaxanthin are supported by the presence of other antioxidants in foods that include salmon, trout, crab and lobster. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant with powerful antioxidant effects particularly when it comes to combating free radicals caused by UV exposure (which can harm your natural collagen levels). It also protects your collagen
Collagen is a protein that helps give our skin its elasticity and strength. It’s also responsible for keeping our skin hydrated. As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, which can lead to wrinkles, dryness, and a loss of firmness in the skin.
Fortunately, there are many things we can do to protect and restore collagen in our skin – from modifying our diet and lifestyle to using supplements or topical treatments. I hope this post has helped you better understand the role collagen plays in keeping our skin looking healthy and young!
Organixx Clean Sourced Collagens blend contains five types of collagen from four sources. What’s more, it’s combined with targeted nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which specifically enhance the bioavailability and potency of collagen. Clean Sourced Collagens is formulated from the ground up to enhance and support your body’s natural ability to heal and rebuild itself from the INSIDE out.
Our next question comes from Sam. Sam asked, “What is effective in tackling autoimmune problems like psoriasis?”
Okay, that’s an excellent question, Sam. A lot of individuals suffer from psoriasis. There are multiple types. Sometimes women and men deal with it on their scalp and sometimes we know that as dandruff. Other times, individuals are dealing with psoriasis and even eczema on their elbows, their knees, and patches of scaly, itchy, irritated skin. With psoriasis and eczema, those two I link together. But one or the other, what you need to deal with, how you heal it and tackle it naturally, is to look at healing your gut.
Healing the Gut is Key to Healing Autoimmune Skin Issues
So, your digestive process is … and when I say digestive process, it’s the internal lining of your small intestine and your large intestine. That mucosal membrane is a direct mirror of our skin. And so when individuals, when my patients are presenting with skin-related irritations or autoimmune disorders of the skin, we need to look at the internal skin. We need to go in and go deep into healing the gut.
The likelihood is that you’re probably also dealing with some IBS-related symptoms as well, but maybe haven’t bridged that gap or made the connection that the IBS or digestive imbalances – constipation, bloating, gas – is linked to the psoriasis. So, let’s dig into what you can do to heal your skin by healing your gut.
Start with an Elimination Diet
So, the first, most important thing is to address your diet. So, this is really critical. What’s coming in has to be very much healing-focused. So, there are three kinds of elimination items that I recommend overall.
Eliminate gluten. So, this tends to be bread, pasta, items that are very much comforting foods for a lot of folks and very common in our standard American diet. So, gluten is one.
The second one is dairy. Eliminate all dairy. And we have to be really kind of sleuthy with dairy. Dairy is not just milk or yogurt that you’re getting that’s pasteurized or you’re grabbing in the dairy aisle, but it also falls into the packaged products, whey protein. So, a lot of fitness enthusiasts that are grabbing protein shakes or trying to be healthy and grabbing protein bars – whey protein is dairy-oriented. So, be aware of whey protein as well as milk additives in a lot of the items that you’re buying in the box. So, that’s really critical, and just be kind of sleuthy when you’re purchasing and shopping.
The other thing that I recommend is to eliminate soy. A lot of my patients have irritations to soy, and soy is as invasive, if not more invasive than some of those dairy-related products. Soy lecithin is a very common kind of binding agent and sometimes preservative that we’ll find in nearly every packaged, shelf-based product. We even see this in some of our liquid products. So, read your labels. That’s really key.
Those three items, soy, dairy, and gluten, are very much oriented with inflammation production, particularly the way many of these items are harvested or grown. There’s an abundance of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. Those are very irritating to our digestive process and can cause inflammation. Long-term inflammation, we will see skin eruptions. So that’s critical.
Add Probiotics and Fiber to Your Daily Regimen
Second thing that you can do, add on to your Organixx is to grab the ProBiotixx+™ . This has one amazing probiotic and it is billed as one of the most comprehensive gut-repairing digestive-process-rebuilding probiotic. There’s a multitude of probiotics. And you can add in probiotic-rich foods like kefir or kimchi or some of the fermented foods like sauerkraut or beet kvass. Those are all going to be beneficial, but I recommend definitely adding ProBiotixx+™ to your mix.
Similarly, when you take a probiotic, we need the food for the probiotic to support that. That includes individuals that might be making their own nut yogurts or nut kefirs or adding in probiotics like this here at Organixx. What you need to do is add in fiber, but there’s a special fiber called inulin, or chicory root is what we call it. You can drink chicory root tea. It’s a powder that you can add in. We sprinkle it into a lot of our gluten-free baked products that I make here for our family. I add it into sometimes my coffee and I will add it into teas and liquid items that I’m consuming – soups and things like that. So, fiber is really key.
Support Your Liver through Detoxification
Now, the other thing that is really, really essential for your gut is we need to help support your liver’s production of bile. Bile is one of the most important byproducts of the liver and it is a healing, sudsing type of liquid, very basic in nature, but it has this amazing capacity to heal and protect the single-cell lining of your small intestine. Often with psoriasis and eczema or any of the autoimmune disorders apart from skin, so Hashimoto’s, RA, Sjogren’s disease. These are all, we look back into the small intestine and the lining of the small intestine being irritated, inflamed, and we call it leaky gut, it’s often common.
One of the most important ways to help support your body’s healing of that irritated small intestinal lining is to add in liver detoxing, particularly dandelion. So, eating dandelion greens in your salad, juicing dandelion, you can add in dandelion tea. I love dandelion tea because if you’re a coffee drinker, you can make a great switch and drink dandelion tea. It’s very rich and rooted, but it’s very powerful and invigorating the liver’s bile production. The more bile you have, the greater the healing you’re going to employ by also reducing the anti-inflammatory and the allergens of dairy, gluten, and soy. And then by adding the ProBiotixx+™, you are going to really, really fortify your gut healing.
Apply Topical Anti-Inflammatory to Irritated Skin
The other thing that is common is that we’ll see inflammation. So, that skin-related inflammation, you might have kind of a red patch, it’s inflamed. It might be itchy and painful at the same time. What I like to recommend is a cellular-based anti-inflammatory, and the Joint & Muscle Care here at Organixx is one of my favorites. This has a trio of the gifts of the Magi and they are equally beneficial internally. And then you can also apply topically the oil to the area or areas that are inflamed. And I recommend using, mixing a carrier oil or even an almond or even olive oil. You can mix a few drops in and apply topically. That’ll ease the topical inflammation, but you can also take the supplementation. I love pairing those up.
So, I hope that’s helpful. Please try that out and let us know how it goes.
Joint & Muscle Care is a revolutionary supplement that takes three of the strongest inflammation support agents in nature (frankincense, myrrh, and turmeric), and combines them in the same perfect union treasured by the ancients. Available in capsule form or as an essential oil blend called Magi-Complexx.
You’ve probably heard of the health benefits of honey, both for internal use (i.e., as a food/sweetener) and for external use. While using organic, local honey for skin can be healing on many levels, studies and experts alike say that nothing compares to a special kind of bee product called manuka honey. The list of benefits and uses of manuka honey for skin is legendary, ranging from moisturizing troubled skin to smoothing out wrinkles.
What Is Manuka Honey and Where Does it Come From?
Honey has been used for centuries as a tonic. And since at least the late 19th century, it has been used as a natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain reliever .
Of course, all honey differs significantly in potency and nutritional content as well as in terms of flavor, texture, and consistency. Differences depend on a whole host of factors, including which vegetation bees pollinate, which type of bees do the pollinating, the geographical region and climate, and more.
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and Australia and is harvested from bees that pollinate the manuka bush. Some people call this bush “tea tree,” which can lead to some confusion.
Melaleuca vs Manuka
The “manuka tea tree” is different than the tea tree that is commonly known in the West for producing tea tree essential oil. There are some similarities between the two, however. Tea tree essential oil comes from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant and is native to Australia’s northeast coast. It is used in aromatherapy and as a powerful antifungal.
On the other hand, manuka’s Latin name is Leptospermum scoparium and this tree is native to New Zealand. It too is sometimes made into an oil or tincture.
Some experts say that in this form it is more powerful as an antifungal than even the melaleuca tea tree. Manuka essential oil has also been used by the Maori people for centuries for migraines, to balance mood, for insect bites, and to soothe aching muscles and joints .
The Science Behind Manuka Honey Benefits
Of course, manuka is best known for its use as a honey. In this capacity, it is a powerful substance for all the conditions listed above, and so much more.
Besides containing all the beneficial phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that regular organic honey has, manuka also contains some components that set it apart from the others.
Most honey has antibacterial properties. Manuka, however, is said to be the most potent honey in this regard. There are a few reasons for this.
It is the presence of natural hydrogen peroxide which gives many varieties of honey their general natural antibacterial properties. Manuka contains specific enzymes that help to boost hydrogen peroxide levels as well as levels of two other phenols, methylglyoxal (a derivative of pyruvic acid) and the saccharide dihydroxyacetone.
Researchers at the University of Waikato in New Zealand have done a lot to help us understand the unique properties of manuka and its powerful effects for health . Due in part to their investigations, there is now a specific way to measure the potency of each manuka batch.
The Higher the UMF, the More Potent the Honey
The “Unique Manuka Factor” or UMF, is based on levels of methylglyoxal, dihydroxyacetone, and hydrogen peroxide within a honey as well as other substances that are unique to manuka, such as Leptosperin .
Not all manuka flowers will produce honey that contains these powerful healing substances in significant quantities. Those that do not will have a UMF level of 0 to 4 and can be sold as a consumable. UMF levels of 4 through 14 will have some general health and anti-bacterial benefits associated with them that will become stronger as the number goes up.
Manuka honey varieties with a level 15 and above are considered very therapeutic. Most experts suggest that a person taking manuka honey of 15+ take no more than one tablespoon at a time to reap the most benefits.
By the way, another way to “grade” manuka for its beneficial effects is a “KFactor.” This was created by New Zealand honey processor and manufacturer Wedderspoon. KFactors go up just as UMF numbers do. For example, a KFactor of 22 means that the variety is made up of 90% manuka pollen grains.
Why is there so much fuss regarding manuka purity? Manuka is known as the world’s most expensive honey and having strict guidelines ensures potency and purity and helps to alleviate knock-off or counterfeit brands. This is important because for years individuals have used manuka honey for specific conditions, as we shall see.
Manuka Honey for Gut Health and More
As mentioned above, manuka directly affects inflammation levels and bacterial overgrowth. Because of this, the list of manuka honey uses and the conditions and situations that may potentially benefit from it is long.
First of all, it can be very beneficial for the gut when taken internally. Some studies have indicated that manuka honey can help with the condition known as SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), acid reflux, and low stomach acid conditions.
This is because manuka honey can inhibit the growth of certain pathogenic bacteria in both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract (GI). One 2013 study found that therapeutic grade manuka honey can help to inhibit Clostridium difficile, a pathogenic bacterium known to play a part in many digestive disorders .
Other Manuka Honey Health Benefits
Other internal health conditions manuka is reported to help with include:
- Staph infections (e.g., MRSA)
- Oral disorders such as gingivitis and tooth decay
- Immune suppressive and inflammatory conditions
- Sleep disorders (through promoting melatonin release) .
Research also indicates that therapeutic grade manuka can even be beneficial for patients with the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis. Manuka can help to lower levels of certain bacteria that can be problematic for these patients .
Manuka Honey Benefits for Skin
One of the most well-known benefits of manuka is skin health. Again, this is due in large part to the anti-bacterial characteristics of high-UMF honey.
According to a 2016 study published in the Central Asian Journal of Global Health , manuka can provide significant relief for individuals who suffer from:
- Lacerations and other wounds
Manuka Honey Skin Care
It makes sense, therefore, that this best honey for skin care can be found in skin creams, lotions, body butters, and even manuka honey face masks and eye masks.
It is also especially prevalent in high-quality face and eye creams and there is a good reason for this. Manuka honey can be extremely moisturizing because its chemical properties help to draw moisture to your face. In addition, it contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K as well as heavy-duty antioxidants, beta-carotene, and enzymes.
Manuka works with the skin’s healing mechanisms to repair cells in all skin types. This can provide welcome relief from dry, chapped skin, can help to smooth out wrinkles, and even help prevent premature aging.
There you have it… all the basics you need to know to include manuka honey as a premiere go-to for overall health, including the health of your skin and face. Manuka is a proven ingredient to help your natural beauty shine through. Its sweet-smelling, purifying, and soothing properties can repair, calm, soothe, and beautify!
Did you know that manuka honey is just one of the high-quality, natural ingredients included in Organixx Skin: Renew Eye Cream.
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Nothing beats the substances and mechanisms that exist naturally in your own body for creating health and vitality. That being said, the next best thing is substances found in nature, such as phytonutrient-rich foods, herbs, and spices, that can support your body in similar ways. This is the case with Cassia angustifolia (aka senna) and skin health.
According to many experts, senna’s ability to mimic naturally occurring hyaluronic acid is safer and outperforms synthetically produced hyaluronic acid. That means it can be an amazing addition to your skincare routine, either solo or as a key ingredient in a quality skin-enhancing serum.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that the body produces which acts like a lubricant and a “moisture capturer.” It has a cushion-like effect between tissues and is found in the highest quantities in the joints and eyes. Research indicates that hyaluronic acid may play an important role in wound-healing as well .
Hyaluronic acid is also vital for the health of your skin since it is the molecular substance that helps skin retain moisture. High water content is what makes your skin resilient and pliable. Hyaluronic acid functions in the various layers of skin in different ways. It all adds up to one thing, however – giving your skin that plump glow of youth by helping it retain water .
Hyaluronic Acid Depletes As We Age
Just like collagen (another substance vital for skin health), hyaluronic acid gets depleted through external stressors such as:
- too much sun exposure
- environmental pollution
It also responds to internal stressors such as:
- unhealthy eating habits
- lack of sleep
The simple process of aging also has a detrimental effect on hyaluronic acid levels as time goes by.
The authors of a 2012 report for the journal Dermato Endocrinology describe how the process of on-going exposure to stressors as we age affect the skin’s important ability to retain water through hyaluronic acid :
“Skin aging is a multifactorial process consisting of two distinct and independent mechanisms: intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Youthful skin retains its turgor, resilience and pliability, among others, due to its high content of water. Daily external injury, in addition to the normal process of aging, causes loss of moisture. The key molecule involved in skin moisture is hyaluronic acid (HA) that has unique capacity in retaining water.”
Externally Produced Hyaluronic Acid Sources: What You Need to Know
When our bodies lack hyaluronic acid or it is low, skin can become dry, dull-looking, saggy, and prone to skin infection and blemishes. It makes sense then that we would seek out external sources of hyaluronic acid directly, although this may not be optimal for everyone.
Most commercial moisturizers and other face lotions contain externally produced or harvested sources of hyaluronic acid, sometimes from questionable sources. For the most part, external hyaluronic acid is obtained in one of two ways:
- It can be extracted from animals – rooster comb or cows’ eyes, in particular.
- It can also be created artificially in the laboratory by harvesting it from Streptococcus bacteria typically grown on wheat grains .
Some people call externally obtained hyaluronic acid a “fountain of youth” since it is able to mimic internally produced hyaluronic acid enough to help the skin retain water.
Indeed, externally produced hyaluronic acid is used commonly in the conventional setting for joint and eye conditions. It is also used for skin conditions, such as for cases of severe, acute dermatitis  as well as in many skincare products aimed at combatting signs of aging.
Many people prefer not to use externally produced forms of hyaluronic acid for a variety of reasons. For example, vegans or people concerned about toxicity over the long term.
How the EWG Rates Hyaluronic Acid’s Safety
The much-respected consumer safety organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives hyaluronic acid an overall toxicity rating of “fair.” They cite data gaps in research as well as some studies that may indicate the potential for toxicity as the basis for their rating .
As with so many other substances that are put in commercial skincare products, very little research has been done on hyaluronic acid. Therefore, we can only speculate as to its safety overall. We can, however, use common sense.
GMO & Antibiotics Are a Concern
Commercial poultry operations and beef feedlots themselves are sadly some of the most toxic environments on the planet. The majority of commercial operations give the animals feed made from GMO-derived corn and soy . In addition, the majority of antibiotics used in the United States – 80% according to recent reports – go to animals used in commercial meat production .
Externally derived hyaluronic acid may also contain a yet-unknown potential for toxicity. Think of it this way. Do you really want to put something on your face that was extracted from GMO-raised, heavily medicated animals or grown using one of the most insidiously pathogenic bacteria on earth?
By the way, Streptococci bacteria is responsible for many conditions including strep throat, scarlet fever, inflammation of the kidney, rheumatic fever, impetigo, and cellulitis [9-11].
A Plant-based Alternative to Hyaluronic Acid
Luckily, there is another way. If you’re someone who appreciates plant-based natural alternatives, then you should know about Cassia angustifolia, otherwise known as senna plant. In fact, using Cassia angustifolia seed polysaccharide may yield a better result for your skin health overall.
Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide: Amazing Natural Substance for Skin!
Many individuals swear by facial beauty products that contain senna, or Cassia angustifolia – and for good reason.
Senna is originally from Africa and Arabia, although it is now grown all over the world. It has been used for thousands of years for its diuretic effects and especially as a curative for constipation. In modern times, it was discovered that it could also be used as a powerful beauty aid for the skin .
Senna’s molecular structure is very similar to hyaluronic acid. This means that it also has the ability to retain water. Senna seed polysaccharides, a natural ingredient in most quality, organic skincare products such as Organixx Skin Restore Vitamin C Serum, has two great effects:
- It creates a barrier on the skin which locks in moisture.
- It also “binds” water to it.
Some experts claim that senna seed can hold up to 100 times its weight in water! A comprehensive 2006 evaluation of Cassia angustifolia seed published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology confirmed the water-soluble nature of the polysaccharides in the seeds as well as its ability to retain water .
Senna is also a powerful antibacterial/antifungal that may be able to help with skin infections. A 2016 report published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy stated that Cassia Angustifolia extract “possesses remarkable antimicrobial activity and could act as an antifungal agent .”
How Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharides and Vitamin C Work Together
Cassia angustifolia seed polysaccharides draw moisture to the surface and keep it there for vibrant-looking skin. Vitamin C is the other side of this “dynamic duo.” The C is absolutely vital for the production of collagen in the dermis level.
Likewise, collagen is absolutely essential for skin cell renewal and repair. It is, in fact, what the skin is made up of in large part. It also plays a role in keeping skin soft, firm, and hydrated since it works together with hyaluronic acid to maintain a moist environment.
Skin hydration is important not just for beauty but for the integrity of the skin at a very basic level. Collagen requires a moist environment to stretch. When conditions are too dry, collagen strands will break and new tissue cannot form nor be repaired .
Organixx Skin Restore Vitamin C Serum with Cassia Angustifolia
Super-absorbable and high-antioxidant vitamin C is the key ingredient in Organixx Skin Restore Vitamin C Serum. Other 100% organic ingredients included in our unique formula are just as vital, however.
Besides Cassia angustifolia seed polysaccharides, other healing substances in Restore include natural aloe, vitamin E, kelp, Matrixyl® 3000 (a powerful peptide promoter), and MSM. Each ingredient lends its “unique talents” to the mix. Most importantly, they all contribute to a synergistic effect that can lead to beautiful, glowing, moisture-locked skin!
Discover Restore Vitamin C Serum… the most scientifically advanced topical vitamin C on earth, designed to keep your skin youthful, radiant, and healthy for the long term!
If you’re like millions of women (and men), you’ve used department or drug store rand skincare products at some point to keep your skin soft, supple, and wrinkle-free. Unfortunately, it turns out that many of these mainstream beauty products contain toxic ingredients that aren’t doing your health any favors long-term. But what’s the alternative? One fun option is to create your own scrumptious, safe, and healthy DIY skin care products in just minutes using the best essential oils for skin combined with the best oil for skin.
The research is clear that we’re creating problems for our health and our environment every time we purchase mass-produced skin care products and cosmetics. For instance, a class of chemicals called parabens (e.g., propylparaben, butylparaben) are showing up in breast milk and breast tumors and are suspected of causing breast cancer .
Phthalates are chemical-binding agents that frequently appear in fragrances, cosmetics, and personal care products. Phthalates are linked to a number of health problems and may even be adversely affecting the sexual development of children . Microbeads used in exfoliation products are polluting our waterways.
DIY Skin Care Just Make Good Sense
Here are four reasons why homemade skin care that uses quality, organic ingredients (including appropriate essential oils for face and body) is a good choice:
- Better Health, Better for the Planet. One of the best reasons for making your own DIY skin care recipes is that you know exactly what’s in your products as you’ll have sourced the ingredients yourself. If you choose all organic ingredients, there are no toxic chemicals to worry about; no nasties that will come back and haunt you and your health later on.
- Customization. An added bonus with DIY skin care products is that you can customize each item to suit your own skin type and any problems you may have. Whether you’re prone to oily skin, dry skin, acne, or eczema, there are essential oils recipes for skin you can find for these issues.
- Save Money. The money you will save will truly startle you! There is absolutely no need to spend $75.00 on a jar of anti-aging skin serum when you can make a really effective one in just minutes. It is enormously satisfying!
- You Can Share Them. Homemade skin care products make great gifts. When your friends and family find out you are doing this, they will undoubtedly want to be included. Once you get the hang of it, you can make enough for yourself and any surplus can be given as gifts.
The only time-consuming part of DIY natural skin care is sourcing the ingredients. We’ve done our best to simplify this process by sharing some important information about what to look for (and look out for!).
The Importance of Choosing Organic Ingredients for Your DIY Skin Care
Buying organic ingredients for your natural skin care products is going to cost you a little more, but this step is vital.
If you are serious about getting toxic chemicals out of your life or at least reducing how many you voluntarily come into contact with, you need to purchase all organic ingredients.
Organic Certification means:
- The products have no toxic chemicals, no hidden synthetic ingredients, and no genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
- Organic farmers work hard to create a balanced, sustainable farming system. The plants grow without the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Organically grown plants offer a wider spectrum of phytochemicals (natural, plant-based chemicals) than conventionally grown plants.
- Manufacturing facilities creating organic products have passed a rigorous certification inspection.
- Organic farming is gentler on the planet. It encourages a healthy and diverse habitat for animals, birds, and bees. It helps protect our waterways and provides a safer work environment for farmers.
Understanding Carrier Oils for Essential Oils and Skincare Products
If you plan on making your own natural face moisturizers, body butter, oils, lip balms, etc., you will need to know something about carrier oils. Carrier oils are frequently used with essential oils. Each carrier oil offers a different combination of therapeutic benefits and characteristics. Depending upon the therapeutic benefit you are seeking, your choice of carrier oils can make all the difference.
Carrier oils provide the basis and the bulk of ingredients going into your DIY skin care products. All of these should be refrigerated when storing to maintain freshness and nutrient levels.
Here are 19 of the best carrier oils available from A-Z:
(Buying Tip: look for organic, cold-pressed oils whenever possible)
Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot kernel oil contains beneficial fatty acids, along with vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A), so it’s full of anti-aging antioxidants. It’s anti-inflammatory so very helpful for skin conditions like rosacea and eczema. Gentle and nourishing, this is a great multi-purpose oil.
Originally from Morocco, argan oil is made from argan tree kernels. Contains loads of vitamin E, helps repair skin, protects skin from sun damage, is deeply moisturizing, naturally anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. It reduces sebum so great for acne. Argan oil is also beneficial for aging, dry skin, atopic dermatitis, and for preventing or reducing stretch marks.
Avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E, potassium, lecithin, and other phytochemicals that help to nourish and moisturize the skin. Penetrates skin well and has good wound healing abilities. Great for damaged, dry, or chapped skin. Avocado boosts collagen production, reduces dark circles under eyes, improves skin elasticity, soothes sun-damaged skin, and prevents premature aging.
Castor oil has impressive anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-aging protection. It is beneficial for acne, inflamed skin, and several studies have shown that it helps to reduce hyperpigmentation (brown spots) on the skin. Castor oil has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and reduce scarring and stretch marks. It has a natural sun protection factor (SPF) of 5.
Coconut oil has a characteristic coconut aroma, and contains vitamin E, proteins, lauric acid, capric and caprylic acids. Virgin and extra virgin coconut oil are good for skin healing, rash soothing, are anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It has an SPF of 7. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, coconut oil is not recommended because it can block pores.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is a more delicate oil, rich in vitamins C and E, plus essential fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). EPO is highly anti-inflammatory which makes it excellent for dermatitis or eczema. It fights acne (and taken internally via capsules it helps to balance out the hormonal fluctuations which can lead to acne), speeds wound healing, diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, redness, and irritated skin.
Not only beneficial taken internally but flaxseed oil also makes an excellent addition to your homemade skin care products. Naturally full of omega-3 fatty acids, so anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, speeds up the healing process, brightens skin, and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. Helpful for inflamed skin and rashes, eczema, dry skin, and acne.
It’s doubly important to buy grapeseed oil that is grown organically. Grapes are highly sprayed with pesticides which do make their way to the seed. Also, most commercial preparations use hexane as a solvent (not healthy!). Organically grown, however, it is wonderful to use. Contains antioxidants and omega-6 and -9 fatty acids. Reduces scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles. Improves skin elasticity, protects skin from sun damage, may help with hyper-pigmentation. Antimicrobial, good for acne. Easily absorbed by the skin.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is high in omega-3 and -6 fats so incredibly nourishing for the skin. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles and protects skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Good for all skin types, from sensitive to oily to super-dry. It rejuvenates the skin, provides long-lasting moisture, calms irritated skin, and balances oily skin.
Whether skin is dry or oily, jojoba oil can help. Contains vitamin E and is deeply moisturizing. Penetrates skin well, has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound healing properties. Because it is more of a wax than an oil it is highly protective to the skin but does not block pores. It is considered hypoallergenic and anti-acne as it controls the production of sebum. May help promote the synthesis of collagen; may assist rosacea.
Kukui Nut Oil
If you’re from Hawaii, you’ll be familiar with kukui nut oil which contains linoleic and linolenic essential fatty acids. It’s useful for the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, aging or weather-damaged skin, but also acne. Penetrates the skin well; is nourishing, anti-inflammatory, minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and forms a protective barrier on the skin.
Another nut oil, macadamia oil is high in omega-3, -6, -7, and -9 fatty acids; it is a lightweight yet highly moisturizing oil. Promotes cell regeneration due to its high content of plant phytosterols, which act as the building blocks of cell membranes. Macadamia is anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and although non-greasy, acts as a protective barrier to reduce water loss from the skin. Good for mature skin, acne, wound healing, and burns, and will not clog pores. Some consider macadamia oil to be the closest match to sebum, a naturally occurring oil in the skin.
Derived from a South African tree kernel, marula oil is rich in omega-6 and -9 fats, vitamins C and E. Potently anti-aging, reduces the appearance of scars, blemishes, and wrinkles. A great moisturizer; protects skin against sun, wind, and pollution. Prevents and treats stretch marks; great for all skin types and will not block pores.
Full of antioxidants and vitamins A, E, D, and K, olive oil is an excellent anti-aging moisturizer for the skin. It deeply penetrates the skin but does not clog pores. It has a natural SPF of 7, is antibacterial, and its plant sterols help to regenerate skin cells. Good for inflammatory skin conditions, aging, and weathered skin.
Rosehip oil contains vitamins A and C and essential fatty acids. It’s antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Very hydrating and moisturizing for dry skin, boosts collagen synthesis, is anti-inflammatory, protects against UV exposure, helps reduce hyperpigmentation, reduces scarring, wrinkles, and fine lines, and fights acne.
Not the cooking oil; look for a cold-pressed organic version of safflower. Full of antioxidants and linoleic acid so good for reducing signs of aging. Also fights acne and eczema because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Improves the texture of skin, hydrates, and will not clog the pores. Also good for hair and scalp.
Sunflower oil is full of essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E. Its beta-carotene content helps protect skin against UV damage. It is anti-aging, rehydrating, good for healing skin, and anti-inflammatory. Helps treat acne, dry skin, eczema, and smooths existing wrinkles.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil contains vitamins A and E, monosaturated fatty acids, and minerals like potassium and zinc. Great for dry, chapped, or irritated skin so helpful for eczema and psoriasis. Also great for acne-prone skin as it will not block the pores. Easily penetrates the skin and protects the skin from UV radiation damage with an SPF of around 4-5.
Derived from a nut that grows in southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, tamanu oil contains some powerful phytochemicals that heal and soothe the skin and are potently anti-inflammatory. Great for wound healing, scarring, dry or wrinkled skin, acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, yet gentle enough for babies.
A Brief Discussion of Butters and Waxes for DIY Skin Care Products
Beeswax – Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal. Helps product stay on skin longer and protects against pollution. Acts as a natural water-resistant barrier for skin and locks in hydration; gives products a creamy texture. Has emollient properties and helps to maintain smooth skin texture. Good for dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, damaged skin, stretch marks, and heals acne.
Cocoa/Cacao Butter – Not only does it smell like chocolate (yum!), cocoa butter is a marvel for protecting the skin from aging. It is ultra-hydrating and full of protective antioxidants. It is an emollient, which means it protects and shields skin from environmental factors and adds a protective layer of hydration. Wonderful for dry, cracked, aging skin, eczema, burns, rashes, and stretch marks.
Shea Butter – High in vitamin E, has great moisturizing properties, and even promotes the production of collagen in the skin. It is milder in aroma than cocoa butter.
Exceptionally hydrating and full of antioxidants, shea butter fights skin aging and offers a mild form of UV protection (around SPF 4-6). It’s anti-inflammatory, restores skin elasticity, and promotes skin healing.
Keeping Your DIY Skin Care Products Safe: Are Preservatives Necessary?
Homemade skin care products do run the risk of being contaminated by bacteria and mold unless you take steps to prevent that. If the product only has oils and waxes in it, you do not need to worry about this overly much. Adding essential oils (most of which tend to have natural antibacterial properties) to an oil-based cream is generally sufficient to protect against the growth of molds, mildews, yeasts, and bacteria. When using the product, rather than dipping your fingers into it, use a small, clean spoon or wooden stick that you wash after each use.
With any product that contains water or something like aloe vera juice, however, you will need to add a preservative to help guard against the growth of undesirable organisms. Fortunately, there are some very good ones on the market that are safe for use in your organic skin care products.
Leucidal Liquid SF – A probiotic-based ingredient created by the fermentation of Lactobacillus (one of the species of microorganisms used to produce fermented products such as sauerkraut and kimchi). A member of the lactic acid bacteria family, it discourages the growth of microorganisms by acidifying its environment. It also produces antimicrobial peptides known as bacteriocins, that are capable of providing broad-spectrum antimicrobial protection.
Geogard Ultra – An effective yet mild, non-toxic broad-spectrum natural preservative derived from naturally occurring food additives, gluconolactone and sodium benzoate. This product has a green (safe) rating at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) cosmetic ingredients database.
3 DIY Skin Care Recipes Using Essential Oils
Remember that using organic ingredients whenever possible is your best bet for DIY natural skin care. We purposely haven’t included the word “organic” in front of each ingredient, but it is implied. Keep any unused (leftover) ingredients refrigerated for maximum freshness. Essential oils are best kept in a cool, dark spot.
Ultra-Light, Rich Night Cream
This fluffy moisturizer works best at night as a face cream and can be used day or night on the body. It is rich and creamy and the addition of the essential oils make it a potent anti-aging cream. Double the recipe if you wish to make enough to share with loved ones.
- 2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 3 tablespoons/40 grams shea butter
- 1 tablespoon/10 grams cocoa butter
- 1-1/2 tablespoons/20 grams avocado oil
- 10 drops carrot seed oil
- 10 drops Organixx frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops Organixx lavender essential oil
- 5 drops Organixx Magi-Complexx essential oil blend
- In a double boiler, melt the shea butter and cocoa butter gently, avoiding direct heat. Combine with remaining ingredients in large glass bowl and, using a hand mixer, blend for around 7 minutes to add lots of air to the mixture.
- Set bowl in freezer for 10-15 minutes (no more), then blend with hand mixer again for about 7-8 minutes until it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Using a clean spatula, transfer cream into sterilized glass jars and put the lid on tight. Store in a cool, dry spot.
Nourishing Eye Cream with Essential Oils
Easy to prepare and deeply nourishing to the delicate skin around the eyes. To use, gently dab a tiny amount under and over each eye, being careful to avoid getting it into the eyes.
- 55 grams/4 tablespoons shea butter
- 30 grams/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 10 grams/2 teaspoons beeswax pastilles
- 1 tablespoon hemp seed oil
- 2 drops Organixx frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops Organixx lavender essential oil
- 2 drops Organixx Magi-Complex essential oil blend
- Combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the essential oils (which should never be heated) in a small, sterilized wide-mouth glass jar and place lid on loosely.
- Place the covered glass jar containing the ingredients into a saucepan. Fill pan with water so water level comes only half way up the glass jar. Over medium heat, melt the contents of the jar. This should take about 5 or 6 minutes. The water needs to be gently simmering, not boiling, so lower temperature if needed.
- Being careful of the steam, occasionally stir the contents of the jar so that everything combines well. Once ingredients are fully melted, carefully remove jar from pan of water and let cool for 5-10 minutes (but not too long or it will become solid).
- While ingredients are still liquid, stir in the essential oils until well combined. Once mixture is cool, cover with lid and store in a cool, dry spot.
Ultra-Hydrating Body Butter
Easy to prepare and beautifully moisturizing for all skin types; use as you would a regular body lotion. Remember it’s concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way. Makes 1 cup but the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
- 1/2 cup jojoba oil (or your choice of any other liquid oil)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup beeswax pastilles
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- 1 teaspoon calendula-infused oil (OR vitamin E oil)
- 10 drops Organixx lavender essential oil
- 10 drops Organixx frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops Organixx lemon essential oil
- Combine the solids (coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter) in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. As the bowl heats, the ingredients will start to melt. Stir occasionally as they melt to incorporate and make sure beeswax completely melts or it will feel grainy when it solidifies.
- When all ingredients are completely melted and mixed together, add jojoba oil (or other liquid oil), calendula-infused oil (or Vitamin E oil), and the essential oils. Stir well to combine and pour into sterilized jars or tins. Cover with lid and store in a cool, dry place.
The powerhouse trio of herbs in Magi-Complexx Essential Oil provides the strongest, most synergistic healing effect, helping sufferers of arthritis pain, constant muscle aches and pains, neuropathy, systemic inflammation, slowed wound healing, circulatory challenges, as well as skin irritations like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
If you have an inflammatory skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, you have undoubtedly noticed that it gets worse when you are stressed. High levels of cortisol (the hormone that is released in abundance when you are under stress), can worsen inflammatory skin conditions.
But there’s more to it than that. Stress makes skin more sensitive and reactive, and it can slow the healing process. However, new research is shedding light on how stress and inflammatory skin conditions are interconnected.
It all begins in the human embryo, as the brain and the skin both originate from the same embryonic tissue. Both brain and skin are also under the influence of the same hormones and neurotransmitters. Therefore it is easy to see why stress can influence both organs .
Psoriasis and Eczema: What’s the Difference?
To the untrained eye, psoriasis and eczema can appear to be similar. But psoriasis is considered to be a less common auto-immune disease, while eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a more common inflammatory skin condition.
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory, non-contagious skin disease that affects approximately one to two percent of the global population. Psoriasis typically hits those between the ages of 15 and 35, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, but it can affect people at any age. It generally begins as a small sore on the body that does not heal, but worsens and begins to spread.
Symptoms of psoriasis include silvery white patches of dead skin cells that can also be scaly, red, dry, thickened, painful, and very itchy. Those with psoriasis are likely to experience differing levels of severity throughout their lifetime, if not treated, and it is common for the condition to spontaneously flare up and subside .
Eczema is a non-contagious, inflammatory skin condition, estimated to affect between 18 to 30% of the world population. It can strike at any age and symptoms include reddened, dry, itchy, scaly skin. In severe cases, the skin may weep, bleed, and crust over, and sometimes become infected.
Like psoriasis sufferers, spontaneous flare-ups and remissions of eczema can frequently occur over a person’s lifetime, if not well managed.
The Research on Psoriasis, Eczema, and Stress
While eczema and psoriasis are believed by the medical community not to be brought on by stress, both dermatologists and those with eczema and psoriasis will certainly tell you that stress makes the condition worse.
Researchers recently reviewed past studies on the role of psychological stress in the exacerbation of psoriasis, hives, eczema, herpes virus infections, and other skin conditions.
The authors of the study concluded that there is ample evidence linking psychological stress to the aggravation of these skin conditions .
The study discussed the fact that over 1,200 years ago Persian physicians used “exploratory psychotherapy” with their patients who suffered from stress and had psoriatic flare-ups. So even the ancient Persians knew there was a mind-body connection!
These modern-day researchers also noted that when compared to patients with some other skin diseases, people with psoriasis were more likely to report stressors preceding the onset of their disease, suggesting that psoriasis might be more stress-related than other skin diseases.
The Role of Stress on Eczema
Eczema (aka atopic dermatitis) also appears to be related to stress. In a 2018 study from the Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, it was found that American children from families with single adults, single mothers, non-biological fathers, or unmarried mothers may have an increased risk of atopic dermatitis. These children were more likely to have poorer overall health, depression, anxiety, and stress .
Interestingly, there seems also to be a potential correlation between the experience of stress by mothers-to-be and the risk of their child developing eczema. A 2018 study investigating maternal stress during pregnancy and the risk of eczema in the child found a strong correlation. Study authors stated:
“The findings highlight the importance of the implementation of stress reduction programs for pregnant women and those in their postpartum period within communities to enable these individuals to relieve stress effectively .”
Many studies also illustrate the role of stress in psoriasis. One such study, reported by Malaysian researchers in 2018, found that 48% of Malaysian psoriasis patients were triggered by stress .
French researchers recently found that in 31%-88% of psoriasis cases, patients reported stress as being a trigger for their condition. Not surprisingly, they also discussed the fact that stress was also a consequence of psoriasis outbreaks, as the constant itching of psoriasis can be extremely troublesome.
The study authors stated that it was important to target stress when proposing treatment to patients with psoriasis. They listed several controlled studies which demonstrated that relaxation, biofeedback, hypnosis, and cognitive stress management therapies were found to be effective interventions .
A 2018 Danish study in patients with psoriasis found that 25% of patients with psoriasis had problems with insomnia. In their case-controlled study, 53.9% of patients with psoriasis were poor sleepers, and the main reason for that was incessant itching .
The Biochemical Aspect of Stress and Inflammatory Skin Conditions
The researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago mentioned earlier stated that although there is a well-known association between psychosocial stress and psoriasis, the underlying mechanism was, until recently, poorly understood.
In the past, the majority of evidence investigated alterations of the endocrine and peripheral nervous systems, but less was known about the role of the immune system in psoriasis .
A recent increase in studies investigating the role of the immune system in stress and inflammatory skin conditions have resulted in some interesting findings. Several studies found that when the body is under stress, leukocytes (white blood cells, part of the immune system) migrate to the skin, pro-inflammatory cytokines get involved in the process, together with a reduction in anti-inflammatory cytokines.
The Development of Psoriasis
Indeed, Chinese researchers recently released a study on the pathogenesis of psoriasis. [Note: the pathogenesis is the manner in which a disease develops]. They found that increased oxidative stress and abnormalities in T-cells were involved in the onset of psoriasis.
The resulting reactive oxygen species induced proliferation (rapid cell growth) and differentiation (the process where a cell changes from one cell type to another) of specific T-cells and inhibited the anti-inflammatory activities of regulatory T-cells.
Inflammatory cytokines also stimulate the proliferation of keratinocytes (the predominant cell type in the outer layer of the skin) and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels).
These researchers also found that a certain class of phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins, found in many fruits and berries, reduced the oxidative stress and eased the inflammatory process .
Natural Therapies for Eczema and Psoriasis
Many holistic doctors and naturopaths will agree that healing the gut is the first place to begin when addressing eczema and psoriasis. The stress aspect must be dealt with, but a good holistic program for healing psoriasis and eczema will generally include:
- Healing the gut
- Stress management
- Internal detoxification
- Plenty of filtered water
- A clean diet free of fast food and highly processed food
- Specific herbs and supplements such as turmeric
- Organic (nontoxic) skin care
- Regular chiropractic adjustments
As with any health issue, the more proactive the patient is, the better the result. Work with a naturopath or other holistic health practitioner to find out if and how the above steps should be applied to help you heal your inflammatory skin condition.