Healthy Skin Care from the Inside Out. Featuring Province Apothecary.
Skin health is a major concern among many people I work with, from acne, to eczema, and rosacea – these conditions that are typically connected to diet and lifestyle factors, including hydration, nutrition, stress levels and hormone balance. As the largest organ of the body, the skin can be sensitive to both internal and external factors, and often reflects a person’s state of health. We are all bio-individually unique, and therefore require a customized plan to deal more appropriately with health problems. However, the following general recommendations may be helpful for those struggling with skin issues!
Hydration: Drinking 3 litres per day of water or herbal tea is optimal for proper hydration, which benefits all organs of the body, including the skin. The organs are made up of cells, and cells are composed of water, so require regular upkeep, to replenish the water we deplete throughout the day.
Diet: Eating a diverse whole food, plant-based diet provides the body with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, that support skin health. Antioxidants are naturally found in most plant-foods, and help counter the inflammatory effects of free radicals – molecules that can damage the skin, and other body tissue. Vitamins A, C, E, and K, are easily found in whole plant foods, and also contribute to skin health. Vitamin C supports skins collagen and elastin growth, found in red peppers, citrus fruits, papayas, kiwis, broccoli, greens, and brussels sprouts etc. Vitamin A and E are a fat-soluble vitamins, making them easy to absorb by the skin, and helping protect and repair damaged skin. These nutrients are found in healthy fats like nuts, seeds, olives, and leafy greens. Omega fats, found in hemp seeds, freshly ground flax seeds, walnuts, and chia seeds, are also key for protecting the skin’s natural oil barrier, helping the skin balance and build moisture levels.
Stress & Hormone Balance: Imbalanced stress hormones and sex hormones can cause or perpetuate skin issues. Therefore, adopting a lower stress lifestyle, and integrating stress-management tools into ones daily life, is helpful for the skin and every other organ of the body. When stress levels are stable, the sex hormones are also typically more balanced as well. Food wise, essential fatty acids (Omega fats), monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats, support hormone balance – another reason to enjoy some hemp seeds and walnuts each day!
Cosmetics & Cleaning products: Toxic chemicals, found in commercial skin care items, can cause or perpetuate skin issues. According to the Environmental Working Group, conventional cosmetic and cleaning products contain over 10,000 chemical ingredients, many of which are known or suspected carcinogens (cancer causing), and/or endocrine disruptors. In North America, there are no premarket safety testing requirements for the the industrial chemicals used in personal care products. The FDA allows the cosmetics industry to self-police ingredient safety. However in Europe, the EU has banned hundreds of chemicals from the market, which are still unfortunately being used in North America. That said, it is important to reduce ones toxic load by avoiding these chemical-based products, and purchasing safe items. The good news is that more and more skin care companies are making clean, chemical-free alternatives – like Province Apothecary, who create healing essential-oil infused products for all skin types. I spoke with the passionate women who run the Toronto-based brand, to learn more about their organic, therapeutic ingredients, and what they recommend for common skin problems.
How do the following natural ingredients, found in your products, support skin health?
Lavender: Lavender oil soothes dryness, cracked skin, eczema, and wounds. It stimulates the growth of healthy new cells, making it effective in healing the skin and reducing scars. It naturally conditions and heals the skin, while being gentle enough for sensitive skins and most skin concerns.
Frankincense: It’s sweet and warm scent eases worry, relaxes and rejuvenates the mind. It’s a very settling and calming oil. This is one of the best essential oils in assisting the prevention of sun spots / lightening pigmentation and acne scarring.
Calendula oil: Calendula oil gently cools and nourishes dry and damaged skin. It naturally heals and regenerates skin cells. It’s potent healing properties assist in cell growth and tissue renewal, treating skin inflammations, scars, wounds, rashes, and even diaper irritations! It is an amazing, all over nourishing and hydrating oil, good for all skin types and concerns.
Hemp oil: Hemp seed oil is nature’s most balanced oil, containing the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 EFAs. These EFAs infuse the skin with their great anti-aging benefits and help relieve dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. This powerful, protein rich oil naturally nourishes and moisturizes the skin, and is safe for all skin types and concerns.
Geranium Oil: Geranium naturally calms + restores the skin. Its light, floral scent dispels negative energy and uplifts the mind and spirit. It is a great scent for relaxation and meditation. The astringent qualities of this oil make it a great addition to skincare for problematic skin types, such as: acne, excessive oil production, scarring and pigmentation.
What recommendations can you offer those dealing with eczema, acne, and rosacea?
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition with visible red patches, dryness and extreme irritation/itchiness. The affected areas may become dry, scaly and flaky. Calendula and Zinc are key ingredients to look for when treating eczema. Calendula oil calms and nourishes inflamed skin, while zinc restores damaged tissue and reduces irritation. Our eczema balm contains these two active ingredients, as well as Turmeric, Rosehip and Hemp, which are all potent anti-inflammatory healers. Our Heal Eczema Kit contains our Eczema Balm + a Hydrating Rescue Balm, and these two products work well together in combating the effects of Eczema. Hydration is key to healing any skin concern, but the Eczema balm focuses mainly on reducing inflammation, irritation and repairing skin cells. It is best to apply our Hydrating Rescue Balm first and following with our Eczema Balm on top.
Acne is benefited from antibacterial and astringent ingredients. Make sure to avoid alcohols and harsh, drying ingredients (like witch hazel). Essential oils are great for acne, as they are antibacterial in nature. There are particular essential oils that work well for acne skin types, such as: geranium, turmeric, myrrh, frankincense, immortelle and helichrysum. You can find these potent healing botanicals in our new Clear Skin Advanced Face Serum. We also have a blog post focusing on explaining the different types of blemishes which you can read here. Learn more about the differences between our two acne spot treatments here.
Rosacea is an inflammatory condition, mainly affecting the face, resulting in redness and heat. In some cases, it may also occur on lower parts of the body, but this is rare. Over time, the redness becomes more persistent and blood vessels enlarge. When left untreated, bumps and pimples may form. This is a condition that requires gentle care and delicate touch. I always recommend oil cleansing daily with our Unscented Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover, and removing the oil with a very soft damp cloth. This reduces the chances of pimples forming, while not being too harsh and drying. I also recommend following with the same protocol for eczema – layering our Hydrating Rescue Balm + Eczema Balm for best results in reducing inflammation, redness and irritation.
Thank you Province Apothecary for the interesting info and amazing skin products!
P.S Check out my feature on their blog HERE