Skin problems are one of the health problems that have the potential to hurt really, really deep in the heart. If the skin is visibly inflamed we tend to feel ugly and not lovable. Our society and we ourselves often define beauty over the look of our skin. Being able to leave the house without a layer of make-up has been a dream for me since my early teenage years. It took me about 2 decades of suffering, trial and error and until I finally understood what are the real reasons for unhealthy, inflamed skin.
It is crucial to look at the skin from a holistic point of view: allergies, gut, diet, glyphosate, lifestyle, sleep, skincare, your environment, even parasites (rare) can all play a role. Here are my favourite tips as a Naturopath what you can do for healthier and more beautiful skin:
Keep in mind though that your triggers might be different from your friend’s so it is important to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Solve your health issues where they began: inside your body. By helping your body heal itself you will feel empowered and learn healthy habits you can keep for life. Love your body – it will love you back!
Advertisement and fashion magazines made us believe that beautiful skin comes from using product x or y. Truth is that commercial products can be your worst enemy as they can have way too many harsh chemicals and additives for your already sensitive and inflammed skin. A holiday is often a great opportunity to try out a new routine such as the cave woman skin regimen (means washing your face only with a bit of water, but no chemicals and no commercial facial creams or lotions).
If I am in a country where the tap water contains chlorine I avoid getting too much-unfiltered water on my face and wash it with a cup of filtered or mineral water. If it’s dusty from maybe a ride on a scooter or a walk in a city with polluted air I wash it with a natural soap such as rose soap – preferably from the Middle East!
I am a huge fan of natural soaps. I fell in love with them the first time I tried “real”, traditionally made soap. One of my favourites is Aleppo soap, soap from Palestine, Lebanon or other olive oil-based soaps made according to age-old, traditional recipes from the Middle East.
A good soap has nothing to do with the commercial, highly chemical products you can buy in the supermarket. A good soap includes only a few ingredients, usually some sort of oil like olive or coconut and then lye. Commercial soaps leave your skin completely dried out, which means you need some sort of moisturizer to restore back their natural protection. Commercial soap can make sensitive skin feel tight, itchy or even cause them to crack open. Each time you wash your skin with commercial soap you are actually destroying your skin’s natural defense barrier which includes healthy bacteria. People who suffer from skin problems should pay particular attention to what soap or cleaning products they use.
As opposed to commercial soap, a traditional soap will not dry out your skin. The contrary: due to the high oil content it leaves your skin moisturized, you will most likely not need any hand cream (at least not in Singapore) and have no sticky feeling on your hands! Washing your hands regularly is the best prevention of disease. Using antibacterial hand gel on a regular basis will only promote the bacteria’s resistance and dry out your skin, and should therefore be used sparingly. Remember: less chemicals is better!
Harsh household cleaning products are another nightmare for sensitive skin. Even common washing detergent has enough chemicals in it to make sensitive skin itch. If you have sensitive skin switching to more natural cleaning solutions might make a fairly big difference in your life.
My Favourite Tips For Holistic Skin Care:
- Get your 8h of sleep. Every day. Without medication.
- Drink plenty of mineral water. Not soda, coffee or black tea.
- Eat fresh vegetables and fresh fruits. Take time to eat them without distraction.
- Skin care matters. Less chemicals is often better.
- Poor gut health, liver and skin problems are often related. The skin is just the surface.
- Clean up your emotional past or present. Very often there is a strong connection between unhealthy skin, unfinished business or being in the “wrong” environment. Wrong here means wrong for you.
- Reduce daily stress factors. Get creative and dare to make decisions.
For a natural facial toner have a look at the Panakaya Facial Toner with Kombucha, Lavender, and Rosemary.
For more specific skin care issues or finding out which herb or natural remedy might be the right for you, please consult your trusted health care practitioner.
Jennifer Eisenecker is an ex-banker, German-certified naturopath, and business owner. Knowing how limited time and mind space often are, her recommendations are practical, easy to follow, and as simple as possible.
Jennifer’s multi-disciplinary approach involves going back to basics, looking at health from a trauma-aware perspective, and achieving health by calming down the nervous system to optimize your body’s innate ability to rebalance itself. She loves herbs and natural remedies.