Problem Skin Care

By the time you find our products you will probably have tried a whole variety of other skin cleansers and acne treatments. If these have not resolved your skin problems then my advice to you is to leave them well alone. Many pharmaceutical skin products contain a host of chemicals which your skin may not respond well to. In fact, some of these may even be causing your problems.

Dealing with Problem skin

Many of our customers have had extremely good results when they switched to our products. The photos below were taken of a 24 year old who had put up with very sore and spotty acne for 11 years. She swapped to New Leaf products and within 3 weeks everything had changed.

Pictures of before and after switching to New Leaf products, showing much improved problem skin

Problem skin is not limited to young people. We have a customer in Germany who started with our products in her 60’s. She had suffered acne since her teens. Her skin very quickly cleared up with New Leaf products.

Our recommendations:

Week one

Mornings: wash your face (or other problem area) with Crème Fresh. After washing, apply SpotTEA cream.
Evenings: apply a generous layer of Maskapone Magic, avoiding your eye area. Allow it to dry (20-30mins) then sponge it off with warm water. Pat your skin dry and then moisturise with SpotTEA cream.

Don’t panic if your skin appears more spotty initially. This will pass.

Week two onwards

Wash with Crème Fresh and follow up with SpotTEA cream twice daily. However, twice weekly use Maskapone Magic as above, as a deeper cleanser in place of Crème Fresh.

If your skin is especially sensitive make a mixture of SpotTEA and Crème Fresh in order to ‘dilute’ the ingredients in SpotTEA.

Of course there are some skin conditions which won’t respond readily to our recommendations, but most people find they can say goodbye to their problem skin when they switch to New Leaf Creams.

Further advice and information:

The best approach to skin and hair care is to use products that are as natural and as chemical-free as possible. Using natural creams and washes for your face may not sort out your problems if you are also using “normal” products on your hair. If you wash your hair in the shower then these shampoos and conditioners will get washed over your skin. Even brief contact can be all that it takes for a harsh, chemically-loaded product to unbalance your skin, especially on sensitive areas.

Hair

We only offer one hair care product, our Rosemary Conditioner.
Shampoo and other hair care products that I recommend are made by Faith In Nature.

Skin

Don’t forget that the skin is capable of absorbing many of the ingredients that it comes into contact with – some medical treatments are even administered by applying lotions externally. Therefore, whenever you put something on your skin just take a few moments to ask yourself if you are happy for it to penetrate into your bloodstream and circulate to all your vital organs.

Now, I’m not trying to suggest that if, for example, you always use Vaseline on your chapped lips then your liver and kidneys are going to be coated with Vaseline. It doesn’t work like that. Every product can be broken down into its own constituents, and some of those constituents will have access to the internal workings of your body.

Fortunately, Mother Nature has given us a fantastic biological system that is generally capable of getting rid of unwanted nasties before they can do us any damage. However, when you consider just how chemical-full our world is, it is not surprising that things sometimes go wrong.

Why do we develop problem skin?

When our detoxifying organs are overloaded and can’t keep up with their workload then these toxins could have access to other organs. In an effort to prevent this from happening our body uses our skin (which is actually an external ‘organ’) as a means of throwing out the excess toxins, and problem skin results.

What then happens to these toxins? In the normal course of events bacteria are attracted to break them down, rather like the flies that are drawn to the compost heap. No compost = no flies, no toxins = no extra bacteria (we naturally have a certain amount of healthy bacteria on the skin which help to maintain its integrity.) However, if we use products that coat our skin with a non-absorbent layer then any toxins that are excreted can become trapped. We may develop blackheads or acne, or we may experience itching – which leads to scratching, which can damage the skin. We may develop boils or carbuncles – collections of waste matter that attract bacteria to break them down. During these processes different cells within the skin become highly active and we may experience discomfort or soreness as our body tries to make our skin clear and healthy again.

About the skin.

The skin is actually the largest organ in the body. It measures 2 square meters in the average adult. Being the outermost structure we – more often than not – view it superficially, in a purely cosmetic way. We cover ourselves in makeup in order to try to look healthy and vibrant; we inject ink in the form of tattoos to decorate ourselves; we shave; we wax; we pluck; we have surgery to stretch out the wrinkles and make ourselves look younger; we sunbathe or get air-brushed to deepen our colour; we do everything we can think of in order to appear healthier and younger than we really are. Yet the most attractive-looking skin is that of a healthy, dynamic and vibrant person, without any makeup on.

We know this; we envy those people; and… we do very little to try to achieve this for ourselves. It’s quicker and easier to buy and apply makeup.

Instead of taking our skin for granted maybe we should find out a little about how it works and how we can take better care of it.

Skin

…is composed of two main layers, the outer epidermis and the deeper dermis. Beneath the dermis is a layer of subcutaneous fat.

The Epidermis

The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin about 0.1 – 0.2mm thick and it is this layer that acts as a barrier, protecting the internal body. It has no blood supply of its own but receives oxygen and nutrients from the dermis. The epidermis has its own layers, the outermost layer being comprised of dead cells. Cells within the other epidermal layers all have their own role including isolating foreign invaders (eg: splinters, or toxins from stinging nettles etc) and synthesizing melanin (which makes us go brown from sunlight, another protective function).

The Dermis

The dermis is the deeper layer of the skin. It is about 1-4mm thick and contains a variety of cells which perform many different functions. The dermis houses the roots of hairs and nails, and the sweat glands. Sebaceous glands around the hair roots secrete sebum, an oily/waxy substance that lubricates the hair. The dermis, too, has its own layers. The deeper of its two layers is the one that is the focus of our obsession with wanting to look young. It is this layer that has all the collagen, elastin and fibrin. These give the skin its elasticity, firmness and strength. When skin is healthy at its deepest level then we look young, glowing, vibrant and dynamic. The majority of skin products on the market do not penetrate to this layer, they simply coat the epidermis, which can be useful because they can reduce dehydration, but they are doing nothing to nourish the bits that count.

Hormones, diet and the gut connection.

We are what we eat, and we don’t always eat healthily, therefore we don’t always look healthy. However, even when we are eating healthily we are not always going to be able to maintain a good balance of health. Life has a habit of intervening. Stress, hormones, lack of sleep etc. all take their toll.

Puberty is a classic time for the skin to manifest signs of an inner imbalance. As the reproductive organs rev up in preparation for adulthood they often produce excess quantities of hormones. Excess of anything-in-the-body has to be broken down and got rid of. If there is too much to be cleared in the normal way then the skin will be used as an organ of detoxification.

Toxins, as mentioned above, attract bacteria, so the orthodox medical way to treat chronic acne is the prescription of long-term antibiotics that kill these bacteria, and/or hormone treatment.

The initial response is often an apparently positive one and the treatment period may be long enough so that, by the time it is over, the excess hormones that caused the initial problem have now settled down. However, this form of treatment can leave a state of extreme inner imbalance in its wake, which can lead to other skin problems.

When we take antibiotics we knock out our good gut bacteria. Bacteria are needed in the gut to keep the gut healthy. Part of this process involves the constant battle between bacteria and funghi. Our guts naturally contain both of these, and in the healthy person each of these will keep the other in check. As soon as you knock out one of the ‘armies’ (for example killing off bacteria with antibiotics) the other ‘army’ will proliferate. So, kill off bacteria and you will have an overgrowth of fungus.

One of these fungi is well known to many of us as candida, or ‘thrush’. It can manifest in the mouth, the bowel, the vagina and under the foreskin. Unbeknown to us it can also manifest throughout the rest of the body. It thrives on sugars and in an acid environment, so we crave sweet things, inadvertently feeding it and setting up that acid environment that enables it to carry on growing.

It can also be driven by oestrogen, so in the lead up to a woman’s period she may find she is craving sweet things. The excess amounts of fungus get broken down and become waste, toxins. Live fungus can also populate the skin. When this is more extreme it can manifest as athletes foot, fungal nail infections and fungal skin infections.

To address this problem you have to take the bull by the horns, a two-pronged attack!  1) A course of really good probiotics, such as Jarro Dophilus EPS will help to repopulate the gut and replenish the bacteria that the antibiotics destroyed. That will repopulate the internal army that was decimated and give it another fighting chance.

But in order to bring down the excess level of fungus and help the probiotics to do their job – and to sustain the improvement all round – it is also necessary to address diet.

As much as possible, cut out most sugars and refined carbohydrates. That means anything made from white flour: “normal” bread, pasta, spaghetti, pizzas, biscuits, cakes, many breakfast cereals etc. It also means avoiding white rice and other refined grains. Replace all these with whole-grain products. This is because refined carbohydrates too quickly turn into sugars in our system, and these feed the fungus. Potatoes will also have this effect so don’t overdo the spuds element of your diet, and avoid crisps, Pringles and other snacks derived from potatoes. Vegetables to avoid generally are: artichokes, carrot, parsnips, potato, squash, sweetcorn, sweet potato, yam. A good diet style to follow is the Low G.I. diet.

If your diet is generally high in the foods on my ‘avoid’ list, be prepared for some mood swings and cravings. These will only last a few days. You may also get some headaches or feel a bit muzzy. Drink plenty of water, and don’t be tempted to have ‘diet’ drinks in order to experience that sweet taste. These will confuse your system and increase your cravings. They will also contribute to an acid state internally.

Remember: if you find these dietary changes difficult and you experience cravings, headaches etc, that’s a sign that it is really going to pay off, so don’t give up!

As well as avoiding foods that can unbalance you it is important to make sure you are getting enough nutrients. Certain nutrients like zinc are very important for skin health. It may be worth speaking to a nutritionist to get some personal advice in this area. You may also benefit from consulting a qualified homeopath or herbalist who will prescribe natural medicines that can support the detox and rebalancing process.

Blood Cleansing Remedy

There is a basic remedy combination (homeopathic) called S.S.C which is a good general blood cleanser. S.S.C. stands for Silica, Sulphur and Carbo Veg. This may support your detox process, and can be obtained from Helios Pharmacy.

So, to sum up, take care of what you use externally on your skin and take care to have a balanced diet that is not high in sugars. Work with nature instead of against it and there will be no reason why you shouldn’t have good skin!