Ebb & flow
Our skin responds to the lives we lead - renewing itself through the decades, but losing vitality as we age. It can be affected by a huge range of environmental and personal factors such as diet, stress, sleep and exposure to pollutants. Reflecting on our daily habits and lifestyle allows us to identify where our skin is affected by internal and environmental factors.
Stress / Anxiety
Weather / Environment
Air quality / Pollution
Issues: Water is fundamental to healthy skin. Drinking plenty of water will support healthy cell growth and turnover whilst flushing out toxins which can aggravate our skin.
Good hydration maintains healthy sebum production and lipids provide a well moisturised and protective skin barrier. Without sufficient hydration skin can become dry and flaky with less resistance to cell damage and ageing.
Improvement: Increase your daily intake of water to approximately 2 litres a day, more so if exercising heavily. Moisturise regularly with our natural face and body oils which are designed to support and protect our skin.
Issues: Our diet provides the body with nutrients and energy to perform at its best. A balanced intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, protein, carbs and minerals, enables our skin to perform and protect.
Sensitive and easily inflamed skin conditions can be calmed with foods rich in natural anti-inflammatory nutrients. Detoxifying foods flush out free-radicals and toxins which can cause cell damage and keep our complexion bright and skin supple.
Improvement: Avoid greasy, sugary, over-processed and insulin heavy foods which can unsettle your hormone balance and agitate acne. Increase your intake of antioxidant rich foods and keep your diet balanced, varied and fresh.
Issues: Alcohol is dehydrating for the whole body, and especially affects our skin. It deprives skin of fluid, vitamins and minerals and interrupts water retention and reabsorption.
Histamine reactions can cause systemic inflammation and redness. Rosacea can flare up in sensitive skin or leave us with a puffy complexion.
Improvement: Reduce your alcohol intake and reinvigorate your skin with antioxidant rich foods. Use our natural face and body oils to give your skin a much needed dose of Vitamin A and drink plenty of water to flush out your system and rehydrate.
Issues: Exercise can nourish skin cells as oxygen rich blood circulates around the body, boosting a healthy, vibrant complexion.
Anxieties and tensions are relieved through movement, reducing stress induced sensitivities like acne and eczema. Serotonin and dopamine are produced during exercise, improving mood and spirit.
During and after exercise, sweat and dirt can clog open pores leading to blemishes and blackheads. Regular and excessive exercising increases the body's production of cell damaging free radicals.
Improvement: Eat plenty of antioxidant rich foods which can help fight the damage caused by free radicals. Regular but gentle cleansing after exercise helps to clear impurities which can linger on your skin after exercise and cause irritation and blocked pores. Remember to drink plenty of water when exercising.
Stress and anxiety
Issues: Stress can cause chemical responses and hormonal fluctuations throughout your body, having a powerful influence on the state of your skin as well as your spirit. It can reduce our body's ability to heal by 40% as it applies pressure to all systems within.
Sebaceous glands are promoted to over-produce, leading to greasy skin, clogged pores and acne flare ups.
Sensitive skin conditions can be agitated and aggravated by self-conscious or nervous touching and itching.
If stress disrupts your sleep it may leave your complexion looking tired and subdued as well as your mood.
Improvement: Indulge in gentle exercise which increases the bodies production of serotonin and dopamine and take time for yourself with a compassionate and regular skin routine.
Smoking and toxins
Issues: Smoking can be especially damaging as carbon monoxide displaces oxygen rich blood and nicotine inhibits circulation.
Premature ageing and wrinkles develop as blood flow slows and tissue loses elasticity and strength. Toxins can affect DNA and generate cell damaging free radicals leading to dark circles beneath your eyes and a dull, tired complexion.
Scaring, pigmentation and bacterial infections are slower to be soothed and healed by the restriction of oxygenated blood reaching the skins dermis.
Improvement: Aim to stop smoking completely and treat your skin to our natural face and body oils which fortify skin and boost complexion.
Issues: Hormones control our Endocrine systems and affect mood, sleep, growth and the activity of our cells and organs and of course, our skin. Testosterone, specifically DHT, influences our production of sebum whilst oestrogen helps to maintain a well moisturised, plump and youthful complexion. Monthly fluctuations of these hormones can cause a decline in our skins ability to recover from periods of imbalance, and the dermis can become drier, loose and more susceptible to damage.
A sluggish lymphatic system causes skin to become overloaded with toxins and can create a puffy complexion.
Improvement: Balance your Endocrine system with a nutritional diet, exercise and lots of stress relief. Choosing targeted balancing products full of essential fatty acids will help support compromised skin.
Weather and environmental conditions
Issues: Harsh weather conditions outside and air conditioning inside can strip our skin of healthy and protective lipids, causing dry and flaky skin conditions.
UV damage from too much sun exposure can cause cell damage, pigmentation and collagen break down leading to weak, thin skin.
Improvement: Focus on regular, deeply cleansing routines to keep skin clear and unblocked. Avoid too much sun exposure and enrich suffering skin with our deeply nourishing natural treatments.
Air quality and pollution
Issues: Our skin is highly sensitive to the environments we pass through, reacting to water and air quality. The surface of our skin holds an array of bacteria and micro-organisms, mostly beneficial to its function, but corruption from bacteria picked up from a polluted atmosphere will disrupt the surfaces healthy equilibrium and directly influence our immune system. What sits on our skin is absorbed into our bodies, this can include toxins and dirt, airborne germs, even chemicals from the washing powder we use.
Pores can become clogged with dirt and pollutants causing break outs and bacterial inflammation.
Improvement: We do not need to live in a cocoon, but being mindful of how we surround ourselves can help us with maintaining healthy skin. Plants are wonderful air purifiers, so fill your home and workspace with them. If you can submerge yourself in nature and fresh air, do so as much as possible.
Issues: Sun works wonders for the skin. It provides our bodies with rich vitamin D for healthy blood, bones and gut. Its infrared light supports our energy-producing microchondria to produce healthy cells. And as well as giving us a healthy glow, it sterilises bacteria to help clear acne and blemishes.
However, long exposure can be very dangerous. Penetrative UV rays can break down the collagen and elastin within our dermis, damaging blood vessels, starving the skin of oxygen and releasing free-radicals into the body, for serious long lasting damage.
Improvement: Sun exposure is both essential and damaging to our skin, so the best solution is being mindful and moderate with it. Enjoy the gentler rays during the mornings and evening and avoid being outside under the intense mid-day exposure. Sitting in the shade will keep your body soothed whilst still soaking up the benefits of sunlight. Fill your diet with plenty of antioxidant rich foods and stay hydrated.
Issues: A lot of skincare, perfume and laundry products are made with chemicals and alcohols that are harsh to our skin, stripping its natural and protective lipid barrier. Disrupting our skins natural production of oils will increase the chances of imbalance and bacterial infections, as well as drying the skins surface.
Many skincare products use stabilising properties and emulsifiers to make them creamy and indulgent. These often dilute the potency of the ingredients which are truly effective in supporting your skin.
Improvement: Look for natural and, if possible, organic skincare products. These will be gentle and nourishing. Engage with your skin to see where it really needs support from products- less is often more, so be selective with your skincare and simplify your routines.
Issues: A good nights sleep is essential to our body, and skin's health. During a deep sleep our bodies functions and hydration is rebalanced, as well as renewing us, and all of our cells with energy.
When we are sleep deprived our bodies produce more cortisol which can inflame skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. This stress hormone can impede blood flow and suppress our immune system, leaving our skin tired, malnourished and susceptible to damage.
Improvement: Respect sleep and make your bed a haven. Promote a deep and dreamy night by relaxing before bed - have a bath, pick up a book or turn on some peaceful music rather than looking at your phone or computer screen.