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We’ve been listening hard to all your facebook wallposts, twitter tweets & old-fashioned emails over the past week, and we’re here to answer your skin care questions!
The most-wanted topics were dry skin, hands and lips; under-eye circles, and uneven pigmentation.
So, what should you do about these common skin care worries?
Skin care Q: Dry Skin, Hands & Lips
Although a small number of us are blessed with picture-perfect complexions that are neither too dry nor too oily, most of us have skin that’s either combination and troublesome, excessively oily or excessively dry. If you belong in the latter group, then you’re lucky – there are lots of things you can do to help to hydrate the skin and alleviate dryness.
The first one is simple – drink more water. It sounds cliched, but drinking a sufficient amount of water each day is extremely important to your overall health, including the health of your skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ – and skin cells need hydration as much as other body cells. Maximum cell health requires that we drink at least 2 litres of water a day – around 6-8 glasses. Start aiming for this, and watch your skin improve!
Now for the external part - exfoliating & moisturising.
We mention exfoliation because it is still essential for dry skin types, as it helps to shed dry, dead skin and make way for new cell growth. Sloughing off dead skin cells also helps to prevent blockages in the epidermis, which can cause blemishes and exacerbate dryness. If your skin is very dry, a once-a-week exfoliation should be sufficient. We recommend our Mokosh Cleansing Powder or our Little Alchemist Lime & Papaya Exfoliating Polish, both suitable for dry skin types.
Moisturising for dry skin doesn’t involve choosing the oiliest or greasiest moisturiser you can find – but it does pay to stay away from the dryer ones, such as those marketed towards oily skin types, or oil-free moisturisers. If your skin is dry, you’ll benefit from a moisturiser containing hydrating oils such as jojoba and rosehip. If your skin is extremely dry by nature and normal moisturisers don’t cut it, try to find one containing avocado and/or macadamia oils – these are incredibly rich and hydrating. Our recommendation for extremely dry skin types is our Mokosh Face Oil for Dry Skin, $27.50 – it contains avocado and macadamia oils, as well as rosehip, jojoba and apricot kernel – it’s a specialised blend of oils especially chosen for maximum nourishment and hydration of dry skin.
As for dry hands and lips, there are several steps you can take to help keep them hydrated. One is to try not to submerge your hands in water too much. This means wearing gloves wherever possible when doing the dishes, and especially if your job involves washing your hands frequently. Over-use of soaps and detergents on bare skin can exacerbate dryness and skin conditions
like dermatitis on the hands – so cover up, and keep a hand cream handy -preferably a natural one, since chemicals can also exacerbate skin conditions. A great range of all-round natural hydrating creams is our cute Balm Balm Face Balm range – these little critters come in three varieties – fragrance-free, rose geranium and tea tree – and can be used as moisturisers, hand creams and lip balms! They are all organic and contain simple, natural ingredients like shea butter and calendula oil – plus, they’re small enough to keep in your handbag!
Dry lips follow the same logic – one of the worst things you can do for dry lips is to lick them! So try and refrain from doing this. Instead, use a natural, hydrating balm that contains nourishing oils and butters to soothe and seal the lips. Again, our Balm Balm Face Balms are wonderful for this, and make gorgeous glossy lip conditioners.
Skin care Q: Under-Eye Circles
It’s amazing how many requests we’ve had to cover this topic – so we’ll go into some detail for you!
Under-eye circles are caused by many different things – which is why they can be difficult to treat, and different products/methods work for different people. Some of the causes of dark circles include:
- hemoglobin breakdown = this process is much the same as the formation of bruises, and begins when red blood cells ‘leak out’ of the capillaries and wander into the surrounding skin. The body’s way of dealing with these stray blood cells is to use enzymes to break down the cells, including the ‘hemoglobin’ – the part that makes the blood cells red. Unfortunately, the material left over from this process has a blue-black colour. This is a normal bodily process, but because the skin under the eyes is particularly thin, it can sometimes be clearly visible in this area, creating so-called ‘dark circles’.
- pigmentation = sometimes dark circles can be caused by an over-production of melanin, the pigment in the skin that causes tanning. This type of under-eye circle is particularly common in those with darker skin-tones.
- dehydration & lack of sleep = these lifestyle factors can cause a ‘sinking’ of the eye tissue, resulting in the appearance of dark-circles. Fortunately, this one’s easy to fix – make sure you’re getting at least 2 litres of water a day, keep your skin hydrated by using a good moisturiser and eye cream, and increase your sleep levels.
- poor nutrition (lack of essential vitamins and minerals)
- allergies, colds or sinus infections (can lead to increased pressure on the blood vessels under the eyes, causing temporary dark circles)
- genetics = unfortunately this one can’t be changed – but you can do your best to avoid exacerbating your dark circles by getting enough sleep, drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, ensuring that your diet is balanced and healthy with plenty of fruit & vegetables, and using a good quality eye cream to soothe and hydrate the area beneath the eyes.
If you have dark circles, the chances are you’re unsure what exactly is causing them. In this case, the best advice is to try and keep on top of your diet, water intake and sleeping patterns, and ensure that you’re using a hydrating and soothing eye product to maximise the results. Eve Organics carries a range of beautiful, all-natural eye products to help with dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. If dark circles are your major issue, a great one to go with is our Healing Anthropology Rejuvenating Eye Repair, which contains carrot oil to brighten, rosehip oil to help reduce pigmentation, as well as anti-inflammatory white oak bark and licorice to calm puffiness.
Skin care Q: Uneven Pigmentation
Uneven skin pigmentation can be caused by hormonal factors, sun damage, or skin trauma, such as acne or eczema.
Sun damage is of course the easiest to prevent, and a great place to start if you’re not sure what’s causing your uneven pigmentation. Begin by ensuring that you’re protecting your skin with at least an SPF15 product every day – whether it be in your moisturiser or your foundation. Most mineral foundations contain a natural SPF from titanium dioxide, so these are a great way of protecting your skin naturally.
Hormonal pigmentation can occur anytime there’s a disruption to the balance of hormones in the body – such as particular stages in the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy or after prolonged stress. Thankfully, this kind of pigmentation usually disappears once balance is restored to the body, and you can limit the symptoms in the meantime by using a natural brightening product containing Vitamin C, A, licorice, rosehip oil, DMAE, white oak bark or alma fruit. For hormonal skin pigmentation, we recommend our Little Alchemist Ultra C Radiance Serum, with rosehip oil, seabuckthorn oil, Vitamin C & Vitamin A – and our Raw Gaia Raw Chocolate Face Pack, with raw chocolate powder (packed with antioxidants), tumeric (an excellent natural acne-fighter) and alma fruit powder to brighten.
Skin trauma generally refers to scarring of some kind, the most common cause of which is acne. In these cases, there are many methods available to help reduce scarring, including using products specifically designed to minimise pigmentation, or the ‘dark spots’ left over after acne infections. A wonderful moisturiser for clearing this kind of pigmentation is our Raw Gaia MSM Beauty Cream, which contains the ‘beauty mineral’ MSM – a stable form of sulphur – which is renowned for its skin-clearing benefits. Our Raw Gaia Raw Chocolate Face Pack is also excellent at healing acne-caused pigmentation, containing the clearing and brightening alma fruit powder, as well as tumeric – a natural acne-fighter.
So there you have it! Our answers to your common skin care questions – what the issues are caused by, what you can do, and the natural products we recommend!
While you’re at it – why not sign up to our mailing list, so you can be the first to hear about our skin care tips & tricks, product reviews and special offers!
Until next time! xx