Keeping skin looking great

By: Green Witch
Posted: 19th February 2020

We give skin very little consideration until something is wrong, whether spots, eczema or psoriasis, fungal rashes, wrinkles, stretch marks etc, then it gets our full attention. The skin can be an outward sign that something is wrong inside and I get lots of people in due to skin issues. So this is a guide to looking after your skin and how to help it when things go wrong. Your skin has been covered in layers of clothing, hardly breathing, all winter. Them, when the sun comes, we remove all the layers and expect it to look fabulous. When you are young, it does, but as we get older, like and vintage car, it needs a little more attention to keep it looking at its best. Stress, smoking, alcohol and bad diet can also affect the skin, as can central heating, air conditioning, pollution and extreme weather conditions.The skin is our largest organ and keeps the outside world out and your insides in. It regulates the temperature of the body, so we sweat when hot and get goose bumps when cold (the standing up of the hairs insulate the body…did you know that?). It takes the sunshine and turns it into Vitamin D, which is then used by every cell in the body and much needed by our bones – pretty clever or what?? It can absorb oils, creams and even drugs through the skin (think of your steroid creams, nicotine patches etc), yet as we shed our top layer of skin it gets rid of any bacteria that has attached itself, protecting us from invasion. Yet, this fantastic layer of protection has so many nerve endings that it doesn’t miss a single sensitive touch. So, as you can see, the skin is indeed a marvel, yet we neglect it. We give it very little consideration until something is wrong, whether spots, eczema or psoriasis, fungal rashes, wrinkles, stretch marks etc, then it gets our full attention. The skin can be an outward sign that something is wrong inside and I get lots of people in due to skin issues. So this is a guide to looking after your skin and how to help it when things go wrong.Skin types…how to them work outWhen you go to bed, cleanse your skin thoroughly. Upon waking, before cleansing again, press one layer of tissue onto your face. Carefully remove and hold it to the light. No marks indicate normal or dry skin, oily patches suggest an oily skin, and if the patches are in a t-shape (forehead, nose and chin), you have combination skin. Your routine should follow using natural products according to your skin type. Here at the Green Witch, we have natural soaps, cleansers, Hydrolats, oils and moisturisers to suit every skin type, including the most sensitive.Skin routine:A good skin routine is essential and something you should begin when a teenager – boys as well as girls. No matter what, you should cleanse, tone and moisturise every morning and night to keep your skin at its best. A good cleansing removes bacteria, make-up, dirt and grime plus dead cells that build up on the surface of the skin. If there is a problem or if you want to avoid chemicals (we overload the liver as it is), then use a simple cleansing cream such as my Light Cleansing cream with lavender and chamomile which suits most skin types even the most sensitive. Even basic carrier oil on damp cotton wool will remove make-up and grime. The next step is to tone the skin and this is important to maintain elasticity of the skin and close the pores. Hydrolats are nature’s floral waters and come in various types including orange flower, rose, witch hazel and chamomile and there is a hydro for every type of skin (they are produced when essential oils are extracted from the plants). The final step is a moisturising barrier on the clean and dry skin. This is where vital oils and nutrients are added back into the skin. A good tip if you use a hairdryer is to have done this before drying your hair and the heat will aid the sinking-in process of the oils/moisturiser. Again, a natural moisturiser or blended facial oil will keep the skin re-hydrated and fed. Find products that suit your skin type and always apply all products upwards so as not to pull the skin (this only makes sense when you are older…)If you have blackheads or problem skin, then a clay mask once a week will also help the skin along.Finally, drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and re-hydrate skin from the insideThe odd spot or blemish:Occasionally, if we are tired, run down, hormonal or ill, we will get the odd spot or blemish. Carry out your normal skin routine; I would advise Orange flower water or witch hazel and moisturiser for all skin types for girls and tea tree water or witch hazel and Cream for troubled skin for boys, followed by my some neat lavender on a clean finger-tip onto the blemish as regular as possible and the blemish will soon disappear with no mark as lavender speeds up the healing process and stops scar-tissue forming. Try lavender (French or Spike) before anything else on every skin issue where help is needed. Personally, I find tea tree oil too harsh for facial skin and don’t advise neat tea tree on spots.What about Acne…?Acne often appears through hormonal changes, especially at the onset of puberty. The oil glands over-produce sebum and can clog pores thus causing acne. When the sebum combines with dead cells in the pores, then you get blackheads. Add bacteria and you get yellow-headed spots and with the hormonal ups and downs, it can all get quite upsetting. Take the teenage bad diet, over-productive sweat glands, and general lack of sunlight and all in all, acne can be hard to beat.As well as increasing the water intake and ensuring a scrupulous twice-daily skin care routine, I find either steaming the skin regularly or exfoliating can be extremely helpful, as can taking Calendula tincture internally x3 daily. Calendula is Pot marigold and is excellent for any inflammatory skin condition, and we have helped many an individual with this useful internal remedy. Add Echinacea too and this will fight any infection and boost the body’s ability to defend itself. For female teenagers, tincture of Chaste Berry will help balance the hormones and help settle the skin down too. My Cream for troubled skin also contains calendula so you are applying both externally in the cream and internally in the tincture. Use this after Witch hazel or another Hydrolat as a gentle toner. Neat lavender added to any bad spots after the skin care routine will help stop scar tissue forming which can be a problem with Acne, and also help speed up the healing process. Processed food should be eliminated wherever possible as it gives no vital nutrients to the skin and busies your system up getting rid of the rubbish. Also, it is necessary to take a good vitamin supplement as the skin needs Zinc and other essential nutrients. Zinc enhances the immune system and reduces inflammation and promotes healthy hormone levels (check for white dots on fingernails for deficiency), Vitamin C & E help keep bacteria in check as well as promoting a healthy immune system, and the B’s work in ever cell in the body and females especially need them or healthy hormonal balance. The omegas 3 and 6 can also be helpful for skin and hormones so add them in as well.Dry skin areas…Due to extremely cold weather, central heating, dehydration and lots of other issues, sometimes the skin gets dry. Take a bath, adding carrier oil to the bath to moisturise the skin. After soaking, use a salt scrub to free the skin of dead cells. Get out of the bath and sit in a warm bath towel and allow the body to dry naturally. Pat any damp areas dry and massage oil such as Argon, Apricot kernel or jojoba into the skin. Perfect soft skin…Bruising…

When we knock ourselves, there is a release of blood from the capillaries to the damaged tissue under the skin. The mark that appears is from this action and will be absorbed by the tissue eventually and fade away. However, several things can help a bruise to heal quicker. As soon as you bruise yourself, bathe the area with witch hazel which will help disperse the blood and encourage healing to the site, quickening the disappearance of the bruise. Arnica cream will also do a similar thing so either can be used, but generally I would use witch hazel at the time of injury and apply arnica cream following that. My arnica lotion is actually a combination of the two and can be applied for the duration of the bruise provided the skin isn’t broken.

If a bruise seems to linger, this could be a sign that you need to up your vitamin C and Zinc intake as they boost the health of the capillaries and the immune system which should spring into action and heal the site of injury.

If bruising occurs without injury, a doctor should be consulted as this could indicate a more serious condition.

Cold sores…

To me, a cold sore is a sign of a run-down immune system. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus which remains dormant most of the time, but when a virus is invading and the immune system isn’t coping, a cold sore pops up as an outer warning. They are highly contagious and can be painful. St Johns’ wort tincture applied immediately that tingling begins should stop a full blown cold sore. Myrrh or Echinacea applied to a cold sore will speed its healing. However, all these tinctures boost the immune system and should be taken internally too to assist the smooth running of the body. Tea tree or my Cold Sore blend can also be applied direct. Tea tree in the bath will help the immune system recover, as will a daily multi-vitamin supplement and daily zinc and Vitamin C. Also up the fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains in your diet to feed your body properly.

Boils…

Boils often appear at the back of the neck, but also in the groin and mainly on men too and are usually a sign of an infected hair follicle. It starts off life as a painful red lump, often quite large and then hardens to form a yellow head…Yuk!! So what do you do??

Firstly, make some hot thyme tea and soak a cloth with it and apply to area for a while. This will help bring the boil to a head. Then apply neat lavender to the boil. Repeat this nightly with the hot thyme tea and 3 times daily with the neat lavender. The immune system also needs a boost so take thyme or Echinacea tincture 3 times daily for the next three weeks to ensure your immune system isn’t compromised. Problem solved…hopefully!!

Well, I hope this sheet has provided you with some useful information. More problematic skin issues such as Psoriasis and Eczema will be covered on their own specific sheets including dietary and supplement information. All suggestions have been tried and tested on family, friends & customers but not animals…

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