Posts Tagged ‘natural skincare’

There are numerous skincare regimens that center around the theory that “less is more”. We’ve discussed the Oil Cleansing Method here, showing that most of us use far too many products in our daily skincare regime that strip the skin of its natural oils and encourage breakouts. But what happens when you don’t use any skincare at all on a daily basis? That theory is referred to as the caveman approach to skincare and we’re here to explain what it is, how you implement it, and the results many people are receiving.

What is the Caveman Regimen?

Most people have heard about the Paleo diet, where people are choosing to eat like our ancestors (natural food of the Earth) and this diet is also associated with the caveman approach to skincare that focuses not on what you put on your face, rather what you don’t put on your face. The Caveman Regimen is a skincare routine that isn’t much of a routine at all. The idea that “less is more” is the basis on which those that use this method practice the maintenance of their skin. By not washing the skin or applying any serums, creams, or topical treatments, this is said to allow your skin to ‘heal’ and ‘rebalance’ naturally, without interrupting it’s pH and oil balance with products that weaken and dry out the skin. Since we can’t know for sure how exactly caveman looked, this theory considers that perhaps they never struggled with acne. In present day, we are faced with an abundance of ointments, treatments, and literature on how to keep our skin clear, but what if these chemicals and face creams are the exact reason why modern day man has a problem with acne? There’s only one way to know for sure and testing the “caveman approach” to skincare is exactly what we wanted to discover.

How To Implement the “Caveman Approach” to Skincare?

Much like this blog post discusses, this approach centers around our skin’s “acid mantle”, which is essentially our skin’s protective barrier. This is made up of an acidic film that keeps bacteria out of our skin cells and contains a mixture of secretions and inoffensive bacteria. Modern day man has been encouraged to strip the skin of its natural oils with drying agents and oil fighting cleansers advertised at most drugstores. If the skins outer layer, or acid mantle, is temporarily removed by harsh soaps, the skin then becomes susceptible to breakouts, dryness, and infection. Instead of treating your skin with wipes, creams, and ointments to prevent acne, you’d literally leave your skin alone to take care of itself. We know what you’re thinking “Gross! So I just let all the dirt and bacteria sit on my skin?” Essentially in this method, yes.

Does It Actually Work?

The Caveman Routine is practiced in many different ways. Some believers in this method think that splashing water on the face is an acceptable form of skincare maintenance, while others don’t allow anything to touch their face since water is said to dry out the skin. That means no makeup, no shaving (except beard trimming is allowed), and anything else that touches the skin that can disrupt its acid mantle. It is said that not allowing water to touch the face builds up dead skin cells over time and that acts as a protective mask to heal and restore the skin. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that not everyone’s skin is the same and the second is that we aren’t living in an age where environmental influencers are identical to cavemen’s time. Cavemen lived in entirely different climates without dealing with pollution. They also didn’t sleep on pillows or use cell phones, some of which can attribute to acne in today’s society. They also didn’t wear makeup.

Although some fads go to extremes, the caveman approach is on the right track. While most people run to their drugstore to find an instant cure in the form of topical treatments for acne, the caveman approach suggests that these options only dry out and weaken our skin, opening us up to more breakouts. Using a simple, chemical free oil cleanser and moisturizer is often enough to maintain clear and healthy skin.

*See testimonials here.

Sources:

http://theclearskinproject.com/does-the-caveman-approach-to-skincare-actually-work/

http://www.holistichealthherbalist.com/caveman-regimen-crazy-regimen/

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/312055-how-the-caveman-regimen-is-working-for-me-and-some-personal-theories/

http://thelovevitamin.com/13795/modified-caveman-regimen/#more-13795

Understanding Your Skin’s Chemistry

Understanding your skin’s basic needs can be confusing when you often see phrases like “the acid mantle” or “pH balance” being thrown around, making it seem like a firm grasp of chemistry is necessary to obtaining clear skin. However, having a basic understanding of the acid mantle is crucial when determining what to treat your skin with and how it can react to different environments. One of the worst things you can do for your skin is upsetting the pH balance of your acid mantle when using products that are too alkaline for the healthy function of the skin. Lathering up with these foamy, oil fighting cleansers weakens the skin’s immune system and increases dryness, leading to the dreaded dry skin and acne combo. Drying out the skin with these products only makes the sebaceous glands produce more oil. This works in a counter productive way, leading to a vicious cycle of drying out the skin, treating it with harsh topicals, and adding moisture back onto the surface. Re-evaluating your skins daily regimen and following the proper skin chemistry is the first step in achieving a healthier, blemish free complexion that can protect your acid mantle from bacteria and restore it to it’s natural form.

What Is The Acid Mantle?

The acid mantle is essentially our skin’s protective barrier made up of an acidic film that keeps bacteria out of our skin cells and contains a mixture of secretions and inoffensive bacteria. These secretions of bacteria work together to provide a number of essential roles in the breakdown of the skin that guard the skin from adverse environments such as pollutants, UV rays, or temperature changes. Many include protecting the outer layer, boosting the immune system, adding moisture that helps skin elasticity, and most importantly, secreting enzymes to help break down oil. Sebum is also an important factor that contributes to the acid mantle. It is an oily secretion that spreads over the hair and skin. Sebum’s main role is to waterproof the skin and hair, but when combined with sweat, excess sebum can lead to oily, acne prone skin and lack of sebum can lead to dryness and wrinkle formation.

Why Should You Care About Your Acid Mantle?

Stripping the skin of its natural oils with drying agents and oil fighting cleansers does the opposite of reducing oil and preventing irritation. If the skins outer layer, or acid mantle, is temporarily removed by harsh soaps, the skin then becomes susceptible to breakouts, dryness, and infection. In order for the acid mantle to protect the skin and kill bacteria before it gets inside the body and provide moisture to the skin, natural sweat and oils must be allowed to occur. Sometimes excess sweating can alter the acid mantle and pH levels, throwing them off balance. This combined with the tendency to use oil-fighting soaps can worsen pH levels. That’s why focusing on certain acne treatments that restore the skin’s pH to acidic levels can help prevent breakouts and irritation.

How To Protect Your Acid Mantle?

There are a few things that can be done to protect your acid mantle and it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to fully restore the acid mantle after using harsh cleansers.

Steps Taken To Protect Your Acid Mantle: Avoiding the use of foaming soaps high in alkaline, shampoo running down the face, and oil stripping toners are effective ways in protecting the skin against unbalanced pH levels. Focus on using oil cleansers that restore the skins moisture and balance its oil production at the same time. Don’t over cleanse. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you’re waking up with skin cleansed the night before. We don’t want to over cleanse our skin as this will only irritate the skin and cause more oil production. Deep cleaning while balancing our skins oil production at the same time is the objective to cleansing our skin properly.

These preventative steps are necessary in balancing pH levels, protecting the acid mantle, and restoring your skins barrier to fight off unwanted bacteria from entering the top layer of your skin.

Sources:

http://www.smartskincare.com/skinbiology/sebum.html http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/audrey-kunin-md/chemistry-lesson-healthy-skin http://thenakedchemist.com/understanding-the-acid-mantle/ http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-acid-mantle.htm http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com

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Comments Off on 3 Kick-Butt Vitamins for Acne Relief

Ever suffer from an acne breakout that wouldn’t go away no matter what you put on your face?

It’s frustrating. You wash your face five times a day, go through twenty skin creams and face washes, and try every skincare mask under the sun.

You cut chocolate out of your diet, go heavy on the concealer, and every day wake up hoping your skin has cleared up… only to find you’ve got a new zit.

We’ve all been there, and I know it’s frustrating and introverting as heck. But instead of putting that bag over your head, locking yourself in your room, or smothering your skin with cover-up and foundation, have you considered taking vitamins for acne relief?

Here at Innate Skin, we’ve discovered that nutrition plays a big role in clear skin. When developing our Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™, we found certain vitamins work wonders on getting rid of your acne.

If you want to be that girl with the clear, glowing skin who turns heads, gets compliments, and laughs when asked what foundation she uses (none, of course!) then read on! These vites will help you make that dream a reality.

Vitamin A

Believe it or not, vitamin A has been used to treat acne since the late 1800s! It’s one of those housewife remedies that got swept up under the table as we moved further into the modern world and away from natural remedies.

Vitamin A is what helps your body grow new skin cells, strengthen your skin’s protective tissues and keep your skin from getting oily. If you’re not getting enough in your diet, you end up with layers of dead, oily, bacteria-infested skin on your face. No wonder you’ve got acne issues!

If you’re looking at adding some vitamins for acne to your diet, try picking out some vitamin A-rich foods when you go to the grocery store. There’s a great list of them in this article, Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin A from Health-Alicious-Ness.com.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another one of those oldie-but-goodie vitamins for acne. It’s great for keeping your skin soft and moisturized and protecting against acne-causing bacteria.

Also, if you’re one of those people who can’t stop themselves from popping their pimples, you can do some damage control by breaking open a vitamin E capsule and smoothing it over your skin to prevent scarring and dark spots.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

I may have saved this one for last, but if you could only pick one of these vitamins for acne, this is the one you should choose. It reduces stress, makes your skin less oily, counteracts hormonal imbalances, and helps control blood sugar levels!

High stress levels, hormonal imbalances, low-blood circulation and oily skin can all contribute to acne flare-ups, so by adding more vitamin B5 to your diet, you’re handling all four of these issues in one shot.

Keep in mind that it is important to supplement with vitamins in the right amounts when you are trying to treat acne. Too much or too little of a vitamin can even make your acne worse. There are also many other vitamins that help keep your body balanced and skin clear that you need in lesser amounts, so they are hard to supplement with. Using a high quality skin supplement such as the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ that has been formulated to keep your skin clear is the best choice.

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Comments Off on Can Milk Cause Acne? What About Dairy Products?

Milk has often been called nature’s perfect food. And it may be, if you are a calf. But in human beings can milk cause acne?

In the same way that a mother’s breast milk is meant for babies, a cow’s milk is meant for it’s calf. You see, cows only produce milk after they have given birth. The cow will continue to produce milk as long as it is ‘milked’. This can last for 2-3 years until the cow’s milk dries up, then the cow must get pregnant again to produce milk. So is the life of a dairy cow.

Now, a cow’s milk is designed to help a baby cow grow very fast. For this reason it is full of anabolic hormones. If you’ve ever seen anyone who uses steroids, you know that anabolic hormones cause acne. There are over 50 different hormones in your average glass of milk, even in organic and raw milk, as these are natural hormones we are talking about, not the bovine growth hormone some dairy cows are injected with.

There have finally been some large controlled trials that have found a relationship between dairy products and acne. These trials showed an increase in the severity of acne as well as the number of people who got acne. Milk may not cause acne in everyone, but if you have acne, you should experiment with not drinking milk and see if that helps.

So how do dairy products and milk cause acne?

There are a few different ways. We will look into the hormone connection as we briefly discussed, as well as inflammation and blood sugar levels.

 

Hormones and acne

Some of the hormones contained in that glass of milk designed to make a calf grow rapidly are IGF-1 or insulin like growth factor-1. IGF-1 stimulates sebum production. Sebum is the oily/waxy substance secreted by your glands that makes your face and hair oily or greasy.

Milk also contains DHT (dihydrotestosterone) precursors. Once again, DHT causes more sebum production.

Insulin is another factor in the milk/acne problem. Milk contains insulin, which, once again, stimulates the production of sebum. Plasma insulin responses are elevated after drinking milk, and elevated insulin is associated with acne.

 

Inflammation and acne

Whether they know it or not, many people are allergic, even mildly, to whey and casein which are proteins in milk. Our immune system will attack these foreign proteins which leads to inflammation throughout the body and can result in acne.

Another source of inflammation is all of the bacteria and toxins that can be found in milk. The majority of dairy cows live in less than ideal conditions, eating unnatural food to them that is full of pesticides. Even with organic milk, the cow is still fed a diet that is unnatural to them in most cases, although it is organic. Cow’s are meant to eat grass, not corn, oats, soy, and other manufactured feeds that make them sick.

Because of this unnatural feed and the filthy conditions that most dairy cows are forced to live in, they also get regular shots of antibiotics to try and keep them healthy. How much of these antibiotics are passed on when you drink their milk?

One of the main reasons for pasteurization of milk is to kill off all the bacteria in the milk due to the filthy conditions the cows live in. Pasteurization of milk kills off all the vitamins it contains which then have to be added back in. It also kills off the natural enzymes that help us digest the milk, one of the reasons some people are lactose intolerant.

 

Blood Sugar Levels and acne

Milk contains sugar, albeit ‘naturally occurring’. The lower the fat content of the milk, the worse it will affect your blood sugar levels (think skim milk or 1%).

Sugar raises insulin levels, which promotes the production of sebum and other hormones such as testosterone in women. Raised blood sugar levels also cause inflammation.

 

The bottom line on milk and acne

If you drink milk or consume dairy products will you get acne? Not necessarily. Many people’s bodies can handle the effects of cow’s milk. However, if you have acne and you drink milk or consume dairy products, there is a good chance that the milk is making your acne worse. There is some evidence that shows that milk is the worst offender, some people can tolerate cheese and yoghurt and not get breakouts.

Bottom line, cow’s milk is meant to be consumed by cows, not humans. Of the 5000 or so mammals on this earth, humans are the only ones who continue to drink milk after we have been weaned from our mothers. Your body does not require it.

Got Milk? Throw it out.

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Comments Off on Evening Primrose Oil – How to Treat Acne Skin Troubles and More

Many people are aware of the benefits of Evening Primrose oil. Yet surprisingly, there are few who realize how well it can help with acne.

Some of the commonly known health benefits of evening primrose oil include:

Heart Health — Comprehensively aids arteries and may help to lower blood pressure and thereby reduce heart attack risk.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — Can provide relief from the combined existence of depression, fever, and aching.

Anti-Inflammatory & Pain Reliever – Evening primrose  oil might ease the discomfort of chest pain or rheumatoid arthritis.

Diabetes — Evening primrose oil is believed to reduce the existence of tingling types of pain and numbness which diabetics often experience.

A.D.H.D. — Some improvement may be obtained from attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children.

Menstrual Pain — Lessens the discomforts of menstrual cycles and PMS.

Now let’s look at how Evening Primrose oil supplementation can improve acne conditions, as well as overall skin health.

Evening Primrose oil is one of the best sources of an essential fatty acid known as GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, which allows skin cells to grow and heal properly. GLA has been shown to act as an anti -inflammatory agent and promote the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails. GLA also plays a role in balancing out hormones in acne sufferers.

The seed of the “Oenothera Biennis” plant, or Evening Primrose, has a long history of usage in Europe and throughout North America. Its components not only help to improve the human immune system, but also promote the reduction of inflammation and redness associated with acne.

Some other sources of GLA are coconut oil and butter from grass fed cows, though both have much smaller quantities of GLA than Evening Primrose Oil. With butter, it has to be from grass fed cows, as the standard supermarket butter from grain fed cows does not have GLA. Cows are supposed to eat grass, not grain!

While Evening Primrose oil will work on its own to help with acne, it works much better when combined with vitamins and minerals that are known to help with acne. Some of these are Vitamin A, C, E, pantothenic acid and zinc.

It is important to combine these vitamins and minerals along with the evening primrose oil in the right amounts, so do your research or buy a product that is already formulated for fighting acne.

Here are some comments found on the web about the benefits of Evening Primrose Oil and acne:

“I’ve only been taking it for a couple of days, but now when I wake up my skin seems to be glowing, soft, and my inflammation and redness has been reduced.”

“It really helps with my hormonal acne.”

“No more acne! It has cleared my skin, is good for hormonal and cystic acne, makes my skin soft”

“Everyone suffering from acne needs to try evening primrose oil. I suffered for 8 years before finally trying it and now I am acne free!”

“I have a 95% improvement on my face. I take EPO, some vitamin E, C, and A on a daily basis. It has literally changed my life!”