WILDCRAFTED HERBAL PRODUCTS
Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution
Natural Skin Care Newsletter: December Issue
Welcome to the December Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter.
Christmas is only a few weeks away and for many of you this signals a well earned rest and time out from the usual hectic weekly schedule.
To celebrate the festive season we've put together a bunch of very special offers for you, so please take a look at these Christmas Gift Ideas. In addition we have now also introduced Gift-Vouchers so your friends and loved ones can choose products of their own choosing.
Kitty provides some good hints and tips if you are thinking about adding a pet to your household, and of course there are the usual articles from us.
We hope you will enjoy our December Newsletter and take advantage of our Members only Christmas Specials.
The Importance of Your Skin's pH
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Emotions: How they affect your facial skin
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Skin Care Advice: The God, Bad & The Ulgy
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
About A Herb of Interest: Rue (Ruta graveolens) - Herb of Grace
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Kitty's Corner - Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family
(by Kitty the Cat)
Newsletter - December 2008
Our skin's pH is closely related to the acid mantle of our skin. This protective mantel is vitally important and the pH of the skin plays an extremely important part. One of the most important roles of our skin is to protect our ‘insides’ from the external environment, acting both as a barrier and a filter between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’.
In addition, the skin is involved in regulating our body’s temperature, like when we have a fever or we’re physically working hard, we tend to sweat, which is the body’s way to attempt to lower the temperature.
Another important role of our skin is to protect us from harmful substances entering our body, and in eliminating toxins. This takes workload off our Liver and Kidneys to filter out by-products from our body’s metabolism. The skin also breathes!
Hormones, Sweat glands and pH
The pores of our skin are made up of a combination of oil and sweat glands (sebaceous and sudoriferous glands) helping to keep our skin healthy and elastic. An excessive sebum secretion is often associated with oily skin and acne. This is particularly common in adolescents as the increased levels of sex hormones stimulate sebum production and secretion. When in balance, the combined excretion of oil and sweat from the skin’s pores has a pH of about 5.5.
The Acid Mantle, Age and the importance of the skin's pH
This slightly acidic layer, also referred to as the “Acid Mantle”, is our body’s first defence mechanism against bacteria invading it and is not a favourable environment bacterial growth to occur. This defence layer develops at puberty, which is why children are more susceptible to disease, viruses and fungal infections such are ringworm. The pH of children’s skin is closer to neutral (pH 7).
At puberty, however, we start to produce more hair on our bodies. Hair follicles have an associated sebaceous gland or glands which become active as hair growth increases, causing changes in the skin’s pH. The hormones that control sweat also become active and the whole surface of a teenager’s skin is totally different to that of a young child. This is our body’s way to increase our defence system.
The pH of normal, healthy human skin is somewhere between 4.5 and 6. However, this varies with age. Typically, newborns have a pH closer to neutral (pH 7) that quickly turns acidic in order to protect young children’s skin.
In the late teens to early 20’s, our Acid Mantle is well developed and provides good protection against potentially harmful, external environmental factors. Our skin usually looks healthy, heals quickly when injured and seems to take care of itself.
With increasing age however, the skin’s pH becomes more and more neutral, and thus more susceptible to bacterial growth. This reduced acidity kills fewer bacteria than before, leaving the skin susceptible to bacterial growth and infections. The skin weakens as a result and begins developing problems with increasing age. (Interestingly, the pH value rises beyond 6 when a person actually suffers from a skin problem or skin disease.)
The aging process of the skin causes biochemical changes in collagen and elastin, the connective tissues underlying the skin, which give the skin its firmness (collagen) and elasticity (elastin). The rates of loss of skin firmness and elasticity differs from individual to individual, depending on their genetic makeup, general health, over exposure to the sun, skin care regime, or lack there of, and other factors.
As the skin becomes less elastic, it also becomes drier; the underlying fatty tissue begins to disappear resulting in the skin beginning to sag. Our skin is less supple, and wrinkles begin to form. At this stage, our skin is more easily injured, heals more slowly and tends to dry out more quickly.
The role of pH in Acne
As outlined above, the skin’s pH is important and maintaining a slightly acidic pH of around 5.5 is critical.
The skin’s pH value is one of the major contributors to acne and other skin problems. Propionibacterium acnes is a bacteria that normally lives on the skin and is a normal bacteria found in all persons regardless of the presence or absence of acne.
However, in individuals prone to acne, the number of P. acnes is greatly increased. It has been found that the growth of this bacteria is very much dependent on the pH value of the skin and its growth is at its minimum at the normal skin pH of 5.5. A slight shift towards the alkaline pH would provide a better environment in which it can thrive.
Importance of the skin's pH: Do's & Don'ts
One of the major culprits that radically alter the pH of the skin, is soap. Ordinary, commercially available soaps are highly alkaline (pH range 9-11) and raise the skin’s pH to be much more alkaline. This can be adjusted by using products such as the Wild Herb Toner or Milk of Roses Toner, depending on your skin type. These toners restore normal pH of the skin and thus provide an environment not conducive to the growth of bacteria. In addition, soap dries out the skin, because of its high alkalinity.
Thus if you choose to use a commercially available soap, you must restore the pH of your skin to prevent loss of moisture and the excessive growth of bacteria. It is important to remember that this applies to the entire surface of your skin, not just the face.
Instead of using ordinary soap, you need to use products such as the Skin Renewal Gel from Wildcrafted Herbal Products, which cleanses your skin, removing dead skin cells and leaving your skin’s pH as it is meant to be. Following this with the use of a Toner will close the open pores, preventing blackheads and loss of moisture from the skin.
Other factors influencing your skin's pH
Another factor that helps in regulating your skin’s pH is the presents of microflora on your skin. Staphylococcus epidermis is involved in the breakdown of fatty acids, and is therefore partly responsible for the acidic pH of skin. The use of ordinary soap, not only changes the pH of the skin to be more alkaline, effectively removing the protective acid mantle, but also kills the bacteria responsible for creating, at least in part, the acidic pH of your skin – a double whammy.
It is therefore of great importance to have a good skin care regime in which high quality, natural skin care products are employed. There are a couple of simple steps to take before buying a particular brand of natural skin care products.
Your skin is not replaceable and is one of the most important organs with many major functions and roles to play in your health and well being. Look after it, invest in it. It will pay you back many fold and you'll radiate the benefits.
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Your skin and your emotions are tightly links. Fear and shock can turn your skin ‘white as a sheet’, while embarrassment and anger will turn the face red. Angst, worry and stress have a tendency to cause lines and wrinkles, not to mention the sleepless nights that lead to unwanted bags under the eyes.
Why is it so?
Well, let’s look at some emotions and how they affect our skin. As mentioned in the introduction, anger, embarrassment, etc., will cause the body’s physiology to respond. For example when something makes us very angry, there is a good chance this will display itself on our face by turning the skin red. This is because anger causes a release of certain hormones, which in turn causes an increase in blood pressure and an increase of blood rushing to our head. The result - a red face.
Fear on the other hand has a tendency to turn our facial colour white. This too is the result of a physiological response, but instead of blood rushing to our face, it goes to our muscles so that if we decide to run away from what is creating this fear, there is an ample supply of blood (and oxygen) available to our muscles so we can run with maximum speed. This is known as the fear-fight-flight response.
However, not all emotions cause our facial colour to change, all though some, for example sadness or depression, may show as a dull or lustreless complexion, or are revealed by our facial expressions.
Long-term effects of emotions
While in the short-term, facial colour as a result of emotions will not cause any long lasting effect and are perfectly normal, if emotions such as anger persist over time, then physical changes in the skin may result.
Unresolved anger for example tends to cause an increase in blood pressure, this in turn will cause tiny blood vessels in the facial skin to expand or even burst, which will change the look of the facial skin.
Stress is another powerful, yet subtle emotion. Long-term it too can cause physical changes to the facial skin. Mostly these changes take the form of lines and wrinkles, but can also cause a decrease in blood flow to the small blood vessels (note: stress tends to cause vasoconstriction – narrowing of blood vessels). The resulting ‘look’ is one of dull, lustreless skin with or without lines and wrinkles.
As I’ve already mentioned, short-term emotions don’t present a long-term problem for our facial skin, however, high blood pressure and/or sustained stress will.
So what can you do?
Obviously if there are underlying physical problems, such as high blood pressure, these need to be addressed. However there are many essential oils and herbal extracts that if used in your skin care can help to minimize the negative effects of such conditions.
For example, if there are broken capillaries (small blood vessels) on the cheeks, rose oil will help to repair these vessels and promote normal, healthy circulation of blood in the area where the cream has been applied. Similarly, permanently flushed cheeks can also benefit from creams containing rose oil.
Lines and wrinkles, irrespective of whether they are due to laughing or frowning a lot, will benefit from oils such as rose, calendula, apricot oil, and others.
Dull and/or lustreless skin can be helped even if caused by emotional challenges. Using a good exfoliant to remove excessive dead skin cells is a step in the right direction. In addition using a moisturising cream containing Patchouli and natural alpha-hydroxy acids, such as contained in papaya fruit extract, combined with other essential oils and herbal extracts, can help to invigorate and revitalise the facial skin.
Other essential oils that will help revitalize your facial skin include: Rose, Jasmine, Patchouli, Apricot, Calendula, Neroli, Jojoba and many others. In addition, once or twice a week, giving your face a facial sauna followed by applying a natural facial clay mask will do wonders for your complexion and promote the health of your skin.If bags under the eyes are getting to be a problem, whether it is due to lack of sleep, over work, or any other cause, there are things you can do. Witch hazel is known for its effective on puffy skin, especially for puffiness around the eyes and when combined with Arnica and Calendula these herbs can make a real difference.
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There is a plethora of information about what to do and what not to do when it comes to taking care of our skin. The media is full of reports and the cosmetic/beauty companies run full-page advertisements in popular magazines telling you how you should take care of your skin and the various treatments you should impose on your skin.
Some of this skin care advice is good, useful information, however, there are things that we are being told is good for our skin that in reality is very bad.
For example, chemicals peels - these involve applying a chemical solution to the skin which causes it to “blister” and eventually peel off. The newly regenerated skin is usually, but not always, smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
However, by intent, new skin will grow following a peel. This skin is very fragile and vulnerable to complications. The newly formed skin requires protection from overexposure to the sun and those with a history of cold sores may develop a severe outbreak for which they may require antibiotic or antiviral medication.
Why would anyone want to peel-off healthy skin tissue? Using a gentle exfoliant to remove excess dead skin cells is one thing, but using harsh chemicals that burn your skin to the point of blistering is quite another.
Another example of bad skin care advice is the use of Botox injections or Botox-alternatives. Botox is a substance derived from botulinum toxin (A potent neurotoxin from the microorganism Clostridium botulinum) that works by preventing nerve impulses from reaching the muscle, causing the muscle to be essentially paralyzed.
Think about this for just a moment… Remember the saying: “if you don’t use it you loose it”? Muscles if not used start to loose their tone within 24 hours – just look at the difference in muscle tone and strength after having a broken leg in plaster for 6 weeks or so, and you’ll see how much bulk, strength and tone the muscles of the broken leg have lost.
Logically then, by artificially paralyzing muscles, muscle tone, strength and volume will be lost and if Botox injections/creams continue to be used, ultimately the targeted muscle(s) will atrophy and eventually die. The long-term end results therefore, has to be more lines and wrinkles than before…what genius came up with that idea…
There are also the side effects to consider. The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), lists the following side-effects:
Both manufacturers Botox™ and Botox Cosmetic™ warn on their labels of the possibility of adverse reactions near the site of the injection for each product's approved uses, and of "the rare potential of distant side effects'' including severe difficulty swallowing and breathing when the products are used on patients with neuromuscular disorders.
Hello! Even the manufacturers warn of serious potential problems, so why on earth would anyone want to risk subjecting themselves to what are potentially serious side effects.
Now we all know that the normal process of aging and sun damage are the most common causes of lines and wrinkles. WebMD.com states that: “Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to Botox, because it works only for wrinkles that are caused by the contraction of the underlying muscle”. So if most lines and wrinkles are due to natural aging and sun damage, what’s the point in using Botox?
What lies at the root of most lines and wrinkles is the loss of or damage to collagen and elastin fibres, which are the proteins responsible for the elasticity, tone and texture of the skin. Using natural skin care products that promote the production of collagen and elastin fibres will help your skin to retain a more youthful appearance for longer. Combine good quality skin care products with healthy food, at least two litres of water daily and some exercise, and your skin will be visibly healthier and look younger.
Don’t risk the health of your skin by taking bad skin care advice and using chemicals that have the potential to cause serious side effects or health problems. Use common sense when choosing what type of treatment you will subject your skin to and ask some probing questions.
You can access good skin care advice that is based on the philosophy of natural medicine and is written by qualified, experienced practitioners who have decades of experience in alternative medicine to inform yourself of the type of skin care that is safe and effective to use on your skin. Beauty is more than skin deep and there are many factors that contribute to healthy, beautiful skin.
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Uses in Natural Skin Care Products:
Rue (Ruta graveolens) Used In Wildcrafted's Range
Uses in Traditional Medicine:
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Susan and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued support, interest and feedback through the year and would like to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009.
In good health
Danny & Susan Siegenthaler
© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2008
Hello to you all, and a hearty Miau.
I hope you found last month's article interesting and helpful.
This month we'll look at:
Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family
Christmas is a time when many families choose to introduce a pet into their homes. Unfortunately, all too often the choice is wrong and many of these animals end up being disgarded, obandoned or worse, put down.
So here are some practical tips on how to choose the right pet for your family.
Pets are great, they provide entertainment, companionship, friendship, and a whole lot more. However, they can also be the biggest problem you’ve brought into your life. That’s why when considering adding a pet to your home you should take great care to select the right one for you.
These days, people don’t just choose between cats or dogs as pets. The range of pets is growing and can include horses, reptiles, fish, birds, pigs and even some insects are becoming popular choices. The key is to identify which type of pet is right for you, your family and your circumstances.
If we consider dogs, just as an example, there are ‘lap dogs’ at one end of the spectrum and ‘hunting dogs’ at the other. If you are elderly and not very mobile, a hunting dog may not be your best choice. Similarly, if you live in a small flat, a Great Dane or an Irish Wolfhound may not necessarily fit the bill either.
Below are some questions you might think about before purchasing a pet:
* Do you have room for a pet?
* What activities do you enjoy and do you want your pet to be part of these?
* How do you spend your day?
* Do you have a No-Pets clause where you live?
* How much will your pet cost initially and over the long term?
* What if a pet does not fit your lifestyle?
* How much time can you devote to your pet?
* How difficult will your pet’s grooming regime be and how much time will it take?
* Do you have any allergies to dogs, cats or other animals?
* Can someone look after your pet if you are temporarily unable to do so?
These are just some questions to get you started. Once you’ve answered these questions and possibly added some of your own, you could talk to a veterinarian and ask for some advice as to the type of pet that would most likely suite your life and home’s circumstances.
If you take the time and do your research carefully and then look for the right pet that is likely to fit into your life and your home, you are less likely to create yourself a problem, and are more likely to enjoy all the benefits of having a pet as a companion and family member.
For now, Miau from me, until next month.
Source: Kitty the Cat
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You can contact Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital Inc.
Harry Kunz & Karin Traub
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