WILDCRAFTED HERBAL PRODUCTS
Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution
Natural Skin Care Newsletter: July Issue
Welcome to the July Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter.
We would like to ask all of you one simple question. What do you want to know about your skin? Simply send us an email and tell us what you would like to know about your skin or a particular skin condition and we'll do our very best to answer a future addition of the next newsletter. This will help us keep our Newsletter interesting and more interactive.
Happy reading...(You can click on the topics below which will take you to the article of choice on this page, or simply scroll down and read each one)
Exfoliation: Do's and Don'ts of Exfoliation
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Incey Wincey Spiders
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Loosing Weight: Where did those kilos come from and how to get rid of them - permanently?
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
About An Essential Oil of Interest: Rose Oil
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Kitty's Corner - Toy Ideas for Cats to play with
(by Kitty the Cat)
Newsletter - July 2008
Exfoliation is a real buzzword in the beauty industry and media at the moment. So this article takes a look at exfoliation, what exactly it is, how it works, and what you should be aware of when it comes to exfoliating your skin.
Basically, Exfoliation is: Skin's natural process of removing dead skin cells revealing a layer of healthier new skin cells.
So, the skin sheds its own, dead skin cells naturally and this is an ongoing process. So why do we need to exfoliate our skin?
The simple answer is because as we age, we like our face to look younger, healthier and as vibrant as possible. True, but there is a bit more to it than that. So here are some simple facts and truths about our skin and the care we need to take with it.
For example, did you know that about 80,000 facial skin cells die every day? Probably not, but this is why if you do not include exfoliation in your daily skin care regime, your skin may take on a dull, lusterless appearance, accentuating lines and wrinkles on your face.
Another problem is that most men and women still use commercial soaps that are harsh on the skin and contain chemicals you’d rather not know about. The combination of these chemicals and the harshness of these soaps combine to leave your facial skin dry, robbed of moisture, and having removed the protective Acid Mantel cover of the skin, more vulnerable to nasty microbes and other potentially harmful environmental factors.
Exfoliation is the first step in any good skin care regime. Its focus is on the upper most layer of your skin called the Stratum corneum. This layer consists primarily of dead skin cells and it is at this level that exfoliants work. As we grow older, the rate of skin cell renewal slows down and dead skin cells on the surface will accentuate lines and wrinkles and make your complexion look dull and lifeless.
Okay, so we recognize that exfoliation is a good thing if we want to look our best, but how do we exfoliate our skin, and are there better/worse ways of doing it?
I’ll get to the how to in a moment, but yes, there are better ways and worse ways of exfoliating your facial skin. In fact there are ways of exfoliating your skin that are worse than not doing it at all. An over dramatized example would be to take a handful of sand and rub your face with it. That is definitely a no-no. The point is that your exfoliation process should not include any products that are very ruff. They can remove too much of your skin and actually cause damage on a cellular level.
So let’s take a look at some of the more realistic and often used exfoliating treatments
Basically, exfoliation can take a number of forms, and can be divided into two types: Chemical and Mechanical.
The Chemical type of exfoliation products tend to use enzymes and/or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s) to remove dead skin cells. Unfortunately, too often these types of products are not natural and even if they are natural, they have a tendency to also act on living cells, which is not the indented function of a quality exfoliant.
However, some products use actual fruit, such as papaya fruit pulp, which contains natural AHA’s that are balanced with other chemicals (naturally contained in the papaya fruit) that will work extremely well and have no irritant qualities on your skin. They also do not remove living skin cells.
The Mechanical types of exfoliation products are usually preferable, as they are generally more focused on removal of dead skin cells by physically removing them.
Products such as facial clay masks, gentle skin scrubs and some natural facial peals, remove dirt, stale natural oils as well as dead skin cells, and unblock the skin’s pores.
Exfoliation is intended to do nothing more than remove dead skin cells, however, you need to be aware of how ‘ruff’ they are. For example, as mentioned above, there are chemical exfoliants which will not just attack the dead skin cells, but also harm living cells. This is not the aim of a quality exfoliant, on the contrary, exfoliation is supposed to help promote new growth of skin cells, not attack new cells.
Similarly, there are natural as well as non-natural mechanical types of exfoliants that have ingredients, which can cause minute cuts and be quite abrasive to your facial skin. Again this is not the type of product you would want to use.
Instead, exfoliants should contain substances such as high quality clays, herbal extracts and essential oils that are gentle to your skin and remove the dead skin layer at the same time. Clay, for example, is made up of rounded particles and because of their shape, they will not irritate or cut your skin nor will they be abrasive to the skin.
In addition, natural mineral clays contain nutrients that are nourishing to the skin while drawing out impurities from your skin and pores.
Clays and cosmetic grade pumice gently and effectively remove dead skin cells, while essential oils and herbal extracts, such as Chamomile and Tea Tree powder, are soothing, anti-septic, cleansing, and protect the newly exposed living skin cells.
There is one other form of exfoliation. It is a mechanical form and uses what is known as exfoliating gloves or luffas. These however are far too ruff for use on your face, but are okay to use on the rest of the body.
So there you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about exfoliation and then some...
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No, it's not the nursery rhyme. It is about three annoying skin blemishes that may reveal more than you think.
These little, annoying skin blemishes can tell you a lot more about what's going on with the health of your body than you might expect.
Spider nevi are little skin flaws where small broken capillaries that look like a little red spider are visible on the skin’s surface, usually on the face or abdomen. Often they occur on the cheeks, but can develop anywhere.
The way to tell if the blemish you may have on your skin is a ‘Spider nevi’, is to press lightly in the centre of it and if the ‘legs’ disappear, you have spider nevi (or spider angioma). These usually occur in people over 40 or folk with liver disease, but in themselves they are harmless. However, they can point to a health imbalance of some kind.
Spider nevi may also be due to a vitamin C deficiency, high blood pressure, and may also occur during pregnancy. The best way to treat them is to a) make sure you have no underlying problems that may be the cause of them, such as the problems listed above. If you do, then these health issues must be addressed first.
b) Use natural skin care products that contain Rose oil, which has incredible healing properties.
For example combine the Hydrating Cleanser, Milk of Roses Toner, Rose Day Crème and Age-Defying Essence to provide your skin with the perfect combination of ingredients to help heal the tiny blood vessels and restore proper circulation to the affected area.
Remember to implement a daily skin care regime of cleansing, toning and moisturising to obtain best results and finally, use a good exfoliant twice a week to keep stimmulating the skin's blood circulation and remove the dead skin cells.
Spider nevi differ slightly to Spider angiomas (all though often considered the same in many medical reference books). Spider angiomas are an abnormal collection of blood vessels near the skin's surface and look very similar to spider nevi, except that spider angiomas have a raised red central dot with reddish ‘legs’ radiating out. Pressure on the central spot will cause the ‘spider legs’ to disappear. They are a type of benign tumour associated with pregnancy and in patients with liver disease.
Rapid development of numerous prominent spider angiomas may point to cirrhosis of the liver, malignant liver disease, and other liver dysfunctions. A common characteristic is an elevated blood estrogen level.
Spider nevi are not to be confused with Thread veins, which are a venous problem rather than a problem of broken capillaries. Okay, it’s getting a bit medical… Veins transport deoxygenated blood via the liver to the heart and then to the lungs where the blood is oxygenated again.
Capillaries are where the arterial blood, through loss of oxygen, becomes venous blood and enters the veins. The veins that become visible at the surface of the skin are the thread veins and these thread veins point to underlying diseases such as cardiovascular disease or liver disease. They are often precursors to varicose veins.
Now just because you have a single spider nevus or a spider angioma, doesn't mean you have a liver disease or that there is something wrong with your cardiovascular system, but if you have several of them or they are increasing in numbers, it might not be a bad idea to go and consult you health care professional - just in case.
The skin really is an incredible organ and is able to reflect many health problems to the trained eye. Taking good care of it is not a luxury - it's a necessity.
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Loosing Weight: Where did those kilos come from and how to get rid of them - permanently.
While excess weight is not strictly a skin problem, it nevertheless is a health problem and a serious one at that.
Obviously 3 or 4 kilos over the ‘ideal’ weight is not what this article is about, however, every individual that is overweight knows it, and when the weight is an obvious issue, it soon becomes a health risk.
The table below will give you the cold hard facts on your weight. The calculation below the table will provide you with the means to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). Once you’ve calculated the BMI, you can use the table to look up whether you have a weight issue or not and just how potentially problematic it may be.
BMI Calculation: Weight (kg) / (Height in meter x Height in meters)
The percent of the population that is overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) or obese (BMI > 30) has increased dramatically over the last 20 years and does not look like it’s improving.
For men, 59% are overweight, while 20% of the total male population is obese. Fewer women are overweight (51%) but more are obese (25%).
The dangers of being obese BMI greater than 30:
So, if you’re overweight or obese, you definitely have some things to consider. The problem is that diets do not work. They don’t, never have, never will and simply are a waste of time, money, effort and everything else you can think of – UNLESS, you make diet a part of an overall health program and an integrated healthy life style. Then, and only then, will eating a healthy, balanced diet aimed at loosing weight work.
This is where alternative medicine like herbal medicine and Chinese medicine can help. Most of the time if you have a weight problem it is usually associated with underlying weaknesses in your body. If these weaknesses are not addressed and you just go on a diet, you may loose weight in the short term, but will almost certainly regain the weight down the track.
Often, obesity is also associated with headaches, emotional problems, depression and/or allergies, lethargy, etc. Sound familiar? In Chinese medicine these signs are indicative of an imbalance in your body, usually an imbalance in the relationship between your liver and your spleen. These organs are crucial to proper digestion. When this imbalance is rectified and the energy (Qi) of these organs is strong and balanced, weight will be lost naturally and normal weight will be maintained permanently.
Obviously you have to eat quality food, drink plenty of water and have a regular exercise regime that will help your body acquire its required nutrients and fluids as well as strengthen and maintain its energy through exercise.
However, if you start dieting without having the adequate digestive energy results in lose of energy, dehydration and inadequate nourishment of the body. This can eventually lead to further weakening and impairment of the digestive system. Once natural weight control will become quite difficult if not impossible.
Excessive weight is not just a single isolated health issue it is a symptom of other health issues existing in the body and unless these underlying issues are addressed together with the excess weight, no lasting effects will be gained from a strict diet.
You can also think of it this way. If you lack energy, feel bloated, heavy and sluggish, struggle with getting through the day, feel down or even depressed, how are you going to manage sticking to a strict diet and start doing the necessary exercise? You’ve lost before you’ve started.
However, if you’re feeling energetic, good about yourself and basically well, then loosing weight will almost happen naturally, simply because you stop eating for instant energy foods (especially the sugar rich foods). The result will be that you’ll start ‘bouncing’ around wondering where all this energy came from.
If you body is working properly, that is if the bowels are working, the liver and spleen are communicating in the right manner and your digestive system is functioning as it should, then the stored energy (fat) will be mobilized and will become accessible to you.
This however is only possible when loosing weight is viewed as being part and parcel of an overall health plan and the focus of treatment is on good health, not loss of excess weight.
Have a talk to your herbalist or Chinese medicine practitioner and ask them to help you construct an overall health plan to re-balance your body’s energy system - you will not look back and feel the better for it.
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Biological Name: Rose centifolia
Other Names: Rose marco, Rose damascena, Rose otto
Parts Used: Essential oil from Flowers
Roses are possibly the world’s most favourite flower because of their beauty and their amazing fragrance. Part of the Rosaceae Family, the essential oil of Rose is extracted from the petals by a solvent extraction method called enfleurage. This method aims to ensure that the maximum amount of oil is removed from the petals and that the oil is undamaged and no solvent residues remain.
To obtain a single drop of Bulgarian rose otto thirty roses must be used and this places rose absolute as the most precious essential oil in the world.
Applications in Aromatherapy:
Rose oil has no equal in skin care for moisturising, firming, smoothing and repairing the skin. In so doing, it produces no irritation, being cooling, calming and soothing. Rose also has a positive effect on broken superficial capillaries and is thus ideal for mature, dry or sensitive skin.
According to Tisserand it is the safest of all essential oils and can safely be used internally.
For these reasons we have included patchouli oil in:
Traditional Medicinal Uses:
In addition to possessing superior cosmetic properties, Rose Oil also has a long and distinguished history of medicinal use. It has been used as a blood purifier, liver cleanser, cardiac tonic, uterine tonic, digestive tonic and for halting abnormal cell growth.
In massage and bath oils, rose oil has a beneficial effect on emotional shock, grief, mental tension, irritability, emotional coldness and depression.
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We hope you enjoyed these articles and invite you to send us suggestions of topics you would like to see us cover in the coming months.
Your suggestions are always welcome and we endeavour to cover the topics you would like to know more about - so don't be shy, drop us a line or two!
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:
Toy Ideas for Cats to play with
Ping Pong balls: these basic cheapo ping pong balls make for great stand alone toys. Cats love to bat these around a room but they can get easily lodges under couches and other household furniture. So a great suggestion is to let your cat play with them in a shower recess or empty bath. The balls will ping off the hard surfaces and make a wonderful noise.
Pipe cleaners: really bog craft ones are super soft and are very flexible. They can be bent into all sorts of crafty shapes or you can make wild looking bug-like creatures out of them
Pom Poms: make your won if you have the time, patience and plenty of yarn or wool, otherwise you can cheat and buy packets of them. They come in a variety of sizes and colours. Stick a couple of small ones with paste, glue onto ping pong balls for added fun.
Feather: packets of dyed large feathers from large birds like chooks and ducks can deliver hours of fun. Dangle them from a string, loop them together, thread them through a pipe cleaner bug or just let your cat bat them around the house. Long Peacock feathers also are a favourite for keen kitties. These large, colourful feathers make a great hand-held teasy toy.
Foil balls: also found in craft stores, these spiky, colourful balls are lightweight and make a wonderful sound.
Old film canisters: in this digital age they’re sure to be a collectors item soon. Fill them with a tingly bell or other items that will rattle and make sure you seal the top tightly.
Tissue box: this is a great toy for the problem solvers in your family. get a small (empty) tissue box – the type that has the plastic slit at the opening. Fill with tasty treats like Greenies, Seaflex, or your cat’s favourite dry crunchy food. It’ll test your cat’s mental abilities to try to get the treats out of the box.
These little, cheap toy ideas will provide your cat with hours of fun and entertainment. You might even get a kick out of watching your feline play with the toys you’ve created.
For now, Miau from me, until next month.
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